Mopani / Tzendze area is tops for Lion and Leopard

by Peter Betts
(Port Elizabeth)

One of the Eendrag males

One of the Eendrag males

Our South gate is Phalaborwa as south of the Olifants River fellow wild life photographers and nature lovers refer to as "the Zoo" and south of the Sabie River as "Disneyland" for obvious reasons.


The best camp in Kruger is Tzendze as you are in the bush just the fence spoils it for us as in the KTP we have no fences at Polentswa.

We love it as nobody really likes the Mopani camp area and prefer to join the crowds along the S100 and Lower Sabie areas. I therefore have amazing sightings on my own of the Eendrag males ...here is a pic of one of the 3 coalition males taken with a D700 and a 24-70 f2.8 Nano Nikkor zoom set at 62mm in this case as I idled engine off next to him for 5 kms to the Grysbok windmill before sunrise and bad light. There is a pic in the gallery of the same lion whose name is "Brunette"...We saw 5 leopard sightings in the 2 weeks we camped there at campsite 26 the best site at this wonderful camp

Comments for Mopani / Tzendze area is tops for Lion and Leopard

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 21, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Connoisseur's Kruger
by: Mario

These personal tips from your experience are super Peter, thank you. We hope other visitors take heed of your advice.

We agree with you that the Mopani area northwards is paradise that appeals to the true Kruger Connoisseur. We spend a lot of time at Punda, Shingwedzi, Mopani, Shimuwini and Sirheni and have had great sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dogs - without the traffic jams of the south. We also see the rarer animals such as Roan, Civet and Crested Guinea Fowl.

The game in the north is scarce so animals are more difficult to find, hence your advice becomes very valuable and when visitors do find a lion or leopard they will most probably have the sighting to themselves!

We also prefer camps where there is no fence (like the wilderness camps in the Kgalagadi) or short fences (like Shimuwini has) as this not only allows photographs to be taken from the camps but also adds to the wilderness experience.

Jan 20, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thank you Peter
by: Tony

Thanks Peter - you've got us excited now - we have made a booking for Mopani in August for those elusive leopards!

Jan 19, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks Tony
by: Peter

Ja Lions are awesome here with the Shongololo Pride on the road of the same name being really special as they are not human habituated and careful approach is necessary.

Leopard are best around Mooiplaas Picnic spot (Tzendze) ...the Shipandane hide. and the Pioneers dam hide there is a beauty

Jan 19, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Great advice Peter!
by: Tony

Some great advice here Peter! The north of Kruger is still one of the best-kept secrets.

If you're not the very first person going down the S100 in the morning you get just dust from the other Satara vehicles and if there is a predator it tends to disappear very quickly.

We normally stay in Mopani Camp and have seen lions, (we have not seen leopards yet in the Mopani area) a dead elephant at the waterhole in near the camp so we had vultures, jackals and hyenas entertaining us and the one year we even had 'Ore' the local white rhino trying to mate with a dead hippo about 1.2 KMs from the camp on the main road. The traffic jam on these sightings was about 7 cars compared to the average of 27 cars in the south!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Mopani.

"Having a passion for the region myself and having had to learn about all the dynamics, waterholes and ideal routes to drive over a period of 6 years - I wish I had this guide on my first trip already!" - Morkel Erasmus, Secunda, South Africa

"Mario and Jenny take you to spots that are not always visited, and their descriptions of the more remote camps will allow you to make an informed decision without wasting time and money" - Bob & Sherry Shepardson, DeBary, Florida, USA

"Your time and money are valuable and the information in this book will help you save both." - Don Stilton, Florida, USA

"I highly recommend the book to anyone visiting Etosha National Park to photograph the animals - or anyone considering an African photography safari in the future." - Anne Darling, Cognac, France

"As a photographer and someone who has visited and taken photographs in the Pilanesberg National Park, I can safely say that with the knowledge gained from this eBook, your experiences and photographs will be much more memorable." - Alastair Stewart, B C, Canada

"This work is so much more than an eBook, because it is also a guide, a tutorial, an inspiration and a must-have for anyone interested in wildlife photography" - Findtripinfo.com, USA