Hoedspruit is a small farming town at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg Mountains, in the Limpopo province. With close proximity to a number of private game reserves, the Kruger National Park, various animal sanctuaries, and offering plenty of rustic accommodation, Hoedspruit offers the ideal holiday destination away from the maddening crowds.
Part of Hoedspruit’s charm lies in its rural setting. Hoedspruit (Afrikaans for Hat Creek) started off with very humble beginnings. What was once a tiny town with just a few shops, a bank, and a little rondavel serving as a station building is now a premier holiday destination offering some of the best Big Five game viewing in the country.
Hoedspruit is the perfect getaway for animal lovers. Visitors can enjoy a number of wildlife experiences at one of several animal sanctuaries. Do a guided tour of the non-profit Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre to see cheetah, African wild dog, and black-footed cat, or try a Platinum tour which includes African wild dog and vulture feeding. Other animal sanctuaries include the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Daktari Wildlife Orphanage, and Khamai Reptile Centre.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Kruger National Park, Hoedspruit is one of the best bases for Big Five wildlife viewing. If you’re looking for something a little less commercial, visit Kapama Private Game Reserve. Kapama’s 13,000 hectares of savannah and riverine forest teem with all sorts of wildlife. In addition to the Big Five, there are over 40 mammal species and 350 different species of birds. Activities include game drives, bush walks, and elephant interactions and rides.
If elephant rides aren’t your thing, you can do a horse ride with African Dream Horse Safaris. Other leisure activities include the Roots of Rhythm Cultural Experience, exploring Bombyx Mori Silk Farm, visiting Mafunyane Cultural Village, cruising along the Blyde Dam, or sightseeing from the heights of a hot air balloon.
Take a day trip to the nearby Sunland Big Baobab in Modjadjiskloof, known for being the widest of its kind in the world. The tree is carbon dated to be well over 1,700 years old and has even made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. What’s more, the hollow inside of the baobab has been converted into a tree bar. Hikes and mountain bike trails are available. Alternatively, plan a trip to meet Jessica the Hippo, a 10 year old hippopotamus who lives in harmony with humans.
With so many nature, adventure, and leisure activities, Hoedspruit is the ideal getaway for young and old!