Out in the wild at Oliphants Rest Camp

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 3 September 2018

It’s difficult to leave this camp in search of animals when there’s an expanse of wild, meandering river, braided with islets and sandbanks, right here to keep watch over.

From the high perch of the camp’s lookout over the Olifants River (near the restaurant), you can see elephants picking their way across the streams, hippos grunting in the water and waterbuck on the banks. Not only are there fine views in the camp, but when you do drag yourself away there are three viewpoints nearby.

Image by Justin Fox

Here you can get out of the car and soak up the scenery from N’wamanzi Viewpoint, either over the S44 or on the bridge over the Olifants River on the H1-4. Strategically, the camp is also great for drives as there are several short loops nearby.

Sightings of leopard are common in these parts. Olifants Rest Camp is also the only one in the park to offer adventurous morning mountain-biking trails (R767 per person) and a special river walk (R300 per person), which is a terrific way to try to spot the Pel’s fishing owl if you ask the guide nicely.

Image by Melanie van Zyl

Do it

There are five self-catering cottages that have the best river views (units nine to 13), which make them pricier (R1 650 for two people). I also loved the lookout from units 14 to 17 (from R1,600 for two). There are two luxury guest houses, Lebombo and Nshawu, in prime positions on the river if you have a bigger group (each sleeps up to eight people), both with spectacular decks. From R4 275 for one night for four people. If you don’t have the budget, there are benches at the lookout point so you can enjoy the view – just don’t forget your  binocs! sanparks.org

Image by Melanie van Zyl

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