Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Galleries and Museums
Phalaborwa Gate (54.6 km from Mopani)
Trip back in time to a beautifully restored Stone Age village in Kruger National Park
Situated on top of the picturesque Masorini Hill 11km from Phalaborwa entrance gate on the road to Letaba camp, Masorini offers a glimpse of an organized economy that existed before the arrival of European settlers in South Africa.
The village also gives insight into the lifestyle of the Stone Age hunter-gathering society that formed an integral part of the natural environment in Kruger National Park.
Excavations exposed hut floors and artefacts that gave clues to their way of life, homes, iron foundries and commerce. Dome shaped clay furnaces were used to smelt the iron ore and moulded into spears, arrowheads and farming tools. These items were traded for glass beads, ivory, animal products and food between the BaPhalaborwa at Masorini, the Venda in the North and later, the Portuguese on the east coast.
Archaeological and ethnographic research ensured that the reconstructions are as authentic as possible. Local BaPhalaborwa people renovated the huts have recently and there is a site museum and picnic spot at the base of Masorini Hill. Enjoy the fabulous views from the top!
Guided tours to the huts and furnace depart from the museum.
Phalaborwa (54.8 km from Mopani)
Tee off on the wild side at Hans Merensky Golf Course near the Phalaborwa Gate of Kruger National Park.
The renowned course has a unique bushveld atmosphere and it’s not uncommon for visitors to share their golf experience with resident giraffe, hippo, crocodile and other wildlife!
Designed by Bob Grimsdell, the 18-hole par 72 championship golf course has been voted as the best walking course in the country. It also recently received the Diamond Arrow Award for being the highest rated golf course in the Limpopo.
Visitors are welcome any day of the week and can tee off between 07:00 and 09:00 or 11:30 and 13:30.
Phalaborwa (58.9 km from Mopani)
Just south of Phalaborwa is the “Big Hole”, one of the largest copper mines in the world and Africa’s widest manmade hole. It’s almost 2 km wide and visible from space!
There is an incredible lookout point located nearby. In addition to viewing the Big Hole, the viewpoint offers awesome views of Limpopo’s stunning landscape and the Kruger National Park.
Phalaborwa (59 km from Mopani)
Home to Africa's wild and silky cream liqueur, the Amarula Lapa is a great spot to chill near the Phalaborwa Gate of Kruger National Park.
Here you can relax, stretch your legs and of course, enjoy a glass of Amarula Cream on ice and stock up with a few bottles before journeying on.
Comfortable seating, a shop and a warm African welcome await you on entering the high thatch-roof building. Rough stone walls and kraal-style area bestow an authentic bushveld feeling.
The Amarula Lapa is crucial to the lives of the local inhabitants who provide the Marula fruit for pulp processing in season. During the off-season, Amarula sponsor community-based job creation projects to enhance their income.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 08:30 – 16:30 and Saturday 09:00 – 12:00.
A fertile fruit?
The fruit of the indigenous Marula tree is believed to have aphrodisiac properties and features in tribal fertility rites. Known in folklore as ‘The Marriage Tree’, tribal marriage ceremonies still take place under the umbrella shaped trees.
Phalaborwa (61.7 km from Mopani)
Embark on a 3-hour boat cruise for close encounters with crocodile, hippo and elephant along the banks of the Olifants River bordering and open to the Kruger National Park.
Photographers and birders will enjoy the convenience of the upper deck equipped with chairs and tables. Great for a sundowner cruise on the river and an entirely unique game viewing experience.
Galleries and Museums
Tzaneen (81.9 km from Mopani)
This well-known attraction inside the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve is built exclusively of traditional materials.
Tsonga Kraal Museum is an open-air reconstructed village showcasing the many traditional building styles of the Tsonga people who originated from southern Mozambique.
Friendly and animated guides bring the village to life as they perform the traditions of the North Tsonga.
Another Limpopo museum like it is Bakone Malapa Museum near Polokwane.
Tzaneen (83.2 km from Mopani)
Lying on the banks of the Great Letaba River just west of Kruger National Park and close to Tzaneen, the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve is a fabulous place to view wildlife on foot.
You’ll find none of the big hairy scaries here – just various antelope including rare sable, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, hippo and giraffe. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the more elusive leopard, jackal and hyena.
The Great Letaba River flowing on one side of the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve attracts rich and varied bird-life in all seasons. Evenings visitors are usually treated to special sightings of nightjars and owls.
The main attraction of this beautiful reserve is the chance to walk most of it easily on foot. Exciting hiking options include the one km Mopane Interpretive Trail, the Letaba Trail along the river and the Giraffe Trail, a 32 km three-day hike with overnights in luxury huts.
A self-drive route winds through the reserve and you can hope to see a fair amount of wildlife. Make your way to the wonderful lookout point that offers fantastic views – it makes for a great picnic spot.
Guided morning and sunset game drives are available but you’ll need to book a day in advance. Thrill seekers can opt for the mountain bike trail and horse rides.
You could also visit the Eiland Mineral Bath, a bubbling thermal spring long used by locals as a source of salt and medicinal treatments. Today the spring supplies an outdoor swimming pool for guests to enjoy.
Kruger National Park (96.6 km from Mopani)
Home to the famous ‘White Lions’, Timbavati Reserve has long basked in the spotlight.
Although no white lions have been seen at Timbavati for years, several white lions are regularly seen in other parts of Kruger National Park and they could easily appear in the Timbavati prides again.
Forming part of the Greater Kruger Park, the reserve features 12 luxury tourist lodges and is a convenient five-hour drive from Johannesburg. Kruger National Park lies on the east, Klaserie and Umbabat Private Nature Reserves are to the north and Thornybush Private Nature Reserve is just west.
Wildlife roam freely between Timbavati and the 2,000,000-hectare Kruger National Park with no hindrance of fences. Thrilling sightings of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, giraffe and even shy leopard and cheetah are regular occurences. This is definitely one of Africa’s best!