Lower Sabie to Tshokwane road

As far as scenery and game viewing goes one of the Kruger's most gratifying drives is the road north from Lower Sabie to Tshokwane, the H10. One can spot animals several kilometres away due to the open grasslands and while winding gently through knob-thorn and marula savanna.

There are a number of interesting detours along this route and drives that allow one to explore the eastern grasslands and the southern Lebombo. An excellent birding spot is the low-level bridge near Lower Sabie camp.

Some of the best views in the Kruger are along this route. At the Mlondozi Dam picnic site you are rewarded with stunning vistas over the plains and the Lebombo, and a combination of bird and animal life at the water’s edge and in the surrounding countryside. The dam is on the Mlondozi watercourse, which carves a wetland path around the base of Muntshe Hill, a dramatic granophyre ridge that juts out of the lowveld floor, signalling the transition zone between the eastern plains and the Lebombo koppies.

This is a good place to see marabou and yellow-billed storks, kudu, hippo and elephant. Herds of zebra, buffalo and wildebeest can often be seen across the surrounding plains. The stream above the dam transforms into a long, vibrant vlei during the rainy season, with a series of interesting water holes; the Mafotini, Loskop, Hillside, Muntshe and Rietpan.

North of Muntshe in the broad eastern grassland plains most trees struggle to transcend shrub form, except along the drainage lines which are marked by leadwoods and marulas. Consequently, there is less game in these grasslands compared to the area north of Lower Sabie.

The road then approaches the Lebombo and ascends into the range to Nkumbe, one of the best look-out spots in the whole of Kruger. Nkumbe is the highest point in the Lebombo south of the N’waswitsontso and the views over the vast grassland plains and the Shilolweni woodlands from the thatched shelter at the get-out point are spectacular and will remain engraved in one’s mind forever.

The road then winds down out of the Lebombo into the thorn thickets and mixed woodland valleys of the Tshokwane area.

At Orpen Dam, on the N’waswitsontso River, there is a small thatched shelter, well positioned on the edge of the Lebombo, that provides a fine view over the surrounding koppies and the sandbanks below. Here you will find a resident group of crocodiles, often hippo, good views and excellent birding.

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