Ngala Safari Lodge
Ngala Safari Lodge
Image: Supplied/andBeyond

Nestled in the heart of Limpopo, the picturesque town of Hoedspruit is a hidden gem among SA’s holiday destinations and a must-tick on any nature lover’s bucket list. It’s also ideally situated between the iconic Kruger National Park, surrounding game reserves and lodges, and the Blyde River Canyon — making it the perfect place to start your next adventure.

Hoedspruit’s Eastgate Airport provides air access to a bevy of nearby private game reserves. The luxe lodges at the Kapama Private Game Reserve, The Thornybush Collection, Royal Malewane, Karongwe Portfolio, and Goranga Safari Camp are all just minutes away.

You’re also just a quick drive from the Kruger National Park (via Orpen Gate). The Kruger boasts nearly 2-million hectares of unparalleled natural diversity. It’s also where you’ll find concession lodges that include Rhino Post Safari Lodge, Plains Camp, Hoyo Hoyo Tsonga Lodge, Hamilton’s Tented Camp, and Imbali Safari Lodge. Both flora and fauna abound in the park — as do surprises. Perhaps you’ll run into a Zambezi shark (which can live in both salt and fresh water) — one famously ventured upstream of the Limpopo River and was spotted there.

Rhino Revolution is located in Hoedspruit, a small farming and wildlife community at the heart of SA’s greatest rhino population
Rhino Revolution is located in Hoedspruit, a small farming and wildlife community at the heart of SA’s greatest rhino population
Image: Supplied/andBeyond

Timbavati also hosts numerous high-end lodges that use Hoedspruit as their gateway. Mingle with leopard and lions and then sleep under the stars at the likes of andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge, andBeyond Tented Camp, Kings Camp, Motswari Private Game Reserve, and Simbavati Safari Lodges.

And don’t forget the nearby Klaserie, with its spectacular game and accommodation, including Gomo Gomo Game Lodge, Nthambo Tree Camp, and Africa on Foot.

But there’s more ...

Hoedspruit is also a great departure point for the spectacular Blyde River Canyon — officially known as the Motlatse Canyon — in Mpumalanga. This magnificent sight, among the country’s most significant natural features, is the most northern part of the mighty Drakensberg mountain range.

As well as taking advantage of the fantastic photo opportunities and marvelling at the awe-inspiring view, there is plenty to do in and around the canyon. How about an adrenaline-filled tube or canoe trip down the river? Or some hot-air ballooning?

For a life-changing experience, visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. It’s home to vulnerable wild animals and birds that would not otherwise be able to survive. It’s particularly famous for its Serval Breeding Project, which has reintroduced 160 of these extremely rare animals to their traditional wild habitat.

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre focuses on conservation and the sustainability of rare and threatened species
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre focuses on conservation and the sustainability of rare and threatened species
Image: Supplied/andBeyond

Likewise, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre focuses on conservation and the sustainability of rare and threatened species. It’ll give you fascinating insight into the critical conservation of the African cheetah and is proof that people can make a difference in the long-term survival of animals.

Travel extraordinary

Airlink’s direct flights to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg and Cape Town make getting to this bucket-list destination a pleasure. With convenience, exceptional service, and the widest network of flights in southern Africa, your dream-holiday experience begins before you even step onto the plane.

Speak to your travel agent, visit www.flyairlink.com and navigate to Hoedspruit under the Destinations tab to book your tickets.

This article was paid for by Airlink.

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