Getaway (South Africa) - - Travel -

CLOS­EST GATE Orpen SITES 20 BEST FEA­TURE Riverbed views SPE­CIAL SIGHT­INGS Preda­tors, honey bad­gers

Satara is a very pop­u­lar camp­site, with a pool, shop, restau­rant, the fa­mous S100 road and the ‘killing fields’ on the H1-4, all well-known for good preda­tor sight­ings. How­ever, Maroela is the camp­site in this re­gion that I’ll re­turn to be­cause it’s small (Satara is the se­cond-big­gest camp in the park af­ter Skukuza) and is set on the dry Tim­ba­vati riverbed in an in­cred­i­bly re­laxed at­mos­phere – un­til the res­i­dent honey bad­ger pays a visit! Just two kilo­me­tres from the Orpen Gate but set back into the bush so there’s no pass­ing traf­fic, it has elec­tric­ity and a com­mu­nal kitchen. Bush­buck tip­toe be­tween sites and Na­tal spur­fowl scratch around your camp chair. The sites be­side the riverbed are best, but there are also some on the fence that look out into bush; there’s a com­mu­nal view­point over­look­ing the riverbed if you feel you’re miss­ing out. You can eas­ily while away an af­ter­noon in your camp­site be­low bush­wil­low and lead­wood trees in­hab­ited by pur­ple­crested tu­ra­cos – just be­ware of ba­boons and bad­gers. They are no­to­ri­ous for caus­ing havoc here, so keep all your food locked in the car and not in your tent (or they’ll wreck it try­ing to get in). DO THIS The H7 road, from Orpen Gate to Satara, is a great drive for see­ing plains game like ze­bra and thus also good for spot­ting chee­tahs and other preda­tors. The trees along the Tim­ba­vati River of­ten host lazy leop­ards, so be sure to look up. PLUS Nearby, Tam­boti tented camp is also ex­cep­tional. All tents line the dry Tim­ba­vati River and have a small deck be­side the bound­ary fence and a braai area with great views. There are 30 budget tents (15 are two-bed, the oth­ers sleep four), with com­mu­nal ablu­tions and kitchen fa­cil­i­ties. Bring your own eat­ing uten­sils, pots and pans. From R610 for two.

be­low El­lies come to dig for wa­ter riverbed the sur­face of this dry CAPEBUFFALO

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