Shipandani Sleepover Hide
The Shipandani Sleepover Hide is a unique accommodation facility in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa where guests can experience being part of nature in a very special way.
Situated a few kilometres south of the Mopani Rest Camp on the banks of the Tsendze River, a stay at the hide is surely something to have on a bucket list.
During the day Shipandani Hide acts as a bird hide where many KNP visitors stop to stretch legs and spend a while, but at night it transforms into a primitive but private overnight dwelling, where a select number of guests that had pre-booked it, can experience the nightlife of the game reserve first hand.
Shipandane Sleepover Hide has no office or reception area of its own but is managed form Mopani camp hence booked guests are required to report to that camp for check-in and to receive the keys, necessary bedding, braai equipment and lamps.
The accommodation as provided at Shipandane Hide is best suited for the more adventurous guests that are looking for a primitive, self-catering and close to nature bushveld experience but is willing to forfeit certain convenient amenities while on vacation.
Shipandani Sleepover Hide (SHB)
|Date Range||Rate||Extra Adult||Extra Child||Unit Sleeps|
|01 Nov 2020 — 31 Oct 2021||R 985 for 2 persons||R 370||R 185||6 people|
Rates quoted per night. 6 Single Beds, Boma and BBQ area, No shop or restaurant, No electricity, No cooking equipment, SANPARKS Community Levy
Why would you want to visit the Shipandani Hide
Shipandani Sleepover Hide is a very unique venue from which sleepover guests will be able to see and experience a special kinds of bird and animal life. Staying here will be unlike any other park experience and every regular visitor to the park should do it at least once.
During the day it is the perfect hide to sit quietly for a while and gaze out at some wildlife that may be passing through the area and stop for a drink in the river, but at night it can be transformed into a rustic but comfortable overnight hide.
The hide is situated deep in the heart of wildest Kruger and especially guests in search of some solitude will find it right here.
The hide overlooks a narrow, gullied section of the perennial Tsendze River, home to some green-backed herons, Burchell’s coucal, Diederick cuckoos and African openbills, all of which are regular visitors to the area. As it is also home to some elephants and hippos, and other game.
As this is just a sleepover hide, there are none of the facilities found at other camps here. Instead, overnight guests will have to stock on up any necessities at Mopani Rest Camp when they collect the keys to the hide.
Guests that want to participate in other activities such as guided game drives and game walks while in the area, still have the opportunity, but should arrange it at the Mopani booking office to commence from there.
The introduction of sleepover hides into Kruger brought a completely different kind and top of the range wild experience from any other kind of accommodation in the traditional camps. They are designed for only a one nights’ stay and although guests may arrive any time, they can take occupation early in the evening – by the time any day visitors had to leave for camps – and have to evacuate and leave early the next morning again.
For the night however they can enjoy a secluded experience in the middle of the bush. A sleepover hide like Shipandani is generally furnished to sleep only a few people in a quite rustic atmosphere, being comfortable and spacious enough not to be cramped, but without any luxuries.
Guests staying in Shipandani Sleepover Hide can look forward to experiencing the ultimate of nocturnal life in the park. Due to the hide being an unobtrusive structure to which the animals have become acquainted, they tend to come quite close to it when roaming in the area, giving guests some exquisite wildlife viewing opportunities.
You surely can’t say that you have experienced the African bush as presented in the Kruger National Park unless you’ve spent a night in one of the park’s overnight hides, of which Shipandani is one of the best.
The layout of sleeping facilities in the hide is such that it allows you to lie in bed and look out at the bush over the nearby river, a view that you will hardly find anywhere else.
With many possibilities of sightings that you would never experience during the day, a night in a hide, especially if it is just you and a partner, or a few good friends, can be either very romantic or a soul touching experience.
With no other soul nearby, the wild nature of an African night will be more pronounced and every sound, even the roaring of lions, would be more amplified.
You will also find different flora and fauna around this sleepover than from most camps in the game reserve as the hide are situated deeper in the park in a more pristine environment. This of course increase your chances to see the Big 5 and many more animals.
Staying guests will here be able to appreciate a whole range of huge trees of all kinds. Being situated right on the banks of the Tsendze River, the surrounding trees also have become the home of an abundance of birds from different species.
Guests can of course also expect to see animals of all kinds and sizes coming to have a drink of water close to the hide. Buffalo and elephant are known to frequent this area for drinking water and are among the most commonly spotted animals.
Where is the Shipandani Hide located
The Shipandani Sleepover Hide is located more or less three kilometres south of the Mopani Rest Camp in the Mooiplaas Ranger Section area in the Kruger National Park. It is situated off the Shongololo Loop on the banks of the Tsendze River in Limpopo.
The GPS co-ordinates for the Shipandani Hide is 23°31’48.2″S; 31°24’34.9″E.
How to get to the Shipandani Hide
The Shipandani Sleepover Hide is about 550 kilometres from Johannesburg and is best reachable through the Phalaborwa Gate to the KNP.
One can drive to the gate via the N1 toll-road to Polokwane (previously known as Pietersburg) and turn right onto the R71 about 40 km before Polokwane to head for Tzaneen. After you have passed Tzaneen, you head towards Phalaborwa and the gate on the outskirts of the town.
It is wise to allow between 6 to 7 hours for the trip to the gate. Shipandani Sleepover Hide is a further approximately 70 km from the gate inside the park, and one should allow about two and a half hours for the drive to the hide. Keeping in mind that you may want to enjoy some game viewing on your way, it may be wise to give yourself even more time.
Also keep in mind that you have to check in at Mopani Rest Camp first, and with it being a popular camp, you may have to queue for your turn.
Guests that have booked a stay at the Shipandani Hide will need to arrive at the hide at least half an hour before normal gate closing times. They will again be able to leave the hide half an hour after the gates open the following day.
From January to March the camp gates open at 04:30 and close at 18:30, from April to September the camp gates open at 06:00 and close at 18:00 and in October the camp gates open at 05:30 and close at 18:00. During November and December the camp gates open at 04:30 and close at 18:30.
What to do while staying at the Shipandani Hide
There is no activities offered from the Shipandane Sleepover Hide itself, but visitors can pre-arrange some guided game walks or game drives with the office at Mopani Rest Camp, subject to availability.
These activities can enhance an even more exciting bush experience and all bookings, as well as further details about the different activities available, can be obtained from the reception desk at Mopani.
What to watch out for when staying at the Shipandani Hide
Once you have arrived and are inside the hide, you will be safe in a wooden structure that is almost entirely enclosed, but for a gap for viewing and seats running along the opening.
From here you will be able to watch the outside scene and any possible animal activity. There even are handy identification posters on the walls so that you may be able to identify the various birds that are found in the area.
Thea area around the Shipandani Hide is known for exquisite fauna and flora, especially for its very large herds of buffalo and many large elephant bulls. The area had been home to many of the well-known large tuskers like ‘Nshawu’, ‘Shilowa’ and ‘Mabarule’, and even now some current tuskers are still often seen near Mopani Rest Camp.
Being surrounded by huge trees the hide offers great birding opportunities and visitors should also look out for the saddle-billed stork, hippo, klipspringer, giraffe and the lilac breasted roller.
What type of accommodation does the Shipandani Hide offer and what amenities/facilities are available at the hide
Shipandani Sleepover Hide offers a unique and private overnight experience in a rustic atmoshere.
It provides guests the opportunity to enjoy complete privacy as the hide can only be reserved in entirety by a minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 guests at a time.
Since it serves as a public bird hide during the day, the available sleeping units are contained in wooden structures that are locked to the inside wall of the hide when not in use.
At night these structures can be folded down by guests to construct light bed base. The mattresses are kept in a cupboard at the hide and bedding and a cutlery box with necessities is available at the Mopani reception after a deposit is paid.
A bedding bundle consists of a mattress protector, pillow, duvet, duvet cover, sheet and pillowcase.
The cutlery box contain eating utensils such as cutlery and crockery. Further the hide is fully self-catering, and guests have to bring their own food, wood and water.
An environmental toilet is available in a separate area on the hide perimeter for the use of overnight guests.
A separate outside living area comprises a boma with a braai (barbeque) facility. There is no electricity at the hide but two rechargeable lamps, which can operate for up to 5 hours, may be provided with the bedding on request. It is recommended to bring your own lighting too.
Guest may not leave the enclosure at night and since only the very perimeter of the facility is fenced, they are advised to be cautious at all times and preferably not leave the safety of the hide after dark.
What do you need to know and bring for a safe and comfortable stay at the Shipandani Hide
There is no reception office, shop or restaurant at the hide and the nearest camp is Mopani Rest Camp which is approximately 3km away.
There is no electricity or water for either drinking or bathing available at the hide.
Only two rechargeable lamps that can operate for about five hours can be supplied with the bedding and cutlery on request.
You need to remember that approaching any wild animal, leaving your vehicle or leaving the safety of the hide, can be dangerous. The animals are there to be admired from a safe distance and the hide give you the best possible opportunity to do just that, while staying safely enclosed.
Visitors also need to be aware that insects and reptiles may have a tendency of getting into the hide and especially the outside toilet. Although most of them are shy creatures and they would hide away, it doesn’t mean that they are not there. It is advised to always wear shoes when walking around in the hide and outside living area and carry a torch wherever you go at night.
Regardless of the time of year you visit the hide, you should remember that you are now in a malaria area and the chance of infection, especially in the summer months, may be a real concern. Malaria is transmitted by certain mosquitoes therefore infection can be avoided by taking some necessary precautions against mosquito bites.
These precautions include sleeping under a net, wearing long sleeves and trousers after dusk and applying reliable insect repellent.
The time of year that you visit the hide is another factor that will influence your preparations for an enjoyable stay. Summers are usually very hot and humid, which can make your time in the hide a little uncomfortable.
Since no cooking utensils or any other cooking equipment is provided, you may prefer to bring some of your own. Eating utensils such as cutlery and crockery are provided but you should also consider bringing your own lighting in the form of torches, headlights, and solar powered lights if possible.
There is no electricity supply at the hide, so make sure that cell phone batteries and other similar devices that you plan to use, are fully charged when you arrive. Note that cell phone reception may also not be available.
Guests need to provide all their own food, wood and water, since no water (for either drinking or bathing) is available at hide. There is also no shop, restaurant ATM facility or fuel available.
When to visit the Shipandani Hide
The best time of the year to make your trip to the hide may either be early spring or late autumn, since summers in the Kruger can get very hot and humid and often end with a thunderstorm in the late afternoon.
Such hot summer weather can make any safari experience unpleasant, even more in a hide where there is no electricity – and therefore any electric fans or air-conditioning.
Even animals sometimes shy away from the heat. Winters are usually mild, but the days can get very cold and the nights even colder – especially when sleeping in the hide with no windowpanes and curtains to keep the cold out.
A good time to sleep over in the Shipandani Sleepover Hide is at the beginning or end of the region’s dry season, which falls between April and September. During this time temperatures are mostly pleasant, and water is scarce in the veld due to the lack of rain, so you will have a better chance of spotting animals coming for a drink in the Tsendze River.
1. Where is the Shipandani Hide located?
The Shipandani Sleepover Hide is located more or less three kilometres south of the Mopani Rest Camp in the Mooiplaas Ranger Section area in the Kruger National Park.
2. What to expect and look out for when staying at the Shipandani Hide
Thea area around the Shipandani Hide is known for large herds of buffalo and many large elephant bulls. Being surrounded by huge trees the hide offers great birding opportunities and visitors should also look out for the saddle-billed stork, hippo, klipspringer, giraffe and the lilac breasted roller.
3. What facilities are provided at the Shipandani Hide and what do you need to bring along?
Six sleeping units and mattresses are provided, and bedding and a cutlery box is available at the Mopani reception.
Bedding consists of a mattress protector, pillow, duvet, duvet cover, sheet and pillowcase. The cutlery box contain cutlery and crockery. Guests have to bring their own food, wood and water.
An environmental toilet is available.
There is no electricity at the hide, but two rechargeable lamps may be provided on request. It is recommended to bring your own lighting too.
4. Can you directly book accommodation at the Shipandani online?
Reservations for this accommodation can only be done via telephone, fax, e-mail or in person and not on the SANParks website.
5. When is the best time to visit the Shipandani Hide?
The Winter Months of May to August is the best time to visit Shipandani Sleepover Hide.