In the third installation of our series taking a look at the unique sub-regions of the Kruger National Park, we're covering the section between Olifants Restcamp in the north, all the way south to Satara Restcamp. This large area of the Park holds 40% of the biomass and is covered largely by savanna grassland. Don't forget to check out our maps pages for a detailed, downloadable Map on Central Kruger National Park, as well as the other sections of the Park.
The Central Section
Famous For: Lions
The abundance of grazing game drawn here by the plains of sweet grasses means you have better chances of seeing lions with a kill than almost anywhere else in the park.
Landscape: Savanna Grasslands
The landscape is divided by the Lebombo Mountains, with rich grasslands to the east and more densely wooded bush to the west.
Wildlife: Even more lions... (and their food, and their friends!)
Wildebeest, zebras and antelope are plentiful. Because of the abundance of kills here, the central region also hosts White-backed Vultures and hyena, who scavenge from carcasses. It’s also common to see raptors like the Lesser Spotted Eagle and Steppe Eagle circling above the plains in search of prey, as well as flocks of kestrels who congregate after rains to catch insects. During late summer elephants love to forage for marula fruits on the western side of the Lebombo.
Historical Sites: Graffiti of the 1800s
Just north-west of Olifants Camp on the S93/S44 T-junction is Von Wielligh's baobab tree. GR Von Wielligh, one of the original surveyors of the area set up camp here in 1891 and carved his name into this tree. The markings are still visible today.
A number of excellent bird hides around Satara, such as the Sweni Bird Hide on the Sweni River about 30km from camp and Ratel Pan Bird Hide that overlooks the Piet Grobler Dam on the Timbavati/Roodewal road about 35km from camp.Get off the beaten track by joining the Mananga 4X4 Adventure Trail. One of the best offroad trails you can do in South Africa, Mananga is a self-drive 4X4 trail that brings you into (even) closer contact with the Kruger’s wilderness.
Where to Stay:
Satara Restcamp’s landscaped gardens are situated in ‘cat country’ – the area best known for lions. A popular camp for tourists, the comfortable accommodation here is facilitated with a range of amenities and facilities.Don’t overlook private game reserves in the east such as Timbavati, Balule and Kapama. Timbavati, in particular, is as legendary for its white lions as it is for its extraordinary luxury accommodation.