Kruger National Park – Crocodile Bridge
About the Birding
The S28 running along the Crocodile River towards hippo pools is a pleasant 6-km drive through Knob-thorn and Marula savanna, and then Delagoa thorn tickets where woodland birds are plentiful. Smaller raptors also like this habitat. Species such as Goliath Heron, Green-backed Heron and Little Egret may be seen at the hippo pool. The area is good for Burnt-necked Eremomela, Lesser Grey Shrikes and the open grasslands play hosts to some of the grassland species like Kori Bustard, Black-bellied Bustard and Secretarybird. The tall acacia around the Hippo Pools turnoff is a good spot for Olive-tree Warbler in summer.
In wet years, the S28 leading north to Lower Sabie passes through flooded vlei areas where Black Coucal and migrant crakes and Flufftails should be looked for. Further north, the Nhlanganzwani Dam is a good spot for general waterbirds. Nthandanyathi Bird Hide is also on this road and is situated on a charming little creek where some good photography opportunities can be had. The savanna plains along the S28 are also good for large grassland species such as Common Ostrich, Kori Bustard and Swainson’s Spurfowl, and in wetter years Harlequin Quail and Kurrichane Buttonquail are common. Like the S28, the S130 passes a few pans that are worth inspecting for waterbirds and Woolly-necked Stork.
About the Birding Site
Crocodile Bridge is situated on the Crocodile River within easy reach of a variety of habitats with an entrance gate and public camp with campsite it is fairly busy, and the camp area is small. The area is known to host some of the parks rarer species including Pink-throated Twinspot, Purple-banded Sunbird, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and Black-bellied Starling. While most of these sightings are rare, the Tinkerbird is regularly seen in camp. Southern White-crowned Shrike is common around the entrance gate and camp. The area is great for Cuckoos in summer with African, Diederik, Common, Great Spotted, Jacobin, Levaiillants, Black and Red-chested being abundant in the area.
Other Related Information
The southern camps can be accessed through the gates at Crocodile Bridge, Malelane, Numbi, Phabeni and Paul Kruger. The closest access gate to Crocodile Bridge is at the Crocodile Bridge gate and the closest town is the town of Komatipoort.