Malelane to Skukuza

Malelane to Afsaal Picnic Area

The H3 tar road from Malelane to Afsaal passes a landmark, Tlhalabye Hill which is 630m, crosses the Matjulu River and climbs through the edge of the south-western foothills into the rolling woodlands of the beginnings of central Kruger.

Raptors are prolific on the first part of the drive. The road drops from the Malelane mountain bushveld into the mixed knob-thorn and bushwillow woodlands of the Mhlambane catchment area where the landscape opens up.

An H3 speciality is the white rhino, although they are more likely to be seen in the woodlands along the road than at Renoster Pan off the H3 along the Mhlambane creek.

Afsaal Picnic Area

Afsaal was originally used by the old transport riders as their regular camp on the road to Delagoa Bay. They were shrewd observers of the bush and must have noticed that it sits strategically next to a strip of sweet grazing that attracts a variety of antelope all the year round, providing some of the best hunting on the road to Crocodile Bridge. There are old leadwoods around the nearby Josekhulu Drift that still bear the marks of their target practice.

Afsaal sits on a great horn of gabbro which supports nutritious grazing.This sweetveld finger into the sourveld ensures there is almost always some animal activity around Afsaal at its junction with the Voortrekker Road (H2-2). There are almost guaranteed sightings around here of zebra, wildebeest and impala and there are often hyaena and wild dog in the vicinity. Be on the look out for the more unusual Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, the southern reedbuck and caracal.

Afsaal to Skukuza

The road from Afsaal to Skukuza passes by some lovely granite outcrops along the gentle rolling landscape. The hills offer spectacular views of the Sabie’s southern water reservoir area. There are good chances for Cheetah and Lion sightings near the Makhutlwanine Koppies.

The entrance to Skukuza is dominated by a mini-escarpment marking the drainage area of the Sabie River. More water means, more animal and plant life can be supported therefore the trees in the Sabie catchment area are bigger, the bush is denser and more diverse and animal and bird life is very prolific.

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