Mopani Camp

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At Mopani itself you’ll find only self-catering bungalows. These feel more like houses than chalets as they have a more elongated shape and they’re generally bigger than the round chalets of the other Kruger camps. Made out stone and covered with thatch, the bungalows sleep either four or six people and all of them have kitchens.

Boulders Bushveld Camp is one of the satellite camps. It lies about 17km to the south of Mopani and is ideal for large groups. The camp must be booked out as a whole and sleeps 12 people. There’s a large lapa, kitchen and braai area where the group can make, and enjoy, meals together.

Mopani’s other satellite camp is Tsendze Rustic Campsite and it’s exactly what the name suggests. Made up of 34 campsites, these camping grounds have no electricity and only some of the spots have shades. The campsite lays 7km from Mopani.

Due to all the natural vegetation found inside Mopani Rest Camp, you won’t notice the difference between perimeter bungalows and those more to the center of the camp as much as you would at the other rest camps. That is because there’s a large patch of undisturbed bush right in the middle of the rest camp so most of the bungalows have dense bush to look out on. Bungalows 86-102 are the closest to the swimming pool.

If you’re camping, you have to request your campsite when booking, otherwise you get allocated a spot and it might not be to your liking. Your options include campsites with a shade and campsites on the perimeter. There is no river or dam to look out to, so perimeter spots merely implies that you’ll have the bush as a front garden instead of your neighbour’s washing. All the members of the Big 5 are present in the area surrounding Mopani, but, as you’d expect from the northern regions, you’ll find much fewer of these animals around here than you would further south. That shouldn’t discourage you though, as there are regular sightings of lion and leopard on the surrounding roads. You just have to look for them. Buffalo and elephant are often seen and you’ll spot large herds of wildebeest and zebra around the waterholes in the area.

Bird lovers can make a morning out of bird hide hopping. Along the S142 you’ll find for the Pioneer Bird Hide and the Shipandane Bird Hide, only 2km apart and each overlooking a different stretch of water. The Shipandane Hide is truly special in that it has foldout beds, a bathroom and braai area, so you can arrange to spend one of your nights here, truly immersing yourself in the bush.

The camp itself has a short walking trail that runs along the fence, which, in turn, runs along the Pioneer Dam – wonderful for a relaxed afternoon amble.

In the middle of the patch of vegetation found in the center of the camp, there’s a giant baobab tree. Walk along one of the narrow paths and sit on a bench under the tree of life or read about all the animals that make a baobab their home on the sign.