Skukuza, Wild Frontier

Lying on the southern banks of the Sabie River, in the heart of the Kruger National Park, Skukuza is the largest restcamp in the park, and serves as its capital.

There is some debate about whether to move this function to Phalaborwa, which is certainly more central to the park but for the moment, Skukuza acts as the main centre for conservation and research, and visitors get to share the camp with scientists, conservationists and game rangers.

Whilst this might detract from some visitors’ idea of a restcamp, you do gain from the deal with access to the swimming pools, a golf course, post office, a bank, three museums, historical sites and the Stevenson-Hamilton memorial library, which are all located at Skukuza. Skukuza is located in the south of the Kruger Park and is without a doubt its most popular camp, mainly because of the game viewing, which is touted as the best in the park - not least because the camp overlooks the Sabie River.

The camp itself is quite lovely and lies next to an old river bridge, complete with an old steam train that functions today as the Selati restaurant. Lions are frequently spotted around Skukuza and at night the bush baby and fruit bat add a certain element of excitement to the brilliant night sky.

Skukuza was originally known as Sabie Bridge and is named for the Tsonga name given to James Stevenson-Hamilton who was the first warden of the park. It’s a rather derogatory name and when translated means ‘he who sweeps clean’ - alluding to the manner in which he removed local people to make way for the establishment of the Kruger.

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Skukuza as a destination

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