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Your drives around Skukuza

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Re: Skukuza driving routes

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:48 pm

Also leaving at gate opening, take the H11 to the S1 or carry on and do the S3 river road, then the S1.
The S65 is also one of my favourites,
In the other direction, go over the low level bridges and take the Maroela Loop, drive very slowly, often very productive but essentially any of the road around Skukuza can produce very good sightings at any time.
We also love driving the loops off the H4-1

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Re: Skukuza driving routes

Unread post by adw » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:02 pm

Hi Ralph and Lenny, I recommend a trip to Transport Dam via the H1-1.
Instead of travelling the entire length of the H4-1, which I find too busy vehicle wise, you can turn onto the Salitjie Road (S30) and then you can get onto the H10 (via a short drive on the S29). You can stop at the Nkumbe look out point and enjoy the spectacular view. The H10 in my humble opinion is one of the best tar roads in the Park. The H10 will join up with the H1-2 and you can turn left back to Skukuza.
Another route which I enjoy is the dirt road to Malelane (S114). You can travel quite far down the S114 or you can take a early turn left onto the S21 (Nwatimhiri Road) which will meet up with the H4-1.
As you see can the one advantage of staying at Skukuza is that you have many alternatives! Decisions, decisions..........
Whichever route you choose I am sure you will enjoy.
As far as what animals you will see depends on the old Kruger Park adage: right place, right time.
Early morning drives and I mean early (when the gates open) you stand a good chance of seeing Lion and or Leopard. I have seen Cheetah a number of times in the Transport Dam vicinity. White Rhinos are seen on all the routes mentioned and of course Elephant are on all routes mentioned as well.
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Re: Skukuza driving routes

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:57 pm

Hi Ralph and Lenny :D :D

The roads to the West towards Pretoriuskop is cheetah country :D :D The S1 especially good for them :thumbs_up:

Instead of the H4-1 you can give Salitjie road a go! the s30! Then up the H10 to Tsokwane and back on the H1-2. The H10 is also a good cheetah road :D

All the road around Skuks give you a fair chance of seeing lions, and near Skuks very early in the morn and late afternoon keep your eyes peeled for leopard :D
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Re: Skukuza driving routes

Unread post by ralph and lenny » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:37 pm

Thanks very much for your info!
Counting down: 8 weeks to go. It's very nice to do some research in advance!
Hope to meet some of you guys! We'll be there whole September.

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Re: Skukuza driving routes

Unread post by oddesy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:51 pm

All the options mentioned here are great! one of my favourites is the S114, down towards the S21 and across to near nkhulu and back to skuks for a full days driving :thumbs_up:
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Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by IanM » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:31 pm

I have just returned from a wonderful ten day trip to Kruger - three nights at Tamboti, three nights at Bateleur, one night at Olifants and three nights at Skukuza.
In general the game viewing was excellent - five leopard (including a male and female in a tree together for more than twenty minutes), outstanding rhino (including one that unexpectedly came heart stoppingly close to the front of the vehicle) and large numbers of amazing elephants.
The 4am honey badger visit on the verandah at Tamboti was very entertaining and we heard lion, leopard and hyena calling every night.
Bateleur was simultaneously tranquil and exciting; we saw a massive and beautiful male leopard on an anthill at Silvervis dam and watched the biggest tusker I have ever seen drinking at the camp waterhole. Olifants was a perfect night stop on the way south and provided great sightings.
Skukuza was interesting.
I have never stayed there before and was reluctant to include it in our itinerary but it was the only option available at the time.
I was worried the camp was going to be too big, too busy and too noisy but hoped for good game viewing in the area.
In the end, the camp was fine; it is big and busy but the only noise came from the bush babies in the trees above our cottage and distant hippo and hyena.
The game viewing however was disappointing.
Having said that, we did see the big five in less than 24 hours (talk about ungrateful!) as well as civet, hyena, white tailed mongoose and night ape on a night drive but it was the general game that we really missed.
We covered a lot of ground in three days but didn't see a single zebra or wildebeeste; giraffe, elephant and buffalo were also very difficult to find.
Even kudu were fairly few and far between.
There was certainly no shortage of leopard (we did see one) and on three occasions we came around the corner to find a vehicle full of occupants excitedly telling us a leopard had just crossed the road in front of them.
We did see a young male lion on a kill and narrowly missed females and cubs on another kill.
I know it sounds terribly unappreciative - and despite the long periods of not seeing much - we did really enjoy our time at Skukuza but compared to the other areas we visited, the game viewing was at times hard work.
So my question to more experienced Kruger experts is this, were we just unlucky?
I know the bush is still very thick and there is a lot of water about but that applies equally to other parts of the park at the moment.
On our next visit (which cannot come soon enough, I am still in a state of shock and mourning that our long anticipated trip is already over) should I give Skukuza another chance or opt instead for Lower Sabie, Biyamiti, Croc Bridge or Berg-en-Dal?

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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by spargish » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:50 am

Hi IanM

Welcome to the Forum :thumbs_up:

Personally I only stay at Skukuza during non peak times as I mostly camp. I do agree that once you are in your accommodation it feel quite serene. I would say if its off peak give Skukuza another try, I have had very good sightings when ever I have stayed there.

There are a variety of routes that can be taken and you have the opportunity to see just about any type of mammal found in KNP.

I wish you well planning your next tripm and why not write a Travel Report about your last trip. 8)
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by Sheenaugh-Lee » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:10 am

My opinion Ian is Skukuza is WAY too commercialised I cant stand that camp, stayed their one weekend 2 years ago and I wont ever again, I personally would opt for lower sabie, croc bridge or berg n dal, if you stay at croc bridge you can cover ground to lower sabie or berg n dal and have a more extensive viewing area but thats just my opinion and what Ive come to learn over the many years :) good luck
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:28 am

Welcome to the forum IanM.

This is an interesting point you raise.

I have not been to Kruger for over 3 years since my 'partner in crime', my father died.

But we noticed a trend of fewer plains animals south of Tshokwane and more north, but more predators south. The slight exception here is the H10 area in the east of the park.

I know this is unscientific (and I have less and less respect for 'science' anyway) but maybe the animals are being 'eaten out' down south.

Large herds of buffs, zebra, gnu, and lots of girafffe were seen in the centre of the park.

I haven't stayed in Skuk for years. I think that regular parkers find camps better suited to their needs (be that richer game or quiet etc) and leave Skuk for first timers.
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by NJVermaak » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:46 am

Hi IanM,

Well done, sounds like you had a great trip!

If we can help it, we completely miss Skukuza, it just seems to me that it's allways busy and I don't feel so relaxed as I do in the other camps, but I'm sure plenty have fallen in love with the camp!

why not write a Travel Report about your last trip

Sounds like a goo idea...
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by RosemaryH » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:07 pm

IanM wrote:One last thing, I cannot praise the Sanparks staff highly enough. From the booking office, accounts department and camp receptionists to the cleaners, guides and everyone in between, we encountered nothing but efficiency, professionalism and broad, genuinely felt, welcoming smiles and helpfulness. Well done, thanks and congratulations to all of them.

Hi IanM and welcome to the Forum :thumbs_up:
Thanks for complimenting Sanparks Kruger staff - and what an awesome compliment it is :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: I will pass this on. Well Done to each and everyone :clap: :clap:

Sounds like you had a great time. I never thought I would ever stay at Skukuza but I did for the first time 2years ago and I would recommend you give Skukuza another chance :) Spending late afternoons and early mornings at Lake Panic because of the proximity is worth it. :thumbs_up: I find the sightings in the area rather good.

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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by Heksie » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:08 pm

Hi IanM
We have a house 2km outside Kruger Gate which is 12km from Skuks.
We stay there 2 weeks at a time and I just love this area.
The S1 is always full of herbivores.
As well as the S65, H1-1, S114, H4-1, H1-2 and H11.
I don't like the camp as it is busy but the area is rich in animals and is never disappointing.
I would say without a doubt that you must give it another go just to make sure if it is not worthy.
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by DinkyBird » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:48 pm

We spent four night in Skukuza just a few weeks ago, and over a weekend and found the camp to be quiet and did not feel it was overly busy at all.

I am a great believer in variety when visiting Kruger; experiencing all the different aspects the park offers, and Skukuza is one. Birding in the camp is great for eg.

Personally I have never had fantastic sightings in the area, but then another camper told us they had had the best sightings in the area in all their many decades of visits to the park and would only ever return to Skukuza in the future. So, its the luck of the draw imo.

should I give Skukuza another chance or opt instead for Lower Sabie, Biyamiti, Croc Bridge or Berg-en-Dal?

LS and CB are favs of mine .... I would take them over Skukuza if I had to choose.
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by saraf » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:33 pm

Well I'm with RosemaryH on this. Nothing but nothing beats Lake Panic in the early morning or late afternoon and the only way to experience this is to stay at Skukuza. I also love walking around the coolness of the nursery on a hot day, looking longingly at all the plants I can't bring home with me.

However I do agree, general game is hard to find in the area - I find it very bushy, even before the rains. Having said that we have been very lucky with leopard sightings in the area and the bird life in summer is amazing.

So yes I would say give it another go.
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Re: Should I give Skukuza another try?

Unread post by IanM » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:06 pm

Many thanks for all the replies and opinions. I think on our next trip we'll try Lower Sabie as we have never stayed there before - although we might try and slip in a night or two at Skukuza, just to see if our luck improves! There were certainly plenty of predators around Skukuza and the riverine drives were so beautiful that even if we see nothing more than impala, it will still be time well spent.

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