About the Skukuza Area
At Skukuza Camp
Paul Kruger Gate
Phabeni to Skukuza
Rhino Koppies Route
Sabie Sands Loop
Skukuza to Lower Sabie
Skukuza to Satara
Tshokwane and Surrounds
Tshokwane to Lower Sabie
Tshokwane to Satara
See Kruger Park Skukuza Area Self-drive Map
Rhino Post Safari Lodge is in the pristine 12 000-ha Mutlumuvi private concession just north of Skukuza. The concession specialises in bush trails run by Rhino Walking Safaris through the mixed knob-thorn and marula woodlands of the Sand River catchment area.
The concession is named after the Mutlumuvi stream, which is a tributary of the Sand. According to the Dictionary of Kruger Park Names, Mutlumuvi is the Shangaan derivative of the Tswana motla o mobe, the literal translation of which is "dangerous when it comes down in flood". This area has one of the highest populations of white rhino in Kruger so there is a good chance of seeing these animals during a walk. Hikers on walks in the concession have reported seeing elephant, giraffe, zebra and other big game during their outings, including lion. Two armed guards and a guide accompany each hiking party, which is limited to a maximum of eight people.
The upmarket Rhino Post Safari Lodge has eight luxury thatched chalets, each with a private deck overlooking the thick Mutlumuvi River bush. When the lodge was being built in 2000, workers reported that a leopard regularly strolled to the edge of the building site and watched the construction with interest. It has hung about the camp ever since.
The real gem at Rhino Post, however, is the Sleepout Deck where there are wooden platforms in the trees near the Shiteveteve spring, a regular game drinking spot. Guests sleep out under the stars, guarded by two rangers who will also do the cooking.
Plains Camp is the current base for the walking safaris. It is an eight-bed, luxury tented camp near Timbiteni Water Hole, which is the site of an old Iron-Age settlement. Potsherds were found here when the borehole was sunk. N'watindlopfu is a good game photography site, especially during winter and spring when water is scarce and lots of animals congregate here.
The light is particularly good for photography in the early mornings. There are two get-out points on the Skukuza-Tshokwane Road (H1-2), both set among the granite boulders spilled by geological upheaval across the lowveld floor.
These are the Eileen Orpen Plaque and the Kruger Tablets, which are convenient spots to stretch the legs and admire the granite koppies.
The Nhlanguleni Road is a less-trafficked alternative into the central grasslands than the main Satara Road from Skukuza because it bypasses Tshokwane. There is often a lot of animal activity between the turn-off to the S36 up until the Manzimhlope Dam as there is a large patch of sweetveld grazing here.
The road passes through mixed broadleaf woodland on quite coarse, sandy soils through three secondary river systems - the Ripape, N'waswitsontso and Sweni catchment areas. These watercourses are usually rich in game and patrolled by predators but, for the most part, the S36 is not the most reliable road to see lots of animals. That is not to say it has no surprises. Lugmag Dam, on the Ripape River, is a recommended stop on this road as it is a major water hole in the Kruger's mid-west and is frequented by buffalo and other grazers that feed in the surrounding mixed thornveld and woodland.
The Magic Guarri Tree
The magic guarri (Euclea divinorum) acts as an early warning beacon to other trees in times of impending drought. Distributed throughout the Park, this slow-growing, dense evergreen shrub produces a pheromone when it becomes stressed.
This triggers the release of tannin in the leaves of surrounding trees which makes them unpalatable to browsers such as kudu. The increase in tannin content is a self-protection mechanism that prevents the bush from being eaten out.
The Guarri itself is not favoured by animals, although birds like its fruit. Alcoholic beverages have been made from the fruit, while twigs broken off from the tree were used as toothbrushes in the old days because of the fibrous texture.
Nungu the Porcupine Porcupines are the largest African rodents, weighing up to 27kg. Although they are common in Kruger, they are rarely seen because of their nocturnal habits. By day they hide in their burrows and emerge after dusk to forage, sometimes wandering up to 15km, seeking a variety of foods, including roots, bulbs, bark and wild fruit.
Their sharp black-and-white quills, which can be up to 50cm long, are their main form of protection. They don't shoot their quills at attackers as is often claimed. Instead, porcupines will approach an aggressor backwards or sideways, spiking their attacker with their quills which detach very easily.
Lion are known to have died from quills stuck in their faces after botched attempts to eat a porcupine. Their other main enemies include leopard, hyaena, large raptors and pythons. According to Kruger mammal expert Heike Shutze, there is at least one pride of lions in Kruger that specialises in hunting porcupines.
Early Portuguese records show that porcupine quills - which are hollow - were used to carry gold dust in treks across the bush.