shingwedzi rest camp

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Shingwedzi Rest Camp

Shingwedzi Rest Camp is one of the main rest camps of Kruger National Park (KNP) which is located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo province of South Africa.  The camp is situated in the northern part of the park in the heart of mopane country in a broad bend of the Shingwedzi River.

Shingwedzi Rest Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper Camp Site (CK6P)

*Excludes camping equipment

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R565 for 2 persons
 R715 for 3 persons
 R865 for 4 persons
 R1015 for 5 persons
 R1165 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, Communal Ablutions, Powerpoint

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

Shingwedzi Rest Camp - Self Catering
3 Sleeper Hut (EH3)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R1050 for 2 persons
 R1200 for 3 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, 3 single beds, Communal ablutions, Communal Kitchen, Fan Fridge

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

Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Bungalow (BG2)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R1775 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 2 single beds, Airconditioned, Fridge, Communal Kitchen

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

Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Bungalow (BD2)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024R2100 for 2 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include: En-suite, 2 single beds, Airconditioned, Fridge, Hotplate, Utensils 

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

Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Bungalow (BD3)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024R2100 for 2 persons
 R2550 for 3 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 3 single beds, Airconditioned, Fridge, Hotplate, Utensils 

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

Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Cottage (FF4)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R2995 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds or 1 king size bed ,1 bedroom with double bed, Air-conditioned, Kitchen, Microwave

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

Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Rentmeester Guest House (GRM)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R9550 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include:  Self catering, restaurant and shop onsite, En-suite, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds or 1 king size bed ,1 bedroom with double bed, Airconditoned, Kitchen, Microwave

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


It is not clear where the camp got its name and is commonly accepted that the origin comes from the Tsonga tribe who use to live in the area and named the rivers. Shingwedzi together with the other camps in the northern part of KNP is associated with elephant which remains one of the most commonly seen animals in this region. Huge breeding herds are often spotted close to the camp.

It is also common knowledge that many of the big tuskers, known as the Magnificent Seven roamed the plains around Shingwedzi in the 1970s and 80s. One named Shingwedzi, died close to the camp in 1981. His tusks that weight 47 and 58 kg respectively can be seen in the Elephant Museum at Letaba.

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 where day visitors and visitors from other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic.


Why would you want to visit Shingwedzi?

Spending a few days in the Shingwedzi camp provides a true African experience like few other and is definitely something to add to your safari vacation.

Shingwedzi rest camp in KNP is known as elephant and buffalo country and large herds are found in this area. If you take the 21 km sycamore-lined route that passes the old Kanniedood Dam you will spot elephant, bushbuck, crocodile, hippopotamus, and even leopard. The area around the Shingwedzi River is strewn with mopane trees and many animals are reliant on this tree for their survival.

This area is real bushveld and many grazers are found close to the camp that include wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, impala and warthog. Where you find grazers, you will find predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena.

Going out on an open vehicle safari is the preferred way to see animals but those who prefer could simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in front of the restaurant that looks out over the Shingwedzi River and watch animals come and go.

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 Shingwedzi located?

Shingwedzi is situated in the northern part of the KNP. The closest entrance gate is at Punda Maria, 71 km away. The GPS coordinates for the camp is S 23 6′ 58″ E 31 25′ 57″.

How to get to Shingwedzi

Travelling time from Johannesburg to the closest entrance gate at Punda Maria by car is at least five to six hours.

Take the N1 to Polokwane and head on to Louis Trichardt where you link up with the R524 which you follow for about 140 km to reach the Punda Maria entrance gate. Shingwedzi rest camp is 71 km away from the gate and you should reach the camp within about 3 hours.

The closest airport is unfortunately at the Phalaborwa Kruger Park Gateway Airport, which is about 140 km away if you travel through the park. It is 4 kilometres outside the Phalaborwa entrance gate to KNP. The airport serves domestic flights from Johannesburg and is equipped with car hire facilities.

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.

Shingwedzi’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 Shingwedzi?

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.

At Shingwedzi you can really get in touch with nature by tracking wildlife and birds on foot with a game walk. You could also book a game safari in search of leopard or lion at sunrise, sunset or on a night drive.

Activities on offer at Shingwedzi are:

  • Guided Bush Walks
  • Game Drives with trained field guides
  • Kanniedood Bird Hide about 7 km east of the camp
  • Ntishivana Bird Hide about 30 km east of the camp
  • Northern Plains 4 x 4 Adventure Trail weather permitting
  • Wildlife films on the big screen from Monday to Saturday

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 groups.


What to watch out for when staying at Shingwedzi

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

Game can be scant in the stretches of Mopani Shrubveld in the region, but the sandy plains in the immediate surrounding area of the Shingwedzi River tend to be very productive. Look out for impala, kudu, duiker, bushbuck, nyala, Sharpe’s grysbok, buffalo and waterbuck.

The more scenic game drives is along the Shingwedzi River in a south-easterly direction towards the Kanniedood Dam. You should spot waterbuck, nyala, kudu and elephant as well as numerous bird species.

There are open plains north of Babalala Picnic Site where cheetah are regularly recorded. This is also a good area to search for the rare larger antelope species like roan, sable, tsessebe, eland and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest.

Predators include lion, leopard and spotted hyena and there are a couple of packs of wild dog that roam these northern reaches of the park. Being close to water means you should probably see animals of all kinds.

Shingwedzi has abundant bird-life and, aside from the usual birds seen in the park you would also see Bennett’s woodpecker, Natal robin, European hobby, grey penduline tit, black and steelblue widowfinch and listen for the scops owl and giant eagle owl at night. If you are very lucky you might just spot a bathawk catching bats at dusk.

Near the Kanniedood Dam look out for openbilled, yellowbilled, saddlebilled and woolynecked storks. The bird hide is a good spot to see black crake and African jacana. The whitewinged tern has also been recorded at the dam.

The camp is surrounded in riverine vegetation with large trees along the river edge. Alluvial planes are adjacent to the river which has less dense vegetation and sparser grass. You will find the Transvaal mustard trees, weeping boer-bean, sausage tree, Natal mahogany, and brack thorn. Moving away from the river the vegetation changes to Mopane shrub and apple-leaf.

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

Shingwedzi 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:


Camping is the most affordable and the most rustic style of accommodation that Kruger offers. Shingwedzi has 50 tent or caravan sites for a maximum of 6 people. It comes with power point and rotating braai grids. Guests use the communal ablutions and cooking facilities which has 24-hour boiling water, electric hotplates and washing up facilities.



The camp offers 12 huts that sleep 3 people. Guest use the communal ablution and cooking facilities. There are no cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery, but a scullery and electric hotplate stoves is available at the communal kitchen. A small fridge can be found on the veranda.



Fourteen air-conditioned units sleep 2 people with a bathroom that is equipped with either a shower or bath, toilet and basin. Guest use the communal kitchen. Fully equipped utensil boxes can be hired at reception upon check-in.

The next 22 air-conditioned bungalows sleep 2 people with an en-suite bathroom and an open air kitchen with cooker top, combined fridge/freezer. They are fully equipped with cutlery, crockery and utensils.

There are 28 air-conditioned units that sleep 3 people in one room with single beds. These units have a bathroom with toilet, a shower and wash basin as well as a fully equipped kitchen like the units mentioned above.

In addition, the camp has 2 double bed air-conditioned units on offer. These have en-suite bathrooms with a shower, toilet and wash basin. Both have an open-air kitchen with cooker top, microwave, combined fridge/freezer and are fully equipped with cutlery, crockery and utensils.



Shingwedzi has only 1 air-conditioned cottage on offer that sleep 4 people in 1 room with double bed and 1 with 2 single beds. It has two bathrooms and an open air kitchen with cooker plate, microwave oven, fridge/freezer combination, sink, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. There is a dining room/lounge and outside braai facility.


Guest House

The Rentmeester Guest House is a large luxury unit in prime position with a riverside view. It sleeps 8 people in 3 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms with double bed, 1 bedroom with 2 single beds and a double sleeper couch in the lounge. It has 3 bathrooms and a well–equipped kitchen that include a with microwave oven. It has a lounge/dining area as well as outside braai facilities. Limited channel DSTV television is provided.



The following facilities are available:

  • Information at Reception
  • Public Telephone
  • Post Box
  • Restaurant
  • Cafeteria
  • Shop
  • Mini ATM facility available in the restaurant
  • Laundromat
  • Filling Station
  • Communal Kitchens
  • Communal Ablutions
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cutlery and Plates Hampers (from Reception)
  • Basic First Aid Assistance
  • Day Visitors Picnic Area
  • DSTV only available in Guest House
  • Cell phone reception

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

Plan properly for your stay at Shingwedzi 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.

Shingwedzi 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.

When to visit Shingwedzi

The best time of the year to make your trip to Shingwedzi 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, Shingwedzi does come 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.


Where is Shingwedzi located?

The Shingwedzi camp is located about 71 km from the Punda Maria entrance gate in the northern part of the KNP.

What to expect and look out for when staying at the Shingwedzi.

There is various organised activities like morning, sunset or night game drives and guided walks offered from Shingwedzi.

Wildlife films are shown from Mondays to Saturdays and you can walk the perimeter trail of the camp spotting birds and wildlife.

From the area in front of the restaurant you can look out over the river and may see animals of all kinds, from elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and leopard, wild dog and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals of all kinds.

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

All accommodation are equipped with linen and towels, with the exception of guests using the camping facilities. Campers need to bring everything with them that they need for their trip.

Cooking utensils or crockery are provided in some units. 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 and laundry facilities.

When is the best time to visit Shingwedzi?

The best times of the year to stay at Shingwedzi 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.

Best game drivers around the Shingwedzi Rest Camp?

Kanniedood (Afrikaans for “cannot die”) Dam lies south-east of Shingwedzi Camp on the S50 and is one of the best drives of northern Kruger, as it follows the Shingwedzi River. The road has 10 loops off it, each of which should be driven along slowly, as there are remarkable bird and animal sightings to be had.

Does Shingwedzi have a swimming pool?

Yes, the camp has a swimming pool to cool off in the heat of the summer days.

Does Shingwedzi Rest Camp have a restaurant?

Yes, the camp has a fully stocked restaurant and a small shop, it is recommended to rather do a “braai” for your evening meals.

Is there WIFI Connection at Shingwedzi Rest Camp?

No WIFI access in the camp, but there is mobile reception. 

Does Shingwedzi Rest Camp look onto a river?

The Shingwedzi River flows only in the summer months, but winter is one of the best times to view wildlife when animals fight over the small diminishing pools which remain behind as the river recedes. 

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