Crocodile River wends its way from west to east, on its long route down from the mountains. Part of its course marks the squiggly southern boundary of Kruger National Park.
When you enter Kruger Park from the south, the river is your first taste of the game reserve before you cross over the bridge and approach one of the entry gates.
As you cross the bridge, be sure to check for animals that like living in waterways, such as hippos and crocodiles, and other wildlife that may come down to drink at the water’s edge, like antelope and birds. You can also check for animal footprints on the river banks.
Entrance gates, at which you need to pay the park conservation fee, on this southern edge of the park are Malelane Gate and Crocodile Bridge Gate. Yes, this gate is named after the bridge over the river!
The river is quite broad where you’ll cross it and is a muddy brown colour. On the far side is the bushveld and when you see this sight, the excitement really sets in because you know you’ve finally made it to the start of your safari!
If you’re going to be arriving late towards gate closing time, the closest rest camps to get to from the southern border are:
There are also many other independent game lodges on the southern banks of the river.
If you’re staying at one of these chalets, you’re sure to enjoy lovely views over the river and spend beautiful evenings watching the sun go down with (hopefully) some wonderful wildlife sightings.
The river rises in the Steenkampsberg mountains of Mpumalanga, one of the South African provinces. Elands River is a tributary. The river continues through the province to join up with the Komati River at Komatipoort, on the doorstep of the south-east corner of Kruger National Park.