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Phalaborwa, Valley of the Olifants, Limpopo

Phalaborwa (also called Ba-Phalaborwa) is a mining town situated on the banks of the Olifants River, at the boundary of the Kruger National Park, and lending the main gate to Park the name the Phalaborwa Gate.

Phalaborwa is primarily a tourist stop for those on their into the Kruger National Park, situated only two kilometres from the Phalaborwa Gate. In addition to the Kruger National Park, there are a number of other Game Reserves in the vicinity, including Balule Private Game Reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

Other attractions in Phalaborwa include the famous Hans Merensky Golf Course (where you may well share the greens with wildlife – including elephants), air charter and river safaris on the Olifants River and the Phalaborwa Mine Complex – world renowned for its yields of mineral crystals and a 2km wide hand dug open cast mine – even wider than the Kimberley Big Hole, though not as deep. You can also enjoy activities on the Olifants River, and adventure companies who offer such activities may offer activities on the Blyde River and the beautiful Blyde River Canyon in nearby Mpumalanga.

The Phalaborwa Mining Company, which is a part of the International Rio Tinto Group, promotes community development in Phalaborwa and in the surrounding area of the Limpopo through the Palabora Foundation. One arm of this involvement is through arts and crafts projects. While not all arts and crafts projects in Phalaborwa are supported by the foundation, there is a drive for community upliftment by this means, and Phalaborwa has high quality and unique African many art, craft and curio offerings.It’s a great place to shop for qunitessential African souvenirs and art, on the way in, or on the way from the Kruger National Park at the Phalaborwa Gate.

Phalaborwa is only an hours drive from Tzaneen and the many attractions that are found in the vicinity of Tzaneen. Hoedspruit, one of best the ‘safari destinations’ in South Africa, is also just over an hour away on the R40 – a drive through a number of game reserves and game parks that border on the Kruger National Park.

Getting there: Take the R71 from Tzaneen. It’s only an hour’s drive, but give yourself plenty of time to enjoy some of the attractions on the way – including the Modjaji Cycad Reserve in the Valley of the Rain Queen.


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