Close to the ground.

GPS: S 23 56.682 E 031 08.334 | pop. 110,000 | elevation 432 m/1,417 ft

Phalaborwa is a few short kilometers from the Kruger Park Phalaborwa gate and much of the lodging and tourism industry in the city exists because of it. If you are in the Phalaborwa area you are a few minutes drive from what is arguably two of South Africa’s “biggest” and “best”: The Phalaborwa Open Pit Mine is South Africa’s biggest open pit mine and the Buffalo’s Pub & Restaurant’s Bacon & Cheese Burger is South Africa’s best bacon cheese burger. You’ll be happy you spent the time to take in both.

Kruger Park - Phalaborwa Gate

Kruger Park - Phalaborwa Gate offers a host of activities within the Kruger, including morning walks (R445), sunset walks (R410), day hikes (depart 5:30am, breakfast & lunch included, R945), morning safari drives (R385), day safaris (R945), night safaris (R365), and an evening bush braai that includes a game drive, a sundown drink and a bush braai (departs 4:30pm, R525). All activities depart from the gate or a ranger can come pick you up from where you are staying within Phalaborwa.

Golf in the Wild

Golf in the Wild provides a unique golfing experience with springbok, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles and impala roaming throughout the course. Local rules allow you to move your ball when encountering hoof marks on the green. Play at your own risk.

Phalaborwa Open Pit Mine

Phalaborwa Open Pit Mine is South Africa's largest open pit mine and copper and vermiculite are extracted here. You can drive through the mine operations and up a hill beside the open pit to get a good perspective of its size and the rest of the operations.

Amarula Lapa

Amarula Lapa is located right next to the production plant where the famous Amarula cream liqueur is concocted from the Amarula fruit. You can learn how the drink is made, watch a short video, enjoy a free drink and purchase Amarula cake and chocolate. If you come during harvest season (February/March) you can view the crushing process. To get there take Hendrick Van Eck/R71 west about 5 km from town then turn south on R40 toward Hoedspruit. Continue 4.4 km to the Amarula Lapa turnoff on 5th Ave.

The Phalaborwa Mall

The Phalaborwa Mall has a Pick 'n Pay, Woolworths, clothing stores, a few chain restaurants, an ABSA and Nedbank bank, and an Internet café.

Shoprite & Checkers Shopping Center

Shoprite & Checkers Shopping Center is across the street and has some local fruit and veg stalls, an FNB ATM and an Internet café in addition to the Shoprite and Checkers.

Arti-Farti Backpackers and Daan & Zena's B&B

Arti-Farti Backpackers and Daan & Zena's B&B is a mix between a B&B and a backpackers and is composed of three colorful houses in a residential area. Daan and Zena live onsite and are friendly hosts. They have a handful of resident dogs and an African Gray talking parrot.

Elephant Walk Backpackers and B&B

Elephant Walk Backpackers and B&B is also a combination backpackers and B&B with space to lounge around inside and out. There is a fire pit and braai area but you'll need your own wood, which you can buy at the petrol station a few blocks away.

Sefapane Lodge

Sefapane Lodge is a large establishment that hosts the occasional tour bus with both self-catering and standard thatched roof chalets spread throughout the well-kept tropical grounds. It is located only 1 km from Kruger Park and has a large restaurant (6:30am-9:30am, 12pm-3pm, 6:30pm-9pm, mains R70-100), swimming pool and poolside bar.

La Lechere

La Lechere is a six-room spotlessly clean and tastefully modern B&B with a lounge, braai and bar area. The rooms have TV, AC, a mini bar and a three-course dinner can be arranged upon request. The gracious host can assist with all types of arrangements including area and Kruger tours.

Buffalo's Pub & Restaurant

Buffalo's Pub & Restaurant serves up delicious tall beers outside all day long. The food is equally tasty, from typical pub grub to seafood & steak, and incredibly satisfying burgers almost as large as your head. There are even a few vegetarian options. It is conveniently located off Hendrick Van Eck St in the center of town.

Sefapane Lodge

Sefapane Lodge has a large indoor/outdoor restaurant serving salads, fish, steak and traditional South African meals including Cape Bobotie, Lamb Potjie and "game-of-the-day" fillet. The restaurant is located in a garden beside a pool.

Hans Merensky Hotel & Spa

Hans Merensky Hotel & Spa is a freshly modern restaurant with the best views in town. The eatery is situated in tranquil Phalaborwa beside the 18-hole Golf in the Wild course. The menu may be short, but the appetizers, steak, fish and desserts are great.

Buffalo's Pub & Restaurant

The Buffalo's Pub & Restaurant is a wonderful spot for a tall draft beer at midday or in the evening.