Kruger lakes always make for fascinating stops as you come across them on safari. They’re a great place to spot animals and birds.
Lakes attract wildlife for a couple of reasons. They’re a water supply and for some animals they’re a habitat.
When you get to a lake, if there’s big or exposed game there, they’re easy to spot, such as elephants, rhinos, antelope and zebras.
If you don’t see anything straight away, stay around for a little while and look again. We’ve often got to a lake and not seen any wildlife – at first.
Take a moment or two to look again. Check everything you see to make sure it’s not an animal, especially objects like rocks. If you look more closely, you’ll notice that some rocks have twitching ears and maybe even eyes and a tail! This could well be a resting rhino.
Some rocks in the water also have ears and you’ll begin to notice that they’re hippos!
Don’t overlook any logs without a second glance either. It’s amazing how deceptive things can be. They may just turn out to be crocodiles lying on the riverbank or floating in the lake.
Also have a look at the smaller things that you see. That blob on the far side could actually be a terrapin or a wading bird. You can often see terrapins swimming around in the water too, sometimes just below the surface.
Dams have similar qualities to lakes; park your car, take a good look around and check anything you’re unsure of before moving on.
Sometimes there really isn’t any wildlife at a lake. You might be interested to have a look at the footprints around it though. There could be some fresh trails indicating a nearby animal. Or you could wait a little while, perhaps having your morning tea, and see if anything comes down to the lake to drink or swim.
There are many lakes in Kruger National Park. Every lake and dam that you can drive past or view is signposted on the park’s way markers. If though, you want to get an overview of them before you’re on safari a detailed Kruger Park map will show them.
Sometimes you may come across a dam that is marked on the map, but has dried up. This is most likely to happen in winter, which is the dry season.
Here’s a brief summary of some of the most popular lakes and dams in Kruger Park, along with their closest rest camps.
It’s well worth the time to stop by a lake and take a good look!