The plant and animal life along this road is interesting because it passes through so many different geological zones. Animal numbers in this part of the reserve have increased steadily since the removal of the fence dividing western Kruger from the private reserves in the Timbavati area.South of Timbavati Picnic Site, the road winds between thornveld and mixed bushwillow woodlands where, on an average day, the hornbills can outnumber the impala. It's interesting to note the relationship between rollers and bush shrikes along this road - rollers are more common in the thornveld further away from the river where the bush-shrikes dominate. North of Timbavati, the landscape becomes more broken as the road and river pass through Olifants rugged veld and the south-western mopaneveld.
Cold drinks and firewood can be purchased at Timbavati and gas cookers can be hired. The site has reasonably decent ablution facilities.The road north from Timbavati Picnic Site to Olifants Rest Camp can be very good for game, especially in the pockets of thornveld between the woodlands. One of the more interesting birds that occurs in this habitat is the kori bustard, which is the heaviest flying bird in the world. Stop at the bird hide at Ratel Pan which overlooks the Piet Grobler Dam, while the Roodewal and Goedgegun Water Holes are also sometimes interesting.Piet Grobler, a grand-nephew of Paul Kruger, was the Minister of Land during the early 20th century who was responsible for much of the legislation governing Kruger, including the establishment of the National Parks Board (now SANParks). Roodewal is a big, red dolerite dyke that juts out of the lowveld floor above a well-shaded water hole. The rocks are part of a north-south ridge that divides the mopaneveld to the east from the mixed acacia woodland to the west. There is a noticeable decline in game numbers as the woodlands give way to mopaneveld.
Baboons often act as watchdogs for other animals because of their sharp sense of sight. Although they are mostly vegetarian, they have been known to kill small animals like impala lambs for food.