Flora and Fauna
The Olifants area plays host to most of the Kruger National Park’s classic larger game.
As the name of the camp suggests, elephant are common in the area. Baboon and vervet monkey both inhabit the camp, as do fruit bats and thick-tailed bush babies at night. Lion and leopard are regularly seen on game drives. Cape clawless otter has been seen from the Olifants lookout point on the gravel road to Letaba.
Olifants is situated in rugged veld on rhyolite / basalt soil. Lowveld cluster-leaf, raisin bush and mopane are all prominent in the area. Just south of the river is the transition zone between thornveld and the mopane belt. In the camp itself there is a plethora of trees and plants, some of which are scarce elsewhere in the Kruger National Park.
A variety of aloe species are a real highlight. Next to the filling station there is a sesame bush. This is probably the only accessible place in the Kruger National Park where it can be seen. In early spring the sjambok pod (yellow flowers) and weeping boerboon (red flowers) are both in bloom so the veld is a contrast of colour. Also look out for tree euphorbia.
(For more birding information and park bird checklist, go to Information for Birders)
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Did You Know?
- The park was first proclaimed in 1898 as the Sabie Game Reserve by the then president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger. He first proposed the need to protect the animals of the Lowveld in 1884, but his revolutionary vision took another 12 years to be realised when the area between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers was set aside for restricted hunting.