Hoedspruit & Around
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 24 21.180 E 030 57.079 | pop. 10,000 | elevation 544 m/1,785 ft

Hoedspruit means “hat creek” in Afrikaans and is said to have received its name when an early pioneer arrived in the area after descending the mountains into the lowveld. He threw his hat into the Sandspruit River and declared his intention to settle here. Today, Hoedspruit gets a fair number of game-chasing visitors who come to explore Kruger National Park or one of the many nearby private game reserves.

Jessica the Hippo

Jessica the Hippo was found after she washed down the river shortly after birth and was bottle-fed as she grew up on the Blyde River. Today she is a large hippo that still returns for feeding and human interaction. Take the signed turn (at S 24 22.900 E 030 52.592) onto a gravel road off of the R527 and continue down the gravel road 8 km.

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center offers two-hour walking tours to see recovered and recovering wildlife, including a number of birds, a small hippo and leopard.

Kamogelo Tourism Centre

One of the main commercial areas is the Kamogelo Tourism Centre with a restaurant, shops, and Internet café.

Wildlife Estates Shopping Center

Wildlife Estates Shopping Center has a Pick 'n Pay, a number of shops and a post office.

Hoedspruit Crossings Shopping Center

There is a smaller Hoedspruit Crossings Shopping Center located across the R40 from Wildlife Estates Shopping Center, which has a few restaurants and an Internet café.

Blyde Canyon Backpackers

Blyde Canyon Backpackers has five self-catering chalets, each with three beds, surrounding a fire pit and braai area in the middle of the bush against a backdrop of the Drakensburg Mountains. The dorms are in shared chalets, but the friendly owner will usually give you a chalet to yourself if the site is not fully booked. There is a central building with a kitchen, bathrooms and showers. The backpackers is part of Mariepskop View Chalets and is on R531 between R527 and R40.

Loerie Guest House

Loerie Guest House is a long-standing guesthouse in Hoedspruit with 14 self-catering en suite rooms, all with TV and AC and a mini kitchenette. Home-cooked breakfast (R60) and dinner (R100) is also available. To get to the guesthouse from R527, turn on Ferret St next to the Kamogelo Tourism Centre. Continue left on Ferret St to a T-junction where you turn right onto Jakkal St.

Otters Den

Otters Den is an upscale getaway in the middle of the forest. You'll walk through the rainforest and cross a narrow rope bridge over the Blyde River to reach the lodge entrance. The six en suite stone, timber and thatch chalets are perched on a wooden deck overlooking the river. The main lodge has a lounge area with a viewing deck, braai area and swimming pool. The lodge can arrange a hot air balloon trip for R2,600/person.

Sleepers Railway Station Restaurant & Pub

Sleepers Railway Station Restaurant & Pub has indoor and outdoor seating both in front and in back by the railroad tracks. The large menu and wine list offers common meals such as burgers and pizza, as well as rare fare such as ostrich kebab and grilled lamb livers.

Safari Club

Safari Club is a large open-air restaurant and bar with outdoor seating and a camp-style fire outside every night. It is a popular more upmarket venue serving fish, steaks, burgers and a selection of desserts, and is always packed for rugby games. It is on R527 next to the Raptor's View Wildlife Estate.

Ngena Deli

Ngena Deli is a good spot for breakfast or lunch with omelets, pancakes, fresh salads, sandwiches, steaks and pasta.

Safari Club

Safari Club is a smart place with an active bar scene most nights.