South Africa
beauty, you'll never forget

One of the most common scenes you will find on the H4-1 between Skukuza and Lower Sabie are troops of baboons playing in the road. They have become so relaxed and familiar with traffic that you can literally drive up right next to them. Keep your windows closed however to avoid possible unpleasant encounters. However, spending some time between them will reward you with some wonderful antics and behaviour.

The H4-1 is one of the busiest roads causing a bit of a jam from time to time, especially in the holiday seasons and when any of the Big Five are seen.

The roadside opposite the river is relatively dense whilst the riverine vegetation is open enough to see the river itself for most of the way. Here Bushbuck are often found in the thickets, whilst large herds of impala are found all along the road. This high density of impalas along the Sabie River makes it an ideal area for leopards, who are often found in the early mornings and late afternoons. Scan the large trees for resting leopards throughout the day and listen for the warning calls of vervet monkeys, impalas, tree squirrels and guineafowl, all of whom make a huge racket when they spot a leopard.

The H4-1 has many gravel loops branching off to either side and these provide great views of the river on the northern side of the road and a bit of a break from the traffic on the southern side. Keep your eyes peeled for hippos, elephants and buffalo on the bank of the river when you drive on these river loops.

There are excellent birding opportunities along the H4-1 and this must be one of the best roads in the Kruger to see and photograph Burchell's coucal, which can often be found calling on the side of the road before or after a rainstorm. Bee-eaters, kingfishers, rollers and many other colourful birds are prolific along the H4-1, along with raptors and francolins which often feed close to the roadside.

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