Orpen is a region of good pasture, with an abundance of grass and other plants, a great food source for the abundance of game in the area. The sweetveld is found mainly in the eastern plains, whereas the sourveld is limited to the western regions.
Guests are allowed to stop and leave their vehicle soon after entering the Park through Orpen Gate. Rabelais Hut, a small museum and information centre, is just 9 kilometres/5.6 miles from Orpen. Further along you will find the Rebelais waterhole, a place where large numbers of game can be seen relaxing in the water or simply quenching their thirst.
If you follow the S140 from Rebelais Hut to the south, you will find Talamati; however, if you are not booked in at this camp, you will have to drive back along the same road.
The Talamati Road, also known as S145, is good of game viewing, especially the Fairfield waterhole, where Giraffe and other grazing animals can be found. Why not continue towards Satara, either on the dust road (S106), past the Rebelais Pan, or along the tar (H7).
H7 is often considered the better route as it meanders along with the Timbavati River. Either way, you will arrive at Bobbejaan Krans, about 20 kilometres/12 miles from Orpen Gate. Here you can relish in the beauty of the Timbavati River.
Orpen to Tshokwane (S36)
If you travel 4 kilometres/2.9 miles from Bobbejaan Krans you approach Nhlaguleni Road (S36). This road heads south through a mixture of bushwillow woodland on a 2 and a half journey to Tshokwane. This landscape is not generally thriving with wildlife as it consists mainly of sourveld, but there could be sightings of Buffalo, Zebra, Kudu and Giraffe. This is a good road for viewing Bateleurs and other raptors.
This road is a good choice if you are looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of tourists. Muzandzeni and Nhlaguleni are ideal resting spots. The S36 leads off into 3 smaller roads that follow the riverine bush into the south of Satara.
These roads are: The S126 that follows the Sweni River, the S125 which traces the N'waswitsontso River and back to the main Tshokwane-Satara Road and the Vutomi Loop (S33).
All 3 of these roads are good for game viewing, and even attract predators such as the Lion and Hyena. In summer the thorn thickets can make game viewing more difficult.
Facts on Tshokwane
- Central grasslands with varying intensities of woodland; sweet grazing and habitat diversity because of proximity of Lebombo
- Lion can be seen around Tshokwane because of the variety of game
- Large herds of grazers, particularly Impala and Zebra Elephant and Giraffe are the main browsers