Once you enter the park at the Crocodile Bridge gate, the closest to our house, it’s about 36km from this gate to the Lower Sabie Camp. The camp has a restaurant and bathrooms in addition to a nice store and several types of accommodations from camping to hotel type. We’d been told by our host that they usually leave at 6 from the Crocodile Bridge gate, arrive at Lower Sabie by 9am to enjoy the buffet breakfast, continue on to Skukuza for lunch and back to the entrance completing the triangle by the 530 gate closure. Ha! That’s a laugh!
We tried the first day and got there by 1:30 and even that was a push! The big issue is that you have to be back out of the park, or into a camp with reservations by 5:30. This means that you either do a drive and go half of your allotted time to be able to get back to the gate, or just watch the time. We’ve done both. That decision is usually based on the light conditions and how much we’re finding. And just when you think you ‘ve got it all planned out, the elephants decide to have lunch on both sides of the road and there’s no way around or going through.
It’s also been interesting to learn how quickly the large animals move and can disappear into the bush. One will step out onto the road, cross in front of you, step into the bush on the other side and ‘poof’! it’s gone. And we’re talking about a large elephant or rhino!
We have booked ourselves into the Lower Sabie Camp for 2 nights. This is inside Kruger Park. The camp is gated and double fenced with lots of barb wire and 5 strands of electrical wire on the outside to keep all the animals with big teeth on the outside! This way we can sit on the deck of the restaurant and watch the animals on the outside and down by the river as the sun sets and night falls. This also allows us to leave the gate at 6am to get on the park roads and to a destination as the sun comes up.
A collared sunbird. The closest to a hummingbird that Africa has.