Completed in 1992, Mopani Camp is the newest
of all the rest camp accommodation and
lodging in Kruger National Park. Inside Mopani Camp
indigenous vegetation has been left largely
untouched, while newly planted trees have
been laid out along the camp's tarred roads.
Mopani Camp takes its name from the mopane
trees that are so prevalent on the
surrounding plains. In autumn the butterfly-shaped
leaves change to striking hues before falling off in
September and October.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the
thatched buildings, with their rock faced walls,
and surrounding paving, blend into the bushveld
environment. All the buildings at Mopani Camp are
built from natural materials such as
rough stone, wood and thatching-grass, which blends them
in beautifully with the environment.
History of Mopani Camp:
Vacation visitors to Mopane Camp have the unique
opportunity of taking guided tours and day
trips to the Shilowa heritage sites, which
lies right on the Tropic of Capricorn along the Kruger
National Parks eastern boundary. The so-called First
Site traces a history of human occupation
of the period between 1200 AD and 1600 AD.
Archaeologists were guided to the site by the change in
the grass species, symptomatic of an alteration in the
chemical composition of the soil caused by the 2 metre
deep ash deposits in the area.
The second site dates back to the late 1700s when
the Pedi inhabited the area. Chief
Shilowa, who owed allegiance to the Tsonga chief
Gugunyane, lead an attack around 1800, driving the
It is commonly believed that the Tsonga
moved in to take over the site, due to its well situated
water supply and ready access to trade routes. As the
19th century wore on, African tribes expanded their
trade in copper, iron, ivory and gold,
exchanging goods with the Voortrekkers,
traders, hunters and fortune seekers that began to move
into the area.
Summary of Accommodation &
4 beds (one twin-bedded room, 2 bunk beds in alcove),
one bathroom, veranda with kitchenette and outside braai
4 beds (one room with 2 single beds, 2 sleeper couches
in lounge), two bathrooms, veranda with kitchenette and
outside braai (barbeque).
6 beds (three rooms each fitted with 2 single beds, one
en-suite bathroom), two bathrooms, kitchen, lounge /
dining area, large veranda and outside braai (barbeque).
Xanatseni Guest House:
8 beds 1 room with a double bed, 2 single beds in other
rooms), large lounge / dining room and kitchen, outside
covered bar and veranda area with view of the dam, also
there are braai (barbeque) facilities.
6 beds at the dam near camp.
Basic First Aid
DSTV Only Available
in Guest Houses
Mopani Camp is situated on a rocky rise, with a
magnificent view over the Pioneer Dam.
Modern architecture, privacy and open spaces
Newly planted trees
edge the tarred roads
Rich with plant
The nearest entrance
is Phalaborwa Gate, which is 74km (46 miles) away
Airport is 4km (2.5
miles) from Phalaborwa Gate
This flat area is rich with plant species
like the Mopane shrub, Red Bushwillow trees and sweet
grass. Flora found in this region include: Apple Leaf,
Tamboti, Baobab, Leadwood, Shrub Mopane.
Mopani Camp is situated 47 kilometres (29
miles) from Letaba Rest Camp and 65km (40.3
miles) from Shingwedzi Rest Camp. The nearest gate is
the Phalaborwa Gate which is 74 kilometres (46 miles)
away. Car hire facilities are available at the airport.
There are regular domestic flights
to and from the Phalaborwa Kruger Park Gateway Airport
which lies just 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from the
Phalaborwa entrance gate.
How to get there:
Travel routes and times from
Take the N1 toll-road to Polokwane
(Pietersburg). Forty kilometres (24 miles) before
Polokwane turn right onto the R71 and head for Tzaneen.
After Tzaneen head towards Phalaborwa and the gate.
Allow between 6 to 7 hours for the trip to the
Mopani Main Rest Camp is 74 kilometres (45 miles) away
from the gate. Allow about 3 hours for the drive to the
camp, however, if you want to enjoy the game viewing
possibilities, give yourself more time.
Kruger National Park in South Africa is in a summer
rainfall area. Such precipitation is usually
convectional and can result in heavy downpours. The
summer months (October to April) are hot and
often balmy. Winters are warm and mild,
although visitors going on night drives will require
Mopani is situated at the transition zone
between granite /gneiss soils to the west and basalt
soils to the east. The former hosts a combination of
mixed bush willow, silver cluster-leaf and tree and
shrub mopane, while the latter combines apple-leaf with
shrub mopane. Large knob-thorn, tamboti and leadwood are
found along the drainage lines.
in-camp trail offers many opportunities to spot the
prolific and beautiful birdlife on your Kruger National
Afternoon Walk, Dawn
Drive, Morning Walk, Sunset Drive, Night Drive
Enjoy a short walk to
the Pioneer Dam
A ladies bar is
Visit the heritage
Swimming pool for the
enjoyment of residents
Night drives enable you to take part in
the nightlife activities of Kruger's
secretive creatures in the company of experienced guides
Guided bush walks, in the company of trained field
guides with backup rifles, take groups of up to 8 people
out into the bush for a few hours. Track
Rhino, Elephant and Lion on foot and learn
and observe fascinating facts about the African bush.
By relaxing at the look out point or on the terrace of
Mopani Camp's safari room you can enjoy game viewing
without even having to leave the camp, during the course
of your Kruger National Park vacation.
The safari room also boasts a ladies bar, television and
fireplace. Enjoy a short walk to the Pioneer Dam. Mopani
Camp boasts a swimming pool, for
the use of resident visitors as well as a walking trail.
Visitors to Mopani Camp have the unique opportunity of
taking one of the Kruger Park guided tours
and day trips to the Shilowa heritage sites,
right on the Tropic of Capricorn along the Park's
The dense mopane veld around Mopani Camp has
an unfair reputation for being a poor game area. In
truth there is actually very little that cannot be seen
in this habitat.
In fact, a person can simply sit at the lookout point in
camp, or at the nearby balcony of the ladies bar, and
be treated to a constant stream of animals
such as Hippo, Waterbuck, Impala, Warthog, Elephant,
Buffalo and even Lion.
The Tropic of Capricorn loop and the Nshawu pans are an
excellent area to see game as there are some open plains
that host species such as Blue Wildebeest,
Burchell's Zebra, Buffalo and the rarer Tsessebe.
Black-backed Jackal and caracal are some of the smaller
more unusual species to look out for on your Kruger
National Park vacation.
Birding Attractions in
The camp overlooks the Pioneer Dam
where a plethora of water birds are to be seen. Storks,
egrets, kingfishers and African Fish Eagles are ever
present while Redwinged Pratincole, African Spoonbill,
Blackwinged Stilt and Whitewinged Tern are some of the
more uncommon species to watch for.
Mosque and Wiretailed Swallow breed in camp (the former
should be looked for at the camp's huge Baobab Tree).
Mocking Chats should be looked for
from the ladies bar on a Kruger National Park vacation.
At the nearby Nshawu Pans look for Kittlitz's Plover,
Chestnutbacked Finchlark and Redwinged Pratincole.