Kruger Camps III – Bushveld camps – Bateleur & Sirheni

The Bateleur and Sirheni bushveld camps lie in the far northern region of the Kruger National Park. They are both fairly close to the Shingwedzi Rest Camp (one of the main camps on the north-south road), which raises the question of whether it is really necessary to stay in both on the same trip. We did because we had not been to either and needed to find out for ourselves. What we discovered was that we like both for different reasons. For me, the perfect camp would be the Bateleur cottages in the Sirheni location!

Bateleur Bushveld Camp

Bateleur is to the south-west of Shingwedzi, in a fairly arid area with Mopane and Bushwillow trees. It has a mostly dry river in front of it – the waterhole there filling when there has been rain. As we were there in mid-winter there were just a couple of pools, and we did not see lots of big game close to the camp. The camp does however have two dams close by – the Silvervis and Rooibosrant dams – where one is most likely to see game.  Some of the rarer Kruger animals such as Roan and Sable antelope can be seen in the area – Willie saw a Sable antelope on a short game drive he did there. Bateleur does have an “end of the road” feeling to it as it is quite a distance from the main game viewing areas. One huge plus point for me was its proximity to the Red Rocks area.

The Bateleur camp itself felt more like a bushveld camp to us. It was the smallest bushveld camp we stayed in – accommodating 39 people – and the cottages had a very “Out Of Africa” atmosphere with a lovely outdoor kitchen/veranda area. Where further south one has to watch out for monkeys raiding your cottage, Bateleur has “raiding squirrels” to contend with! Despite the warning from camp management, we really didn’t find the squirrels a problem though.


The Bateleur camp office. Note the “Wall of Death” – the skulls from left to right are of Waterbuck, Crocodile, Rhino, Buffalo and Rhino again. ©LB/


The cottages are far apart in amongst tall trees. ©LB/


Our little cottage with the outdoor kitchen/veranda area. ©LB/






The lovely and cool bedroom. ©LB/


Sirheni Bushveld Camp

I have read that the Sirheni Bushveld Camp is one of the most popular in Kruger – especially amongst bird watchers. It is easy to see why. It situated half-way between Shingwedzi and Punda Maria in the north, so it is within an easy drive to the northern most camp and gates of Kruger. We did a lovely game/exploration drive north of Sirheni to get a sense of the vegetation and wildlife up that way. The camp lies next to the Mphongolo River, so there is a wide range of birds and game that can be viewed from the camp. You literally just have to sit on your verander and watch the parade go by on their way to the Sirheni Dam. Or you can visit the hide at the dam and watch the animals and birds there as they come down to drink.

The Sirheni camp lies at the end of the Mphongolo Loop (S56) one of our favourite game drives in Kruger. There are amazing views onto the river which is lined with huge, beautiful trees.

The cottages have very modern interiors, in comparison to the Bateleur cottages, so don’t feel very “African bush” to me.

It is from this camp that Willie did the amazing night drive he writes about in his post The Big Cat Whisperer.


The Sirheni Bushveld Camp office guarded by some Buffalo horns. ©LB/


The stoep or veranda of our cottage overlooking the riverbed. ©LB/


View from the bedroom. ©LB/




The very modern kitchen. ©LB/


This post is part of a series of Kruger National Park posts I will be publishing. It is also part of my daily posts for October 2016 – otherwise known as The October Dash

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Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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6 Comments on “Kruger Camps III – Bushveld camps – Bateleur & Sirheni”

  1. Eha
    October 18, 2016 at 2:01 am #

    Am so glad for the efforts you and Willie have put into the ‘October Dash’! What a plethora of knowledge, for future practical use or just knowing . . . how interesting to travel with you! Just love that cottage at ‘Bateleur’ . . . tho’ wonder: when the night arrives in those camps does anyone set foot outside one’s habitation?

    • October 18, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Quite a few people find my blog while doing searches on the wilderness camps. And some even email me to ask specific questions.

      The two camps in this post are both fenced – and the camp gate is shut at sundown. So you are pretty safe – although you are advised not to walk around the camp on your own at night.

  2. October 18, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Thanks for the info on these camps. I was too late to book the Bataleur camp for our last visit, but it will definitely feature on the next trip. I just love the African bushveld atmosphere and this spot looks so lovely. Thanks for a wonderful series – I am really enjoying it!

    • October 18, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      Thank you for following the Kruger series. I hope it inspires you to visit again soon! ☺

      Which camps have you stayed in?

  3. October 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm #

    Raiding squirrels?! Good grief! Did you have to secure/lock your fridge, freezer or pantry cupboard? It feels a bit weird but nice to have your kitchen kind-of outside…

    Both camps sound quite magical. Am enjoying your regular posts so much, Lisa!

    • October 19, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

      I might have been a tad over-dramatic! 😉 The squirrels cannot actually open fridge or cupboard doors. You can see the note from the camp management here. Besides foraging for food, it sounds like the squirrels like destroying plastic items as well.

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