Skip to Content

Mopani Rest Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46412
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

Mopani Rest Camp

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:57 am

I have stayed at all the bigger camps in Kruger but never at Mopani. Mainly because it does not have camp sites. I have never even been there to look around. Is this a popular camp? I see special rates offered on accommodation there now and again. Is this a must see camp? What are the roads around it like for scenic beauty and game viewing?

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:52 am

Image
Image
Image
Image
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
richardharris
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire UK

Unread postby richardharris » Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:37 pm

I don't know why Mopani seems to be unpopular still. Stayed there several times and always enjoyed the camp and seen plenty. The best night drive I have ever been on!

Always plenty to see on the S50 and S143, whilst a round trip to Makhadzi has never let me down.

Excellent restaurant, great 'verandah' for open air breakfasts, and numerous birds to be seen in the camp. And there is always something to be seen over the Pioneer Dam.


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Full size photos at
http://www.pbase.com/richardharris/mopani

User avatar
richardharris
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 543
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire UK

Unread postby richardharris » Sun Sep 18, 2005 5:40 pm

Image

Image

Image

Taken in or from Mopani Camp

User avatar
Jakkalsbessie
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: At work longing for the outdoors!

Pioneer hide

Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:01 pm

Image
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Please help save Mapungubwe NP - Facebook page

User avatar
Jen
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:37 am
Location: Gauteng

Unread postby Jen » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:27 pm

The viewing deck / restaurant area was being renovated (Oct 2005) - don't know how long it will take. I took this picture of a large spotted genet whilst having lunch on the deck... so next time you are there look up!
Image

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:26 am

Just for those who don't know. A large spotted genet has a black tip on the end of the tail, whereas a small spotted genet has a white tip.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
LittleLeopard
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:58 pm
Location: NOT in KRUGER!!!

Unread postby LittleLeopard » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:41 am

My opinion differs slightly from those expressed above.
I have not stayed at Mopani very often, but have thoroughly enjoyed the times I have spent there.
What makes Mopani so different from most of the other main camps, is how 'wild' it was kept during the construction of the camp, as you can see on the picture of the bungalow.
The areas around the bungalows were not cleared of vegetation during construction like at most others.

I definitely think Mopani is worth a visit.
The areas around the camp have always been very fruitful with regards to animal sightings and the view from the outlook point close to the restaurant is wonderful.
Give it a try, I'm sure you'll love it! :thumbs_up:
KRAZY about KRUGER!!!

Bothali
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 2:37 pm

Unread postby Bothali » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:52 pm

I do not know why people don't appreciate Mopani as much as the rest of the camps because I experienced some of the most amazing sightings in the park close to Mopani.
I make it a habit to spend at least 4 nights there once a year and cannot resist two nights during other trips. For me this camp is a must.

It is true that you see a lot of elephants, but how many people can say they saw one of the big tuskers (Mabarule) on more than one occasion 3 years in a row in almost the same spot.

How many people have seen cheetah.
Yet, two separate sightings were recorded by us in the same year.

We have seen mating lions, huge herds of buffalo, sparring elephants, leopard, Tsessebe (every time be drive past Nshawu water holes and dams), Lichtenstein's Hartebeest, African wildcat, Serval, Genet, reedbuck, all the usual suspects in terms of plains animals, crocodile, hippo (including babies playing on the shore of the dam), rhino, hyena (many) with a den close to the camp and babies lying in the road, klipspringer, warthog - (this is truly big 5 country!).

Birdlife (all the common birds, including marsh owls, various teals, secretary birds, korhaan (2 types), kori bustard, various bea-eaters (including the swallow-tailed), some of the less common rollers, a huge array of predatory birds), ostriches and we always see many ground hornbills and saddlebilled stork).

Walks close to Mopani provide magnificent experiences and is one of the few places I experienced huge baboon spiders.

The picnic area close to Mopani (Mooiplaas), is one of the best picnic areas for game viewing found in the park as it overlooks a river where crocodiles, hippos, elephant, waterbuck, lots of birds and a resident leopard are routinely spotted.

Close to Mopani 2 beautiful birdhides are located, one of which you can sleep in.

It is also worth noting that because of the central location of Mopani, Shingwedzi and Pafuri can be visited in a day, as well as the Letaba and Olifants areas, which makes this and excellent base from which to see a huge portion of KNP.
I hope nobody else discovers it so that I can always have accommodation there at short notice.

People should take the time to drive off the main road onto the loops, especially the Nshawu loops.

User avatar
nunu
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: One foot in the car, the other still in the office!

Mopani is wonderful

Unread postby nunu » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:57 pm

Mopani in July is spot on.
I have stayed there often in winter and always had a really good trip.
You are well placed between Mopani and Shingwedzi for longer day drives too.
Big game is the name in the Mopani veld.
Large herds of buffalo and elephants.
Mopani has some really large resident lion prides, most often seen on the Nshawu dams on the old main road up to Shingwedzi.
Bowkers kop waterhole is home to a dog pack and Leopards are seen frequently.
The north is a birders paradise and home to the rarer antelope like Tsessebe, Nyala and eland.
The restaurant at Mopani is actually very good as this is considered to be an upmarket camp.
The bungalows are not the old fashioned Kruger rondavels but have a kitchen inside with a lounge.
The bigger ones have three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Best of all the main bedroom has a *wait for it* double bed :D

The camp has been built to blend in with the natural surrounds and as a result there is a lot of natural bush inside the camp and a hiking trail.
This means that there is a fair amount of wildlife inside the camp, which is mainly nocturnal in nature.
We have seen genets, civets, spring hares and a python in Mopani plus the usual suspects like bats.
Try to get two bungalows alongside if you cant fit into one.
As far as old folks go, Mopani is very good because there aren't masses of steps etc, the restaurant area is wheelchair friendly too.
The shop is also nice with a good range of curios and groceries.
Mooiplaas just down the drag and is I think, one of the park's best picnic spots but be aware of elephants if they are close, sometimes they move right in and then you can be stuck.
The Giriyondo picnic spot is also absolutely fantastic - you can relax there, its surrounded by an electric fence!

The Phalaborwa gate is between 40 and 50 km down the drag, an easy two hour drive on a good tar road that follows the river for most of the way.
Check out the hide at the sable dam.
Mopani has two hides.
I call this area big sky country, it has a beauty and splendour all of it own, appreciate it for what it is and remember to look thru the Mopani bush not at it. 8)

User avatar
KNP Spokesman
Guru
Guru
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:18 am
Location: Skukuza

Mopani Magic

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:38 am

Hi Forumites

Thank you for your valuable feedback about Mopani. Strangely enough, my wife and I have often said that Mopani is one of the undiscovered secrets of the Kruger National Park and, I am sure, there are many others who think the same way.

We recently put out this notice at the camp reception and I am sure you'll be interested in this development.

Image

The 20+ year old White rhino bull "Ore" was recently translocated to the Mooiplaas section of the Kruger National Park to boost the species' population in this area, which is comparatively smaller than the one in the southern regions of the park. He was a Rhino bull that was housed at the Skukuza bomas and assisted us with research for some time.

If you see this majestic rhino bull, which can be recognised by his missing right ear and a v-shaped notch in the left ear, please write a note about your observation, including time and location, in the sightings book at the reception of the restcamp.

Your comments will help us to continue research on this specific Rhino!

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman
Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!

User avatar
nunu
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: One foot in the car, the other still in the office!

Unread postby nunu » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:07 pm

Thanks Guru

Thats cool - we are staying at Boulders in december so we'll keep our eyes peeled!!! The other unusual thing I often see around Mopani is Roan Antelope.

Come to think of it my parents have seen Rhino on the Shongololo! Is Ore collared - how will we ID him? (P.S. Is it ore as in afrikaans for "ears" or ore as in iron Ore?)

Cheers

User avatar
KNP Spokesman
Guru
Guru
Posts: 476
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:18 am
Location: Skukuza

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:15 am

Hi Everyone
Sorry, the post of the photograph came a bit late.
But this rhino is probably the most identifiable rhino in the KNP at the moment.
With its one ear and strangely shaped horn (it is like that from endless scraping against the cable fence at the boma) I believe that no one should have any problems identifying him.

Incidentally, I have just asked about how he lost one ear and was told we actually got him like that.
He originally comes from KZN and we think he lost his ear when he was very young, probably a scrap with a hyena.

It is indeed Ore as in the Afrikaans for "Ears".
Our Veterinary Wildlife Services (VWS) Department people have interesting ways of naming the animals that fall under their control.

I think it was last year sometime, a black rhino calf was found orphaned and injured by (stand to be corrected) a snare so the two KNP rangers Steven Whitfield (Tshokwane Section) and Richard Sowry (Kingfisherspruit Section) asked VWS to catch the calf and see what they could do to help him.

While in the boma, this little guy (I think it was a bull) was named "Stich" - after "Steven" and "Richard".
I seem to remember he was a very enthusiastic little chap and even bit one of the vet's fingers off.

By the way, he fully recovered after his ordeal and was returned to the veld, his right and proper place.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman
Kruger National Park

110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!

User avatar
nightjar
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:44 pm
Location: Deep midwinter

Mopani Sightings

Unread postby nightjar » Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:57 pm

I have found the Mopani area quite good for game viewing.
Plenty of buffalo on the Shongololo Loop and at Mooiplaas, lots of elephant on the Tropic of Capricorn loop roads.
Also seen eland at the Uitspan waterhole and caracal on the night drive.
Never seen the large cats in this area though.

Birdlife is also plentiful with numerous waterbirds at Nshawu dam and good open country for sighting raptors.

User avatar
jakoventer
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Location: Vaal

Unread postby jakoventer » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:53 am

My father works for the company that helped develop and build Mopanie.

So we decided to go there for a 3 night stay, and had bungalows 100 and 101 overlooking the dam.

Need I say I am going there again in Dec.

Wonderful camp.
Kruger rocks !!!


Return to “KNP Camps & Roads”