Things to do near
Karongwe Private Game Reserve
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Hoedspruit (35.4 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
This herpetological haven is well worth a stop!
Formerly known as Swadini Snake Park, Khamai Reptile Park is home to some of South Africa’s deadliest snakes. Experienced guides will show you the scariest beasts - black and green mambas, boomslangs and Mozambique Spitting Cobras.
If that isn’t enough to get your pulse racing then check out the Nile crocodiles and water lizards or get up close and personal with scorpions, baboon spiders and puff adders. You can also check out an awesome array of reptiles and amphibians from the rest of the planet.
Khamai Reptile Park is owned by Donald Strydom, who has appeared as the ‘house expert’ in a number of BBC, Discovery and Animal Planet channels television features. A well-known black mamba handler, he also worked with the BBC to enable the filming of some unique footage of the Nile Monitor Lizard in its natural habitat.
Donald and his team also capture and relocate over 300 ‘problem’ snakes in the region. In addition to that, Khamai Reptile Park have an educational programme for locals about the vital role reptiles play in the ecosystem and to dissuade the ‘kill on sight’ approach to the venomous snakes.
Tzaneen (35.6 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Bordering the Wolkberg Wilderness, this incredibly scenic mountain reserve features crystal clear rivers, countless butterflies, waterfalls and lovely pools.
Swarms of colourful butterflies, intricate spider webs and awesome bird life make it a popular destination for hiking and birding. Part of its appeal is the awesome natural beauty characterised by rolling grassy hills, lush kloofs and indigenous forests.
An amazing variety of butterflies can be seen in the forests during late summer. Look out for the elusive Narina Trogon and Samango monkeys clambering in the treetops. Other forest-dwelling birds to spot are the Cape Parrot, Chorister Robin-Chat, Orange Ground-Thrush, Green Twinspot, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike and Barratt's Warbler.
Spectacular flaming acacias dot the grassy hills, some covered in thousands of white blossoms or stunning purple-red pods.
Letsitele (41.1 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Just outside the little town of Letsitele is the workshop of one of the most impressive craft projects in Limpopo.
Hundreds of local ‘Karosswerkers’ embroider intricate and unusual designs inspired by their lives and environment. These eye-catching ethnic creations take the form of useful mats, cushion covers, bags, clothing jewellery and artworks.
Home to the Shangaan and Sotho people, Kaross Workers encourages their rich tradition of embroidery and art, creating diverse possibilities for a healthy exchange among artists.
Open Monday to Thursday 07:00 - 17:00, Friday 07:00 - 14:30.
Ohrigstad (44.6 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
The Echo Caves are situated in the northernmost range of the Drakensberg in Limpopo. This interesting geological site can be found 15 km west of the Strydom Tunnel on the Abel Erasmus Pass and 26 km north of Ohrigstad on the Lydenburg/Tzaneen road.
The natural caves are well known for the hollow dolomite in this area. If the stalactites are struck, the echo can be heard for miles. Hour long tours take visitors through beautiful large chambers with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites.
Hoedspruit (46.4 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Take to the sky in a hot air balloon for the experience of your life! Sun Catchers Hot Air Ballooning offers one-hour long flights from Hoedspruit over the scenic Blyde River.
Soar above a mix of farmland and private nature reserves at the foot of the Drakensberg Escarpment. Weather permitting, Sun Catchers also offer flights over the Kapama Nature Reserve.
Hoedspruit (47.2 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Enjoy a lovely boat ride on the Blyde Dam, where you can savour the splendor of the Blyde River Canyon.
Your tour guide will take you to the Kadishi Tufa Waterfall and the majestic Three Rondavels. Wildlife is abundant; you'll be able to spot hippo, crocodile, as well as fish eagle. During the cruise, you can learn more about the history of the third biggest canyon in the world.
Departure times: 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00;
Minimum guests: 6 people;
Maximum guests: 50 people;
Duration: 1½ hours.
Hoedspruit (48.3 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Discover the secrets of silk and the extraordinary little creatures that produce it.
Experienced guides will take you on a journey through silk’s fascinating history and an interesting behind-the-scenes tour.
Currently Bombyx Mori Silk Estate is South Africa’s only commercial silkworm farm. Here you can find out about their organic farming methods and how the cocoons are processed into wonderful products and the life-cycle of the mulberry silkworm.
The species farmed at Bombyx Mori is the mulberry silkworm, not the ‘zebra’ worm that most of us kept as pet worms when we were kids! These remarkably industrious insects spin cocoons from a single strand that measures up to one kilometre.
A visit to Bombyx Mori wouldn’t be complete without popping into the Ivory Room and Gallery. Here you will find silk-filled duvets, pillows and numerous other silk products to purchase as well as local crafts, selected interior finishes and original artwork.
Big Event Venues
Tzaneen (49.8 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Tzaneen Convention Centre combines outstanding conference facilities with state of the art equipment and luxury accommodation.The venue caters for the special needs of business, incentive groups and corporate meetings. The management and staff are specialists in this field and will consult and assist in the planning of conferences and packages. Five different venues can accommodate up to 500 people, making Tzaneen Country Lodge and Tzaneen Convention Centre an axcellent choice to conference. Whether you’re holding a sales convention, board meeting or informal get-together with associates, your comfort and success are paramount. We pride ourselves in our professionalism, quality of service and enthusiasm and arrange every detail including accommodation, decor and dining. Tzaneen Convention Centre guarantees our clients exclusivity and a high level of personal service.Tzaneen Convention Centre hosts many functions, events and themed parties filled with excitement, fun and satisfaction. We offer a personalised and professional service for all events and flexible packages to suit both your budget and personal style.All our staff, most of whom have been with us from the inception of the Tzaneen Country Lodge and the new Tzaneen Convention Centre are warm and friendly and will do everything possible to ensure that your function runs smoothly – giving you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surroundings. With your dedicated events co-ordinator you can be assured of the best service possible.Since each and every function is tailor-made to your requirements - arrangements for special dietary requirements, specialized liquor requests, children’s entertainment and supervision – are our pleasure.Live entertainment, DJ’s, flower arrangements and a chocolate fountain are, to name but a few, some of the services catered for by Tzaneen Convention Centre. With exquisite food, funky décor, fabulous service and lovely lodgings – this is the place to be.
Tzaneen (50.1 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Meet, touch and feed the friendly animals at Mangela Animal Touch Farm Jacob the donkey and the miniature ponies Maya, Misty, Pepe and Inca are waiting for small visitors with crunchy apples and carrots. Mangela Animal Touch Farm also has ostriches, emus, pot-bellied pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits and more!Pony rides are available with supervision by friendly and helpful staff. The crew at Mangela pride themselves on their management of the animals and the environment. There is no better way for children to safely learn about them. Mangela also specialise in children's parties with different themes, birthday cakes and kiddies gift boxes available together with a jumping castle, jungle gym, self-drive toy cars and other fun activities. Mangela Animal Touch Farm, Tea Garden & Curio Shop offers activities and fun for kids and adults alike.Need to know? Mondays to Fridays 9:00am to 5:30pm Saturdays & Sundays 9:00am to 5:30pm.
Graskop (50.4 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
The magnificent red sandstone Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga forms the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment. There’s so much to do in Mpumalanga but most visitors come here just to sight-see, especially along the striking Panorama Route. This scenic meander includes the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, the Three Rondawels, Swadini Dam, God's Window and many beautiful waterfalls and spectacular vistas.Covered with lush subtropical foliage, the Blyde River Canyon is the largest 'green canyon' and has some of the deepest precipitious cliffs of any canyon on the globe. The canyon is 26 kilometres (16 miles) in length and is around 800 metres deep. The highest point of the canyon, Mariepskop, is 1 944 metres above sea level whilst its lowest point where the river leaves the canyon is slightly less than 560 metres above sea level. This means that by some measure the Canyon is over 1 400 metres deep!
Blyde River Canyon (50.5 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Lace up your hiking boots and hit the Hippo Trail into the Blyde River Canyon. The adventurous hike is not for the faint hearted or unfit!
This 18 km round trip should be started early, as the hike needs to be completed in daylight. Collect a permit from Forever Resort (not open on a Sunday).
Blyde River Canyon (50.5 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
Situated along the Mpumalanga Drakensberg Escarpment, the reserve covers a large area extending from the Pinnacle and Gods Window in the south to beyond the mighty Marieps Kop in the north, and ending at Swadini. The reserve is administered by the Mpumalanga Parks Board and is known primarily for the outstanding natural beauty of the canyon as well as the numerous endemic and endangered fauna and flora species present.
Hoedspruit (52.5 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
A visit to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is a moving and worthwhile experience It's also a convenient day excursion if you’re visiting the Orpen Gate side of Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop or Sabie. The centre provides a home for abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife and is a respected contributor to wildlife conservation. Animals that you may see are lion, leopard, serval, cheetah, hyena, honey badger, eagles, vultures and various baby animals.How it all beganMoholoholo started from small beginnings in 1990 – with a crowned eagle and a day old zebra. Word got out that the manager was able to care for and release wild animals and birds, and so Moholoholo grew.Sadly, some of the animals are not suitable to be released back into the wild and remain as ‘permanent residents’ at the centre. They give visitors an ‘up close and personal’ experience, highlighting the problems that wildlife are facing. The main focus at Moholoholo is to create awareness in order to preserve our wildlife.Often Moholoholo receive calls to rescue animals such as baby rhino that have been abandoned or leopards that have been injured by cars or caught in snares. The team are also actively involved in collaring and relocating ‘problem animal’ control on farms and tribal areas. Many leopards’ movements have been monitored with these collars.Moholoholo have tagged and released hundreds of vultures brought in due to poisoning or electrocution. Tracking harnesses were fitted to some individuals, astonishing researchers with the range of their movements.Another important function of the centre is breeding. Staff have successfully bred and released crowned eagle, serval and many other endangered animals.Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is self funded and also covers all the relocation costs of 'problem animals'. There is a small fee for guided tours which last about two hours – your visit to the centre helps this awesome project.
Tzaneen (55.3 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
The beauty of nature is rolled into this one-day route. See stunning landscapes, a variety of birds, such as the rare bat hawk, jackal buzzard, purplecrested lourie or backheaded oriole. Also look out for animals, such as the bushbuck, common duiker, bush pig and baboon. Bird lovers may spot a Set against the Krugerkop and Tandberg, is the New Agatha Plantation through which the Rooikat Day Walk winds.
Wind through pine plantations and then follow the course of the Bobs River.
Take a dip in one of the cascades, rapids and pools along the way. Picnic facilities at the Die Akker Picnic Site.
Tzaneen (55.8 km from Karongwe Private Game Reserve)
The new Agatha State Forest comprises some of South Africa's rare jungle-like, dense forest, just 18 km away from Tzaneen.
This natural forest is also home to the Rooikat Hiking Trail. The facilities include a picnic site, fireplaces and ablutions.