If you are looking for things to do in Hoedspruit, you are in the right place. The small town is one of the popular local getaways from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hoedspruit is situated in the Limpopo province at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg Mountain range. It is close to a large number of private game reserves. Thanks to it proximity to the Kruger National Park, it is also very popular with tourists and is a big contributor to South Africa’s tourism industry.
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Our list of Best Things to do in Hoedspruit
Whether you are a visitor from abroad or a local looking for activities, there are some fun things to do in Hoedspruit. We have compiled this list to cover the activities we like best for when you are visiting the quaint Lowveld town
Visit Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
The Moholoholo rehabilitation centre is a home for wild animals that have been injured or abandoned. The caring team at the rehabilitation centre nurse these animals and release them if and when they are fit to go back into the wild. As a visitor, you will have the privilege of seeing many animals up close. Our visit was the closest experience we have ever had with a male lion, at less than 2 meters away, but fortunately on the other side of a fence. It is a great experience for adults and children alike. If it is your first time to South Africa and you are in the area, Moholoholo is a must. We get unique experiences like feeding vultures, cuddling with an eagle, or having up close encounters with big cats.
For an even more in-depth experience, you can have a guided tour for about 2 hours. While you are there, you can also visit the on-site museum and curio shop for some trinkets to take back home. Light snacks and refreshments can be bout at Stoffel’s Tuck Shop. The centre is open from Monday to Saturday and the operating hours are 9:30 to 15:00. Prices for entry into Moholoholo are R85 for kids 12 and under (free for children under 6 years) and R155 for visitors 13 years and older. For more information and to make bookings, you can visit the official website.
Nyani Cultural Village
If you want to get a better insight into some South African culture, Nyani Cultural village is a great place to do that. You will learn about the history and traditions of the tribes in the Limpopo region. The village is cosy and authentic, give you a good sense of the way of life for the tribespeople. The highlight of a visit to Nyani Cultural Village is the show that consists of a series of dances in colorful tribal attire.
At the beginning of the show, you will be treated to a short introductory presentation on the nomadic voyage of the early villagers and how they settled in Limpopo. The high energy performance that is the main attraction is exciting enough to get anyone off their feet. The show is then capped off with a mock wedding and a lunchtime feast with traditional food and delicacies like Mopane worms for those who are adventurous. For more information like times for shows, prices and bookings, visit the Nyani Cultural Village Website.
Blyde River Canyon Boat Cruise
A boat cruise on in the Blyde River Canyon is one of the most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon. Just an hour out of Hoedspruit, you can wade through the 3rd largest canyon in the world with a knowledgeable guide to teach you about the history of the Canyon and the formation of the Kadishi Tufa Waterfall that the Canyon is famous for. The Blyde River Canyon is also the largest ‘green canyon’ with its lush vegetation.
The Canyon cruise also gives you are different view of the famous Three Rondawels. You can book a cruise with one of the numerous companies that run tour services in the area, like Blyde Adventures and Blyde Canyon Adventure Centre. Boat trips are available 7 days a week so long as the weather permits.
Kruger National Park
This one goes without mentioning and is easily one of the best things to do in Hoedpruit. In fact, many of the travelers in Hoedspruit are likely on their way to visit the Kruger National Park, thanks to the proximity of Hoedspruit to the Orpen Gate. There are plenty to do in the Kruger National Park. Go on a safari on a self-drive or with a tour operator and get to see all of the famous big 5. Tours can be organized with the operators directly or, alternatively through your hotel or lodging. Most of the recommended hotels in Hoedspruit include activity planning as part of the services offered and some like Vuyani offer included daily safaris for their guests.
Elephant Interaction at Camp Jabulani
Who doesn’t like elephants? These majestic giants are loved for their sociable and docile nature and at Camp Jabulani you can get up close and personal with the beautiful creatures. The luxury camp is located in Kapama Private Reserve, just 24km from Hoedspruit. You will meet five of the 15 elephants at the camp and interact with some of them. With the well-trained carers on hand, you will get to touch the friendly giants and even feed them their favourite foods while the carers take photos of the special moment for you.
You really can’t appreciate the size and good nature of these animals until you are standing right next to them. The experience is coupled with education of n the biology and history of the elephants in the area over the last two decades. Camp Jabulani also offers other experiences like the elephant swim and elephant tracking. For the elephant swim, you get to watch the elephants frolicking in the water for their daily swim from a safe distance. For more information on the elephant experience you can read more on Camp Jabulani’s official website.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
What better way to get the best views Hoedspruit and the nearby mountain and canyon landscapes than from above? Take to the skies on a Hot Air balloon ride. Suncatchers operates flights thought the year, allowing you to take in the sights of Hoedspruit from a bird’s eye view. The flights leave at sunrise and hover over the scenic Lowveld. Thanks to the Drakensberg Escarpment, the flying are is sheltered from winds, making for a pleasant flight.
You will see a mixture of terrains that includes farmlands and nature and wildlife estates. As the sun rises, views of the landscape and vegetation open up to you. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot game such as giraffes and wildebeest. You can bring cameras and binoculars along for viewing and photo opportunities. Flights are dependent on the weather but on average, the balloons fly 5 days a week. Bookings can be made on Suncatchers’ website.