A new treasure unveiled in Kruger; the Pafuri Border Camp

An omnipresent sense of history permeates the grounds and buildings of Pafuri Border Camp, with the call of a wild frontier on your doorstep clarion clear and impossible to refuse.

Here at Pafuri in the Far North of the Kruger National Park, Harold and Tiny Mockford built their lives, raised a family, grew old. From 1938 to 1985, Mockford was the recruiting agent and administrative officer at the labour recruitment station established at Pafuri by the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association (WNLA, colloquially simply “Wenela”, later TEBA – The Employment Bureau of Africa) to provide migrant workers for the mushrooming gold mines at Johannesburg.

Comprising the beautifully restored and period-furnished residences inhabited by the Mockfords and other WNLA / TEBA staff, the Pafuri Border Camp will offer overnight accommodation in three very spacious self-catering units: the one-bedroom (4-sleeper) Mockford Cottage, the three-bedroom (6-sleeper) Doctor’s House, and the four-bedroom (8-sleeper) Mockford House. Relaxing on the wide verandas that wrap around the houses, enclosed by mosquito gauze just as they were when their original inhabitants lived there, it is hard not to imagine what daily life entailed for those who lived and worked here all those years ago. The camp’s deep swimming pool will be a delight on hot summer days, as it was no doubt for the family Mockford. A small room next to the tiny reception office will be dedicated as a museum in which Pafuri’s fascinating history can be regaled. More “modern” amenities, such as a fuel station, shop and restaurant, is available at Punda Maria Rest Camp, approximately 65km to the South-West.

One of the biggest highlights of the new Pafuri Border Camp is its proximity to Crooks Corner, the Luvuvhu River and Pafuri Picnic Site. Being first to arrive at the river viewpoints in the morning and the last to have to leave those serenely beautiful scenes in the evening is a privilege not to be underestimated. Crooks Corner, so named because the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) and Mozambique (then Portuguese East Africa) meet here and allowed scoundrels of all description to escape the long arm of the law, has a very special allure in the golden light of sunrise and dusk. Spending time along the Luvuvhu as the riverine forest slowly awakes in the morning delivers a serenity to the human spirit that must be experienced to be truly appreciated.

You can bet that the birdwatching fraternity will be ecstatic at the news of Pafuri Border Camp’s opening. Pafuri is South Africa’s bird-watching mecca; the diversity of its feathered inhabitants simply astounding.

Mammalian wildlife abounds in the Luvuvhu’s riverine bush, with nyala, impala, warthog, baboon and vervet monkey occurring in exceptional numbers. Several other species, including elephant, buffalo, hippo, waterbuck, kudu, blue wildebeest, zebra, and seldomly-seen predators, add to the show. An astonishing number of Nile crocodiles, some in excess of 5 meters in length and probably weighing more than a ton, rule the murky waters of the Luvuvhu.

Come 1 November 2015, this new destination, hard not to describe in superlatives and quite literally a stone’s throw away from the border post into Mozambique, will open to its first official guests. We recently had the immense pleasure and privilege to spend two nights at Pafuri Border Camp while the finishing touches were being made to the accommodation. It is sure to prove very popular with nature lovers and history buffs from all over the world. Bookings for Pafuri Border Camp is through South African National Parks. Via the N1 highway and Kruger’s most northern entrance, Pafuri Gate, the camp is located approximately 620km from Pretoria.

(Google maps)

(Google maps)

Advertisements

69 thoughts on “A new treasure unveiled in Kruger; the Pafuri Border Camp

  1. Charl

    Had the wonderful privilege to live there in Pafuri for 13 years. From 1987 to 1997 I was the station commander at the Pafuri Police station, and then from 1997 to October 2000 I was the manager of the TEBA complex. My home was the old doctor’s residence. Enough memories to last me a lifetime. I visited the camp again in 2015 shortly before it was re-opened to the public.
    It remains a very special place, but the extend to which the gardens at TEBA were destroyed by drought and the few years it stood empty, as well the removal of dozens of trees and plants by the Parks Board, absolutely broke my heart. Go there and enjoy the area, but I wish I could show you what it was like before.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you for sharing your fascinating perspectives, Charl, and welcome here. What a wonderful time that must have been in your life, living so close to nature in a special place like Pafuri. I’m sure you must have seen and experienced so many interesting things!

      Like

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Our 2015 in pictures | de Wets Wild

  3. Pingback: Getting to Pafuri | de Wets Wild

  4. Erasmus Cornelia Magdalena

    Ons was gelukkig om vier keer daar te bly toe dit nog onder Teba se bestuur was. Ons gunsteling area in Krugerpark. Dit was soos ‘n plaaswerf en ons het almal soos ou vriende gevoel. Die einde van ‘n era. Nuwe seisoen en noodwendig na effense opknapping heelwat duurder! Sien uit om weer te besoek. O ja, daardie spinnekop was toe nie daar nie! Seker saam nuwe bedeling/oorname gekom! Voël- en diere lewe fantasies, bome lieflik en wel drie maal leeus gesien……

    Like

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Baie dankie vir die saam gesels! Wat n voorreg om te kan se dat jy hierdie wonderlike plek al in daardie “historiese” tyd kon ervaar en ek glo met jul volgende besoek sal jul net so n fantastiese klomp nuwe herinneringe bymekaar maak!

      Like

      Reply
  5. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

    Eers dankie vir n pragtige stuk oor die kamp en omgewing. Ek is so bly daar is n kaart by sodat ek presies kan sien waar dit is! Die voëllewe is besonders. Ek het bietjie laat in my lewe eers werklik begin belangstel in fotografie, sou nogal die voëls wou afneem met spesiale lens! Nogeens Uitstaande fotos en bolg

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. UnderAnAfricanSun

    This looks fantastic. I have made 3 attempts to get to Crook’s Corner and all 3 were failed due to weather conditions and closed roads. I have been as far as the picnic site and it is so beautiful up there, will still keep trying to go 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Careful | de Wets Wild

  8. aj vosse

    Wat ‘n plek!! Nou is ek sommer dik bek!! Hies sit ek in nat, grys Ierland en wens ek was daar!! Weereens ‘n fantastiese stuk!! Die voëls aleen is genoeg om ‘n mens te trek. Ek wens!! o_O

    Like

    Reply
          1. aj vosse

            Ek weet ook nie!! Miskien moet ek terug kom en jou persoonlike huishulp en drywer word!! 😈 Ek braai baie lekker!! Mmmmmm… ‘n ou koedoe vleisie op die kole. Nou’s ek eers dikbek!! 😮

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
                    1. aj vosse

                      Storie van my lewe… altyd te laat of in die verkeerde plek op die verkeerde oomblik!! Hahaha!! Ek hoop julle nommers wekk!! Ek hou duimvas. Stuur vir my 6 nommers tussen 1 en 47… ons sien hoe hulle hier vaar! 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

  9. perdebytjie

    Wonderlik,Dries!Pafuripiekniekplek is een van ons gunstelinge en Crooks Corner bring herinneringe van interessante ervarings wat ons daar gehad het.Hierdie gaan seker so gewild wees,dat mens gaan sukkel om plek te kry!

    Like

    Reply
  10. safarig

    Well written – enticing enough to make anyone want to book straight away! Can you share a bit about traveling from Gauteng with kids – for those not so familiar with the far northern parts of KNP? How would you recommend one breaks up the trip?

    Like

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Dankie Liandi!

      If you’re heading straight to Pafuri, I’d suggest you get an early start – by the time the kids wake up in the car you can be half-way there already. For a 1 night stop on the way, you could always consider one of the game farms and lodges in the Soutpansberg near Louis Trichardt, or Forever’s Tshipise resort (which is only 100km from Pafuri Gate).

      To us, the more advisable option would be to include Pafuri in a longer visit to the Park and stay at either Punda Maria, Sirheni or Shingwedzi before heading to Pafuri. We drove up from Mopani on this visit, and found it a little too distant to enjoy long stops at sightings or at the various camps and picnic spots along the way. Luckily Joubert’s quite accustomed to long roadtrips by now and there’s fewer “How far still?” questions coming from the backseat these days 😉 . On the flip side, when you’re covering that much ground in Kruger you’re bound to come across something interesting – we’ll share some photos from the drive up in next week’s blogpost.

      Like

      Reply

Please don't leave without sharing your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s