Hoedspruit – General Info
Hoedspruit borders on the Kruger National Park and lies in the heart of the central Limpopo lowveld. Hoedspruit is conveniently situated to explore the many game lodges, game reserves and other attractions and activities in the vicinity. View the Map of Hoedspruit to get a feeling of where it lies. Here towering cliffs meet endless expanses of bushveld, where vast plains of marula, acacia, combretum and mopane woodlands accommodate a wealth of wildlife and stretch as far as the eye can see. It is said that the town acquired its name Hoedspruit when, after a long trek over the mountains into the heat of the Lowveld, one of the pioneers removed his hat and threw it into the cool waters of the Sandspruit River and decided to stay. Visitors to the Hoedspruit area can choose to stay in exclusive private game reserves, or in various game lodges, bush lodges, self-catering chalets, bed & breakfasts holiday resorts, or secluded camping sites.
Many of the reserves bordering on the Kruger National Park have had their fences removed and now form part of the greater Kruger National Park resulting in huge traversing areas of unspoilt wilderness. The area offers wonderful wildlife experiences and excellent game viewing in the tranquillity and natural beauty of the African bush. The town’s Eastgate Airport has been earmarked for upgrading to an international airport and will make this fascinating area even more accessible to domestic and international visitors. Various rehabilitation and breeding centres are found in the area. The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Research Center on the Kapama Reserve is one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in the country. The centre places particular emphasis on the breeding and maintenance ofcheetah in captivity and also provides a safe haven for orphaned and sick animals. Guided tours bring visitors into close contact with several of the Big Five, as well as species such as the endangered wild dog, serval, caracal, African wildcat, ground hornbill and vultures at the vulture restaurant. Close on 80 cheeath can be viewed. A tea garden is available. The centre is located 20 km out of Hoedspruit on the road to Klaserie. At the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre injured wild animals and raptors are rehabilitated and reintroduced into the wild. Several successful breeding programmes are in operation. The centre caters particularly for the ‘Magnificent Seven’ – to bird enthusiasts these are the martial eagle, black eagle, crowned eagle, tawny eagle, bataleur, African fish eagle and the giant eagle owl. Daily guided tours are available. The Tshukudu Game Lodge is renowned for its lion breeding programme started 16 years ago which has resulted in close on 270 lions being reintroduced into various game reserves throughout the country. Located on a 5 000-ha reserve, guided game drives and walking trails are available. Game include the Big-Five and general plains game such as gemsbok, as well as close on 220 bird species. The family orientated lodge offers comfortable accommodation.
A fascinating tour of a silkworm farm near Hoedspruit where the entire silk production process can be enjoyed at Bombyx Mori where the silkworm population varies from 50,000 in winter to around 250,000 in summer. Exclusive silk goods can be purchased. The popular Monsoon Gallery also on the outskirts of Hoedspruit complex comprises an upmarket craft shop with high quality stock and collectors’ pieces from all over Africa, a bushveld bistro and a collection of Iron Age artefacts. The Umhlametsi Game Reserve offers game drives in open vehicles and guided walks in the 6 000-ha conservancy which provides sanctuary to virtually all game except elephants. Four lodges offer accommodation. Other attractions in the area include the Swadini Reptile Park on the Strijdom Tunnel road and the Nyani Tribal Village where guided tours are offered. Opportunities for adventure safaris in the area are plentiful. Options include rafting, abseiling and hiking in Big Five country also within close proximity of Hoedspruit. The splendid Hoedspruit scenery also lends itself to mountain biking and 4×4 trails. Microlight flights offer an excellent way of enjoying the beautiful countryside. Another exciting new activity are the Elephant Back Safaris one can experience at Kapama Private Game Reserve.