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S3- Sabie River Road.

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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S3- Sabie River Road.

Unread post by bert » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:01 pm

Went to a college of my SO yesterday and she showed us video footage of a group of lions eating a aardvark next to the safari truck and two LITS . This all during one drive on the S3,
the road next to the Sabie river between Phabeni and Skukuza. And she was with a tour group and had only one day in the park. btw, also saw ellie and white rhino on this road.

Any other great sightings on this road, or is it generally ignored

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Unread post by Johann » Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:30 pm

One of my favourite roads :!:
When staying in Skukuza this road was permanently filled with pins on the sightings board.
One quick story. Drove this road in June 2005 from Skukuza side to Phabeni. Found elephants, large herd (100+) buffalo and family of 3 white rhino. O ja, and some purple-crested turaco's and some other interesting birds on the way. Had breakfast at Albasini heritage sight. Decided to take the same way back. Very close to Kruger gate we saw a car with the people searching the bushes. When we stopped they informed us that a leopard just jumped out of a tree about 20m in. We carried on very slowly looking for it. Unfortunately we couldn't find it. About 100m down the road we found some very nervous Waterbuck. I decided to take some photo's of quite a young looking one. The next moment his mom snorted and off they went. As I turned to ask my SO if she knew what was wrong, she excitedly asked me if I saw the male lion that just walked past! Of course not! I was too busy photographing the waterbuck.
That's why they were so nervous and that's why the leopard got out of the tree and disappeared.
Plenty of other good sightings also on this road.

Only time I ever saw a Crowned Eagle, was also on this road. It made quite a few Vervets nervous that was on the other side of the road.

Definitely one of my favourite roads. Plenty of little lookouts over the river to just stop in the shade, relax and listen to the sounds of the bush.
Last edited by Johann on Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by Elsa » Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:10 pm

We have often traveled the S3 and altho never seen anything very special, there's always something interesting to see, we found ourselves in the middle of a huge herd of zebra once and also watched the most relaxed ellie browsing right next to us.
Will definitely be doing it again this time.

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Unread post by christo » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:06 am

I've always loved this drive. Even if I do not see anything "special" I still enjoy the scenery and atmosphere.
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Unread post by DavenJan » Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:40 pm

We travel this road whenever we stay at P'kop it's generally peaceful and we often have good bird sightings (having previously seen Vereouxs(giant eagle owl and Red chested Cuckoo plus leopard). During our New Year trip this year on our first trip along there we saw a Heyena, a wild dog, a white rhino,a family of zebra with a tiny baby, waterbuk, fish eagle, had a lovely coffee break alongside the river, and only saw about 4 other vehicles.
We decided to go that way again later and just before the junction with the road from Phabeni we came across our wild dog pack! Great road.
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Unread post by bucky » Mon Feb 20, 2006 11:13 pm

I rate both that and the tar road parallel to it very highly .

The only sad thing is that it is not as peacefull as it used to be before so many developments on the other side of the river , and phabeni gate (although I do like using phabeni)

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Unread post by luislang » Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:07 pm

Johann wrote:
Plenty of little lookouts over the river to just stop in the shade, relax and listen to the sounds of the bush.

This is exactly why it's our favourite road in the south and we've been lucky.......never found more than 3-4 there. Drove it again on our last visit.
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Yeah the S3

Unread post by kaka_sparrow » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:17 pm

we travelled the S3 once that i can remember and it produced a wonderful first time sighting in the form of a sable herd...wonderful was just..mwah :lol:
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Unread post by wildchild » Tue Jul 25, 2006 6:23 pm

We did the S3 for the very first time on our last trip , on the 14th July 2006 to be exact and were rewarded with sighting impalas, leopard and buffalo. Not bad for a first drive down that road hey. :wink:
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Unread post by matthew » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:24 am

What I find most rewarding about this road is the "dense-ness", that feeling like you're exploring, and that something fantastic is around the corner. It is such a beautiful road, especially in the early morning!
The only negative i find is that you can, at times, see the developments on the other side of the river.
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Sabie River loop on S3 [Arks Quizz #17]

Unread post by arks » Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:59 am

Sabie River loop on S3

Last edited by arks on Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by wildtuinman » Tue May 22, 2007 6:12 am

Pel's have been seen on this road. Leopard are also frequently spotted. Good road. Nice and quiet. :wink:

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Unread post by Liam » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:52 am


I found this road very productive as i saw this pride of 2 females, a male and about 5 cubs.

Saw numerous Impala, Giraffe, Zebra and Kudu and also one huge bull Elephant.

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Unread post by Patto » Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:29 pm

Hi all,

I am going to the Park on Monday and am staying at P'Kop that night. I have wanted to do this road for a while. One stupid question, how exactly do you get onto the road. I remember trying to get onto the road in 2001 and driving on the Skukuza to Paul Kruger Gate and coming up to the gate without seeing the road. Did I just miss it, or should I have turned somewhere before. Also compared to the S1, which road do you rate as better, sightings wise? I know the right time right place prevails, but some roads offer more right time right place opportunities (if that makes sense).

Thanks very much for your help!

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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:06 pm

If you go out of Pretorius Kop and head towards Numbi Gate, it will be the first sand road to your right. Carry on straight with the road and cross over the Doispane Tar road. The S3 starts at the Nappi Road and goes all the way to the Kruger Gate.

Where you turn onto it close to Pkop, it is the S7 and becomes the S3.

Apparently you were on the road without noticing. I have no knowledge of the S1 so I cannot comment on a comparison.

I have done the S3 once before and did not see anything noteworthy. This was back in about 96 or so.
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