Mopani Rest Camp - Kruger National Park
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On the banks of the Pioneer Dam in the world renowned Kruger National Park, lies it's best kept secret; a unique rest camp nestled amongst the koppies with Mopani trees and a huge gnarled old baobab tree in the heart of the camp. This is Mopani main rest camp.
Climate: 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 (7km by road south of the camp.)
Areas of Special Interest
Imvubu Restaurant: Named after the mighty Hippo the air-conditioned restaurant offers a Ala-Carte Menu and has a variety of delicious freshly prepared dishes from the chef to choose from. Breakfasts and dinners are served in the restaurant, which overlooks the Pioneer Dam where the abundant water bird viewing, crocodiles and hippos offer much entertainment whilst dining. The adjacent bar area and patio is a perfect spot to relax, unwind and enjoy a refreshing drink whilst viewing the dam. A Coffee Shop menu is available on the deck, for light breakfasts and lunches as well as snacks.
Tropic of Capricorn: Where heaven meets earth! Stand on the parallel of latitude 23º south of the equator; it is the southern boundary of the tropics. This parallel marks the farthest point south at which the sun can be seen directly overhead at noon. The term Capricorn comes from the Latin caper (goat) and cornu (horn) and is the name given to one of the 12 constellations in the zodiac.
Out of camp:
• Pioneer Dam Bird Hide
• Nshawu Pans
Flora and Fauna
Game: 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 at 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 excellent areas 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.
Birding: 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 redwinged pratincole, African spoonbill, blackwinged stilt and whitewinged tern are some of the more uncommon species to watch for. Mosque and wiretailed swallow breed in camp (the former should be looked for at the camp’s huge baobab tree). Mocking chats should be looked for from the ladies bar. At the nearby Nshawu pans look for kittlitz’s plover, chestnutbacked finchlark and redwinged pratincole.
Vegetation: 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.
Bungalows: 4 beds (one twin-bedded room, 2 bunk beds in alcove), one bathroom, veranda with kitchenette and outside braai (barbecue). Cottages: 4 beds (one twin-bedded room, 2 bench beds in lounge), two bathrooms, veranda with kitchenette and outside braai.
Guest Cottages: 6 beds (three twin-bedded rooms, one with bathroom en suite), two bathrooms, kitchen, lounge/dining area, large veranda and outside braai. Xanetsi
Guest House: 8 beds (4 twin-bed rooms, one of which is wheelchair friendly), large lounge/dining room and kitchen, outside covered bar and veranda area with view of the dam, also there are braai (barbecue) facilities.
Shipandani Sleepover Hide: (6 beds) at the dam near camp.
• Morning and Night Drives
• Nature Trail around Camp
• Pioneer Dam Bird Hide
• Wildlife Film Shows
• Information at Reception
• Public Telephones
• Post Box
• Basic First Aid Assistance
• Ladies Bar
• Cafeteria/Coffee Shop
• Emergency Road Service
• Petrol Station
• DSTV Only Available in Guest Houses
• Conference Capacity
• Picnic Facilities
5 Things to Seek
• African Fish Eagle
• Mopani Trees
Travel Routes and Times from JHB/PTA
Take the N1 toll-road to Polokwane (Pietersburg). 40kms 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 Main Rest Camp is 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!