Completed in 1992, Mopani Camp is the newest of all the rest camp accommodation and lodging in Kruger National Park. Inside Mopani Camp indigenous vegetation has been left largely untouched, while newly planted trees have been laid out along the camp's tarred roads.
Mopani Rest Camp takes its name from the mopane trees that are so prevalent on the surrounding plains. In autumn the butterfly-shaped leaves change to striking hues before falling off in September and October.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the thatched buildings, with their rock faced walls, and surrounding paving, blend into the bushveld environment. All the buildings are built from natural materials such as rough stone, wood and thatching-grass, which blends them in beautifully with the environment.
There are 4 types of accommodation in Kruger National Park: the top of the range Xaxanetsi Guesthouse, spacious 3 bedroom family cottages, luxury double bedroom cottages and small single bedroom bungalows.
Mopani Rest Camp also boasts a unique sleep over hide from their accommodation in Kruger National Park. Shipandane functions as a bird hide during the day, but can be reserved at a nominal fee from half an hour before gates close until half and hour after gates opens. The hide has 6 fold-down beds, an eco-toilet and a small boma with barbeque facilities to enhance Kruger Park nightlife.
On payment of deposit, bedding and a picnic basket with cutlery and crockery will be provided. Just remember to bring your own water and wood when arriving at the hide.
Mopani Camp facilities and amenities include electricity, air-conditioning, restaurant and bar, self-service and take-aways at the cafeteria, a fuel station, a laundromat and irons, a shop (enjoy shopping in Kruger Park), information centre and braai (barbecue) facilities.
The area is rich in plant species like the Mopane Shrub, Red Bushwillow Trees and Sweet Grass, providing rich grazing for Impala, Warthog, Elephant and Buffalo. Mopani Camp is 47 kilometres (29 miles) from the Letaba Rest Camp and 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Shingwedzi Rest Camp. The nearest gate is the Phalaborwa Gate - 74 kilometres (46 miles) away.
Vacation visitors have the unique opportunity of taking guided tours and day trips to the Shilowa heritage sites, which lies right on the Tropic of Capricorn along the Kruger National Parks eastern boundary. The so-called First Site traces a history of human occupation of the period between 1200 AD and 1600 AD.
Archaeologists were guided to the site by the change in the grass species, symptomatic of an alteration in the chemical composition of the soil caused by the 2 metre deep ash deposits in the area. The second site dates back to the late 1700s when the Pedi inhabited the area. Chief Shilowa, who owed allegiance to the Tsonga chief Gugunyane, lead an attack around 1800, driving the Pedi out.
It is commonly believed that the Tsonga moved in to take over the site, due to its well situated water supply and ready access to trade routes. As the 19th century wore on, African tribes expanded their trade in copper, iron, ivory and gold, exchanging goods with the Voortrekkers, traders, hunters and fortune seekers that began to move into the area.