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Why did we hand pick Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge?

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  • Classic Big 5 safari experience in the Balule Private Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger
  • Thrill of a waterhole in front of the lodge
  • Elegant luxury rooms, bar, pool and massage lapa for a relaxing stay

Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

15km from Hoedspruit


-24.2576, 30.9658


Being part of the Greater Kruger National Park, all of the animals that call South Africa’s greatest wilderness area home are allowed to roam freely in and out of the 40 000ha Balule Nature Reserve, and guests will most likely have already spotted a few of them during the seven-kilometre drive from the main gate to Mohlabetsi.

Upon arrival at the lodge, you are given a friendly welcome by owners Tony and Alma, accompanied by an ice-cold drink that can be enjoyed while surveying the waterhole right in front of the lodge, which is often visited by game.

Accommodation is provided in six African rondavels privately tucked away under magnificent indigenous trees. These round thatched rooms are tastefully decorated in bright ethnic colours and African artwork, and the outdoor showers are a fitting way to refresh after returning from a guided safari on the reserve. Four of the rooms come with twin beds and two have King-size beds, and bunk beds can be arranged for the kids. All the rooms are insect-proofed and have comforts such as an overhead fan, safe, a hair dryer and bathroom amenities.

The two family chalets each have two inter-leading bedrooms, one with a King-size bed and the other with twin beds, comfortably accommodating four adults, and a sleeper bed can be added for one child. Two outdoor showers ensure that guests staying in each of the rooms can still enjoy their privacy. 

The main lodge is entered through a charming thatched portico, which leads into the welcoming lounge, bar and dining area. Outside, chaises longues are set on the shaded lawns, perfect places to unwind between game drives, while the swimming pool is exceptionally refreshing on hot summer days.

The suitably named Tranquillity Lapa is situated in the quietest area of the lodge and offers massages during the day, with the sounds of the bush providing a tranquil soundtrack. Be sure to pop into Alma’s curio shop to find something that will capture the memories of your safari.

Two daily game drives are included in the rates at Mohlabetsi and are conducted by experienced rangers who are wholly dedicated to getting guests up close and personal with all the residents of the reserve. During your stay, there is an excellent chance to see all of the Big Five, and as Balule is a private reserve, vehicles can head off-road to follow animals.

Your afternoon drive carries on into the evening in order to catch glimpses of the nocturnal animals, while your guide will also stop to point out the constellations and other celestial bodies visible in the crystal-clear night sky.

Guests return to the lodge to enjoy a delicious African dinner next to a campfire in the boma, and this is an opportune time to mingle with the jovial staff and discuss the excitement of the day.

If you have chosen to partake in the early morning drive, your ranger will wake you up at dawn and take you out to discover what has happened in the bush during the night.

A guided walk through the veld will uncover the innermost workings of the bush and reveal what goes unnoticed during drives.

Rates & Summary

2 Double Rondavels

Each sleeps 2 adults in King-size bed
Bunk beds can be added for children under 12
Outdoor shower

4 Twin Rondavels

Each sleeps 2 adults in twin beds
Bunk beds can be added for children over 12
Outdoor shower

2 Family Chalets

Each sleeps 4 adults in two inter-leading rooms
Bunk beds can be added for children over 12
2 outdoor showers


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


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Why Stay Here?

Located in the Balule Private Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park, Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge focuses on providing an all-inclusive safari to guests looking for an exciting African adventure. Mohlabetsi offers a value-for-money safari experience in a private game reserve that shares an unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park and provides an excellent chance to see all the Big Five up close. The luxury African rondavels each have their own outdoor showers, while a waterhole right in front of the lodge allows guests to view wildlife from a relaxed environment.


  • Classic Big 5 safari experience in the Balule Private Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger
  • Thrill of a waterhole in front of the lodge
  • Elegant luxury rooms, bar, pool and massage lapa for a relaxing stay

Things to consider Bringing

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

Road Conditions

The good gravel approach road is suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Outdoor boma
  • Game viewing
  • Bush walks
  • Stargazing
  • Massage treatments


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • No under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Licensed


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

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Paid Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception
  • No business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Limited wheelchair friendliness
  • Babysitting available
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe
  • 24 hour security







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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