Easily accessible by visitors from around the world, Hoedspruit has a diverse activity playground with a varied range of excursions to suit every pocket, every age, and every person! From adventurous expeditions to the more relaxing events, there is quite literally a place in the lowveld sun for everybody.
As the gateway to safari Africa, the local Eastgate Airport is efficiently serviced by multiple flights landing daily from both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Naturally, the lure of ticking off live sightings of Africa’s revered Big-5 is a primary attraction; however, a trip to Hoedspruit is not only about roaring lions and soul-stirring elephants. There is so much more to a breakaway in Hoedspruit.
As well as the sunrise and sunset game drives that are the most obvious reason for taking a safari holiday, we always encourage our guests to join our experienced khaki-clad guides on a walking safari. Ranging from short 90-minute walks to multiple-day camping trips, a walk in the wild African veld truly connects one with nature. The smaller details that go unnoticed from a vehicle come to life among the non-fiction tales that are told by a meandering track, a broken branch, or a disturbed patch of soil.
Canyon Helicopter flights
A helicopter flip between the craggy confines of the Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest green canyons on earth, is high on the to-do list in Hoedspruit and compared to scenic heli rides in other parts of South Africa, as well as Victoria Falls, its relatively affordable. Limited to three passengers at a time, the flight leaves from the Khaya Ndlovu Manor House heli pad. Soaring over the tangled treetops across the untamed veld of the Rietspruit Game Reserve during this once-in-a-lifetime experience is an exhilarating adventure, unique to the area and one that will be remembered and excitedly spoken about forever.
For those adverse to flying, the magnificence of the Blyde River Canyon can also be appreciated whilst on a scenic drive of the Panorama Route. The winding road explores the picturesque Mpumalanga highlands with the muddy Blyde River lazily snaking its way through the valleys below to the Blydepoort Dam.
The Panorama Route is best driven during the dry winter months, as mist and rain can impede the views during summer, however the wild pink and white lilies that paint the roadside in the hotter months add to the spectacle of this natural attraction.
The historical viewpoints such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, God’s Window and the Berlin Falls are interesting attractions along the way, and a refreshment stop at the famous Harrie’s Pancakes in Graskop is always recommended.
A stop at the charming historical mining village of Pilgrim’s Rest, the entire town of which has been declared a protected historical site, takes one back to a bygone era with its quaint architecture and timeless ambience. There is a selection of old-fashioned pubs and restaurants, museums, and historical sites, as well as arts and crafts shops where locally crafted artefacts can be purchased.
Blyde Boat Trip
The magnificence of the Blyde Canyon can also be enjoyed from the comfort of a cruise boat. An abundance of wildlife, which include both land and river animals such as crocodiles and hippopotamuses keeps one captivated whilst drifting the tranquil waters of the dam. This expedition is expertly conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide who has a sound understanding of the natural history of the Blyde Canyon.
Kruger National Park
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers an open 20 000 km² sweeping playground to Africa’s Big-5, a multitude of plains game species, and a vast selection of fauna and flora. A guided trip to this magnificent wildlife haven in an open-air safari vehicle is a bucket-list tick which should not be missed.
Whether it’s the thick-maned king of the jungle, arrogantly swinging his head from side to side as he struts within touching distance of your vehicle; the petulant buffalo bulls whose death-stares suggest an unpaid debt; the tight-knit matriarchal community of the elephant herds traversing the dry riverbeds; an elusive leopard guarding his hard-earned kill hoisted in the boughs of a Marula tree or the near-extinct black rhinoceros glowering accusingly, a trip to Kruger is a life-changing experience that should be grasped whenever possible.
It’s not only about the Big-5 listings however, as the herds of uniquely characterised plains game species offer equally majestic sightings, as well as cheetahs, wild dogs, and hyenas.
The Kruger is home to over 500 bird species, some of which are only found in this area. There are many locally based expert twitchers that offer specialised birding safaris, who take advantage of the various viewing platforms and hides scattered throughout the Kruger National Park. These present some of the best photographic opportunities in the world.