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 Picnic spot Picnic spot
 Historic site Historic site
 Educational Educational
 Fun activity Fun activity
 Toilet facilities Toilet facilities
 Gravel road Gravel road
 Recommended for rainy days Rainy day route

   Area Map

 
Caution - Malaria
The Lowveld and the Kruger National Park falls within a malaria area.  Please consult your pharmacist or doctor at least a week before your visit.

 
Webmaster's Note:
Although the crime rate in the area is low, petty theft does occur from time to time. You are advised to lock your parked vehicles.

Short, day-trip drives from Sabie

 

Big-5 Routes

Recommended for rainy days The two separate Big-5 Routes are both favourite routes, especially when inclement weather boycott some of the other day trips from Sabie.

The first option covers a wildlife  rehabilitation centre, a Cheetah breeding centre, a silk farm and a reptile park.

Set a full day aside for a visit to the Kruger National Park.

Option 1
Option 2

 

Option 1

 

Webmaster's Note:
The shortest routes from Sabie to the Cheetah Breeding Centre and the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre is via Graskop or Hazyview and Bushbuck Ridge. These routes are not the recommended routes.  The Bushbuck Ridge area (a former homeland area of South Africa) is not scenic and it is potentially dangerous to stop here due to the possibility of being robbed or hijacked.

Suggest you travel the longer route via Pilgrim's Rest and Ohrigstad, or via Graskop and Burke's Luck Potholes. Resist the temptation to stop at all the viewpoints on the way there and depart early enough to be on time for the first guided tour at 09:30 at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (allow about two hours for the 150km trip via Pilgrim's Rest).

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre EducationalFun activityToilet facilities
From Sabie travel on the R532 and R533 via Pilgrim's Rest to the R36 junction.  Follow the R36 via Ohrigstad and the Strydom tunnel and then follow the R527 and R531 towards Klaserie.  The Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is 15km along the R531.

The Centre has become a haven for the rehabilitation and care of sick and injured animals and birds.  Wildlife is brought to the Centre from all corners of South Africa, and once healthy enough are re-introduced into their natural environment. There are however some species which have been rehabilitated but due to the long term effects of their injuries, still stand no chance of survival in the wild. These animals and birds are kept on the premises and used in educational tours.

The Centre is open to the public and offer guided tours that last approximately two hours. There is also a tea garden at the Centre.
Times: 09:30 and 15:00 (Mon - Sat)
           15:00 (Sundays on Long Weekends and School Holidays)
Fees: R110/person (older than 13 years)
         R90/pensioner
         R55/child (7-12 years)

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre EducationalFun activityToilet facilities
From the Moholoholo Centre follow the R531 towards Klaserie and turn off left on the R40. The turnoff to the Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Center for Endangered Species is 3 km along the R40 towards Hoedspruit.

Cheetah mother and cub The Centre conducts unique research on endangered species such as cheetah, wild dogs and lion. Tours of the Centre starts with an informative video presentation where interesting background information on the animals, the research being conducted and the progress of the project is presented.

An experienced guide will then accompany you on a tour of the Centre where the highlights will include the viewing of more than 60 hand-reared cheetahs, the vulture restaurant, wild dogs and the rare Barbary lion. A walk with Jabulani the elephant is also an optional extra. After the tour you can enjoy a light meal and refreshments in their tea garden or shop in the curio shop.
Times: 09:00 - 15:00 (Tours on the hour)
Fees:
   Entrance: R130/adult, R60/child (5-11 years)
   Vulture/Wild Dog Feeding: R100/person (in addition to entrance fees)
   Platinum Tour: R2,000/vehicle (in addition to entrance fees)

Khamai Reptile Centre EducationalToilet facilities
From the Silk Farm continue (north-west) with the R531. At the T-junction with the R527, turn right towards Hoedspruit. The Reptile Centre is 2.3km further on your left hand side.
 
In 1984 the Swadini Reptile Park was founded and developed by Donald Strydom a pioneer in the care and rehabilitation of "problem reptiles" in the Hoedspruit region. Now known as the Khamai Reptile Centre, it is a renowned South African landmark and Strydom has had his work featured on international television networks such as The National Geographic Channel and The Discovery Channel.

 


A gravid African Rock Python is measured before being released back into the wild.

The Khamai Reptile Centre has been collecting data from animals caught in the wild for the past 16 years and has been inspired to initiate a number of research projects through HERP (Help Endangered Reptile Project) dedicated to the conservation of reptiles through education and research. 
Times: 09:00 - 17:00
Fees:
Day Visitors: R50/adult, R25/child (4-14)
Interactive Tour: R75/person (min 6 people)
Photographic Tour: R750/group (Max 6)


Largest Baboon Spider in the World (7cm body length)

 

Boabab Tree
From the Reptile Park continue west for 17km on the R527 in the direction of Tzaneen and turn right on the R36. The Boabab tree is a short distance from the turnoff.

The Boabab tree (Adansonia digitata), and in particular this tree, is one of the Big-5 in the plant kingdom. Boabab trees grow to a circumference of 28m and live to be thousands of years old. The fruit pods contain large quantiies of tartaric acid and African folklore tell us that God, in his anger with the stupidity of mankind, planted the Boabab tree upside down.

Tufa Waterfall
From the Boabab tree drive back to the R36 and turn right towards Ohrigstad.  On exiting the Strydom Tunnel, stop at the parking lot. The Tufa Waterfall can be seen across the valley.

A tufa waterfall is formed when water running over dolomite rock absorbs calcium. Mosses which grow on the rocks in the stream extract carbon dioxide during photosynthesis which precipitates the calcium from the water to deposit it as layers of tufa on the surface of the waterfall - a process that takes millions of years. The waterfall continue to flow underneath this rock-hard outer shell.  This is one of but a few active tufa waterfalls in the world.

Webmaster's Note:
This conclude Option 1 of the Big-5 Route.  Follow the R36 towards Ohrigstad and return to Sabie via Lydenburg and the Long Tom Pass (R37), or via Robber's Pass and Pilgrim's Rest (R533).

Option 2

Kruger National Park Picnic spotEducationalFun activityToilet facilities
The world renown Kruger National Park's (KNP) closest entrance gate to Sabie (the Phabeni Gate) is 60km from Sabie. Travel to Hazyview on the R536 and turn right at the T-junction (R40 road). Turn left after 2km on the R536 to the Kruger Gate. The turnoff to the Phabeni Gate is a further 10km from Hazyview.

The KNP measures 400km from north to south, and is approximately 70km at its widest point, covering a total surface area of almost 2 million hectares.  The KNP is home to 147 mammal, 114 reptile, 33 amphibian, 50 fish, 500 bird and 300 tree species. The KNP is being incorporated into the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou (GKG) Transfrontier Park. The GKG Transfrontier Park covers an area of more than 35 million square kilometres and will be one of the largest wildlife conservation area in the world.

General Rules:
No pets or firearms are allowed. (If you do carry a firearm, declare it at the entry gate.)  No alchoholic beverages may be taken into the Park (gate guards may search your vehicle and cooler boxes). Stay in your vehicle at all times, except inside the camps, at picnic spots or at designated viewing points.  Animals inside the KNP are wild and, therefore, unpredictable and potentially dangerous - no matter how docile they may appear. Do not attempt to reach out, pet or feed the animals.

Speed Limits:
The speed limit on all tarred roads is 50 km/h and on gravel roads 40 km/h.  Suggest you travel at no more than 30 km/h to spot the maximum number of wildlife.

Day Visitors:
During peak season (long weekends and school holidays) the KNP usually limit the number of day visitors on a first-come-first-served basis.  Ensure that you are at the gates at least 30 to 40 minutes before they open.

Gate Times:
(Times are for both Entry and Camp gates, unless indicated otherwise)
Month Nov-
Jan
Feb Mar Apr May-
Jul
Aug Sep Oct
Gates
Open
04:30
(camp)
05:30
(entry)
05:30 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 06:00 05:30
Gates
Close
18:30 18:30 18:00 18:00 17:30 18:00 18:00 18:00

Restaurant Times:
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
07:00 - 09:00 12:00 - 14:00 18:00 - 21:00

The shops are open from 08:00 until hour after gate closing time.

Entrance Fees (per day):
(Valid until 31 October 2015)
         SA Citizens:       R  66/adult, R  33/child
         SADC Nationals: R132/adult, R  66/child
         Other Nationals:  R264/adult, R132/child

 

Webmaster's Note:
Most visitors to the KNP consider the sighting of the Big-5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo) a successful visit to the Park. This is indeed so, but a visit to the Park can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience, even if you don't see any one of the Big-5 species. Look out for the Little-500 - birds, plants, insects, reptiles, and smaller mammal species. Consider how they interact, depend and rely upon one another in an intricately balanced ecosystem.


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