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Why did we hand pick Blyde River Wilderness Lodge?

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  • Set on the banks of the Blyde River in a ruggedly beautiful wilderness with roaming game
  • Comfortable accommodation offers a laid-back atmosphere
  • Perfectly situated to explore the magnificent vistas of the Panorama Route

Blyde River Wilderness Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

21km from Hoedspruit


-24.3597, 30.817


As the name of this beautiful thatched lodge suggests, the Blyde River is the centrepiece of Blyde River Wilderness Lodge. The attractive stretch of river, fringed by majestic indigenous trees, plays host to crocodiles and hippos and entices most of the reserve’s wildlife, including antelope, warthog, giraffe, zebra and a diverse array of birdlife. Set along the river’s banks, the lodge’s grounds are an oasis of tall trees and lush lawns, and nyala are often seen grazing on the grass. 

The rooms, decorated in a contemporary African style, all open onto this cool paradise, and the outdoor seating areas allow guests to soak up the scenery and forget all about life’s worries. The four luxury rooms are split evenly into Queen and twin rooms with en-suite showers. Patios overlook the river, and guests may well fall asleep to the distinctive grunt of a hippo. The two small rondavels also have en-suite showers and come with Queen and twin beds respectively.

Kingfisher Cottage is privately situated and has a balcony looking out onto the river, and in addition to the double bed, can accommodate an extra child on request. A small but well-equipped kitchen is on hand for those who wish to self-cater. 

Accommodating four adults and two children, and located right next to one of the property’s swimming pools, the Owl House is ideally suited for a fun family holiday, and the large kitchen and dining areas make it a good choice for self-caterers. 

All the rooms are fitted with fans, heaters, hairdryers, minibars, wireless internet and tea/coffee facilities. The lodge is in a low risk malaria area, so the presence of mosquito nets is welcoming and will ensure a peaceful night’s rest.

Breakfast is a hearty cooked and continental affair to be enjoyed outside on clear mornings, while lunches and romantic dinners, prepared with fresh produce grown on the property, can be arranged on request. The lodge can also arrange picnics in the idyllic setting of the lawns next to the river.

Although particularly enticing during the summer months, the river is too dangerous to swim in for obvious reasons, but guests can cool off in one of two large swimming pools or sip a drink on one of the surrounding loungers. For the ultimate relaxation, book one of the lodge’s decadent massage treatments.

The cool early mornings and late afternoons are perfect opportunities to take a stroll along one of the reserve’s nature trails, where guests can safely encounter a wide variety of wildlife at close quarters. The Panorama Route, which stretches some 250 km along the northern Drakensberg escarpment and into the Blyde River Canyon, is a wonderland of thunderous waterfalls, spectacular mountains, interesting rock formations and spectacular views, and is a wonderfully scenic day trip to undertake.

The region’s wealth of attractions could keep guests at Blyde River Wilderness Lodge entertained for weeks on end. A variety of wildlife experiences, including elephant back rides, cheetah interactions and game drives in Big Five territory, make the area a haven for animal lovers, while adventurers can go hot-air ballooning, abseiling, river rafting or quad biking.

Rates & Summary

2 Luxury Queen Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
En-suite shower
Patio overlooking river

2 Luxury Twin Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite shower
Patio overlooking river

2 Rondavels

Each sleeps 2 in double or twin beds
En-suite shower
Lead out onto garden and river

Kingfisher Cottage

Sleeps 2 in double bed
Extra child accommodated on request
En-suite shower
Balcony overlooking river

Owl House

Sleeps 4 adults in double and twin rooms
Mezzanine level with 2 single beds for children
Bathroom with bath and shower
Dining room and lounge
Leads out onto garden and river


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Continental and Full English breakfast included
Self-catering option at Owl House and Kingfisher Cottage
Lunch and dinner by arrangement


Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Perfectly suited for a peaceful getaway, Blyde River Wilderness Lodge is situated on the dramatically beautiful Panorama Route in Limpopo and offers a range of stylish African-themed accommodation, good facilities and beautiful scenery. Guests to this off-the-beaten-track lodge will enjoy a laidback atmosphere in the lush bushveld surrounds of a private nature reserve. All of the rooms open up onto the pretty Blyde River, which attracts all manner of wildlife. The area is renowned for its stunning natural scenery and a host of exciting outdoor activities.


  • Set on the banks of the Blyde River in a ruggedly beautiful wilderness with roaming game
  • Comfortable accommodation offers a laid-back atmosphere
  • Perfectly situated to explore the magnificent vistas of the Panorama Route

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, mosquito repellent, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

The good gravel approach road is suitable for all vehicles. Guests are advised to drive slowly as there are wild animals around.

Activities & Attractions

  • Two swimming pools
  • Massages
  • Nature trails
  • Nearby: The Three Rondawels, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, waterfalls, game reserves, wildlife rehabilitation centres, boat cruises, river rafting, tubing, quad biking, horse trails, elephant back safaris, hot air ballooning, reptile park, silk farm.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Ceiling fans
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Kitchenette
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • Full business centre
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel within 10km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted







The Mopani region is a heady mix of mountain and bushveld, history and culture. Mopani includes the towns of Tzaneen, Giyani, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit. It also includes sections of the northern Drakensberg mountains, parts of the Kruger National Park and an eastern chunk of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon. Think dramatic mountain scenery, ancient rivers and unspoiled wilderness reserves.

Mopani is named after an edible worm, of all things. The best way to discover the delights of the region is by exploring the Valley of the Olifants self-drive tourism route. This takes you through wilderness areas with excellent mountain views. It is this combination of mountain and bush that gives the Mopani region its special charm.

The route is named after the Olifants (Lepelle) River, which cuts its way through steep mountains and then flows through the Kruger National Park to join the Limpopo River.

From the quaint hamlet of Haenertsburg, north-east of Polokwane, the panoramic 40km-long Magoebaskloof Pass descends 600m in a series of dizzying bends to the subtropical town of Tzaneen. Every bend greets you with a different surprise: waterfalls, historic bluegum trees, lookout points, nurseries and roadside stalls.

Surrounded by blue-green mountains, Tzaneen is a laid-back centre of agriculture and farming. From here you can explore wilderness and mountains, visit the realm of the legendary Rain Queen, and see the country’s biggest baobab tree.

From Tzaneen it’s a pleasant drive through scenic bushveld to the towns of Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit. Phalaborwa was established in 1958 after the discovery of huge mineral deposits. It is the central gateway to the Kruger National Park via the Phalaborwa Gate. It’s a small but busy town that reaches scorching summer temperatures.

Apart from having the biggest opencast mine in the world, Phalaborwa’s other claim to fame is that it’s the closest town to the Kruger National Park. It’s a five-minute drive from the centre of town to the Phalaborwa Gate. Residents are used to the ‘Hippo Crossing’ signs and the odd warthog trundling down the high street.

Hoedspruit is a centre for surrounding wildlife reserves, private reserves, game reserves and conservation centres. The town is known for its bushveld beauty and conservation ethos and is a stepping stone to assorted bush adventures. These include game viewing, birding, hiking, river rafting and mountain climbing.

The Mopani region also includes the eastern part of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon, offering the essential ‘Kruger to Canyon’ experience that combines mountains and bush. Travellers from Mpumalanga to Hoedspruit will arrive via the scenic Abel Erasmus Pass, which descends 800m in its 24km length.

The highlight is the 133,5m-long Strijdom Tunnel where you emerge from cool darkness into bright sunlight nearly a thousand metres above the Olifants River valley.

Look out for

The northern Drakensberg & Wolkberg wilderness areas - he mountainous heart of Mopani is the Wolkberg Wilderness and Magoebaskloof. This is hiking, birding, fishing, strolling, rambling and botanising territory. If you’re into extreme stuff and adrenalin rushes, you can take a canopy tour, go kloofing, abseiling, river rafting, white water tubing and mountain biking.

The Realm of the Rain Queen - This is set in the village of Modjadji, in mountain foothills, near Tzaneen. It is said that Queen Modjadji settled here after fleeing Zimbabwe in the late 17th century. She brought with her special rain summoning powers, and started the matriarchal Bolobedu tribe. Modjadji is also home to the Modjadji Cycad Reserve, which has thousands of species of the rare endemic cycad (Transvenosus encephalartos) that dates back to the time of the dinosaur.

The country’s biggest baobab - The Sunland Baobab, as it’s officially known, is named after the farm where it has grown for over 4 000 years. This gentle giant is 22m high and has a 47m circumference. Get up close and personal with this giant at Sunland Farm, near Tzaneen. You’ll discover why the surreal baobab is a source of great legend, and the symbol of Limpopo province.

Kruger to canyon trip - The Mopani region’s hallmark is the combination of mountain and bush. The area between the central Kruger National Park and the eastern reaches of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon offers amazing nature and adventure opportunities. These include gentle sundowner cruises and tranquil bushveld walks, adrenalin-charged river rafting and gorge swinging. This part of Mopani has excellent views of lichen-clad cliff faces and dramatic kloofs and canyons.

The Lowveld and the Kruger Park - The Mopani region offers direct access to the central and northern parts of the Kruger National Park. It also leads to the Mpumalanga Lowveld, famed for its game-rich reserves. Just inside the Phalaborwa Gate is the Masorini Museum, a Late Iron Age archaeological site showing smelting furnaces, homesteads and historic implements. Another highlight is the Elephant Museum at Letaba Camp, which is an easy drive from Phalaborwa. Letaba is a pretty camp overlooking the river, where elephant sightings are practically guaranteed. In the northern Kruger Park, near Punda Maria, is Thulamela National Heritage Site. A significant archaeological site, with hillsides that are filled with stone ruins that tell the story of an ancient culture that settled here in the 15th century.

Bush to beach - It is now possible to take this route from the Phalaborwa gate all the way to the beaches of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. Travellers drive through the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which includes the Kruger National Park and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park. The border post is a Giriyondo, near the Massingir Dam.

Kruger to Canyon Birding Route - This route starts at the beginning of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon at God’s Window. It follows Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route and enters Limpopo via the dramatic Abel Erasmus Pass. From there it leads to Hoedspruit and into the central Kruger Park.

Hans Merensky Golf Course - Undoubtedly the best golfing experience in Mopani. This famous course, designed by Bob Grimsdell, is adjacent to the Kruger National Park. It offers players a unique opportunity to tee off amongst the wildlife.

Wildlife and conservation - Apart from being part of a massive transfrontier park, the Mopani region offers incredible opportunities for viewing wildlife. It’s also a conservation centre. In and around Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa are a variety of wildlife breeding and rehabilitation centres. There are also ranger training camps and guided wilderness experiences.

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