The Sand River is shorter and smaller than many of Africa’s rivers, but it has great importance because it supports such an abundance of wildlife. The river is born in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa, flowing for 80 kilometers until it joins the Sabie River.
In winter the river runs at its lowest, exposing the sandbanks that give it its name. At this time, the Sand is the only source of water for the buffalos, elephants and other animals of the area. The lions also stay close to the river, knowing that their prey must pass regularly through their territory.
When the summer rains arrive, the river swells and floods, the only time of year when the elephants can submerge their whole bodies. Soon the Sand settles down to a steady rich flow, which continues through the summer. Through summer and winter, the Sand River enriches the diversity of creatures that make their home in its waters and along its banks.