Tuesday, 5th June DAY 19

Bergendal camp is sited in a most picturesque bowl amongst the mountains of southwest Kruger. It is most attractive and the camp itself is lovely, spacious with much bush and modern architecture.

But, there is one big drawback about Bergendal – it only has only two exit roads. There is the main tarred road to Malelane (S110) and another gravel Matjulu loop road that takes one back to the main Skukuza-Malelane (H3) road. Unfortunately, this funnels the traffic making matters close to camp a little trying. Along the gravel road, especially if the wind is blowing, billows of dust envelop us whilst along the tar if anything worthwhile is sighted there is quickly a buildup of traffic.

Which means that one must take evasive measures. So when the gates open at 6am we travel rapidly along the tar route, up the main tar road (H3) and then cut across along the gravel (S114) towards Croc Bridge to the Mlambane river turn off (S119). Having shaken off the traffic we can now peacefully have our coffee and then slowly dawdle up this most scenic of roads.

Despite the cold south wind blowing it is bright and sunny and we enjoy a really beautiful few hours constantly seeing things of interest.

Natal Francolin

We go down to the camp dam at lunch time but there is very little water, Bergendal having missed last week’s flashflood up at Skukuza.

This afternoon we take the gravel road to nearby Matjulu water point.

Here we find some ellies drinking and then two males sparing with each other. Two buffalo then arrive and it is most amusing watching an ellie spraying them with water as they drink. I wonder what is the fate of Matjulu with the Park’s new policy of closing down artificial water points. But it is dusty and the traffic heavy which is such a shame as this is a most beautiful part of Kruger particularly at sunset with last last of the sun’s rays striking the koppies.