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On the banks of the Pioneer Dam in the Kruger National Park, lies it’s best kept secret.

Named after the mopane veld that surrounds the camp, Mopani Rest Camp nestles amongst the Mopani tree covered koppies. A signature feature is the huge gnarled old baobab tree in the heart of the camp. The vegetation inside the camp is left as found in the wild, adding to the unique atmosphere of the camp.

5 Things to Seek

  1. Hippopotamus
  2. Waterbuck
  3. Tsessebe
  4. African Fish Eagle
  5. Mopani Trees

Contact Mopani

  • Tel: +27 (0)13 735 6535/6
    Fax: +27 (0)13 735 6547
    Mobile: 082 802 1113

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  • 43 x 4-bed units (2 single beds and 2 bunk beds in alcove), fully equipped with one bathroom, veranda with kitchenette and outside braai (barbecue).
  • 2 x 4-bed units, accessible to wheelchairs, (2 single beds and 2 bunk beds in alcove), fully equipped with one bathroom, veranda with kitchenette and outside braai (barbecue).


  • 12 x 4 bed units (1 room with 2 single beds and 2 sleeper couches in the lounge), fully equipped with two bathrooms (one en-suite), veranda with kitchenette and outside braai.

Guest Cottages

  • 45 x 6 bed units (3 bedrooms with 2 single beds in each), fully equipped with two bathrooms (one en-suite) kitchen, lounge/dining area, large veranda and outside braai.

Guest House

  • This is a large luxury unit in prime position with a view of the dam. It is well-equipped with kitchen (with microwave oven), multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Limited channel DSTV television is provided. Sleeping cottages are loose standing from the lounge/dining area. There are also braai (barbecue) facilities.
  • Xanatseni: Sleeps 8, with 4 bedrooms, (1 room with a double bed, with 2 single beds each in the other rooms). One of the bedrooms is accessible to people in wheelchairs.

To view the accommodation prices, refer to tariffs

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Activities & Facilities


  • **New Activity on offer** - Sunset Drive-Boma Braai Combo
    • Bookings: Via Mopani Rest Camp Reception on tel: (013) 735 6535/6 - payments can also be processed at the camp.
  • Guided Bush Walks
  • Game Drives (in the company of trained field guides)
  • Bush Breakfast and Bush Braai (Barbecue). Includes game drive to venue. Confirm availability when booking.
  • In camp trail walk
  • Shipandani sleep-over Bird Hide (located 3km outside the camp)
  • Tropic of Capricorn: (located 12km north of the camp)
  • Pioneer Dam Bird Hide (located 4km outside the camp)
  • Wildlife films (shown daily at reception during office hours)

Tariffs for Activities

These activities will ensure an exciting bush experience. All bookings, as well as further details for these activities are available from reception.


  • Information at Reception
  • Public Telephone (Phone cards on sale at Reception, Airtime available in the Shop)
  • Post Box
  • Restaurant
  • Conference Facilities
  • Ladies Bar
  • Cafeteria
  • Swimming Pool
  • Shop
  • Mini ATM facility available in the restaurant
  • Laundromat
  • Filling Station
  • Basic First Aid Assistance
  • Day Visitors Picnic Area in camp
  • DSTV (limited channels) only available in Guest House
  • TV in the Bar (DSTV with limited channels)
  • Car wash
  • Cellphone reception

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How to get there

Travel routes and times from central Gauteng

By Air

The closest airport to Mopani is Gateway Airport situated in Phalaborwa. Gateway is situated approximately 3km from Phalaborwa Gate. There are daily scheduled flights between Gateway and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

By Road: Phalaborwa Gate

Take the N1 toll-road to Polokwane (Pietersburg). 4km before Polokwane turn right onto the R71 and head for Tzaneen. After Tzaneen, head towards Phalaborwa and the gate. Allow between 6 to 7 hours for the trip to the gate. Mopani camp is approximately 74km away from the gate. Allow about 3 hours for the drive to the camp, however if you want to enjoy the game viewing possibilities give yourself more time!

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Camp Layout


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Vital Information


Please ensure that your stay is happy and safe by taking note of a few simple warnings. You will be sharing your stay with many exciting and unusual creatures but without knowledge some of them could be dangerous:

  • Bats, Spiders, Snakes, Scorpions, Malaria Zone

If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A TORCH.

Remember: by feeding any wildlife, you are signing their death warrant as they become aggressive!


Kruger is in a summer rainfall area. Such precipitation is usually convectional and can result in heavy downpours. The summer months (October to April) are hot and often balmy. Winters are warm and mild, although visitors going on night-drives will require warm clothing.

Day visitors

Mopani has a designated day visitor area where day visitors and visitors from other camps can braai (barbecue) and picnic. This area is past the filling station to the right as one enters the camp gate. There are also picnic facilities with tended skottels at Mooiplaas (7 km by road south of the camp).

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Flora and Fauna


The dense mopane veld around Mopani camp has an unfair reputation for being a poor game area.

In truth there is actually very little that cannot be seen in this habitat. In fact a person can simply sit at the lookout point in camp, or at the nearby balcony of the ladies bar, and be treated to a constant stream of animals such as hippo, waterbuck, impala, warthog, elephant, buffalo and, for the lucky ones, even lion.

The Tropic of Capricorn loop and the Nshawu pans are an excellent area to see game as there are some open plains that host species such as blue wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra, Buffalo and the rarer tsessebe. Black-backed jackal and caracal are some of the smaller more unusual species to look out for.


Mopani is situated at the transition zone between granite /gneiss soils to the west and basalt soils to the east. The former hosts a combination of mixed bush willow, silver cluster-leaf and tree and shrub mopane, while the latter combines apple-leaf with shrub mopane. Large knob-thorn, tamboti and leadwood are found along the drainage lines.

(For more birding information and park bird checklist, go to Information for Birders)

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Birding in Mopani

The camp overlooks the Pioneer Dam where a plethora of water birds are to be seen. Storks, egrets, kingfishers and African Fish Eagles are ever present while Collared (Red-winged) Pratincole, African Spoonbill, Black-winged Stilt and White-winged Tern are some of the more uncommon species to watch for. Mosque and Wire-tailed Swallow breed in camp (the former should be looked for at the camp's huge Baobab Tree). Mocking Cliff-Chats should be looked for from the ladies bar.

Also worth visiting are the Shipandani and Pioneer Dam Hides, that allow visitors to get very close to the water’s edge and a perspective from the other side of the dam.

At the nearby Nshawu Pans look for Kittlitz's Plover, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark (Finchlark) and Collared (Red-winged) Pratincole.

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People with disabilities

Please see additional information on Wheelchair Accessibility

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