Travel Specialist’s Guide To Activities In The Greater Kruger Area, And Hoedspruit
What is not known by many travellers and especially our valued international tourists are that when visiting the Kruger National Park, the adjacent private game reserves and nearby Hoedspruit, there are a number of really great activities to partake in, apart from the obvious ones, when in this area.
Here’s a list compiled by our travel specialists of all the activities on offer when visiting the Kruger National Park, Hoedspruit and surrounds, some of which you may not have thought of to include in your tailor made package to this much sought after area.
In The Kruger National Park And Private Game Reserves
Remember that even when you are in the Kruger National Park and its surrounding private game reserves, apart from doing wonderful sunrise and sunset game drives, you can also enjoy guided walks with your ranger and experience the sights and smells of the bush on foot.
Guided walks can even extend to longer hikes if under supervision and this will include visits to unique picnic spots and other places to learn more about the history of the park and gather more information on the wildlife itself.
Some of the private lodges offer exclusive photographic safaris to those who are visiting Kruger only for that one perfect shot. Some lodges also offer you access to specially redesigned game-drive vehicles which are built to specifically accommodate photographers and those long lenses!
Hot-Air Balloon Safaris
Get a bird’s eye view of the ‘Big 5’ with a hot air balloon ride too. These usually depart before sunrise to capture this magnificent moment while in the air. You will be amazed by the endless Kruger wilderness that stretches to the horizon from above…
In Hoedspruit and Surrounds
The Nyani Cultural Village
A visit to the Kruger National Park area is incomplete without a visit to Nyani Village & the Cultural Experience “Roots of Rhythm” Tribal show.
The history and culture of the African tribes comes to life at Nyani Cultural Village.
The cultural journey starts in the Shangaan village where guests experience an original show “Limpopo Pathways” featuring the costumes, songs and dances of the San (Bushmen), the Shona & Venda, the Tsonga, the Balobedu (Modjadji the Rain Queen), the Pedi and the BaHananawa (Tswana). We also include the Swati and Zuludances as these tribes played an influential part in the history of the Limpopo.
Following the show (approximately 60 minutes), you will be introduced to all aspects of a typical Shangaan village. Here you learn about the architecture, the agriculture, family duties and the customs of the Shangaan people.
A traditional African lunch can also be served.
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) is a unique African wildlife facility focusing on conservation and the sustainability of rare, vulnerable and threatened species of wildlife in Africa.
Daily tours are available to visit this centre, which has adopted a holistic approach to its conservation activities, such as educating the surrounding communities, tourism, breeding, rehabilitation and anti-poaching. It is a fascinating insight into the issues facing our precious wildlife.
HESC houses a number of animal species including cheetah, African wild dog, lion, African wild cat, Ground hornbill, Sable antelope, to name just a few. Visitors can view the resident animals in close proximity, in a habitat simulating what they would experience in the wild. Guests are also afforded the opportunity of watching rare African vultures feeding at the Vulture Restaurant.
Blyde Dam Boat Cruise
The Blyde River and the Blyde River Canyon are well known destinations to the locals and a cruise on the Blyde dam is a great way to experience them. From the vantage point on the water, you can learn about and view the third largest Canyon in the world and a tour guide will take you to the rare living Kadishi Tufa Waterfall and the Three Rondawels, the best place from which to oversee the Canyon. An abundance of wildlife is to be seen too, whilst learning more about the canyon’s natural history.
The Kinyonga Reptile Centre
This very interesting centre of conservation and education, just 14 km away from Hoedspruit, focusses on rescued and adopted reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and some other species.
Interactive tours allow visitors to feel the cool scales of a python or a boa, feed flowers to plated lizards, or meal worms to a vale chameleon. The brave can even experience the velvety thrill of handling a golden brown baboon spider (a gorgeous yet vulnerable spider only found in the Hoedspruit area).
Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre
This excellent initiative, also in the Kruger and Hoedspruit area, provides a home for abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife and is a respected contributor to wildlife conservation.
The main focus at Moholoholo is to create awareness in order to preserve the animals that you may see like Lion, Leopard, Serval, Cheetah, Hyena, Honey badger, Eagles, Vultures and various baby animals which are not suitable to be released back into the wild and remain as ‘permanent residents’ at the centre.
It is a heart wrenching, but really worthwhile visit!
We hope that this guide has given you an idea of what to add to your itinerary when visiting this much sought after area. One of the great advantages of engaging the services of flexible, personalised tour operators like Jewel of Africa Safaris, is that they will, whenever you desire, take you off the standard, packaged ‘beaten track’ to design a tailor made tour, in which you can include all these interesting activities and destinations. Contact us to learn more and come and experience Africa in all its glory, in the best way possible!