Flora and Fauna
Game can be sparse in the stretches of Mopani Shrubveld in the region, but the alluvial plains in the immediate vicinity of the Shingwedzi River tend to be very productive.
Impala, kudu, duiker, bushbuck, nyala and Sharpe’s grysbok are browsers to be searched for, while buffalo and waterbuck are the most common grazing species. Elephant, baboon and vervet monkey are all prominent as are tree squirrels, especially in the camp itself. Predators include lion, leopard and spotted hyena and there are a couple of packs of wild dog that roam these northern reaches of the Kruger National Park.
There are open plains north of Babalala Picnic Site where cheetah are regularly recorded. This is a good place to search for the rare large antelope species: roan, sable, tsessebe, eland and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest.
The camp itself is in riverine vegetation with large trees along the riveredge. Immediately adjacent to the river, are alluvial planes created by centuries of flooding. There is thus less dense vegetation and sparser grass. Transvaal mustard trees and weeping boer-bean are prominent, and sausage tree, Natal mahogany, and brack thorn should also be seen. As one moves away from the river the vegetation changes to Mopane shrub punctuated by apple-leaf.
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.