Hoedspruit, Valley of the Olifants
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Directly translated from the Afrikaans the relatively small town of Hoedspruit, which lies at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg on the old Selati railway line from Phalaborwa to Kaapmuiden, means “hat creek”. The story involves one of the town’s pioneers who took off his hat, after a particularly arduous trek over the mountains into the heat of the Lowveld, and threw it into the Sandspruit River, making an impulsive decision to stay. Hoedspruit finds itself in an enviable position today because of its access to the private game areas of the Timbavati and Klaserie.
Hoedspruit is essentially an agricultural town located a stone’s throw away from the Kruger National Park and is surrounded by game-rich country that makes it an obvious stopover. As a result, what began merely as a couple of shops, a bank and a little rondavel that served as a station building, has grown into what is today marketed as a premier eco-tourist destination because of its association with some of the best ‘Big 5’ viewing in South Africa.
Hoedspruit retains a great deal of its rural charm, despite the number of scheduled airlines flying into the air force base just outside town, now conveniently used for civilian aircraft. The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a non-profitable organisation working to conserve all endangered animal species and is one of the country’s leaders in the breeding and research of endangered species. Breeding programmes include cheetahs, blackfooted cats, African wild dogs and wild cats, and blue cranes. And the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre also welcomes day visitors who can enjoy a couple of hiking trails in the area.
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"If you are looking for a Safari spot its a nice place to go... for me there was not much else attraction ..." - Shaun, Cape Town
Visitorials: We ♥ South Africa
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We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Hoedspruit. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Hoedspruit because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Hoedspruit
The vast Balule Game Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park, home to the Big Five and world famous for its abundance of wildlife and birdlife. In the Balule Game Reserve you will find the Big Five roaming freely between the Balule Game Reserve and Kruger National Park, including Lion, Elephant, Leopard... more information
The Blyde-Olifants Conservancy consolidates a group of privately owned game farms in the central Lowveld region into an official nature reserve. Lying roughly between Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa, the conservancy also happens to lie within the Kruger to Canyons (K2C) Biosphere Reserve, which straddles the ... more information
On the banks of the Great Letaba River lies the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve, just west of the Kruger National Park and not far from Tzaneen. The main draw card to this beautiful reserve is the fact that you can walk most of it on foot, and despite its apparent flatness, there is the welcome relief of... more information
Kapama Game Reserve is situated in the Limpopo Province, South Africa and was proclaimed a private nature reserve in December 1993. Covering approximately 13 000 hectares of prime big game territory, Kapama Game Reserve has succeeded in combining the wilderness of the bush with... more information
Bordering the Timbavati Game Reserve and Kruger National Park, the Klaserie Game Reserve reserve is hot and dry for most of the year. The bush is sparse but soon recovers, if and when summer rains arrive. Wildlife wanders freely over vast areas and you are likely to see all the usual... more information
The largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is larger than Israel. Nearly 2 million hectares of land that stretch for 352 kilometres (20 000 square kilometres) from north to south along the Mozambique border, is given over to an almost indescribable wildlife experience. Certainly it ranks with the ... more information
Bounding the Wolkberg Wilderness, Lekgalameetse is an attractive mountain reserve sporting sparkling clear rivers and waterfalls and natural pools. The most colourful of butterflies, natural beauty, lush kloofs, indigenous forests and the plentiful birdlife make it a much ... more information
Also known as the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve and one of the country’s major privately owned conservation areas, Makalali Conservancy is over 22 000 hectares set in the Lowveld region of Limpopo, an hour west of the Phalaborwa gate of the Kruger National Park and roughly 80 kilometres from Hoedspruit ... more information
Selati Game Reserve lies on roughly 30 000 hectares of land west of the Kruger National Park, between the towns of Gravelotte and Mica, north of Nelspruit. Proclaimed as a conservancy in 2003, Selati is a partnership between neighbouring families who have pooled former farm land to preserve and ... more information
Adjacent to and incorporated into the Greater Kruger National Park lies 10 000 hectares of pristine African bushveld, which is the 'Thornybush Game Reserve'. With an abundance of birdlife and wildlife species including the 'Big 5'. Explore the African bush on foot and from the back of an... more information
Timbavati Game Reserve shares a common unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. This allows the animals free range and ensures guests to the area the opportunity to view the greatest diversity of wildlife that South Africa has to offer. Timbavati is a "Big Five" Game Reserve: Lion, Leopard... more information
The family-owned Tshukudu Private Game reserve is situated in the Central Lowveld near Hoedspruit and adjoins the Greater Kruger National Park. The reserve is easily accessible and close to the attractions and activities of the area. Tshukudu a Big 5 Game Reserve boasts 5000ha of unspoilt bush with... more information
Umbabat Nature Reserve lies just north east of Marulaneng, closest to Satara and Olifants rest camps of the Kruger National Park, bordered by the Kruger, the Timbavati and the Klaserie game reserves. Several private nature reserves, in turn, make up the beautiful Umbabat Private Game Reserve, in the heart of ‘Big Five’ ... more information
Things To Do in Hoedspruit
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