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S36 Nhlanguleni Rd. H1-2 to H7

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Unread post by Foreigner » Sun Dec 04, 2005 2:19 pm

I like this road and always try to travel some of it on my visits. Over time, I've found Lion, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Sable, Wild Dog and Cheetah on various parts of the road.
The Cheetah I've seen (twice) were hunting and on one visit took a young Impala. The sight of a Cheetah in full flow is truly awesome.

I found Sable on a couple of occasions just north of Jones Dam. Wild Dog just to the south of the dam. A group of 5 Rhino at the waterhole just north of the dam.

As the saying goes....The right place at the right time.

Also had an interesting experience on this road when I travelled round the back of Talamati, the heavens opened and the drifts started to rise. I tried to return to Satara where I was staying but the drifts stopped me as they were running too high so I set off South, hoping to find a way back to the main road.

It all got a bit hairy although, looking back on it, it was a very interesting experience. I ended up braving the drifts all the way south to the Skukuza-Tshokwane road before I could set off back to Satara. Not having a 4x4, I had no choice but to do this. Some of the streams on the lateral roads were running very strongly and were completely impassable.

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Re: S36 South of Muzandzeni

Unread post by arks » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:47 pm

acekam wrote:I've only done the portion of this road south from H7 as far as the Talamati turnoff. What is the rest of it like for game viewing? Is the corrugation as bad as on the upper part of this road?

After having made the mistake of choosing to drive the whole length of this road from north to south, I can report that in my opinion, it is by far the worst (most corrugated and bone rattling) road in KNP — and I managed to drive on most of the KNP roads at least once during my month-long visit in April/May 2006.

I unfortunately also had to drive portions of the S36 to reach Talamati, but after that first experience, when I also saw almost no game, I avoided it as much as possible. I know that others feel that this is a productive road, and it may well be (always a matter of being @ the right place, @ the right time :D ), but as for driving conditions — ghastly :twisted: :roll: :twisted:
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Unread post by Stoffel » Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:43 pm

I have not travelled this road a lot, and I agree on the road condition. My personal experience is that it is OK for game viewing, but not one of that "wanna do" roads for me. I have seen 4 white rhino on one occasion between the S84 junction and Jones' Dam, 1 black-backed jackal between the S125- & S145-junctions and 8 lions about right opposite Muzanzeni. The very same day we saw the lions, we went on a night drive from Talamati (May 2005) and saw the same lions again, slightly south of Muzandzeni. A few kilometres further south we saw 2 wild dog lying in the road. Later, just before we turned onto the S145 to return to Talamati, we saw a large herd of buffalo. Therefore, my experience of doing a small portion of the road on a night drive was very productive, but my own travelling during daytime (and this apply to the whole S36) was not that good, but also not bad. Just remove your false teeth before you turn onto the S36.
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Re: S36

Unread post by Peter Betts » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:49 pm

jakoventer wrote:We have seen Sable on the road. Also some beautifull shots of Fish Eagles. Speaking to the man at Nhlanguleni he told us that Lion come to the waterhole next to the picnic spot about once or twice every month, but more so in winter.

Love the place!!!! My 5 year old boy's fav spot in KNP

Muzandzeni Pic Spot is the best in the Central area and part of the very picturesque Kingfisherspruit Section.... I love just taking in the beauty of the place and the days we have breakfast there are normally great days in the Park.... last time we saw a White Breasted Cuckoo Shrike who was very confiding and a GREAT poser for the telephoto!!
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Can't help butt agree Peter

Unread post by Wildman » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:57 pm

Can't help but fully agree again Peter! It must be the best picnic site in central Kruger. The Kingfisher Spruit as you alluded to is a very interesting feature of the area.
I enjoy the remote feeling this section offers.
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Unread post by acekam » Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:56 pm

Have had some of my most memorable Kruger moments on the stretch between Muzandzeni and Mondzweni, including :

- Lions at the Muzandzeni waterhole
- Large herd of elephant swimming in the Shimangwaneni dam (youngsters literally dunking and splashing each other)
- Large herd of buffalo (on a different occasion) at Shimangwaneni
- 2 male and 2 female lions gorging themselves on a buffalo carcass, including one of the lionesses at full sprint chasing away a hyena
- Sable just north of Mondzweni (my one and only sable sighting in the park)
- A lovely scene overlooking Mondzweni where we had 9 mammal species in view at once (impala, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey and waterbuck)

So I have a soft spot for this stretch and always try to include it in my itinerary.

Despite best intentions, haven't covered the middle section as the state of the road normally makes me veer off towards either Talamati or H1-3 via the S125. Have done the southern stretch up to Manzimhlope without any notable sightings, but the area "feels" promising.

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Where?Which Dam?

Unread post by Muhammad » Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:52 pm

Shimangwaneni Dam on the S36.


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Unread post by christo » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:04 pm

Animal sightings on this road is usualy good, but the benefit is that it is much quieter than the main tar road. I've always been fortunate around the Lugmag dam.

The trip around Talamati has been a little more productive to me, but I totally love the feeling of Muzandzeni. This is a real "back to basics" picnic site. (And Ive had a few great cat sightings on this stretch of road)

The game numbers around Rabelais seem to be a little less than in the times Rabelais was still a real dam. These days a seasonal pan is more like it. Orpen might bring more animals to the waterhole, but the drive to rabelais has always been a favourite of mine, so if I were you I would have gone that way, especialy if you went straight up past Muzandzeni.

Jackal at N'wamatsasha has always been great to watch and seem to be visible earlier than at the Orpen waterhole.
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Unread post by Mgoddard » Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:22 pm

A road I dont explained in my trip report of last year...Lugmag dam is a must, althought the road was horrible, from recent reports I believe its good now...seen lions at lugmag dam last year and the year before had a kill right outside Nhlanguleni Picnic spot...thought I had gone blind as could only see through one eye, then realized the cover was still on my binocs :redface: Also dont miss Jones Dam, Shimangwaneni Dam and Welverdiend waterhole...As im staying at Talamati again this year, Im hoping to see all these again....cant wait...only 29 days to go!!

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Unread post by Elsa » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:10 am

BunnyHugger wrote:Can you tell me what Nhlanguleni is like? I am inclined to stop at Nhlanguleni for breakfast, go via Talamati (S145) and then to Orpen to get our permit for Tamboti.

BH, Nhlanguleni is also very nice, its a very open picnic area, not many trees etc and not too much of a view, there is a bit of a waterhole in front but when we were there last month it didn't really have any water in it and the grass was very tall, partially obstructing the view.
The toilets, long drop, were very clean and well looked after. :D
I think your planned route looks good.
Enjoy. :D

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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Mon May 05, 2008 4:21 pm

Just got back from KNP 04 May 2008.

We travelled this road from the start right up to the H7 (Orpen Satara tar road).

The road is heavily corrugated in places and fair in others. To be sure, I am quite surprised my car is still in one pice although my fillings have all been shaken loose.

On the up-side, eating was easy in the car. Just insert bit to be eaten and close mouth. The shaking did the chewing for me.

Saw Lions at Nhlangulene bit far away. The staff there are very friendly and keep the place clean and tidy.

Also saw lots of general game on the road.
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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Tue May 06, 2008 9:40 am


The road condition is fair overall. There are just a good number of heavily corrugated spots and these are really quite bad. Thank heavens I put new shocks on my car in Nov 2007.

I deviated from my planned route and went striaght up the s36 all the way to the tar due to the road condition. So we did not get to go around the S140 / S145.

EDIT: The bad corrugations are from north of Nhlangulene all the way to the H1-7 (Satara Orpen road). Cannot help with the condition of the other roads leading to it.
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Unread post by joekin » Mon May 12, 2008 8:11 am

sorry guys busy looking at map. where is Muzandzeni can't seem to find it on my map

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Unread post by Elsa » Mon May 12, 2008 12:14 pm

About 10 kms down the S36, Joekin off the H7.

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Re: S36 South of Muzandzeni

Unread post by Wild about cats » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:47 pm

I stayed at Talamti for quite a couple of nights and found this road unproductive. South from the Talamati turn off we did find something interesting

Image :tongue:

It's a great place for birding though, I saw a lot, and got a new tick: the Lesser Grey Shrike.
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