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Why did we hand pick Mopane Bush Lodge?

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  • Tranquil bushveld lodge near the history-rich Mapungubwe National Park
  • Beautifully nestled in mopane with great vistas over the bush
  • Numerous activities to explore nearby, with knowledgeable hosts to advise you

Mopane Bush Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

66km from Musina


-22.2391, 29.4814


Mopane Bush Lodge is situated on the Mapesu Nature Reserve, a beautiful 6000ha area of rocky outcrops, dry river beds and a vibrant mixture of bushveld vegetation. The lodge is surrounded by mopane trees, which, with their characteristic butterfly shaped leaves and vivid green colour, are one of the most recognisable species in South Africa.

While staying in one of eight very secluded luxury chalets, every guest can enjoy vistas of the magnificent surrounds, without seeing a single sign of human habitation.

Incorporating local wood in their design, the thatched buildings are each encircled by their own traditional ‘kraal’, giving you an authentic taste of African living. To further seal the intimacy with the bush, guests can use the outdoor shower, but the rooms do have a spacious indoor shower and bath for those who prefer traditional comfort.

The chalets are decorated in a classy African-style and all offer a choice between King-size and twin beds, fitted with top-of-the-range mattresses and quality linen. Guests can enjoy the convenience of ample cupboard space, hair dryers, good lighting and a shaver plug. The large mirrors give the already spacious rooms an even larger feel. One chalet is designed and equipped to be wheelchair friendly.

The lodge offers full-board catering and prepares meals that can be enjoyed in locations ranging from the dining room, to the lawn, the fireside boma or the pool lapa. A particularly special dining experience can be had while sitting around a candlelit table in the middle of the bush. 

Guests are greeted at the main lodge by the most spectacular bushveld view on the property before they head down the quirky curved staircase into the welcoming atmosphere of the lounge and small library.

The swimming pool is a refreshing haven on hot days, and you could laze away the whole day here while enjoying drinks from the bar in the open-air lapa.

After a day of rejuvenation, head out to explore the reserve, which has incredible biodiversity and a range of habitats, making it a beautiful, wild setting for cycling, walking and game tracking. Keep your eyes peeled for animals, including giraffe, eland, kudu and zebra, along with predators such as leopard, cheetah, caracal, African wild cat, hyena and jackal.

Several clearly marked walking trails lead to the Mapesu River and hide, where you can blend into the wilderness and watch the wildlife enjoying refreshment at the dam.

Lucky guests can take part in the capture of game, which takes place once or twice a year in order to sell the animals to other farms.

Regarding what to do during your stay, a suggested itinerary is arranged for you by the lodge, and will include trips to the neighbouring Mapungubwe National Park and the magnificent Hamilton baobab tree, rock-art tours, and 4x4 trails.

Your hosts Rosemary and Paul Hatty boast extensive experience in the tourism industry and have made a commitment to protecting the natural environment and sharing this love of all things wild and wonderful, while extending warm hospitality to their guests.


Rates & Summary

8 Double Rooms

Free standing chalets
Each sleeps 2 in double/twin beds
En-suite bath, shower and outdoor shower
Verandah with bushveld views


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


Full Board


Children of all ages are welcome.
Can be accommodated in bunk beds or cot.

Why Stay Here?

Situated just outside the Mapungubwe National Park, Mopane Bush Lodge offers affordable full-board accommodation for guests looking for a bushveld getaway in a safe and game-rich private reserve. The charming African-style chalets at the lodge are extremely private and have verandahs and outdoor showers with undisturbed views of the colourful mopane bushveld.  The owners personally run the lodge and have many years of experience in the hospitality industry, so guests can be assured of good service.


  • Tranquil bushveld lodge near the history-rich Mapungubwe National Park
  • Beautifully nestled in mopane with great vistas over the bush
  • Numerous activities to explore nearby, with knowledgeable hosts to advise you

Things to consider Bringing

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

Road Conditions

The gravel approach road is suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Game viewing
  • Walking trails
  • Cycling

Nearby: Mapungubwe National Park, Mapungubwe Hill, bushmen rock art, Hamilton baobab tree, 4x4 trails.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Fan included
  • Fireplace
  • Limited firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Licensed


  • Own water supply, showering and washing only
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km
  • No shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe







Vhembe is Limpopo province’s northernmost region and borders both Zimbabwe and Botswana. Vhembe includes the towns of Louis Trichardt, Musina and Thohoyandou. One of its major tourist attractions is the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site. This was South Africa’s first city of gold, set on the banks of the Limpopo River and dating back to the 12th century.

Vhembe’s habitat ranges from the subtropical Soutpansberg mountains to wild and arid stretches of bushveld along the Limpopo River. This is the heart of the ancient Limpopo River Valley. The region is famed for its thousands of baobab trees, source of much folklore and tourism icons of Limpopo province.

Vhembe is a gateway to the northern parts of the Kruger National Park (KNP), including the popular camps of Pafuri and Punda Maria. This is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Fences between South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique have been dropped to create the world’s biggest transfrontier park. In the north of the KNP lies Thulamela National Heritage Site, which was once a royal palace and dates back to the 15th century.

The Soutpansberg or Tha vhani ya muno (mountain of salt) is South Africa’s northernmost mountain range. It gets its name from the many salt pans here. The Soutpansberg mountain area has thick forests, dramatic cliffs and majestic look-out spots. The area is a day tripper’s paradise – offering scenic day drives, artist routes, wilderness experiences and excellent hiking and birding. There are also a lot of archaeological ruins and rock art, as well as museums, historic buildings and battlefield sites.

Louis Trichardt, in the foothills of the Soutpansberg mountains, is the region’s biggest town and main agricultural centre. It’s one of the main conduits for travellers en route to Zimbabwe, Botswana and the KNP.

It also serves as a centre for surrounding farms, which produce litchis, bananas, mangos, nuts, tea and coffee. North of Louis Trichardt is Musina, a sweltering border town.

Thohoyandou is north-east of Louis Trichardt, a colourful urban centre for surrounding farms and villages.

Vhembe is sometimes dubbed ‘the land of legend’ because of the rich culture of its Venda people and its many ancient heritage and cultural sites. You can visit ancient ruins and sacred lakes, and find out about the traditions and mythology of the Venda people.

Behind the Soutpansberg is the Limpopo Valley, a natural basin through which flows the Limpopo River, immortalised by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘great greasy grey-green Limpopo’. It cuts its way through South Africa and Mozambique before spilling out into the Indian Ocean. At the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, three countries unite: South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The Limpopo River forms the heart of the Limpopo River Valley, supporting a massive and fascinating eco-system. This includes large elephant herds, plenty of hippos and crocs, and over 350 recorded bird species. There is a host of reserves and game ranches.

Look out for

Mapungubwe World Heritage Site - A flourishing empire in the 12th century, on the banks of the Limpopo River in baobab bushveld. The people of Mapungubwe traded with Arab traders from present-day Mozambique, and other African kingdoms to the north and west. At Mapungubwe you can take a guided tour of ancient San cave paintings, explore fascinating ruins of South Africa's first city of gold, and enjoy game drives and walks. Set in a national park, there are guided drives & trails, and overnight accommodation.

Land of Legend route - Take a guided or self-drive tour to some of the cultural spots around the historic village of Elim. You can visit the studios of artists, potters and weavers, and meet sculptors and crafters. The land of legend route also includes visits to Thathe Vondo Holy Forest, the sacred Lake Fundudzi and the Dzata Ruins. The latter were once the capital of the Venda people, ruled by the great Thohoyandou, whose name means ‘head of the elephant’.

Hangklip Forest Reserve - Walk, climb, meander, stroll, picnic and hug trees. This 35ha nature reserve is set within the Soutpansberg mountains and is a wonderful escape for nature lovers, hikers and climbers. There are walking trails, waterfalls, look-out points, picnic sites and magnificent trees.

Thulamela National Heritage Site - A guided tour to Thulamela in the northern Kruger National Park gives you a fascinating insight into the lives of an ancient culture. A hillside of stone walls and ruins tells the story of people who settled here in the 15th century.

The Skirmish Route - Local historian and personality, Charles Leach, takes you on a fascinating adventure back in time to the days of the Anglo-Boer War The last bloody days of the war played out here. Visit graves, battle sites, look-out points and historic buildings. You can also visit the Schoemansdal Open Air Museum, 14km from Louis Trichardt. This quirky museum has memorabilia and exhibits from the days when the Voortrekkers trekked to these parts with their ox-wagons and Bibles. There are also exhibits from the early San and Khoi inhabitants of this area.

The Soutpansberg Limpopo Birding Route - The Soutpansberg mountains and the Limpopo River Valley host over 540 bird species, making this is a rewarding route indeed. It includes northern parts of the Kruger, Mapungubwe National Park and the Soutpansberg mountain range. The Blouberg also has a large population of vultures.

The Musina Baobab Reserve - Take a slow drive through the bushveld and see thousands of baobab trees. South of the town of Musina, the Musina Baobab Reserve is a wonderful day-drive and picnic spot, set against the backdrop of the surreal baobab trees. Adansonia digitata, as the baobab is scientifically named, is one of the trees in Africa with the longest lifespan. Some baobabs in Limpopo province are already over 3 000 years old. On average baobab trees found in Vhembe are between 300 and 500 years old.

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