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Birding krugerpark (1 Viewer)

birdthing

Well-known member
As I tried to do a day's birding in krugerpark in 2017 and couldn't find a guide to take me in time I thought I would ask for any ideas for January 2019 any names I could look up I want to keep the price down and maybe get a 2 day tour any help appreciated

Roy=birdthing
 

birdthing

Well-known member
After a lot of hunting around the Internet I am going to hire a car and do the birding by myself starting from crocodile bridge anybody know of any special places around that part of the park
 

PeterBird

Well-known member
Netherlands
Around Crocodile Bridge Camp I found the S114 )From Malelane to Crocodile, running parallel to Crocodile River) quite productive with both Verreaux's Eagle Owl and Barred Owlet in late afternoon. The turn-off to the Hippo Pool may also be worthwhile. Also the S28 dirt road, which turns off from the paved H10 only a few kilometres form the rest camp. Bateleur, Tawny Eagle, and quite a few others. Staying at Crocodile Rest Camp we had lunch at Lower Sabie twice, which produced soem nice birds, both within the camp at at the bridge crossing the Sabie River. Have fun, anyway!

This might also be a good source of information, too:http://birding.krugerpark.co.za/
 

Sal

Well-known member
Hi birdthing. Great idea to do a self drive. I'm assuming you will only be in KNP for the day. here is a suggestion. Agree with PeterBird,that first part of the Croc river road might be good. But first go and check out Gasanftombi which is only a couple of km further up the tar. then back to the S25.Check out the Hippo pools and then carry on along the S25 for 12.2 km before turning off to the right onto the S108. Ignore the Bume road to your left and check out Gayisenga on the left just beyond the Bume road turn-off. We have seen some good birds there. 2 more km on the S 108 will bring you back to the tar road to Lower Sabi. Go up the tar for about 9km and take a dirt road to the right, after 2.1 km turn left onto the S137. You will pass Duke waterhole on your right - check it out. Then go on to Ntandanyathi hide. After than drive up the S28 back to the tar road and in another 5.4 km you will come to a right turn onto the causeway across the Sabie river. Its worth taking a very slow drive across this for water birds. I dont know how much time you will have but there is a restaurant on the deck at Lower Sabie '(go back across the causeway and turn right)and you can often see all sorts of birds from there if you want a refreshment stop.

hope you see some good birds what ever route you choose!
 

Helen O

Anything that flies
Birdthing, I have just returned from a 14 day trip to KNP, my fourth since Apr 17! When I was there, Dukes was dry, as were many waterholes, and the temperature was in the 40's most days.

That said, they have just had some good rains. Couple of pics of birds you are likely to see. Look out for the Kori Bustards, saw quite a few in the Croc Bridge area, and there is a resident fish eagle on the Vurhumi bridge, that is usually perched close by. Look out for the well known Vurhami Lion pride too!
 

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Sal

Well-known member
Lovley pics Helen. It has been unbearably hot over much of the country recently but, yes, rain has started to fall, so birdthing I hope the weather will be good to you and produce some waterholes.
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
4 visits in 2 years...wow! Lucky you. I am heading that way next year for the first time so any recommended spots would be appreciated. We are travelling from the south to the north and have booked stops in 9 different places.
 

Sal

Well-known member
Dave I dont know where you are staying or for how long in each place so its a bit dificult to suggest where to go. However, whilst in the South make a plan to visit Lake Panic Bird HIde near Skukuza if you can.Another very productive area between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza is Transport Dam. So there's a start for your list . . . .
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
Dave I dont know where you are staying or for how long in each place so its a bit dificult to suggest where to go. However, whilst in the South make a plan to visit Lake Panic Bird HIde near Skukuza if you can.Another very productive area between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza is Transport Dam. So there's a start for your list . . . .

Thanks for those pointers Sal. Having never been before it's really difficult deciding where to stay and how long for butI have booked the following. I'm tempted to swop Lower Sabie to 1 night and then 1 night at Biyamiti although 1 night stays don't really do a lot for me so I'll probably stick with what I have got.It's getting a vacancy that's the problem with Biyamiti but the fact you get 20kms of private road is a big draw although I'm led to believe it's a lot quieter in the north so I might get the tranquility I'm looking for! We travel in late September into October.
Crocodile Bridge 3n
Lower Sabie 2n
Talamati 3n
Olifants 2n
Shimuwini 4n
Mopani 4n
Shingwedzi 3n
Sirheni 2n
Punda Maria 3n
 

birdthing

Well-known member
Birdthing, I have just returned from a 14 day trip to KNP, my fourth since Apr 17! When I was there, Dukes was dry, as were many waterholes, and the temperature was in the 40's most days.

That said, they have just had some good rains. Couple of pics of birds you are likely to see. Look out for the Kori Bustards, saw quite a few in the Croc Bridge area, and there is a resident fish eagle on the Vurhumi bridge, that is usually perched close by. Look out for the well known Vurhami Lion pride too!

Ok rub it in why don't you. My frends I am going with are staying for 10 week's this year but I only get 2 weeks but I can't complain I will post some photos when I get back only 4 days till I leave for my 2 weeks can't wait
 

Sal

Well-known member
Thanks for those pointers Sal. Having never been before it's really difficult deciding where to stay and how long for butI have booked the following. I'm tempted to swop Lower Sabie to 1 night and then 1 night at Biyamiti although 1 night stays don't really do a lot for me so I'll probably stick with what I have got.It's getting a vacancy that's the problem with Biyamiti but the fact you get 20kms of private road is a big draw although I'm led to believe it's a lot quieter in the north so I might get the tranquility I'm looking for! We travel in late September into October.
Crocodile Bridge 3n
Lower Sabie 2n
Talamati 3n
Olifants 2n
Shimuwini 4n
Mopani 4n
Shingwedzi 3n
Sirheni 2n
Punda Maria 3n

Hi Dave , This actually sounds perfect! I wouldn't do any one nighters- especially if you want something relaxing.I'm assuming you will buy a map book at the gate . . . . Whilst in the Croc Bridge/Lower Sabie area, do the croc river road (S25), taking in the Hippo Pools and driving up to at least the S108 on your right. it crosses, via a low-level bridge, a stream bed. If there is water there are often birds here; turn into the small lookout - Gayisenga - and check out the trees and bushes for birds. Then you could go along the Bume road (S26) to Mpondo dam. Have a good look at the small wetland area below the dam wall as you go past. and round to the parking area. From Mpondo you can come back along the H5 to Sardelli's Store (not really a store, historical site) and turn right onto the H4-2 and so back to CB, taking in Gasanftombi dam on the way. Another good route is to take the S28 on your right, three km from camp. This goes mainly through open grassland and you may see cheetah here . There are often lion around because of the many grazers. You could visit Duke waterhole (S137 to your right just under 20km from the tar) and then go back to the S28 and on to Ntandanyathi hide. Then maybe go up to Lower Sabie for some regreshment and bird watching from the restaurant deck overlooking the rive before returning to CB.( Have a look at Sunset Dam before you return}
Whilst at Lower Sabi you should drive the river road(H4-1) towards Skukuza. taking in all the little river loos and stopping to check the river-beds at the bridges. Not too far up, maybe5 - 6km, there is a river bridge with a rocky outcrop on the RHS of the bridge. A leopard is often see around here (The Lubyelubye Leopard). Somewhere near that is a mass of White-fronted Bea-eater nests in a bank. because of the water and thus the number of animals around, there are plenty of predators too and usually plenty of elephants. You can either come back along the same road or go up as far as the High-level bridge across the Sabi River - lovely views of the river - and take the first dirt road to the right - the S30 and back past Gabeni waterhole to LS. This way you will cross the causeway over the Sabi river - lovely bird life as a rule. Keep checking out Sunset Dam when you leave/return to LS.
Another nice route is to turn L out of camp and take the causeway, then once over the causeway, just under 1.25km, is a right turn onto the Mhlondozi loop . There is a\ picnic site and outlook at Mhlondozi. Afterwards you could do the Muntshe loop to Muntshe waterhole and then either go back along the dirt roads or the tar to LS.

So there are some suggestions to start with. I'm assuming you're going to drive slowly, but adjust as suits! If I can help further, let me know.
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
Thanks for that very detailed information Sal. I have added an extra single night at the very beginning where I decided to stay at Berg-en-Dal for one night instead of Nelspruit.I tried to get in to Crocodile Bridge but they had sold out of the accommodation I wanted. One night stops are not the best, I tried to avoid 2 night ones too but it's the only way I could take in more of the area.I think I'll probably try to stay locally on the non moving days, we will just have to see what is about before deciding.
I already have the map, I bought the excellent "Kruger Self-drive Routes, Roads & Ratings by Ingrid Van den Berg" which rates every public road in Kruger for sightings of birds, mammals and flora too. It's available on Ebay at a discounted price too.
 

Sal

Well-known member
Oh yes, I know the book. Just don't expect to see things where we say they may be. Rather be pleasantly surprised!!Have a wonderful holiday!
 

Helen O

Anything that flies
Thanks for that very detailed information Sal. I have added an extra single night at the very beginning where I decided to stay at Berg-en-Dal for one night instead of Nelspruit.I tried to get in to Crocodile Bridge but they had sold out of the accommodation I wanted. One night stops are not the best, I tried to avoid 2 night ones too but it's the only way I could take in more of the area.I think I'll probably try to stay locally on the non moving days, we will just have to see what is about before deciding.
I already have the map, I bought the excellent "Kruger Self-drive Routes, Roads & Ratings by Ingrid Van den Berg" which rates every public road in Kruger for sightings of birds, mammals and flora too. It's available on Ebay at a discounted price too.

Hello Dave, not sure why I didn't see all the posts, but Sal has given your some excellent advice.

Croc Bridge is great, I am 2 nights there in April, in one of the tents. You'll be hooked, I guarantee it!

To be honest, I also bought that book and it's a great reference book, but when I'm there, I rarely plan anything. I know which area I want to explore, and quite often, I will just sit and wait - it's often the best thing to do, lets the wildlife come to you.

Here's a link to a fantastic fish eagle that hangs around near the Vurhami Bridge, not far from Croc Bridge. That said, they are all over the place! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1422550021314086/permalink/2358275131074899/

I am staying at Letaba for a couple of nights too, but my personal preference is not to go further north than that, simply because I want to maximise my sightings. My fave is Satara, and one of the roads near to the camp (the H6) produced a fantastic sighitng of three, yes three, Verreaux Eagle-owls, all perched next to each other, one early morning, as the sun was rising. What more can one ask for!

Any questions, give me a shout. :t:
 

Sal

Well-known member
Hi Helen, great pic of the African Fish Eagle! We are off to Kruger in May - can't wait! We haven't spent time in the south east corner of the park for a few years and we shall be spending a couple or more days there this time - I'm looking forward to the change. Last year, instead of staying at Satara we stayed at Tamboti, the tented near Orpen. It was a wonderful experience, less of the civilised comforts, more bush feel and, for us, a couple of different routes. We were lucky enough to catch the juv Egyptian Vulture that has been hanging out in the park for the past year, whilst in the south west . . . . Hope you have a great trip in April.
 

Helen O

Anything that flies
Hi Helen, great pic of the African Fish Eagle! We are off to Kruger in May - can't wait! We haven't spent time in the south east corner of the park for a few years and we shall be spending a couple or more days there this time - I'm looking forward to the change. Last year, instead of staying at Satara we stayed at Tamboti, the tented near Orpen. It was a wonderful experience, less of the civilised comforts, more bush feel and, for us, a couple of different routes. We were lucky enough to catch the juv Egyptian Vulture that has been hanging out in the park for the past year, whilst in the south west . . . . Hope you have a great trip in April.

Sal, I will be there until 10 May, perhaps our paths will cross....? I also stayed Tamboti in Nov, but the baboons were running riot! Lucky with the Egyptian Vulture!
 

Sal

Well-known member
Hi Helen, sadly we will not be coming in until 18 May so I'm afraid we shan't meet. Yes, we had one morning of trouble with baboons - our own fault since we didn't think empty cold boxes would attract them and came back to find the cold boxes all over the floor with bite marks on them! Pure spite I think as all food was well locked up!
 

Sbiriguda

Well-known member
Thank you for this very informative thread
I will be in the Kruger Park in May and as far as I understand the advice you gave in the previous posts is valid also for that month
If anybody has info about a birdwatching guide in the park I am interested anyway I will probably self drive without any guide
http://birding.krugerpark.co.za
I have read in the website posted by PeterBird that most migrating species depart from the second week of April
Perhaps you can give some hints on the non migrating species that might be more likely to be still found in Kruger during the month of May
Thanks
 
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Sal

Well-known member
Sbririguda it is preferable to do a self-drive unless you are not familiar with the South African Birds, but with a good identification guide you should be fine. If you want suggestions for a good field guide , I'll add them, but you may already have one. Yes I'm afraid the migratory species will have left but there are still so many other birds to see so I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Look out for the many lovely raptors, particularly the Bateleurs , the Martial Eagles, the Tawny Eagles, the Brown Snake Eagles - these are all fairly common in the Park along with many others . Then there is the iconic Southern Ground Hornbill - listen out for their deep booming song in the early morning. First thing in the morning they may be seen in large trees where they have roosted, but most of the day they will be wading through the grass. Also in the grass - the bustards, like the Kori bustard; the secretary bird; and the much smaller Korhaans. Plenty of owls, but not so easily seen. Inspect the tall trees along riverbeds for the Verreaux's Eagle Owl, easily recognisable by its pink eyelids; in the camps you should hear the calls of the Pearl-spotted Owl and the Prrr-prrr-prrr of the Scops Owl and they can sometimes be seen in the trees. Other owls are less common but you may be lucky. Waterbirds can be found if you visit dams and waterholes. Sunset Dam at Lower Sabie for example is a good place to sit and watch for water-birds large and small. There are masses of passerines of all kinds and wonderful colours. I'm not sure how long you will be in the park or where you are staying so I cant really tell you which areas are worth visiting, but feel free to ask more specific questions.
 

Helen O

Anything that flies
Sbririguda, I may see you in the park, I'll be there again from 25 April until 10 May! Self drive is really fantastic, as you can drive as much or as little as you wish to, and can stay at a waterhole all day if you choose!
 

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