Getting to Pafuri

Last week, we were so excited to tell you about our time at Kruger National Park’s newest accommodation offering, the Pafuri Border Camp, that we skipped over the part of our visit leading up to our time in the extreme Far North of the Park.

We’ll take this opportunity to rectify that now.

We arrived at Phalaborwa Gate on the Friday, early enough to allow a slow drive along the H14-road up to Mopani Rest Camp, where we were booked for a one-night stopover on the way to Pafuri Border Camp.

A quick afternoon sojourn past Mooiplaas, the Nshawu Vlei and Tinhongonyeni delivered no less than 6 tsessebe sightings, lots of energetic zebras, good numbers of other animals and birds, and a very dramatic storm brewing over the plains…

That evening we enjoyed a lovely meal at Mopani’s restaurant, the howling wind putting an end to any ideas we might have had of braaiing (the traditional South African barbeque) at our bungalow. Afterwards we searched for nocturnal animals among Mopani’s natural vegetation, and were not disappointed.

Leaving Mopani as soon as the gate opened Saturday morning, under heavy skies accompanied by a constant soft drizzle, we anticipated at least one good predator sighting. Sure enough, near Olifantsbadpan, we had a terrific encounter with two big female spotted hyenas and three of the cutest, most playful cubs you could imagine. Only afterwards did I realise that they were so close to our vehicle that I didn’t manage even one full body photo of them!

We expected to have good sightings of elephants around Shingwedzi, and our favourite rest camp delivered the goods just as we had hoped. It was still raining softly as we set of from Shingwedzi after breakfast, heading northward past Babalala Picnic Spot. The north of the Kruger Park is also well known for its exceptional birdlife and all these special sightings made the long road seem much shorter.

After a quick turn in Punda Maria for lunch, fuel and to stock up on some last minute goodies, we could tackle the last stretch of road to the magical paradise that is Pafuri.

Road to Mopani


29 thoughts on “Getting to Pafuri

  1. Pingback: Our 2015 in pictures | de Wets Wild

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Baie dankie Spokie. Ja, groot dele maar baie droog en kaal gevreet. Die reen was maar skaars dusver, daarom dat dit so heerlik was om die Saterdagoggend die stuk tussen Mopani en Babalala in die reen te kon afle.


  2. 2geeks3knots

    Beautiful! We especially like the black crake (hot pink legs and chartreuse beak, wow!); and the storm brewing. Glad to know hyenas are actually cute at some point in their lives… Glad you had a memorable visit. Be well! J&A

    Liked by 1 person


    Great report and stunning pictures! We love the area around Mopani and have good memories of Tsendze rustic camp – lots of elephants and buffalo around there, but Tsessebe and saddle-billed storks, you are a lucky bunch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks very much Maurice! We seem to have good luck there most of the times we visit – Mopani has an undeserved reputation for slow game viewing, but if you concentrate on the best areas you are bound to be rewarded. And the elephants and big herds of buffalo are wonderful!


      1. perdebytjie

        Dis ‘n vals beeld wat lank terug geskep is,dat hulle lafhartig is.Dis totaal onwaar.Hulle ruim die veld op en hulle is nie bang nie.Hulle verstaan net hul plek in die rangorde van die natuur.Die van Wyks hou ook baie van

        Liked by 1 person


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