Hoedspruit: The heart of the bushveld

Posted on 27 June 2019

Nowhere else is quite as magical as the South African bushveld, where spectacular sunrises start each day and the bright, blazing sunshine melts away into clear, cool, star-lit evenings. In the heart of Limpopo, Hoedspruit is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems of South Africa’s holiday destinations, and an item on any nature lover’s bucket list.

Hoedspruit is ideally situated between the Kruger National Park, with its world-class surrounding game reserves and lodges, and the breath-taking Blyde River Canyon, making this picturesque town the perfect place to begin the holiday of a lifetime.

Royal Malewane

Hoedspruit Airport (Eastgate Airport) provides key air access to the pristine private game reserves and lodges in the surrounding area, Kapama Private Game Reserve, The Thornybush Collection, Royal Malewane, Karongwe Portfolio and Goranga Safari Camp as well as providing a strategic gateway to the Kruger National Park (via Orpen Gate) rest camps and the exclusive concession lodges in the national park such as Rhino Post Safari Lodge, Plains Camp, Hoyo Hoyo Tsonga Lodge, Hamilton’s Tented Camp and Imbali Safari Lodge.

The Thornybush collection of lodges varies from intimate four-suited lodges to group capacity 40-bed lodges, all located throughout the 14,000-hectare reserve. This collection of lodges meets offer premium game experience, comfortable accommodation and fine cuisine. Twice daily game drives in open cruisers are sure to enrich the soul.

Timbavati also hosts numerous high-end lodges that utilise Hoedspruit as the predominate gateway to the andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge, andBeyond Tented Camp, Kings Camp, Mostwari Private Game Reserve, Simbavati Safari Lodges to name a few.

Also read: Our top 7 campsites in the Kruger

Rockfig Safari Lodge, zebras at watering hole. Image-credit: Helene Ramackers

The Klaserie is in close proximity to Eastgate Airport providing access to lodges including Gomo Gomo Game Lodge, Nthambo Tree Camp and Africa on Foot.

While the private reserves each offer something special, the world-famous Kruger National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list.

One of the continent’s largest game reserves, the Kruger boasts nearly two-million hectares of unparalleled natural diversity. It’s a bushveld experience you simply can’t find anywhere else in South Africa. The Kruger National Park offers ample accommodation, including camping for those who like to walk (or sleep) on the wild side, as well as numerous restaurants and rest stops for those driving through.

Both flora and fauna thrive in The Kruger National Park — as well as few surprises. Once, a danger different to hippos and crocodiles lurked in the waters of the Kruger – a Zambezi shark (which can live in both salt and fresh water) ventured upstream of the Limpopo River and was spotted inside the Park.

Giraffe at Sabi Sabi. Photo Credit: Kate Webster

Whether you choose to explore the Kruger National Park or indulge in a private nature reserve, Hoedspruit – with its impressive road, rail and air transport infrastructure – is the best place to begin your safari holiday.

It’s also a great departure point for the spectacular Blyde River Canyon, officially known as the Motlatse Canyon, in Mpumalanga. This magnificent sight, among the country’s most significant natural features, is the most northern part of the mighty Drakensberg mountain range. The ‘Three Rondavels’ (three large, grass-covered mountain tops that are similar in shape to traditional huts) offer the best point from which to view the 25km-long Canyon, one of the largest in the world. The canyon itself is situated within the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, which extends to the south to include God’s Window, boasting another spectacular view.

Besides taking advantage of the fantastic photographic opportunities and marvelling at the awe-inspiring view, there is plenty to do in and around the Blyde River Canyon. More adventurous visitors can go on an adrenaline-filled tube or canoe trip down the river, while the less daredevil-inclined can enjoy a leisurely cruise on the water or a hike along the river banks or through the canyon. Hot air balloons provide unique birds-eye views of the canyon and its surrounds. A visit to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre should be near the top of every tourist’s to-do list. The centre is home to orphaned, abandoned, injured and poisoned animals who would not otherwise be able to survive, including lions, servals, cheetahs, hyenas, honey badgers, and birds such as eagles and vultures. The centre is particularly famous for its Serval Breeding Project, which has reintroduced 160 of these extremely rare animals to areas where they were previously thought to be extinct.

Royal Malewane

Hoedspruit is also home to The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, a unique African wildlife facility focusing on conservation and the sustainability of rare, vulnerable and threatened species. Visiting the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre gives you an insight into the lifelong dream of Me. Lente Roode and the conservation of the African Cheetahs. Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a living proof of dedicated people who make a difference to the long-term survival of animals.

Airlink is proud to connect both local and international travellers to the heart of the South African bush. Our direct flights to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg and Cape Town make getting to this bucket-list destination a pleasure. With convenience, exceptional service, and the widest network of flights within Southern Africa, your dream holiday experience begins before you even step onto the plane.

Fly Airlink to the heart of the African bush for an unforgettable getaway. Speak to your travel agent or go to flyairlink.com and navigate to Hoedspruit under the Destinations tab to book your tickets.

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