Hoedspruit, Valley of the Olifants

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.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

If you want to explore wildlife when you are in South Africa it doesn't get much better than Hoedspruit. Here you are close to many many of the top reserves in the country, whichever way you drive you'll find another game reserve or lodge. Day trips to Balule and Kruger are easy from here and the costs involved are not as steep as staying at the big lodges that are inside the reserves. So you get a much better deal booking yoiur accommodation or lodges in Hoedspruit and then self-drive to Kruger.

August 2018

Sherrin (Durban)

Verified reviewgood

If you are looking for a Safari spot its a nice place to go... for me there was not much else attraction wise.

September 2012

Shaun (Cape Town)

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