Today’s post is about the best route from Orpen to Satara, Orpen camp has its on entry gate which is 530km from Johannesburg, we would not suggest using this gate as an entry to the Kruger, read why on our post about the best gate to use to enter the Kruger.
Choosing Orpen as your accommodation can be very rewarding filled with Big 5 sightings, the roads between Orpen and Satara offers the chances of seeing some of the biggest lions like the Skybed males.
The main road from Orpen to Satara is the H7, which is one of our favorite roads as we have some of our best and most frequent sightings of lions and leopards. The H7 is a 47Km road to Satara. Orpen has open plains which allows for good game viewing of large herds of wildebeest and zebra which often attracts predators.
While travelling on the H7 stop at Bobbejaankrans view point, this view point allows you get out of the car (at your own risk) to view down into the riverbed. After Bobbejaankrans carry on the H7 until the S39/S36 intersection, lions are usually seen here so keep an eye out, the S39/S36 interaction is also the home of two Cheetah brothers that we have often seen around this particular intersection.
Another good place to stop on the H7 is Nsemani Dam, it’s a large dam closer to Satara it’s attracts many herbivores as well as crocodiles and hippos. We have been lucky to see lions here a few times as well. At the end of the H7 you will turn left on the to the H1-3 and Satara will be 2km away.
There are another 2 options to get to Satara from Orpen, when we are staying at Orpen or Tamboti for a few days, we usually do these 2 other routes on different days so we are not stuck driving on the H7 the entire stay.
One of the options you can choose is to head south using the S36, we recently saw lions on this gravel road, and then turn left once you get to the S126 intersection and carry on this road for 22km until you get to the tar road called H1-3, turn left again and carry on this road for 10km to get to Satara.
The other option is to use the S39 sand road, this road is great as we have spotted some of the Big 5 on here, travel this road for 32km until you get to Timbavati picnic spot, stop here for breakfast or lunch and later carry on the S127 for 10km until you reach the H1-4. Once you reach this tar road turn right and head south for 17km towards Satara.
Both these options are great because there is less traffic and it consists of fantastic waterholes and picnic sites, so if you spot something you might be the only person there enjoying the sighting.
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