Situated on the Blyde River, you’ll find yourself surrounded by nature’s true beauty. Incredible forests and unbelievable mountains set up the perfect scene for a fun day of swimming down the rapids, swinging on the rope swing and for the more adventurous, jumping off a 10m rock into the river.
One day is not enough to experience the true beauty of this place and therefore we will spend the night camping under the stars and sitting around a fire while listening to the river flowing nearby.
On the eastern side of the Drakensberg Escarpment, facing away from the Blyde River Canyon, is the Mariepskop complex, a mountain enclave and centre of unsurpassed beauty.
You can get to the top where, at 1,945m above sea level, you can see the Indian Ocean and Maputo on a clear day. Mariepskop is the highest peak in the northern Drakensberg Escarpment. The view is fantastic.
Mariepskop Mountain is unique in its floral diversity. The foothills are in the Savannah. It is the source of the Klaserie River. On the slopes and in the kloofs and crags, montane forest species can be found. The semi-detached grassland hilltops are poorly studied, but are represented by grassland species and highly protected cycads species. The top of the mountain is a combination of tropical mist forest and capensis ‘fynbos’ species.
Mariepskop contains well over 2,000 plant species, greater than the whole of Kruger Park and far exceeding Table Mountain’s plant diversity. There are over 1,400 floral species.
Jessica the Hippo
Weighing in at over 1000kg, Jessica the hippopotamus considers herself a human, with dogs as her best friends. A movie star with her own fan club and web page and she loves Rooibos tea.
The hippo was a mere 16kg when she was found a few hours old on the banks of the Blyde River, near Hoedspruit, with her umbilical cord still attached. Frail and weak, she could not stand up. Now at over 10 years old she has become one of the country’s most renowned tame animals, however she is completely wild and free to come and go as she pleases. You’ll get the opportunity to stroke and feed Jessica, as well as put her to sleep with a nice back massage.
The world famous Baobab tree, known as the Glencoe Baobab, which is said to be over 2000 years old and is South Africa’s second biggest tree. It grew so large that it completely crashed under its own weight but is still an unbelievable sight.
Here we will enjoy some delicious pancakes while enjoying the views of the Drakensberg mountain range.
Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre
Moholoholo is a home for many of South Africa’s abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife, and is a highly regarded contributor to wildlife education in the area.
Situated at the foot of “Mariepskop”, their unique Rehabilitation Centre is home to many mammals and birds. This includes Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, Wild dog, Honey Badger, Serval and many birds of prey.
Daily tours allow visitors to have hands-on encounters with various wildlife, as well as learning so much more about the animals which you’ll have an opportunity to touch and see.
Visit some majestic natural sights and remarkable scenery of the Blyde River Canyon. Stops include the Berlin Waterfall, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels and finally Pilgrims Rest, an old gold mining town frozen in time (now a national monument)
This is one of the most scenic routes in the region, so take in the sights, air and African sun on this full day Lowveld adventure.
Kinyonga Reptile Park Tour
A tour of the reptile park is designed to allow for an unforgettable hand on experience with a number of reptiles at the park.
You will be allowed to feed, touch and photograph some of the more interesting reptiles, and your guide will take reptiles out of the enclosures for you to genuinely interact with the animals in a safe, humane manner.
During your visit you will learn more about the safe handling and first aid to use when dealing with reptiles, and what to do/not to do in the event of an emergency.
The Induna Zip line, just outside Hazyview, is a 450m long zip slide that takes you up to a speed of +-100km/h. The height difference is 77m, over and through a beautiful forest canopy. You will be harnessed in so you don’t have to hold on by yourself.
It is an action packed, fun filled exhilarating experience not to be missed.
Protrack Anti-Poaching Day
Protrack Anti-Poaching Unit was established in 1992 and was the first private anti-poaching unit in South Africa. Protrack was started with a dream, passion and a shoes string budget. Times were tough, money was scarce but there was no shortage of young men with the same passion to stop the slaughter of our wildlife. They have grown into a massive organisation at the forefront of the poaching war.
You will be giving the opportunity to feel first-hand, what it is like to be in these incredible men’s shoes. You will be given a tour of their training facility, master the art of marching and have a go at trying to beat their obstacle course.
Whether ball sports are your thing or not, don’t worry, the purpose of this volleyball tournament is having fun and socialising.
The tournament is held in the arenas of African Dream and gives volunteers an opportunity to meet other people from the area, as well as volunteers from other programmes but more importantly to have fun.
Waterfall Hike, Climb and Swim
A 20-minute drive from Hoedspruit takes you to the base of the rugged Drakensburg Mountain range, where you will begin a short but beautiful hike through indigenous forests before reaching the first of three waterfalls.
Here one can simply relax in beautiful surroundings, jump off the rocks and swim in the pool below the falls.
For those who are up to it, as it is a little more challenging, have an opportunity to continue climbing up stream, where they will come across two more spectacular waterfalls.
24 Degrees South
A unique traveller’s destination, 24 Degrees South is a farm situated near the base of the Drakensburg mountain range, with spectacular views and beautiful bush. Here you’ll find a haven of shops, a restaurant, a spa, a bike and car collection and a few other interesting attractions.
Whether you are wanting to be pampered with a massage, enjoy a delicious lunch, buy a gift for a friend back home or just to enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of the bush and mountain views, then 24 Degrees South is a destination not to be missed.
Kruger National Park
Lying in the heart of the Lowveld is a wildlife sanctuary like no other, its atmosphere so unique that it allows those who enter its vastness to immerse themselves in the endless wilderness that is the true quality of Africa.
The Kruger National Park is a remarkable reserve offering an incredible experience of Africa at its wildest. It is home to more species of mammals than any other African Game Reserve including the Big 5 (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino).
The Kruger Park is a self-drive destination, with an excellent infrastructure that includes picnic sites, rest camps, waterholes and hides.
Due to the vastness of the Kruger and the variety of its vegetation and landscapes, we feel that a five-day camping trip from North to South is the best way maximise your experience of this incredible place.