Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp in Kruger National Park is around a five-hour drive from the Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. The N4 and N12 are the better roads to use to get there. The rest camp is close to the main gate of the park, not far from Komatipoort. The border with Mozambique is not far away. Crocodile Bridge camp is a SAN Parks camp, and should not be confused with another private lodge in the same area. Notably, the camp is not as popular as others in the greater Kruger. However, the area is a Big-Five hot-spot and animals visit the campsite.
Kruger National Park’s southeastern corner for camping
Kruger’s southeastern area is an ideal place for camping if you don’t mind a camp that does not have a restaurant. For many people, the fact that there is no restaurant is one of the attractions. It means fewer day visitors and large bus tours The camp offers a stay in tents erected on wooden platforms, but that review is for another day. Campers with their own tents, hire vehicles, RVs and caravans use an area set aside for them across from the communal ablution block.
Camp Layout at Crocodile Bridge
The Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp is on the Crocodile River. It overlooks farmland on the other side, which may be a drawback for those people who would prefer a wilderness view. Self-catering chalets and some of the permanent tented sites overlook the river. The campsite, however, overlooks the shop and entrance area on one side, and the bushveld on the other. In the center of the camp is a cool green lawn area with benches. The lawn attracts a number of beautiful bushbuck antelope that took up residence. Additionally, some persistent warthogs who wisely decided living inside the fenced camp is a good option, wander around from time to time.
Campsite pros and cons
The camping ground has pros and cons, and the point of this article is to help you decide if it’s right for your next trip to the Kruger National Park.
The Cons of the campsite
Some of the cons already mentioned about the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp include the farmland in the area. If you want an experience with waiter service where delicious meals are served, then this is not the right campsite for you.
There is a shop stocked with limited food, clothing, toiletries, and memorabilia but cooldrinks and alcohol stocks are expensive. Therefore, most campers bring their own food. Longer-term campers often resupply from nearby Komatipoort.
The campsites are not secluded or very private. In fact, when the camp gets full on weekends and public holidays, your neighbour’s snoring may bother you at night. Space along the bushveld view near the fence is limited, which means you may just have a view of a caravan. The sites are first-come, first-served. If you camp near the fence, it’s a long walk to the ablution blocks at night.
Taps and powerpoints
Taps are dotted around so expect to lug around buckets of water for cleaning around your site. If you camp close to a tap, the convenience is offset by other camps constantly collecting water. The same goes for power points. You won’t be guaranteed a campsite next to a powerpoint, so taking along extension leads is important. Watch out for them when you walk around at night, in case you trip.
The camp comes with a communal stovetop cooking area if you prefer not to barbecue on the facility provided at each site, or cook on your own equipment. But again, unless you site your camp close to the ablution block, it means carrying pots and pans and food a good distance. For this reason, it seems that most of the campers prefer to use caravans or mobile homes.
Wind and weather
The camp may experience high winds when thunderstorms blow in. Take along ropes and ties to help hold down the tents and awnings in case of storms. The camp gets extremely hot in October and November.
The proximity of the river means mosquitoes. You will be pestered by them, so you need to take insect repellent and keep the zips on your tent closed. They are often found in large numbers in the ablution block. See your doctor or pharmacist about malaria precautions before visiting.
The ablution blocks get cleaned daily, but not always very well and you may need to do some cleaning yourself, before using the bathrooms and showers.
Pros of the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp campsite
The Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp has a lot going for it if you want to spend time out in the bush looking for animal sightings.
Traffic and game viewing
Traffic around Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp is quieter on the game drive routes than those roads nearer bigger camps. This means that traffic jams are less likely, and everyone usually gets the opportunity to take photos.
The nearest waterhole is not far. Visitors tend to see the big five. Campers often see leopards in the early morning. Roads follow ideal riverine routes for leopard sightings. SAN Parks notes on their website that the “game viewing area is known as the Southern Circle.” They boast that it’s”renowned for its concentration of different prides of lion with different hunting techniques and behaviour.” That is not just wishful thinking. At night one can hear the roars of the lions.
Day drive to Sabi
Take a day trip to Sabi Rest Camp to see all sorts of animals. There, satisfy your longing for a meal and an ice-cold beverage at the restaurant overlooking the river. A return trip via a different route means you see different scenery on the way back.
Animals visit the camp
Smaller animals at the campsite are delightful. Actually, tiny bushbabies visit the camp every evening and spring around fearlessly. Hyenas prowl the outer side of the fence and yowl and giggle the night away. Elephants sometimes wander by. Fruitbats hang upside down in the trees, inviting photos. Mongoose families visit every morning to delight visitors.
Coffee on the go
There is a takeaway coffee shack at the shop. Picnic tables and chairs set out under shady trees make for a pleasant interlude.
The shop stocks ice and as the area gets very hot, that is important.
Do book a night drive. It is well worth it and the guides are helpful.
Bookings and more information
Bookings and more information about Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp can be found by visiting their website. Payments and bookings may be done online. You can find out more about the historical railway bridge at the camp by reading my article published on Blasting News.
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