Hippo Pool (Marula Region)#4 in Best Things To Do in Kruger National Park
Price & Hours
As its name implies, Hippo Pool – which sits near Kruger's southern border – acts as one of the park's premier locales for viewing hippos. In fact, hundreds of these giant, grunting creatures frequent this part of the Crocodile River, where they spend the majority of their time soaking in the water to stay cool. Crocodiles also reside here but are typically harder to spot.
Visitors are more than welcome to get out of their vehicles at Hippo Pool. However, hippos are extremely dangerous, so stay in designated viewing areas at all times. For the best hippo photos, arrive around dusk when these creatures climb ashore to eat grass.
Hippo Pool is situated less than 5 miles away from Crocodile Bridge gate in Kruger National Park's Marula Region. Visitors can drive to the site in their own vehicle. Game drives that depart from Crocodile Bridge gate and rest camp often stop at Hippo Pool as well. The area is free to visit, but driving curfews and gate closures at camps apply, so call ahead for gate hours. A list of campsite contacts can be found on Kruger's website. Restrooms, picnic tables and other facilities are not offered at Hippo Pool.
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#1 River and Bush Walks
If you don't have multiple days to spend at in-park trails like Wolhuter and Nyalaland but want to explore the area on foot, consider signing up for a river walk or a morning or afternoon bush walk. These two- to four-hour walks depart daily from main rest camps like Letaba, Lower Sabie, Olifants, Satara and Skukuza. However, river walks by the Olifants River are only offered at the Olifants rest camp. Each walk is led by two experienced guides.
Large game, birds and insects are regularly spotted during bush walks, so bring your camera with you. Do not be startled to see your guides carrying loaded rifles; rangers are armed solely to protect you from animals. And as an added precaution, you will be asked to wear neutral colors, which help you blend in with your surroundings. Recent travelers recommend the bush walks offered at Lower Sabie and Satara.
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