Hoedspruit is in the heart of Limpopo’s wilderness. This small and friendly town lies in the foothills of the northern Drakensberg and is close to the Kruger National Park. It’s also close to a variety of legendary Lowveld wilderness reserves like Klaserie, Timbavati, Selati, Balule, Thornybush and Sabi Sands.
Hoedspruit is known for its beautiful bushveld surroundings. It’s a good base from which to enjoy a diversity of eco-tourism adventures including game viewing, birding, hiking, river rafting, mountain climbing and Big 5 viewing.
The name Hoedspruit is a direct translation from the Afrikaans words meaning ‘hat creek’. An early pioneer, goes the story, was so delighted with his decision to settle here that he tossed his hat into a nearby creek.
The town has grown since then, into an agriculture and conservation centre. The tourism infrastructure is good, with a hospitable spirit and a strong conservation ethos.
Hoedspruit is also part of the Valley of the Olifants tourism route, which takes you through a combination of wilderness and mountain areas. These include the eastern end of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon, the Kruger National Park and the mountains of the northern.
Look out for
The Kruger National Park - The closest gate from Hoedspruit is Orpen gate, which takes you right into lion country. The open grasslands here attract some of the biggest herds of grazing animals in the park. The Timbavati Road in central Kruger is rated as one of the park’s most scenic, and one of the top 10 spots for wildlife photography.
Wilderness adventure - Hoedspruit is a gateway to a variety of amazing wilderness reserves and bushveld conservancies, including Klaserie, Timbavati, Selati, Balule, Thornybush and Sabi Sands. This is Big 5 country, and offers unforgettable bush experiences.
Wildlife conservation - In and around Hoedspruit and nearby Phalaborwa are a variety of wildlife breeding and rehabilitation centres. The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a non-profit organisation that conserves and breeds all endangered animal species. Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre is another inspiring conservation and breeding programme.
Kruger to Canyon Birding Route - The Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon is the essential combination of mountain and bushveld. Cross the Olifants river and go through the Strijdom Tunnels.
Sustainable Living Festival - An annual event held at Southern Cross School, which showcases the latest developments in alternative energy, green practices and sustainability.
Kamagelo Centre - Cool and rustic, the Kamagelo Centre offers arts and crafts, clothing stores, Internet cafes, wooden décor and much more in a wilderness setting.
Three Bridges - A restaurant and shop complex on the banks of the Olifants (Lepelle) River, is a good meet-and-greet spot.