After riding Kruger’s road network for a while and staring sideways into the bush looking for beasties, a desire starts growing to get out there into the wilderness. Near Pretoriuskop, there’s a 4×4 trail that does just that. The Madlabantu (Man-eater) Trail circles the camp, using a combination of visitor roads and off-road paths, beginning at the Fayi Loop. For me, the highlights were the huge bushveld trees and looming granite whalebacks that seemed to attract kudus, buffaloes and perky klipspringers. The trail can be booked at Pretoriuskop reception.
The Mananga Adventure Trail at Satara is Kruger’s answer to the Serengeti. You don’t need a 4×4, just high clearance, and around you the game-rich plains stretch to the horizon. The trail takes about four hours and meanders through grasslands and along rivers lined by giant knobthorn and marula trees. At several places, I opened all the windows, switched off the engine and wallowed in bird song. Glossy starlings, desert cisticolas, southern black tits, magpie and red-backed shrikes, shaft-tailed whydahs, lilac-breasted and purple rollers in profusion and the tap-tapping of woodpeckers was ample reward. The trails takes around five hours.