Explore the Skukuza Area of Kruger Park

Leopard with Kill. Heinrich van den Berg

The Sabie River bush between Skukuza and Lower Sabie has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the world. These elegant cats are not easy to see because they hunt mostly by night and spend the day lying low. Leopards will eat just about anything from insects and snakes to medium-sized antelope, but seem to prefer prey less than 80kg in weight.

Above: Leopard with Kill. Photo: Heinrich van den Berg

Game Viewing in Skukuza and Surrounds

Map to SkukuzaAfrican green pigeon. Nigel Dennis
In the Skukuza area watch for:
Thick-tailed bushbaby
White rhino

Purple-crested turaco
African green-pigeon
African fish-eagle
Black cuckoo-shrike

Bush BuckBushbuck and even nyala are found in the thicker bush. The Sabie and Sand River loops to the east of Skukuza camp are among the best places for seeing lion and hyaena in Kruger. Buffalo and elephant are regularly seen from the camp itself. South of Skukuza there are a series of granite inselbergs stretching across the veld.

Habitat Pointers

Giraffe browsing. Nigel DennisThorn thickets along the Sabie River valley

Mixed woodlands with granite koppies south of Skukuza
Established riverine forest along the Sabie River banks
Mixed marula, bushwillow and acacia woodlands between Skukuza and Tshokwane.

Look out for klipspringer on these rocks and rhino and giraffe in the surrounding woodlands. The area is excellent for bird-watching, particularly in Skukuza camp (beneath the large trees along the river walkway), the nearby Lake Panic bird hide and Skukuza nursery.

Best Drive around Skukuza

Skukuza to Lower Sabie:
Drive slowly along the Sabie River which is prime lion and leopard territory, stop off for a meal at Nkuhlu and bird-watching at Sunset Dam.
The drive includes riverine bush, thorn thickets and open grassland. This road has a wide variety of animals that are constantly coming to the river to drink.
Allow for three-and-a-half hours, including stops.Leopard and Prey. Chip SnaddonLeopard and Prey:

In Kruger the leopard's most consistent prey is the impala.
Kruger mammal writer Heike Schutze believes that leopards prefer bushbuck, reedbuck and waterbuck over impala.
It's no coincidence that these are the buck that occupy the same riverine bush habitat as the leopard does.
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