While driving around and looking for fauna and flora in one of the premier game viewing parks on the planet is exciting enough, sometimes stopping and stretching your legs can be fun too! Luckily the Kruger National Park has many wonderful picnic spots where one can get out, relax and even have something to eat or drink.
There are 15 dedicated picnic spots in the park, ranging from the busy spots near the main camps to some wonderfully remote spots in the middle of the bush. Gas “skottels” (mobile frying pans on stands) can be hired at most picnic sites for a nominal fee. The picnic site attendant then washes these on departure, thus freeing visitors from transporting greasy pans. Some of the spots have small shops and all have ablution facilities.
Our guides and clients have over the years seen some incredible, jaw-dropping sightings in and around picnic spots. As our one guide always reminds us, “The animals don’t know it’s a picnic spot!” Every seasoned traveller to Kruger will have his or her amazing story to tell about a picnic spot and will have his or her favourite one. Here at Nature Travel Kruger we have these 3 favourites…
Tshokwane picnic site is ideally situated between the two most popular camps in the KNP, Skukuza and Satara, and offers a wide array of food, from delicious burgers and toasted sandwiches to healthy and interesting salads. It is a great place to relax under the trees before heading out into the park again – this is, after all, excellent Big 5 country! We love it because despite being destroyed after almost every flood that Kruger periodically experiences, Tshokwane just comes back bigger and better than before.
Nkuhlu picnic spot could very well be Kruger’s best-kept secret. Despite being on the main tourist road between Skukuza and Lower Sabie camps you come across this oasis almost by surprise, so keep your eyes wide open for the small sign that announces that you have arrived. The tranquil setting on the banks of the Sabie River is the perfect place to unwind and relax under the giant shade-giving Natal Mahogany trees. Our love for Nkuhlu started the day we saw a Cheetah chase an Impala straight through the picnic site grounds!
Pafuri picnic site is set in a birder’s paradise on the banks of the Luvuvhu River in the far north of the park a few kilometres from Crook’s Corner. The huge trees towering over the picnic spot provide ample shade in what is the hottest part of the park, especially in summer. We fondly remember our birding walks with the late Frank Mabasa, who was the picnic spot attendant and a fanatical and fantastic birder, and always keen to show interested guests a new species or two.
When you are on your next safari in Kruger, remember to stop at a picnic spot and get out. Stretch your legs, buy a soda, or braai (barbeque) something on a “skottel”. And most importantly, remember to keep your eyes peeled. You never know what interesting animals and birds may be around you…
Go to www.naturetravelkruger.com for more information on all the fantastic Kruger National Park trips we offer.