Mopani Rest Camp
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If you are in search of rustic accommodation that is just a little more comfortable and convenient than camping,
he camp has 12 cottages with 4 beds each. 1 room has 2 singles beds while there are also 2 sleeper couches in the lounge.
Mopani has 45 guest cottages capable of sleeping 6. Each cottage has 3 bedrooms with 2 beds per room.
The guest house is located in a prime position, overlooking a nearby dam which is frequented by thirsty animals.
Mopani Rest Camp is named after the mopanetrees that dominate the camp and surrounding areas. It is settled between small hills and has one of the most unique atmospheres when compared to other camps in the Kruger. During the autumn months, the leaves of the mopane trees change to an orange hue and they fall to the ground like butterflies settling on the earth.
Some of the camp basics that you can expect when you book your stay at Mopani includes:
Mopani Rest Camp is situated about 74km away from the Phalaborwa Gate and it can take up to 3 hours to drive from the gate to the camp.
Mopani Rest Camp is the “youngest” camp in the Kruger. The buildingwas completed in 1992 and one of the biggest features of the camp is the trees. During building,it was decided to keep the camp as natural as possible and so the indigenous vegetation has been kept largely untouched. New trees were planted along the main tar roads in the camp. The buildings boast thatched roofs and have rock faced walls in an effort to make the camp blend into the natural bush. All of the buildings are built from natural materials.
The camp has a number of heritage sites close to it and visitors can arrange a guided tour ofthese sites. One of the more popular trips is to the Shilowa heritage site. It is situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, close to the eastern border of the Kruger. The other popular site is known as theFirst Site which shows human habitation dating back to 1200 AD and 1600 AD.
The site was uncovered when archaeologists noticed that there was a change in the grass species, the change is the result of ash deposits.
Later on, the Tsonga tribe moved into the area, lured by the water supply and quick access to the trade routes. The tribe traded in iron, ivory, copper and gold, and would often trade with the Voortrekkers, fortune seekers and just about anyone else who moved around in the area.
This rest camps biggest claim to fame has to be the abundance of mopane trees in and around the camp. With their butterfly-shapedleaves which change colours according to the seasons, the mopane trees are easy to identify and provide enough shade beneath which day guests can enjoy a picnic.
The mopane trees are indigenous to this region of Southern Africa. There are various different types of mopanespecies and the trees can grow up to 25m in height. While the trees grow best in alluvial soil, they are pretty hardy plants. When they are in conditions that are less than favourable, they tend to grow in small shrubs known as mopane scrub.The wood of the tree is exceptionally hard, so hard that it is resistant to termites.
These trees yield flowers and fruit during certain times of the year. From December to January the trees are filled with flowers and from April to June they bear fruit. The fruit is a flat and leathery pod. The animals love to graze on these trees and those staying at the rest camp will get to see plenty of wildlife because of the close proximity of the trees to the camp
If you have heard the word mopane before, it probably has something to do with the mopane worm. In South Africa, the mopane worm is a delicacy and you can buy them when in the vicinity. The mopane worms are picked off their namesake trees and carefully prepared before being smoked over a fire.
As the newest camp to be built in the park, the accommodation is modern and efficient, designed to suit all budgets and tastes. You can choose from luxury accommodation to more rustic accommodation, but your every need will be taken care of when you stay here. The one style of accommodation that the camp sadly does not have is camping.
If you are in search of rustic accommodation that is just a little more comfortable and convenient than camping, thenbooking one of the camps bungalows is the way to go. The bungalows are fully equipped with a bathroom and a kitchenette and there is a braai area just outside. There are 2 types of bungalows available; 43 with 4 beds per unit and 2 units with 4 beds. These units are the most affordable you’ll find when staying at this rest camp.
The camp has 12 cottages with 4 beds each. 1 room has 2 singles beds while there are also 2 sleeper couches in the lounge. The cottages have 2 bathrooms, one of which is en-suite, and their own veranda with kitchenette and a comfortable braai area. The cottages are ideal for families as well as couples while they are also perfectly suitable for those looking to visit the park on their own.
The guest cottages offer rustic luxury and have been designed for bigger groups visiting the park. Mopani has 45 guest cottages capable of sleeping 6. Each cottage has 3 bedrooms with 2 beds per room. The cottages also have 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a lounge and dining area and a large veranda with a place to braai.
When in search of the most luxury possible, the guest house is for you.The guest house is located in a prime position, overlooking a nearby dam which is frequented by thirsty animals. It has a full kitchen, and a few bedrooms and bathrooms. There are also braai facilities available for those who stay at the guest house.
The guest house at Mopani is named Xanatseni and it is capable of sleeping 8people. It has 4 bedrooms with 1 room having a double bed and the others having 2 single beds each.
On the odd occasion, wild animals can find their way into the camps and canpose a threat to the guests. Although they are quite innocent in doing so, it doesn’t minimise the danger. Guests should always be on their guard when in the camp and should youcome across a wild animal, youshould never approach it. A camp ranger will normally be able to get the animal out safely.
Insects, including spiders and scorpions, as well as reptiles, are amongst the other creatures that you always need to be on the lookout for when you are in any of the camps in the Kruger National Park. Stepping on any of these can result in a very painful bite that will leave you in need of medical assistance. Never walk outside of your accommodation without shoes on and at night always have a torch to light your way.
Wild animals, spiders, snakes, and scorpions are all a big concern, but so are the tiny mosquitos that carry malaria. The park is filled with mosquitoes, not all of whom carry the illness, but it is best to take certain preventative measures before you visit the park. Medication can be taken, generally before and during your time in a malaria area, and insect repellent also works for keeping the mosquitos away. Malaria is not something to be taken lightly. It can make you exceptionally sick and if left untreated, the illness can be fatal. The symptoms can take a fewweeks to show and if they do, you need to get to a doctor right away.
During your planning, take the temperature into consideration. The Kruger can get exceptionally hot during the summer months, with temperatures that reach well over the 40 degree Celsius mark. The summer days are humid and you can expect heavy rains. During this season, the vegetation grows rather thick and seeing animals amongst the lush grass becomes very difficult. The winter months are different. The days are coolerand vegetation is a lot drier. Animals can be spotted through the dry sticks and leaves. Many guests prefer to visit between the hottest and coldest times of the year
The gates open and close at times that are determined by the season.In winter the gates open later and close earlier while in the summer, they close later and open earlier. Knowing the gate times can assist you in your planning.
Just as you are unlikely to want to be out in the midday heat, you will find that spotting animals also becomes difficult when the day is at its hottest. Your best chances ofseeinganimals will be better early in the morning and late in the afternoon, which is why the gate times are what they are.
The camp is built on a transition zone betweengranite and gneiss soils to the west of the camp and lush basalt soils to the east.The ground to the west is perfect for silver cluster-leaf and mopane shrub. The soil on the otherside is ideal for growing apple-leaf and mopane shrub. Other vegetation you’ll find in the area include tamboti, leadwood and large knob-thorn.
Sadly, because of the vegetation, animal sightings are not as common as they are in other areas, although youwill have your fair share of game viewing. Going out on safari is one way to see animals but the best ways to spot the hippo, impala, warthog, elephant, buffalo and even a lion or two is from the camps lookout points or from the ladies bar balcony. On a self-drive safari, you should take the Tropic of Capricorn loop and visit the Nshawu pans to enjoy the best sightings in the area