Game Drive from Malelane to Crocodile Bridge

Bull Elephant. Colin Bell

The most direct route from Malelane to Crocodile Bridge is via the Crocodile River Road (S114, S25). A lengthier detour is via the H3 towards Skukuza, turning off either on the Bume (S26) or Randspruit roads (H5).

Above: Bull Elephant. Photo: Colin Bell

Crocodile River Route (S25)

There are usually lots of impala along the Crocodile River Road (S25) and therefore a chance of seeing cheetah and other predators which prey on this small antelope. Cheetah use the cover of the thicker bush along the drainage lines to stalk their prey, they then flush them into the more open veld, where their speed is an advantage. The road takes one through several different ecosystems - Malelane mountain bushveld, bushwillow woodlands, thorn thickets and pockets of riverine trees.

The Crocodile River Road is better than average for game viewing, but developments across the river detract from the wilderness experience. The road passes the old 19th-century crossing point on the Crocodile River which was also the site of a trading store run by Alf Roberts in the late 1800s, known as Tsengemanti ("the place to buy water" in Shangaan).

It's not known whether this referred to one of the more popular products sold by Roberts - Nellmapius's Transvaal Gin, a colourless brandy with an exceptionally high alcohol content.
Mhlambane Loop (S118) and Gardenia bird hide may be worthwhile detours. Access to the Lwakahle Concession is off the Crocodile River road.

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