Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa
Agent: Cliff Jacobs - Managing Principal Estate Agent
Agent Cellphone: +27 (0) 84 413 1071 / +27 (0) 61 716 6951
Agent Office Number: +27 (0) 21 554 0283
Agent Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type: Game Reserve
Yield: Not Disclosed
Hoedspruit is an Afrikaans word meaning Hat Creek, and is a small tourism and agriculturally orientated town in the Central Lowveld nestled between the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon.
The town of Hoedspruit is situated right on the border between Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces
The very first official landowner of the farm Hoedspruit was Dawid Johannes Joubert. He arrived in the Lowveld in 1844 and settled in the area between the Blyde River and what is now known as the Zandspruit River.
In 1848 on the 5th May, he took the opportunity to register the farm for the first time at the land office which was situated in Ohrigstad, thus it was in 1848 that Hoedspruit had any official recognition and registration towards the town and municipality that it is today.
A few years later, in the 1850’s, Ohrigstad was expanding and becoming the central town in the greater region, however, at the time, it was decided that only the older settlers should be allowed to settle in and around the immediate area of Ohrigstad and anyone younger than 45 was encouraged to move further away from the town and settle elsewhere. As a result a group of young men – all under 45 – made their way down the escarpment and settle in the area between the mountain and the Blyde River on a farm that they then called …. Jonkmanspruit. A few of the other young men settled a little further on on the farm they called Welverdiend (meaning “well deserved”) and yet another on a farm that he called Driehoek due to the shape of the farm itself. These are some of the original names that still exist in the area today and are all situated around the edges of what was the original farm called Hoedspruit.
The name Hoedspruit itself was given by Dawid Johannes Joubert and was directly as a result of an incident after a major cloud burst on Mariepskop area in 1844 (when he first arrived in the area) which caused the “now called Zandspruit” to come down in a flash flood. During this even he ended up loosing his hat in the flooding river. Bearing in mind that a hat in those days was a valuable resource for a farmer (sun protection etc) and not something that could be easily replaced as there were not “hat shops” on every corner, this in itself was a major event for Dawid Joubert and as a result, he then named the river the Hoedspruit (the Hat River) – as in the River that stole his Hat.
Dawid Johannes Joubert also had a farm up in the Orighstad area and spent his time between both farms, however in 1860 he was sadly killed by a Leopard while on his farm in Ohrighstad.
During the years that the farm was owned by Dawid, Hoedspruit farm that he had registered with the Land Office in Ohrighstad was huge and extended pretty much from the Blyde River to the Klaserie River and of course towards the town centre as it exists today.
At pretty much the same time a major dispute erupted between the Portugese in the then Lourenço Marques (Maputo), and the South Africans in the then Transvaal Republic. The Portuguese were insisting that the Drakensberg mountain range just behind the town of Hoedspruit was in fact the international border between Mozambique and South Africa and the South Africans were insisting it was the Lebombo Mountains. As a result, Oom Paul Kruger, then president of the Transvaal Republic ordered for a proper land survey study to be done and for the official border to be assessed and finalized.
There were no qualified land surveyers at the time in South Africa and thus they had to be brought in from Europe – three of the main surveyors coming into the area included Von Weilligh (after whom the large Baobab in the Kruger park is named), Vos and Gillfillan.
While the Landsurveyers were in South Africa (or the Transvaal Republic as it was then), Oom Paul then declared that they should also officially mark out the various farm boundaries for the farms and regions along the Drakensberg mountains before returning back to Europe. All the exceptionally large farms – such as the original Hoedspruit farm, were then divided up into smaller registered farms (although still belonging to and being run by a single farmer). It was then up to these European Land Surveyors to give names to all the official farms that they were formalizing and with little knowledge of any local cultures, languages or aspects, all the farms were then given European names of cities, states and countries that they were obviously familiar with. Thus it is that we currently live in an area where official farm names include names such as Essex, Madrid, Berlin, Richmond, Chester, Moscow, Dublin, Dundee, Fife etc
From the late 1800’s to early 1900’s Abel Erasmus and his business partner Org Basson had a very successful transport business transporting mine equipment between the upcoming mines in the Gravellote area and the port at Lourenço Marques (Maputo). A crucial resource in their business was their span of “Geel-
At this very same time, a garrison of British soldiers was subsconded to the area that was infamously known as Steinaeckers Horse which included the Kruger Park hero – Harry Wolhuter.
Steinaecker’s Horse was a volunteer military unit that fought on the side of the British during the Anglo-
He came to the attention of General Buller, commander of the British Forces during the early stages of the war, and after participating in a series of successful campaigns against the Boers, he was given permission to raise his own cavalry unit, called Steinaecker’s Horse. He was also promoted to the rank of Major. The unit (close to 600 men) consisted mainly of local inhabitants of the Lowveld region, while local Black groups such as Shangaane and Swazi, also assisted (or rather, were utilized by the unit) in their activities.
The core purpose of this garrison was to intercept any potential shipment of arms being sent by the Dutch to the Boers in the Transvaal via Lourenço Marques and moving into the interior. In addition to this, they were also instructed to burn down the homesteads of any Boers that were suspected in assisting with the shipping of guns to the Boers, however, before doing so, the soldiers reportedly emptied out the homesteads of all valuables which were kept for themselves before the homesteads were then set alight. This earned them the additional name of The 40 Thieves.
It is also due to the activities of Steinackers horse that Thulamahashe (situated between Acornhoek and Bushbuckridge) got its name. Thulamahashe translated means “the dust of the horses” and refers to the dust that would be created whenever the horses would ride out from the Mpisane Fort.
As part of their infamous activities, Steinaeckers horse had also started stealing from Abel Erasmus’ breeding stock in Rolle and rustling the oxen down to locations in the Barberton area (where the garrison spent much of their time as a base).
In response to this, Able Erasmus went to lay a formal charge with General Ben Viljoen – the Commander General for the Boers in the region, who was situated in Lydenburg and he in turn sent Kommandant Piet Moller to the region to sort out the issue and deal with Abel’s complaint. With some inside information and clever tactics, the Boers were able to attack Mpisane Fort, where Steinaeckers Horse was situated at the time and headed up by Cpt Francis Farmer. Even with over 600 local blacks on the side of Steinaeckers Horse, Kommandant Piet Moller and his small band of young Boers were successful in their raid and killed Cpt Farmer (who reportedly was found naked and thus died with no clothes on) and the rest of the garrison escaped or surrended.
Once Steinaecker’s horse had been disbanded, some of the remaining individuals who had fallen in love with the region – such as Harry Wolhuter remained and were then largely responsible for the development of the Kruger National Park (officially proclaimed in 1926)
Prior to this, In 1910, after WWI, the Selati Railway was built and traversed over the farm of Hoedspruit.
Although originally established for transport reasons, passenger travel also became popular and together with this, the need for stops along the way to allow for passengers to alight and disembark from the trains, was identified. The 5 main stops that were initially identified on and alongside the Hoedspruit Farm include, Klaserie Town, Kapama, Hoedspruit, Olifanttank and Mica. In the early days of the Selati Railway, the old Steam Trains would stop at each and every stop.
Interestingly, the Hoedspruit station is actually not situated on the remaining official farm of Hoedspruit and in fact falls on the farm Berlin. This is as a result of an unintentional error. The train driver, coming from Lourenco Marques side, had been given instructions to stop after “the third bend by the large Knobthorn tree” to offload the steel and material to build the original station, and he made a mistake and selected the wrong tree where he stopped to offload the station building materials. The station was then built on this spot and it was only years later that it was realized that the Hoedspruit Station was in fact not on the farm Hoedspruit but was in the farm Berlin. Obviously, as so often happens with a train station, development then started building and occurring around the station which has eventually lead to the town we know today. So thinking back on it all, had the train driver not made the mistake he did make, either the town would be situated in a totally different location to where it is now, or alternatively, if his error had been discovered earlier and the station name then changed, we could potentially all be living in the town of Berlin today.
In the early 1950’s Schalk Roos and his son Piet Roos – originally from Brits, purchased the farm Berlin with the intention of registering the town of Hoedspruit as an official town and development. In 1952, they then built the first General Dealers and an accompanying motor repair shop alongside the railway line. The original foundation of this shop is still visible in the old building that currently houses the Game Ranch Management offices in the old section of Hoedspruit.
Following this, a mill and a small hotel was also built – Hotel Coepieba. The name Coepieba was developed by the original owner – Barend Basson and was a combination of his name and his family and friends – Coert Steinberg – a friend – contributed to the Coe portion of the name, Piet, who was his bank manager, contributed to the Pie portion of the name and then the remaining Ba was taken from his son’s name – also called Barend, thus all combined gives us the name Coe..pie…ba. Although the building has changed and has been rebuilt, Fort Coepieba as a pub still exists in the town today although it does have a fairly colourful and infamous history in the stories of early Hoedspruit life.
Tourism is one of the primary land-
Enjoy friendly relaxed service in amazing surroundings and great cuisine. Guided Game drives & walks with a FGASA guide available at the lodge and for full-day trips to Kruger Park with all the excitement of an open game vehicle. The reserve is also close to many other exciting day trips such as the Panorama Route and Graskop Gorge Lift, Jessica Hippo and Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre. Managed by the owners, passionate about offering the best getaway experience to guests.
Our Suites are TGCSA 4 Star rated
This camp offers a fully licensed bar & lounge with premium DSTV. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lounge/veranda area. Relax on the shady lodge veranda taking in the view & cool off in the pool with an amazing view. Enjoy relaxed friendly service in amazing surroundings.
Six luxury thatched suites are tucked into the natural bush; with private bathroom & outdoor shower, sitting area plus a small patio decorated with stylish furniture & choice of beds with percale linen. There is a Hospitality Tray with fresh ground coffee, French press, a choice of quality teas & homemade cookies as well as a mini-fridge. The fridge may be stocked on request, charge to guests' accounts. There is also a Turndown service with homemade Shikwari nougat and magazines.
A more budget option but still very comfortable. Well received by Local and Overseas travellers. There are 4 traditional thatched rondavels. Two rondavels (Hornbill & Woodpecker) offer a “Bush Bathroom” which is semi-open air and consist of an outdoor shower, covered toilet & basin. The other two rondavels (Shrike & Drongo) share a separate bathroom and outdoor shower suitable for 4 friends or a family with teenagers. All beds offer luxury percale linen as well as towels. All rooms have ceiling fans, a wardrobe, seating, & hospitality trays. Only Hornbill has aircon.
There is a shared lounge with Premium DSTV and a pool. Meals are taken at the main lodge. There is no actual kitchen but there is a boma for braais (barbecues) and a microwave in the lounge. Guests at Pangolin may partake of our Braai Pack and Pudding option, Please request the menu for this. If one feels like being spoilt or perhaps for a special or romantic occasion one may book ahead for the 3-course no choice dinner. All the rondavels are booked on a B&B basis. Guests may bring their own evening meals if not taking the Braai Pack and use the boma. All guests need to bring Tableware, Charcoal and a good lantern or torch. Guests at both camps take Breakfast & Dinner at the Shikwari Suites camp. Meals at Shikwari include Half Board. At Pangolin we offer B&B or Half board. Lunch packs are available on request the 24hrs ahead.
It is a short drive to the famous Kruger National Park, where the big five is seen. We can either pack you a breakfast or have our FGASA guide to escort you on an informative drive for the day. Blyde River Canyon is close by and one can go on the boat trip on the dam in the canyon to see the falls, crocodile and hippo. There are also various walks and hikes in the area. The Panorama is the higher area of the Blyde River Canyon and consequently colder in winter. Here one can visit Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, Three Rondavels, The View, God’s Window, Burkes Luck Potholes, Mac Mac Falls & Pools. Visit the town of Graskop for curios and lunch at Harries Pancakes.
These are just a few activities that we offer, there is also a cultural village to visit, elephant experience, Jessica Hippo, Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour, Moholoholo Wildlife Rehab Centre and Hoedspruit Endangered Wildlife Centre & Cheetah Research.
Favourite South African favourites such as Bobotie, Venison, Durban Curries, Karoo Lamb, Malva Pudding, Koeksüsters & Cape Brandy Tart are just some of the local treats. This along with homemade baked goods such as homemade bread, Pasta and French classics such as Cheese soufflé’s, Chocolate Fondant, Coq Au Vin Blanc maybe the order of the day as well as great fresh vegetables.
Relax at the Lodge by the plunge pool, or take a book from our library and read on the shady veranda, or take a walk or game drive with our FGASA Guide around our reserve. Our guide is also available to take guest on a full-day tour of the Kruger National Park includes brunch and drinks.and to the Panorama, the upper part of the Blyde River Canyon.
Feeling energetic? There is plenty of exciting adventure activities and sightseeing in the area…..
Go water rafting, take the Blyde Canyon Boat Cruise, hiking in Swadini and Franklin Park, Quads in Franklin Park, on horse trails, elephant interaction, sightseeing flights, abseiling, hot air ballooning or on the most fantastic Big 5 Drive trip in an open game vehicle to Kruger National Park with Guided or Self Drive. You will be assured of the most amazing safari. Bookings can be done at the main lodge or online with your accommodation. Inquire about our packages. It is best to book well ahead as this area is very popular.
Visit Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre for Wildlife and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre especially for Cheetah, Wild dog and Ground Hornbill. Visit the Kingyonga Reptile Centre where one can see all types of reptiles and listen to a very interesting talk. This is just a few activities there are lots more. Inquire when booking accommodation.
Our Game Reserve is the perfect venue to host your rustic, relaxed bush wedding. There is something magical about being serenaded by the sounds of the bushveld as you say your vows under an African sky, with spectacular sunsets, unspoiled wilderness and great service.
For the ceremony itself, you can choose the deck boma, or a romantic spot under trees near the lodge or you may want to choose a rocky outcrop with views of the bushveld that stretch as far as you can see; or a bush clearing.
For the wedding reception, we are able to offer safari-style weddings and are well equipped to provide a delicious Reception dinner for you and your guests.
This may include a traditional braai (barbecue); or “out-of-Africa” elegance under a starry sky, or cocktails accompanied by a string quartet as the sun sinks beyond the horizon. Traditional drummers, singers and dancers can also be arranged to perform at bush weddings ceremonies and receptions.
Whatever your preference, a wedding in the bush is a very romantic way of saying, “I do.”
Includes: For a wedding of up to 120 guests
There is a small one-bedroom cottage for a manager's accommodation, and also a large one-bedroom Owner's house built 5 years ago with top finishes & 2 boreholes.