Phalaborwa, Valley of the Olifants

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Phalaborwa, Valley of the Olifants

Phalaborwa, Limpopo

Once you've booked your accommodation in Phalaborwa, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Phalaborwa.

That Phalaborwa never gets cold is something of a euphemism to describe the intense heat that can grip the modern, copper mining town, situated just 3 kilometres from the Kruger National Park, during summer in particular.

It does render the town of Phalaborwa a great place to stay during winter, however, and many tourists take advantage of the warm temperature for a winter sojourn, particularly with the lure of the Kruger just up the road.

Phalaborwa is the site of the ‘Big Hole’, the earth’s largest man-made hole, visible from space and pretty awe inspiring, even if you’re not impressed by mines in general. Mining and smelting of copper and iron ore date back to 400 AD when the Sotho called the area ‘Ba-Phalaborwa’, meaning ‘better than the south’.

And indeed, this part of the of the north eastern Lowveld is very beautiful but the ‘better’ part of the town’s name most definitely refers to the wealth generated by mineral deposits that today still support a thriving mining industry.

Phalaborwa, Limpopo
About 2000 million years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions left an astounding geological feature measuring 19 spare kilometres, filled with phosphates, copper iconium, vermiculite, mica and gold.

It is unsurprising then that a lot of the activities in Phalaborwa centre on mining - you can visit the Foskor Mine Museum, take a mine tour and visit the open cast mine, which will leave few visitors indifferent to the sheer width of the two kilometre diameter.

The Hans Merensky Country Club just happens to have one of the best golf courses in the country.

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Featured Attractions in (or near) Phalaborwa

Balule Game Reserve

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

Blyde-Olifants Conservancy

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

Hans Merensky Golf Course

This is another fine course which first evolved from the drawing board of Robert Grimsdell. A major attraction of the Hans Merensky course is the visiting wildlife - the course is bordered by the Kruger National Park near the Phalaborwa Gate and many of the Park's inhabitants pay scant regard to fencing... more information

Hans Merensky Nature Reserve

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

Kruger National Park

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

Letaba Ranch Game Reserve

Letaba Ranch Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park conservation area, is particularly well known for sightings of elephant and buffaloes, and the mighty Letaba River that flows through the reserve provides a shelter to any number of hippos and crocodiles. Letaba, which means ‘river of sand’ in Sotho ... more information

Makalali Conservancy

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

Phalaborwa Gate

Palaborwa Gate gives you access into the northern section of the Kruger National Park. By comparison with the more frequently visited southern section, the north is dry, there is a propensity for Mopane trees with their beautiful butterfly-shaped leaves (the major vegetation of the north), and there ... more information

Selati Game Reserve

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

Thornybush Game Reserve

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

Tshukudu Private Game Reserve

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

Umhlametsi Game Reserve

Nestled in the luxurious natural settings of the Limpopo Province, Umhlametsi Private Game Reserve is bordered by the World famous Kruger National Park. The two non-perennial rivers that majestically meander through the area attracts a diverse variety of birds and wildlife, including Lion ... more information

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Things To Do in Phalaborwa

Masorini Village Museum

Where: Phalaborwa
How much (per person): Price on request

Masorini Village is a restored village dating back to the stone-age. Restoration began in 1973, and at the time there were only grinding sto ... more information

Luvuvhu 4x4 Trail

Where: Phalaborwa
How much (per person): Price on request

In Phalaborwa, Limpopo, is the start of the challenging Luvuvhu 4x4 Trail, which follows the western border of the world-renowned Kruger Nat ... more information

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Restaurants in Phalaborwa

Buffalo’s Pub and Grill

Where: Phalaborwa

Buffalo’s Pub and Grill is situated in the heart of Phalaborwa which is alongside the Kruger National Park and surrounded by many other nature and game reserves. The Buffalo’s Pub and Grill is set in ... more information

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Also see Things To Do in Valley of the Olifants or check out Things To Do in Limpopo to view activities by category, including watersports, sightseeing activities, arts & crafts and many, many more.

On you'll find plenty of South Africa accommodation options. We've also listed nearby activities for any town or city in which you plan to stay. And the big bonus is that you deal directly with the venues - no fees involved. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your stay in Phalaborwa!
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