The Kruger National Park has got to be the ultimate birder’s paradise. Scattered around the Kruger National Park, you will find several bird hides hanging over flat expanses of water, or close to watering holes. These structures are the most peaceful spots, so after a game drive guests can take the time to stop at one of the hides (if you are visiting one open to the public) and absorb the peace and quiet while watching not only the birds but also the animals that come to drink and the hippos and crocodiles that make their homes in the reeds. Some hides require prior booking, especially the overnight hides.
The best place for spotting birds in the Kruger National Park is in the north because the roads are quiet here and there is also not an abundance of wildlife. Situated close to Mopani Rest Camp the Pioneer Bird Hide overlooks a long, broad dam with the same name. At this hide, only eight vehicles are allowed in at a time making your experience here a peaceful one.
This is a very special hide since you can visit it during the day and it also offers overnight accommodation. Situated close to the Pioneer Hide, the Shipandani Overnight Hide hangs over the Tsendze River.
This L-shaped bird hide gives you two views of the Sweni River. Located close to Satara Rest Camp, the shape of the bird hide offers you the choice of two views. This hide is large and so it does tend to attract large crowds of people but as long as the quiet policy is kept in place at the hide, it is a wonderful experience.
Lake Panic Bird Hide is by far the most popular Bird Hide. Situated close to Skukuza Rest Camp the hide overlooks a large dam in the Sabie River. This area is rich in wildlife and situated in a very busy part of the Kruger National Park, so to prevent crowding at the hide, only eight cars are allowed at a time to ensure you have a peaceful experience.
This hide is elevated and so it offers you a good view since the vegetation in the area tends to be rather dense. It offers a great view in two directions so you get to see what is getting a drink from the Nhlowa River. This hide is closest to Lower Sabie Rest Camp but not too far from Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp.
These are the five bird hides that you get along the road, but there are several bird hides in the overnight camps. These hides are generally just for overnight guests. They can be found at Punda Maria, Bateleur Bushveld Camp, Biyamiti Bushveld Camp and Shimuwini Bushveld Camp. At the Rentmeester Guest House at Shingwedzi Rest Camp and also the Eagle Private Guesthouse at Letaba, you will be treated to your own bird hide.
When at a Bird Hide in the Kruger National Park please remember that there should be minimal talking and noise making. While you are allowed to bring a snack or cool drink with you please remember to take any wrappings/bottle with you or dump it in the bins provided.