The Shingwedzi flood plains were shaped by many, many years of flooding as deep layers of rich soil were deposited on the underlying basalts. These sustain the huge riverine trees that Shingwedzi is famed for; the Natal mahoganies, ebony jackal-berries, weeping boer-beans and sausage trees.
The area is rich with game compared to the surrounding mopaneveld because the plains supply good grazing. The riverine bush supports elephant, buffalo, nyala, kudu, duiker, monkeys, baboons and the timid Sharpe’s grysbok. Leopard, lion and hyaena are the main predators while packs of wild dogs occasionally get spotted around the Shingwedzi Camp. The grasslands north of Babalala picnic site are reputed to be the best place in northern Kruger for seeing cheetah.
In summer thousands of migrant birds arrive from central Africa and Eurasia making Shingwedzi renowned for its birding. Many water-bird nesting sites exist along the river, especially around Kanniedood Dam where you should also spot Egyptian geese, African fish-eagles and a variety of smaller birds such as kingfishers, swallows, and the like.
At the northern tip of the S50 you have a good chance of seeing leopard. Approximately 7km from Shingwedzi on the H1-6 north spotted hyaenas sometimes den. On the S52 leopards and lion are seen regularly.
Elephant are prolific on all the roads around the camp and in the riverbeds, especially the small cement bridge behind the camp on the S135. The S52 Red rocks loop is also a great route for them.
Buffalo are relatively easy to find on most stretches of the Shingwedzi and Mphongolo riverbeds.
Crocodiles are easy to spot from any road that runs along the Shingwedzi River. The small cement bridge on the S135 behind the camp is probably the best place for sightings.
Red Rocks and Tshanga have two spectacular scenic lookout points.
The Drive 9 is 30 kilometers (19 miles) long.
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