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mopani rest camp

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Mopani Rest Camp

Mopani Rest Camp is one of the main rest camps of Kruger National Park (KNP) which is located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces of South Africa.  The camp is situated in the north-western part of the park with the Phalaborwa entrance gate the closest to it.

Mopani Rest Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Bungalow (BD4)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R3100 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night.

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, 1 bunk bed, Airconditioned, Fridge, Hotplate, Sink ,Utensils 

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals

Mopani Rest Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Bungalow (BD4V)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R3395 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night.

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, 1 bunk bed, Airconditioned, Fridge, Hotplate, Sink ,Utensils, Perimeter View

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals 

Mopani Rest Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Cottage (FB4)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R3100 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, Room 1 Double bed, Room 2 Lounge Beds, Airconditioned, Fridge, Hotplate , Sink, Utensils

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals 

Mopani Rest Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper - Guest Cottage (FF6)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R5995 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite with Shower and Bath, 1 bedroom with fan only, 2 bedrooms airconditioned 3 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, Kitchen

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals 

Mopani Rest Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper - Guest Cottage - View (FF6V)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R5995 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite with Shower and Bath, 1 bedroom with fan only, 2 bedrooms airconditioned 3 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, Kitchen, Perimeter View

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals 

Mopani Rest Camp
Xanatseni Guest House (GXN)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R11295 for 8 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 1 bedroom with double bed, 3 bedrooms each with 2 single beds ,4 bathrooms, Airconditioned, Kitchen

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals 

Overview

The camp is located on the banks of the Pioneer Dam and is the newest of all the rest camps in the park. Inside the rest camp indigenous vegetation has been left mostly untouched, with only newly planted trees laid out along the camp’s tarred roads.

The Mopani rest camp gets its name from the Mopani trees found in the surrounding plains and “koppies”. During autumn, the leaves change to striking hues before falling off in September and October turning the whole landscape into rustic colors. A huge gnarled old baobab tree in the heart of the camp is its signature feature.

Every building in the camp is built from natural materials such as rough stone, wood and thatching-grass, enabling it to blend into the bush veld environment. The accommodation is made up of thatched buildings, with rock faced walls, and surrounding paving.

Staying in any of the camps of the KNP is a top experience where you can be guaranteed to see the Big 5. It is one of the more affordable safari vacations that you can book in South Africa.

The camp offers a variety of accommodation to choose from and it also has a designated day visitor area.

 

Why would you want to visit Mopani?

Spending a few days in Mopani camp provides a true African experience like few other and is definitely something to add to your safari vacation, especially since the camp blends so beautifully in with the bushveld environment.

As a day visitor you can also enjoy the scenic beauty Mopani has to offer at the designated day visitor area where visitors from other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic. There are also picnic facilities with tended skottels at Mooiplaas which is a picnic area only 7 km away from the camp.

Unfortunately, the dense mopani veld around the camp does not host much wildlife and is known as a poor game area. For the best viewing guest can simply sit at the lookout point in camp, or at the balcony of the ladies’ bar, and experience a constant flow of animals that come to quench their thirst at the dam. Mammals such as hippo, waterbuck, impala, warthog, elephant, buffalo and even lion have been at the water’s edge. The abundant water bird viewing at the dam makes up for the scarcity of other wildlife.

The Tropic of Capricorn loop and the Nshawu pans are two areas where game can be spotted as it has open plains with species such as blue wildebeest, zebra, buffalo as well as the rarer tsessebe. Black-backed jackal and caracal are some of the smaller more unusual species to look out for in this area.

Mopani is situated at the conversion zone between granite or gneiss soils to the west and basalt soils to the east. The granite soils are host to mixed bush willow, silver cluster-leaf and tree and shrub Mopane. The eastern area is filled with apple-leaf trees and shrub Mopani. Large knob-thorn, Tamboti and Leadwood trees are found along the drainage lines.

Mopani has an intriguing historical and archaeological interest as it was in this area where the first site was found with of traces early human occupation between 1200 and 1600 AD.

Going out on an open vehicle safari is the preferred way to see animals but the best way to spot animals in Mopani is simply from the lookout points overlooking the dam.

The camp offers great bird watching opportunities as it provides a walking route on the inside perimeters of the camp. You will get a general offering of fauna and flora and being close to animals that you might catch a glimpse of on the other side of the electrified fence.

Where is Mopani located?

Mopani is located in the north-western part of the KNP, about 74 km from the Phalaborwa entrance gate. The GPS coordinates for the camp is S 23 31′ 39″ E 31 23′ 59″.


How to get to Mopani

Travelling time from Johannesburg to the closest entrance gate at Phalaborwa by car is at least a six to seven hours drive.

Take the N1 toll-road to Polokwane and about 4 km before Polokwane turn right onto the R71 and head for Tzaneen. Driving through Tzaneen you head towards Phalaborwa and ultimately the entrance gate. Allow at least 3 hours for the drive to the camp but give yourself much more time to enjoy maximum game viewing.

Gateway Airport in Phalaborwa is the closest airport to Mopani. The airport is located about 3 km from Phalaborwa gate. There are daily scheduled flights between Gateway and from Johannesburg‘s OR Tambo International Airport.

A map of KNP can be bought at the entrance gates or any of the camps in the park.

Be aware of the gate times for entering and departing from the park. It is as follows:

Entrance gates:

  • January, February, November and December – gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:30
  • March and October – gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:00.
  • April, August, and September – gates open at 06:00 and close at 18:00.
  • May, June, and July – gates open at 06:00 and close at 17:30.

Mopani’s gates open and close at the same times as the entrance gates, except for January, November and December when the camp gates open as early as 04:30.

What to do while staying at Mopani

There are many activities on offer at the camp that will ensure an exciting bush experience. All bookings, and further details for these activities are available from reception.

Game viewing can be enjoyed from the lookout points in the camp or on the terrace of the safari room. The safari room also features a ladies’ bar, television and fireplace. There is a board walk down to the Pioneer Dam as well as a walking trail inside the camp. The camp has a swimming pool, for the use of residents.

Visitors also have the opportunity to take guided tours and day trips to the Shilowa heritage sites, right on the Tropic of Capricorn. Archaeologists were guided to the site by the change in the grass species, which was an indication of an alteration in the chemical composition of the soil caused by the 2 metre deep ash deposits in the area. A second site dates back to the late 1700s when the Pedi inhabited the area.

As the 19th century wore on, African tribes expanded their trade in copper, iron, ivory and gold, exchanging goods with the Voortrekkers, traders, hunters and fortune seekers that began to move into the area.

The following is on offer:

  • Sunset Drive-Boma Braai Combo
  • Guided Bush Walks
  • In camp walking trail
  • Game Drives with trained field guides in the morning, afternoon, or night
  • Bush Breakfast and Bush Braai (Barbecue)
  • Shipandani sleep-over Bird Hide located 3 km outside the camp
  • Tropic of Capricorn found about 12 km north of the camp
  • Pioneer Dam Bird Hide 4 km outside the camp
  • Wildlife films shown daily at reception during office hours

Mopani Camp is 47 km from the Letaba rest camp and 65 km from Shingwedzi rest camp. Various open vehicle safari operators are available to book a trip with. They offer affordable yet exclusive safari trips for singles, couples, families with children or small private groups.

When to visit Mopani

The best time of the year to make your trip to Mopani in the KNP is either early spring or late autumn. Kruger is a summer rainfall area and such precipitation is usually convectional and can result in heavy downpours.

The hot summer months from October to April can make any safari tour unpleasant. Fortunately, Mopani comes with swimming pool where overnight visitors can cool down in.

The winters are warm and mild during the day and can sometimes be quite cold at night. If you are planning a trip to KNP in the winter that include a night-drive be sure to pack warm clothing that include a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves.

Even animals sometimes shy away from the heat. During the summer months they tend to look for shade during the hottest time of the day and is not always easy to spot, especially since the bush is very dense.

During the winter months, wildlife tend to stay in the vicinity of water sources and can often be seen at the watering holes, rivers and dams. The bush is also less dense, and animals are spotted more easily than during the summer months.

What to watch out for when staying at Mopani

Staying at Mopani is an exciting experience and guests will experience the flora and fauna that this area offers.

Being close to the Pioneer Dam means you should probably see animals of all kinds. Some to definitely look out for is hippopotamus, waterbuck, tsessebe, various water birds like the African Fish Eagle.

What type of accommodation does Mopani offer and what amenities/facilities are available at the camp?

Mopani provides a variety of accommodation types for singles, couples, and families with children.

Accommodation availability changes from day to day and all inquiries about general availability are subject to change without notice. Last minute reservations in less than 31 days prior to arrival date, are payable within 24 hours after receiving a confirmed provisional reservation via e-mail.

Your accommodation is only guaranteed once you receive a provisional reservation confirmation and to secure your reservation full pre-payment is required a.s.a.p.

The following accommodation types is available:

Bungalows

The camp boasts 43 units which can accommodate 4 people on 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds in an alcove. The units are fully equipped with one bathroom, a kitchenette with the basic cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery, a veranda and outside braai. Two of the units are wheelchair friendly

 

Cottages

The camp has 12 cottages equipped to house 4 people. It has one bedroom with 2 single beds and 2 sleeper couches in the lounge area. The cottages are fully equipped with two bathrooms of which one is en-suite, a kitchenette, veranda and outside braai.

 

Guest Cottages

The 45 guest cottages house 6 people in 3 bedrooms with 2 single beds in each room. It is fully equipped with two bathrooms, of which one is en-suite, a kitchen, lounge and dining area, large veranda and outside braai.

 

Guest House

Xanatseni Guest House is a large luxury unit with a view of the dam. It sleeps 8 people in 4 bedrooms of which one room has a double bed. It has multiple bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining area, veranda and braai facilities. The sleeping cottages are loose standing form the lounge and dining area. One of the bedrooms is wheelchair accessible. It has limited DSTV television.

All accommodation comes with linen, towels, and braai facilities.

Facilities

The following facilities are available at Mopani:

  • Information at Reception
  • Public Telephone
  • Post Box
  • Restaurant
  • Conference Facilities
  • Ladies Bar
  • Cafeteria
  • Swimming Pool
  • Shop
  • Mini ATM facility in the restaurant
  • Laundromat
  • Filling Station
  • Basic First Aid Assistance
  • Day Visitors Picnic Area in camp
  • TV in the Bar
  • Car wash
  • Cellphone reception

What do you need to know and bring for a safe and comfortable stay at the Mopani?

Plan properly for your stay at Mopani to make it a relaxed trip and stay. Bookings need to be done well in advance from your planned date of arrival. KNP is a popular game reserve and accommodation is not readily available, especially in the holiday season and during the winter months.

Mopani does not offer any bed and breakfast facilities and guests must bring their own food and drinks. Meals can be bought at the restaurant and the shop provides most items that will be needed on a daily basis.

Most parts of the KNP is situated well within a malaria area. This is much more than just an unpleasant illness but can be fatal if left untreated. Since it is being spread by mosquitoes, the best way to avoid getting sick is to prevent the mosquitos to bite you.

You can avoid mosquito bites if you take the necessary steps, such as wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evening, using a reputable kind of insect repellent.

The best way to totally avoid a malaria scare is to get the necessary preventative medication prescribed by your doctor before journeying into the African bush.

Although it is basically impossible for larger, more dangerous animals to enter the camp, it is best to always be alert. Nocturnal animals like the civet, porcupines, and others are frequent visitors.

Ensure your stay is happy and safe by taking note of a few simple warnings. You will be sharing your stay with many unusual and dangerous creatures, such as bats, spiders, snakes, scorpions, to mention but a few, and without knowledge some of them could be dangerous.

If you must walk around at night, please do not do so without a torch. Although there is streetlights, it is not very bright and only along the footpaths.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to feed the animals. By feeding any wildlife, you are signing their death warrant as they become lazy and do not seek for food themselves which can cause them to starve. Some also become aggressive.

FAQs

Where is Mopani located?

Mopani rest camp is located about 75 km from the Phalaborwa entrance gate in the north-western part of the KNP.


What to expect and look out for when staying at the Mopani camp?

There is various organised activities like morning, sunset or night game drives and guided walks offered from Mopani camp as well as bush breakfasts and braais.

There are walks down to the dam as well as in the perimeter of the camp where you can spot birds and wildlife.

The safari room features a ladies’ bar, television and fireplace and from the veranda you have a clear view of the dam where you may see animals of all kinds, from hippo, waterbuck, impala, warthog, elephant, buffalo to antelope and smaller mammals. The area does not boast an abundance of wildlife.


What facilities are provided at Mopani and what do you need to bring along?

All accommodation are equipped with linen and towels. Cooking utensils or crockery are provided. All you need to bring is your own food, insect repellent, camera, binoculars, and torch.

The camp has a shop on the premises that provide basic everyday items and food. If you prefer you can buy your meals at the restaurant. There is cell phone signal at the camp, a petrol station, swimming pool, ATM, and laundry facilities.


When is the best time to visit Mopani?

The best times of the year to stay at Mopani is during early spring or late autumn, when temperatures are mostly pleasant, and water is scarce in the veld, so more animals may come for a drink in the dam.


What makes Mopani Rest Camp Unique?

Mopani Rest Camp also boasts a unique sleep over hide from their accommodation in Kruger National Park. … The hide has 6 fold-down beds, an eco-toilet and a small boma with barbeque facilities to enhance Kruger Park nightlife. On payment of deposit, bedding and a picnic basket with cutlery and crockery will be provided.


Does Mopani rest camp have a ladies bar?

Yes, the camp offers a ladies bar that looks over the pioneer dam. 
 

Does Mopani Rest Camp have a swimming pool?

Yes, the camp has a swimming pool built into the rock foundations. 
 

Does the Mopani Rest Camp have a restaurant?

Yes, the camp has a fully stocked restaurant and a shop, the restaurant is built on a wooden deck that offers a view point onto the Pioneer dam. 
 

Best picnic sights around Mopani Rest Camp?

Mooiplaas picnic site is located just ten minutes south of Mopani Rest Camp and due to its close proximity to this rest camp it is often overlook. Like most picnic sites gas frying pans are for rent, but at Mooiplaas there is also the option of buying wood and making a fire to have a barbecue out in the field.
 

Is there camping allowed at the Mopani Rest Camp? 

No, the mopani rest camp only offers en-suite family units and guest house accommodation. 
 
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