At the heart of the Kruger to Canyons Route Hoedspruit is a small bush-town halfway between the Orpen and Phalaborwa gates to the Kruger Park. This is where the Kruger to Canyons world comes togetherwith an endless stretch of Bushveld, plains of marula, acacia, combretum and mopane woodlandsand views on one side and sweeping vistas over the escarpment on the other.
Interestingly the town used to be relatively untouched by tourism until recently it became a tourism hive with a tourism centre, Kamogelo, providing visitors with a wide range of services. Some of the well-known private game reserves located here include Kapama, Timbavati and Thornybush. Roads winding around the canyon and Klaserie areas have restaurants around every corner, and interesting places to visit, with plenty of facilities for special events. The town has not lost its special character, however, and the African sunsets behind the Blyde River Canyon re-emphasise the magnificence of its natural setting.
Reasons to visit
The town is a platform from which to explore the Blyde River Canyon, and also offers a wildlife experience with the opportunity to see the Big Five and learn about these animals through various conservation and research projects. Hoedspruit provides a variety of activities for all interests. Visitors can explore the Blyde River Canyon, and enjoy a range of adventure activities from hot-air ballooning to white water rafting, and boat rides on the Blydepoort Dam, from which there are also amazing views of the canyon from the bottom.
Travellers can enjoy a visit to the Khamai Reptile Park, or see the mulberry silk worms which are farmed at the Bombyx Mori Silk Farm. More adventurous visitors can take a boat trip on the Blyde Dam or go river rafting, quad biking or rock climbing in the Breede River Canyon. Animal lovers will enjoy the Hoedspruit Cheetah Project, which boasts over 80 cheetah or visit the Moholoholo Animal Rehab Centre for abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife, which is also a highly regarded contributor to wildlife education in the country.
The Mariepskop complex is a mountain enclave with a unique floral diversity. It is at 1 945m above sea level and views from the top include the Indian Ocean and even Maputo on a clear day. It is the highest peak in the northern Drakensberg Escarpment, and has military radar equipment on top of it, which has led to its conservation because development has been restricted.