Bird Hides in Kruger
There are eleven bird/game-viewing hides in Kruger National Park. Several more are earmarked for construction if sufficient funds become available.
This list excludes in-camp hides that occur in selected camps such as at Bateleur, Punda Maria, Sirheni, Talamati, Tamboti and private hides at Letaba for residents of Fish Eagle Guest House and at Shingwedzi for Rentmeester Guest House.
From South to North
- Nthandanyathi - located on the S28 south east of Lower Sabie just north of the junction with the S137.
- Gardenia - located on the S25, S119 junction near Malelane.
- Lake Panic – located on the S42 near Skukuza on the road to the Nursery
- Sweni – located where the S37 meets the Sweni River about 5 km from N’wanetsi Picnic Site
- Ratel Pan – located on the S39 about 4 km north of Timbavati Picnic Site
- Sable Dam – located on the S51 about 7km from Phalaborwa Gate
- Matambeni – located on the S62 on the northern bank of the Letaba River, north west of Letaba Camp
- Shipandani – located on the S142 about 3km from Mopani Camp
- Pioneer Dam - located on the southern side of the dam of the same name, next to the dam wall, also on the S142.
- Nyawutsi – located on the eastern side of the S50 a few km north of Grootvlei Dam
- Kanniedood – located on the S50 a few km south east of Shingwedzi Camp
There are no ablution facilities at any of the hides (except for toilet facilities at Shipandani and Sable Dam for overnight visitors only), but most are located close to rest camps or picnic sites, where such facilities do occur.
Mattresses, bed linen and basic cutlery and crockery are available for the sleeping hides and are available for Shipandani at Mopani Camp and for the Sable Dam Hide at Phalaborwa Gate.
The Shipandani Hide can be reserved through the SANParks Central Reservation System or directly from the Mopani Camp. A maximum of 6 people can sleep over. Only one party may occupy the hide on a given night. Parties may not sleep at the hide for more than one night at a time. People who have an additional booking at Mopani will receive a discounted rate on the accommodation.
The Sable Dam Hide can only be reserved through the Phalaborwa Gate. A maximum of 9 people can sleep over. Only one party may occupy the hide on a given night. Parties may not sleep at the hide for more than one night at a time.
What to see?
The beauty of the hides is that almost anything can turn up. There is a high incidence of leopard sightings from several of the hides. As all the hides are located at waterholes or on rivers, hippo and crocodile are resident at most hides, as are large selection of water birds such as herons, fish eagles, storks, kingfishers and crakes.
Sometimes when one arrives at a hide it appears as if there is little movement. Yet sitting patiently for a few minutes will reveal a steady stream of activity. People who sit in a hide all day long often see much more than those who drive around searching for game.
Most of the hides are designed to be accessible to people in wheelchairs, but the older hides were not designed with access to everyone in mind. Kanniedood in particular is up a ladder, while at Lake Panic and to a lesser extent Matambeni assistance may be required for people with mobility difficulties.
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