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It’s a well-known fact that the highest concentration of wildlife – and the easiest access – is on the southern side of the Kruger National Park and Crocodile Bridge is the ideal base from which to take advantage.
Crocodile Bridge is located in the north east province of Mpumalanga, South Africa just 430km from Johannesburg and 460km from Pretoria via the N4 highway. Surrounded by bushveld, the climate is dry and cool in winter, and hot during the summer months. Game viewing is possible throughout the year and practically on your doorstep!
Only the Crocodile River separates Crocodile Bridge from the Kruger National Park where you can enjoy spectacular views of the many animals frequenting the river.
Things to do
The wildlife viewing options at the adjoining Kruger National Park are plentiful: revel in a self-drive starting at the Skukuza rest camp and at your own leisure, take a bush walk guided by an armed ranger for close encounters, tour the park in an open roof 4x4 with a registered guide or see majestic overhead views of the park in a hot air balloon.
Visit the Hippo Pools off the S25 to be escorted on foot to the river’s edge for incredibly close views of river mammals, reptiles and birds.
Take a day trip to Hazyview and visit the Perry’s Bridge Trading Post for unique shopping options, to attend an interactive exhibition at the reptile park, spoil yourself to a spa treatment or attempt the treetop challenge at Skyway Trails.
The historic Albisini Ruins lies along two once thriving ancient trading routes. The remains of an old trading post, the ruins can be reached via the Kruger National Park’s Phabeni Gate outside Hazyview.
Enjoy a round at the Skukuza Golf Club to combine your love of golf with some game viewing on this unfenced course. An indemnity form must be signed and caddies are scarce!
Opt for an eco-tour of Matsamo Cultural Village south of Crocodile Bridge. Experience the Swazi lifestyle in a traditional village and access to beehive huts, craftsmen at work, a Rain Dance performance and end the day by dining on typical Swazi cuisine.
If cars are your passion, visit the Old Car Haven in Komatipoort to see the owner Herman Nel’s fine collection of Americana vehicles dating back to the early 1900s.
Where to Eat
Vonja's at the Ecolux Boutique Hotel, Komatipoort has an array of enticing meat and fish dishes served under pleasant surroundings. Good décor, fairly pricey but worthwhile.
The Mugg and Bean at the Lower Sabie Rest Camp in Kruger Park and overlooking the Sabie River is an informal restaurant offering quality bistro-style meals and superb coffee (carrying the Fairtrade label) on their terrace.
Visit the Jabula Lodge Restaurant in nearby Marloth Park for wholesome meals lovingly prepared at this relaxed venue.
Enjoy a scrumptious pizza on the deck shaded by large trees at Topolino’s Pizza and Pasta in Hazyview.
The Cattle Baron Restaurant at the Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger Park could be classed as an old fashioned steakhouse offering perfectly prepared meat dishes made to order.
The Duck ‘n Dive Saloon in nearby Malalane is a lively pub offering themed entertainment for an overall fun evening.
Spend your evenings around the camp fire to enjoy a meal under the stars and exchange the day’s animal encounters with other guests.
Where to Stay
Expect to have all your desires fulfilled in the well-appointed accommodation available at Crocodile Bridge where the proprietors are attentive and staff eager to please. Crocodile Bridge is an idyllic location to enjoy 1st class game viewing and for a stress free holiday.
Air The nearest airport is Komatipoort Aerodrome, a short 16km from Crocodile Bridge, all flights via OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg. Private charters can fly directly to the privately-owned TSB Malelane Airport, 47km away. The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela is a 120km drive from Crocodile Bridge.
Car Hire a car from Terence Zweni Express if flying in to Komatipoort. TSB Malelane airport has 2 car rental agencies onsite, Mbombela has several car hire companies, otherwise order a vehicle online.
Taxi Arriving in your own vehicle is the most practical option for Crocodile Bridge, however, there are a few taxi services operating between the airports and the town.
Did you know?
The area around Crocodile Bridge is known as the Southern Circle for the vast number of lion prides gathered here, each displaying unique behavioural patterns and hunting techniques.
The old bridge across the Crocodile River is over a century old and is still in use after surviving many a flood.
Follow in the footsteps of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his famous canine companion, Jock of the Bushveld, who travelled the Crocodile Bridge-Malalane road.
There are baobab forests in the northern sections of Kruger National Park. These mystical ‘upside down’ trees are referred to by some local tribes as the Devil’s Tree and will tell you that if you place your ear to the trunk, you will hear demons laughing. Many sing when passing the tree to try and drown out the laughter.