sirheni bushveld camp

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Sirheni Bushveld Camp

The Sirheni Bushveld Camp is one of the bush-veld camps of Kruger National Park (KNP) which is located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo province of South Africa.  The camp is situated in the far northern part of the park and the closest gate is at Punda Maria.

Sirheni Bushveld Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Cottage (CO4)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R3995 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night.

Include: Self catering, En-Suite,1 bedroom with 2 single beds, 2 bench beds in lounge, Fan, Gas stove (no oven), Kitchen

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals, No restaurant or shop onsite

Sirheni Bushveld Camp - Self Catering
4 Sleeper - Cottage (CO4D)

Date Range Rate 
17 Mar 2021-
31 Oct 2023
R3995 for 4 persons

Rates quoted per night.

Include: Self catering,  En-Suite,1 bedroom with Double bed, 2 bench beds in lounge, Fan, Gas stove (no oven), Kitchen

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals, No restaurant or shop onsite

Sirheni Bushveld Camp - Self Catering
6 Sleeper - Guest Cottage (GC6)

Date Range Rate 
2023 – 2024 R5595 for 6 persons

Rates quoted per night. 

Include: Self catering, En-suite, 2 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds 2 bench beds in lounge, Fan, Kitchen 

Exclude: Daily Conservation fees, all safari drives, all meals, No restaurant or shop onsite

Overview

Sirheni lies within the Mopane veld of the northern region right next to the Mphongolo River and together with the Sirheni Dam attract many animals, birds and other wildlife. There are two bird hides in the camp overlooking the dam. There is an elephant graveyard near the camp where the camp gets its name from. Sirheni is a Tsonga word that means cemetery. It is also in memory of an elephant that died in the area in 1959 due to anthrax poisoning and was buried here. Sirheni forms part of a new concept in bush lodging accommodation in the Kruger National Park where smaller, more luxurious camps are built in the more remote areas of the park. Each of these camps is situated within easy reach of a larger rest camps so that guests can make use of the larger camps amenities if needed. 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 more luxury kind of accommodation to choose from and is not accessible for day visitors. Booking accommodation can be done online via the SANParks website, telephone, fax, e-mail or in person at a KNP bookings office. 

 

Why would you want to visit Sirheni?

Spending a few days in the Sirheni camp provides a true African experience like few others and is definitely something to add to your safari vacation. It does not really matter where you stay in KNP it will be a most pleasant experience, regardless of the accommodation type you choose. Some guests prefer rustic accommodation, but not everyone is rigged with camping gear and it is also not everyone’s cup of tea. Bush-veld camps offer guests an alternative as these kind of camps have the real African safari feel, but with the luxury of private kitchens and bathrooms. The camps only sleep a limited amount of people and are off limits to day visitors. KNP has 5 bush-veld camps in areas that are quite secluded. The camps do have a mini shop but does not sell any perishable good which means you have to bring everything you need with you. The biggest advantage of in staying in one of these camps is that you can enjoy the quiet of nature without many people around you. Sirheni bush veld camp is the most northern camp of this kind and guests are often awakened in the early hours of the morning to the sounds of lions and hyenas eating at a kill near the Mphongolo River or the Sirheni Dam, both of which are in viewing distance of the camp. A big attraction of Sirheni is that you can sit inside the camp and have an amazing view of the wildlife on the other side which allows you to really get close to the animals. The camp is completely private and as no day visitors are allowed in the camp or on the access road it is always quiet. This makes it the ultimate destination for anyone looking for a relaxing break. Going out on an open vehicle safari is the preferred way to see animals but the best way to spot animals in Sirheni is right from your veranda. Beside the bird hides there is also 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 Sirheni located?

Sirheni is situated in the most northern part of the KNP, about 54 km from the Punda Maria entrance gate. The GPS coordinates for the camp is S 23 56′ 58″ E 31 13′ 51″.  

How to get to Sirheni 

Travelling time from Johannesburg to the closest entrance gate at Punda Maria by car is at least five to six hours. From the central area of Gauteng take the N1 to Polokwane. At Louis Trichardt take the R524 and follow it for about 140 km to the Punda Maria gate. Sirheni bush-veld camp is approximately 54 km from the gate and you should allow about 2 hours for the drive to the camp. The closest airport is at the Phalaborwa Kruger Park Gateway Airport, which is about 150 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.

Sirheni’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 Sirheni.

There are 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. The Sirheni Dam attracts a host of wildlife species and is excellent for a game or bird watching safari. Activities offered at the camp include a morning and afternoon bush walk and exclusive dawn, mid-morning, sunset and night game drives. The guided bush walks take place in the company of trained field guides with backup rifles. Groups of up to 8 people are taken out into the bush for a few hours. To track rhino, elephant and lion on foot, learning and observing fascinating facts about the African bush is one of the most satisfying bush experiences you can ask for. The night drives enable you to take part in the activities of Kruger’s secretive nocturnal creatures, in the company of experienced guides and trackers. The camp in two bird hides positioned about 100 metres apart which is connected by a trail that follows the length of the perimeter fence. Like the verandas of most of the cottages in the camp, they are raised higher, giving views over the water and surroundings. You might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of camp’s resident leopard which is often seen coming down to drink at the dam. Day trips can also be organised to Pafuri riverine forest and the Thulamela Iron Age site. 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.    

  • What to watch out for when staying at Sirheni

Staying at Sirheni is an exciting experience and guests will experience the flora and fauna that this area offers. The area is famous for the occurrence of antelope species that are rare in the KNP, such as roan, sable, tsessebe, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, eland, Sharpe’s grysbok and reedbuck. This is also elephant and buffalo country and both are often spotted grazing on the camp’s fence-line at night, alongside hippopotamus. Lion, leopard and spotted hyena have been seen, while in the grasslands between Babalala and the northern link to the Mphongolo Loop, cheetah, wild dog, African wild cat and several others may be seen. The camp is also a birders paradise and thrushes, robin-chats, parrots, orioles and weavers are particularly noticeable. At the dam you will spot pygmy goose, painted snipe, rufous bellied heron, dwarf bittern and whiskered terns. Be on the lookout for the Arnot’s chat along the Mphongolo spruit. About 4 km away at the weir across the Shisha River guests usually spot hamerkop, giant and pied kingfisher and some herons and storks. Sirheni Camp is set in mopane woodland and as you move east towards the main tar road, the vegetation becomes mopane shrubland and grassland which is good for attracting all grazing species. Being close to a dam means you should probably see animals of all kinds, from elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and big cats, wild dog and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals of all kinds.  

 

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

Sirheni provides accommodation types for singles, couples, and families with children. The camp caters to a variety of guest requirements and is well suited for those who are looking for a self-catering bush-veld experience. 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 are available:

Cottages

The camp offers 5 units that can accommodate 4 people with a bathroom equipped with shower, WC and basin. Two bench beds can be found in the lounge. It has a fully equipped kitchen and an outside roofed veranda.

 

Guest Cottages

Nine of the cottages sleep 6 people in two bedrooms. One bedroom has a double bed and en-suite bathroom, and the other bedroom has 2 single beds. In the lounge there is sleeper couches for 2 more people. The additional bathroom has a shower. Units have a fully equipped kitchen and ceiling fans. In addition, the camp has a one unit that sleeps 6 people in two bedrooms with sleeper couches in the lounge. The unit has the added bonus of limited channel DSTV. It also has a fully equipped kitchen and ceiling fans. At Sirheni the following facilities are available:

  • Information at reception.
  • Public telephone.
  • Mini shop at reception stocks basic items such as firewood, ice and Telkom phone cards. There are no perishable foodstuffs such as meat available
  • No ATM facility available
  • Communal freezer facility
  • No electricity (plug points) available for appliances in units.
  • Each accommodation unit has its own braai facilities
  • No cell phone reception
  • A boma is available at the perimeter of the fence overlooking the river

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

Plan properly for your stay at Sirheni 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. Sirheni does not offer any bed and breakfast facilities and guests must bring their own food and drinks. Meals and groceries can be bought at the restaurant and the shop at Punda Maria or Shingwedzi. 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 Sirheni

The best time of the year to make your trip to Sirheni 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. Unfortunately, Sirheni does not come with swimming pool. 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.  

FAQs

 

 

Where is Sirheni located?

The Sirheni camp is located about 54 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 Sirheni camp?

There are some organised activities like morning, sunset or night game drives and guided walks offered from Sirheni for spotting wildlife. From the two bird hides and the verandas of the units, guest can look out over the dam to see animals of all kinds, from elephant, buffalo, hippo, crocodile and leopard, wild dog and hyena, to antelope and smaller mammals.  

 

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

All accommodation is equipped with linen, towels, and braai facilities. Cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery is also provided. All you need to bring is your own food, insect repellent, camera, binoculars, and torch. The camp has a mini shop on the premises that provide basic everyday items but no perishable food. If you prefer you can buy meals or groceries at the Punda Maria or Shingwedzi’s restaurant and shop. There is no cell phone signal at the camp, a petrol station, swimming pool, laundry facilities or an ATM at the camp.  

 

When is the best time to visit Sirheni?

The best times of the year to stay at Sirheni 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.   

 

Is there a swimming pool in the Sirheni Bushveld Camp?

No, there is no swimming pool in the Camp. 

 

Is there a restaurant in the Sirheni Bushveld Camp?

No, there is no restaurant in the Sirheni Camp. 

 

Is there a shop in the Sirheni Bushveld Camp?

No, there is no shop in the camp.

 

What to do around the Sirheni Bushveld Camp?

The hide on the perimeter fence, overlooking the Sirheni Dam, is a good place for doing some bird watching. The hide is also the best place for sightseeing and observing game coming down to the water for a drink.

 

What is the closest gate to the Sirheni Bushveld Camp?

The Phalaborwa gate is the closest entrance gate to the camp. 

 

Is there WiFi Connection at the Sirheni Camp?

No, there is no WiFi Connection at the camp.

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