Location: South Africa » Kwazulu Natal » Paulpietersburg

The town was named after President Paul Kruger and General Piet Joubert of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR). The town was laid out in 1888 and initially it was named Paulpietersrust. The name was changed twice, first to Paulpietersburg in 1898. The town formed part of the Utrecht district of the ZAR. During this time managing of towns such as Paulpietersburg was the responsibility of vrede – regters (Justices of the peace). Frans Lammerding was Paulpietersburg’s first vrederegter. He had to manage the town, sell erven and see to the financial administration. After the Anglo Boer War Paulpietersburg became part of Natal.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

How to get there - Vryheid 48 km, Piet Retief 56 km

HISTORICAL VIEW

Filter Larsen Monument – Heroes of The Zulu War

In 1879 the German settlers were living in a laager at Luneberg where the British established a fort to help protect them from attack by Zulus.

Larsen

One afternoon, while on patrol, Major Schermbrucker and a young Danish soldier by the name of Larsen were ambushed by a Zulu impi. Then the major’s horse was killed, Larsen insisted that the senior man take his horse and flee. Because of this selfless deed, the young man was killed.

Filter

Later the same year, Heinrich Filter, a seventeen year old youth, also met his death very bravely. He never hesitated when he saw a herd of cattle being driven away by the Zulus – who had already stolen more than 250 head of cattle from the farmers. He mounted the first horse he could find and galloped off after the thieves. He was ambushed and chased across the Pongola River, where he was ruthlessly stabbed to death. A granite monument was erected in honour of these two brave youths and can be seen at the crossroad where the roads split from Luneberg, Paulpietersburg and Piet Retief.

Kruger Bridge

During the floods caused by the cyclone Demoina in February 1984 many modern bridges were washed away. One of them was the bridge over the Pivaan River on the road to Vryheid. Traffic had to be detoured and once again the old main road had to be used. All the traffic had to once again cross the Kruger Bridge as well. The Kruger Bridge was completed in 1898, the year Paul Kruger was re-elected as president of the ZAR by a large majority. He was largely responsible for the construction of roads and railways to connect Pretoria with Maputo (then Lorenco Marques).

Library Building

The building was used as store room by the British during the Anglo Boer War. All but this building and the Dutch Reformed Church were burnt to the ground during the war. It is said that Paul Kruger donated 10 gold pounds towards the building of the church and it was for many years known as the Kruger Church. The corner stone of this beautiful building, built by the members of the Reformed Church, was laid in May 1899. Owing to a dwindling congregation the church was disbanded in 1951. On 4 December 1955 the church opened it’s doors once more. This time to the Lutheran Congregation of Paulpietersburg. In 1969 it was sold to the Paulpietersburg Municipality.

 

The Battle of Ntombe – Battle Signs of the Zulu War

Utter destruction and devastation greeted Major Charles Pucker and his garrison of 150 men when they arrived at Myers Drift in the early hours of 12 March 1879. The Staffordshire Volunteers, who were stationed at Luneberg to help safeguard Utrecht, as well as the tiny hamlet itself, were expecting supplies and ammunition to arrive by wagon from Derby. On 7 March Captain David Moriarty, who was dispatched to bring in this convoy, found it abandoned and scattered for miles along the north bank of the overflowing Ntombe River. Pelting rain made the task of gathering the wagons and crossing the swollen river impossible for all but two of the wagons. Moriarty decide to pitch camp and wait for the river to subside. A small laager was formed with the wagons in the shape of an inverted ‘V’ and Moriarty pitched his tent outside the apex to the laager. The two wagons which managed to reach the south bank were protected by Lt Harward and 35 of his men. Communications between the two camps was maintained by a raft built of planks and barrels. uMblini must have been gleefully watching from his stronghold in the Tafelberg Mountain only a few miles away. Seeing the soldiers wet, cold and tiredly struggling, he must have realized that they had become extremely vulnerable. On that fatal morning, at dawn, uMbilini led an 800 strong impi in attack on the sleeping, totally unprepared English. Moriarty was stabbed then shot as he tried to escape into the laager. Harward’s men started firing from the south bank. Harward ordered his men to ‘fire away’ before galloping off in search of help. Sgt Booth, Lance Cpl Burgess and seven survivors tried to cover the retreat of the fugitives being chased by the hordes of warriors across the river. They retreated even further to a deserted farmhouse about 1 km from the new Pongola Bridge. Meanwhile, Harward had alerted Major Tucker and the rest of the company, who hastened to their comrade’s assistance. Only to discover 60 men, Moriarty, the surgeon, two white wagon conductors and 15 black drivers dead, bodies strewn everywhere in the mud. Due to lack of mounted men, uMbilini plundered the wagons and withdrew with all the cattle.

The Peace of Vereeniging Statue

The Anglo Boer War was a long, hard struggle. By the end 1901 both the British and Boers were ready for peace. In January 1902 the Dutch Government proposed a mediation of peace to be declared between the two war torn nations. A delegation of Boers, under the leadership of Schalk Burger, rode to Pretoria to negotiate with Lord Milner and General Kitchener. Each ‘Kommandant’ set out to discuss these terms with his men in the field. General Botha, who was one of these commanders, met his men on the bank of the Egode River. Here they voted for peace. The statue was erected in 1935 in honour of those who participated and died in the war.

Voortrekker Gate

In 1938 a symbolic ‘Trek’ was organized throughout the then four provinces to celebrate the centenary of the Great Trek. On 14 November the Louis Trichardt wagon arrived at Elangwana station where it was met by a commando of 200 men on horse back. The ‘Trek’ entered the town with a great deal more gatiety than the original group of pioneers who forged their way into this strange land. A laager was formed at what was then the market square (where the town hall now stands) and a festival ensued. There were thanksgiving ceremonies, boere sport and a torch-carrying ceremony (fakkelloop). Concrete was paved at the entrance to the Voortrekker Park and as a permanent reminder the Trichardt wagon was drawn across by the young women of the

‘Kappie Kommando’ to leave it’s tracks under the beautiful ox wagon gate.

 

Accommodation in and around Paulpietersburg

Leopard Tree Lodge Self Catering Cottages    accommodation in Paulpietersburg
Leopard Tree Lovised to book accommodation in Satara Camp the night prior to commencing the trail unless they can guarantee they will get to Satara by 15:30 on the day of departure.

Kruger National Park Wolhuter trail

As the name implies, the Wolhuter Trail commemorates the legendary father and son rangers, Harry and Henry Wolhuter, who, for many years, patrolled the southern section of the park. The trail camp is situated midway between the Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop restcamps in the southern section of the park – the heart of white rhino country.

Persons doing the Wolhuter Trail are advised to book accommodation in Berg-en-Dal Camp the night prior to commencing the trail unless they can guarantee they will get to Berg-en-Dal by 15:30 on the day of departure.

Within the vast Lowveld landscape lies the crown jewel of Africa, protected by the encircling arms of the Highveld escarpment and the Lebombo Mountains, stretching northwards some 400 kilometres from the towering granite sentinels in the south, across rolling hills and vast basaltic plains to the Limpopo River – at times only a dry river bed, at others a boiling and raging torrent more than a kilometer wide. It is the exact opposite of so called civilization, where people are afraid to live nowadays. For here the hard and unkind lines of modern architecture are replaced with soft contours that fall easily on the eye. Here the painful city noises are exchanged for the melodies of silence and sounds that are gentle to the ear. Time slows down and deadlines are determined only by the rising and setting of the sun, the ebb and flow of seasons. This is the Kruger National Park.

Mistake it not for a place of ease. It is Africa, true Africa where the inhabitants have learned to survive it’s harsh extremities – flood and drought, fire and hail, times of abundance an times of painful scarcity. Be not unwary of disrespectful of this land, for here only the strongest survive. This is the law of Africa. See across the cobalt vault of the sky vultures wheeling and playing in the turbulent updrafts as their eyes scan the plains for those that are not strong enough. Listen as zebra stallions whinny challenges across terracotta-stained sunset grasslands. Feel the earth tremble as a buffalo herd stampedes away from hunting lions, dust churned up by thousands of hooves turning the silver orb of the full moon to the colour of blood. Raw Africa, mysterious, haunting, enticing.

Experience here the harmony that is possible between man and beast and land. Whilst shunning familiarity, feel the kinship between yourself and a great elephant bull dozing in the welcome shade of a marula tree’s outspread arms.

Dare to share a land full of life, dynamic, changing, yet timeless as the vast circle of life itself, where living interacting with other creatures of the earth restores your perspective and revitalizes your soul.

WILDLIFE

The Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this world famous park of nearly 2000 000ha is unrivalled in the diversity of it’s life forms and is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.

Truly the flagship of SA National Parks, the park is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. On the wild plains of the African savannah the visitor may have intimate encounters with lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, hippo, crocodile, rhino, impala and giraffe, offering excellent photographic opportunities.

ADVENTURE

Night Drives

Take part in the nocturnal activities of Kruger’s secretive creatures. Groups are accompanied by experienced rangers.

Bush Drives

Similar to night drives, but conducted during the day.

Wilderness Trails

The ultimate African experience. Groups of up to eight persons traverse the African wilderness under guidance of experienced, armed rangers, who not only protect, but more importantly unwrap the won-ders of the Kruger to the uninitiated.

TRAVEL

  • Daily SA Express flights from Johannesburg to Skukuza;

  • Avis car hire at Skukuza airport. Access roads to eight entrance gates are tarred; tourist roads in the park are either tarred, or good gravel road.

  • Luxury coach tours arranged by tour operators / travel agents.

Currency: SA Rand / All major credit cards

Language: English

WEATHER

Hot summers with possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening; warm dry winters and cool nights

CLOTHING

Light-weight casual cotton clothing is suitable for winter and summer; warm jersey / jacket / windbreaker for winter evenings

MALARIA

Precautions against malaria should be taken

REST CAMPS

Most of the camps have electricity, a shop, a restaurant or cafeteria, public telephones, communal cooking facilities, a first aid station and a Laundromat / laundry tubs. The camps are fenced to ensure safety and are beautifully laid out. Information centres are located at Letaba, Skukuza and Berg-en-Dal. Most camps offer a holiday programme and evening film shows. Pretoriuskop, Mopani, Shingwedzi and Berg-en-Dal have swimming pools. Nature trails have been laid out at Punda Maria, Berg-en-DAl (accessible to blind or visually impaired visitors) and Pretoriuskop.

Berg-en-Dal

A medium sized camp on the banks of the Matjulu Spruit. Crocodile Bridge, a small camp near Crocodile Bridge Gate. There are no restaurant facilities. Pretoriuskop is the oldest camp in the Kruger National Park, located close to Numbi Gate. The camp has a natural rock swimming pool and, due to it’s higher altitude, is a little cooler in summer.

Lower Sabie

Is located approximately 35 km from Crocodile Bridge Gate, overlooking a dam in the Sabie River which attracts large numbers of animals.

Skukuza

Located on the Sabie River, is the main camp in the Kruger National Park and boasts modern facilities often compared to that of a small town. There is a bank, a doctor, a library, a police station and an information centre. There is an airfield nearby with regular flights to and from Johannesburg. Vehicles can be hired from a car rental agency.

Orpen

Is a small camp located close to the Orpen Gate. There is no restaurant.

Satara

Is located in an area boasting the largest lion population in the park. Satara is the second largest camp in the Kruger.

Olifants

Is located high on a bluff overlooking the Olifants River, offering beautiful views.

Balule

Is a small restcamp situated only 11 km from Olifants.

Letaba

Is located on a large bend of the Letaba River. It is a beautiful, shady camp with a lot of trees and many animals, especially in winter.

Mopani

Is located on the edge of the Pioneer Dam, 45 km from Letaba.

Shingwedzi

Is the largest camp in the northern section of the Kruger.

Punda Maria

Is the northmost restcamp in the park, boasting an attractive wilderness setting.

ACCOMMODATION

There are a number of accommodation options available in the Kruger National Park, different not only in size, facilities and appearance, but also in price range. In addition to the 10 main rest camps, offering accommodation ranging from safari tents to 2 or 3 bed bungalows, family cottages and luxury guest houses, there are small bush lodges and bushveld camps. Camping sites and caravan stands are provided in no less than nine of the big camps and in three of the smaller rest camps.

All units are serviced daily, with bedding and towels provided. Most of the units are equipped with air conditioners or fans. Where visitors are accommodated in units without cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. Communal cooking and braai facilities are provided in all the camps.

Special accommodation provisions have been made for paraplegics at Crocodile Bridge, Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Skukuza, Satara, Olifants, Letaba, Mopani, Shingwedzi, Jakkalsbessie, Nwanetsi, Pretoriuskop and Tamboti.

ACCOMMODATION CLASSIFICATIONS

Bungalows

Consists of one room and a bathroom. Some bungalows have a kitchen with basic equipment, others share communal cooking facilities. Bungalows are available at Berg-en-Dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Lower Sabie, Mopani, Olifants, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Satara, Shingwedzi, Malelane and Skukuza.

Caravan & Camping Sites

Sites are available at Balule, Berg-en-Dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Malelane, Maroela, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Satara, Shingwedzi and Skukuza. A maximum number of six people are allowed per stand. All the sites, except those at Balule, have power points. Communal ablution and cooking facilities are provided at all the camps. Communal freezers are available at Malelane, Balule and Maroela. Not all the camps allow the use of groundsheets.

Cottages

These consist of one bedroom, a living room, a bathroom and partially equipped kitchen or kitchenette. Punda Maria, Mopani, Biyamiti, Shimuweni, Sirheni and Talamati.

Family Cottages

Units with one, two or three bedrooms with one bathroom, and a partially equipped kitchen. Skukuza, Berg-en-Dal, Pretorius-kop and Olifants.

Guest Cottages

These are units with two or three bedrooms with at least two bathrooms, of which one is en-suite. The kitchens are fully equipped. Skukuza, Mopani, Olifants, Lower Sabie, Satara, Orpen, Pretoriuskop, Letaba, Shingwedzi and in all the bushveld camps

Guest Houses

Secluded units within a restcamp, with three or four bedrooms, most with en-suite bathrooms. Fully equipped kitchens and communal lounge / living room or open veranda.

Berg-en-Dal

Rhino Guest House (8 people), J le Roux Guest House (6 people),

Letaba

Fish Eagle Guest House (8 people), Melville Guest House (9 people)

Lower Sabie

Keartland Guest House (7 people)

Mopani

Xanatseni Guest House (8 people)

Olifants

Lebombo Guest House (8 people); Nshawu Guest House (8 people)

Pretoriuskop

Doherty Bryant Boma (9 people); Pierre Joubert Guest House (8 people)

Satara

Rudy Frankel Guest House (8 people), Stanley Guest House (9 people), Wells Guest House (6 people)

Shingwedi

Rentmeester Guest House (7 people)

Skukuza

Moni Guest House (8 people), Nyati Guest House (8 people), Waterkant (8 people), Volkskas Guest House (8 people)

Huts

These consist of one bedroom and communal ablution and kitchen facilities. Cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery are not provided in Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop, Balule, Letaba and Shingwedzi, but in Orpen each hut has basic cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery.

Safari Tents

The Safari tents are equipped with beds, a cupboard, table and chairs, fridge and electric fan. Communal kitchen and ablution facilities. Skukuza, Letaba and Tamboti

BUSHVELD CAMPS

Bushveld camps provide luxurious accommodation in smaller, more remote rest camps. These camps do not have shops or restaurants and access is restricted to overnight visitors with reserved accommodation. Electrical equipment such as hair dryers cannot be used except at Jakkalsbessie, Biyamiti and Bateleur. Open verandes often serve as both kitchen and dining room. All units are equipped with a fridge, cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery and a stove. All units have their own private ablution facilities. Communal freezers are available at Biyamiti, Shimuwini, Talamati and Sirheni. Game drives are organized in most of the bushveld camps.

Bataleur

Is located 40 km south of Shingwedzi. Accommodation facilities consist of seven guest cottages, sleeping four or six. The camp has electricity and electrical plugs are available in the units. The main bedroom in each unit has an air-conditioner.

Biyamiti

Has ten 5 bed guest cottages and five 4 bed cottages. The camp has electricity and electrical plugs are available in the units. All units have ceiling fans.

Jackalsbessie

Is located 7 km from Skukuza and consists of eight guest cottages, sleeping four people. The camp has electricity and electrical plugs are available in the units. Jakkalsbessie does not have it’s own reception office and visitors are to report to the Skukuza office at least half an hour before the gate closes.

Shimuwini

Is located on the Letaba River, 50 km north of the Phalaborwa Gate, and has 10 guest cottages (one 6 bed and nine 5 beds) and five 4 bed cottages. Solar panels provide electrical power for lights and fans only.

Sirheni

Is located 55 km southwards of Punda Maria and has one 6 bed and nine 5 beds and five 4 bed cottages. Solar panels provide electrical power for lights and fans only.

Talamati

Is located 30 km south of Orpen Gate and has one 6 bed and nine 5 beds and five 4 bed cottages. Solar panels provide electrical power for lights and fans only.

BUSH LODGES

A bush lodge is a private, exclusive lodge providing the opportunity for tourists to enjoy complete privacy. There are no shops or restaurants at these lodges, but they are otherwise fully equipped. Bush Lodges can only be reserved en bloc.

Boulders

Is located 50 km north of Letaba and can accommodate 12 people. Solar panels provide electrical power for lights and fans only. Apart from the main unit with it’s two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, there are four other bedrooms with bathrooms.

Jock of the Bushveld

Is located 40 km from Berg-en-Dal and can accommodate 12 people in three 2 bedroom bungalows, each with it’s own en suite bathroom. Solar panels provide electrical power for lights and fans only. There are no air conditioners or fans.

Nwanetsi

Is located 27 km from Satara and can accommodate 16 people in four 3 bed bungalows and two 2 bed bungalows, each with it’s own bathroom. There is no electricity. Gas lamps are provided.

Roodewal

Is located 40 km from Olifants and can accommodate 19 people in one 2 bedroom family cottage and, three 3 bed bungalows. The loft in these contains two mattresses. Solar panels provide electrical power for lights and fans only.

WILDERNESS TRAILS

Wilderness Trails allow adventurous visitors a close personal encounter with nature by traversing larges areas of unspoilt wilderness on foot, under guidance of armed and experienced trail rangers. In keeping with the wilderness atmosphere, sites for the trail camps are carefully selected for their scenic beauty and diverse plant and animal life. Groups spend three nights in four rustic two bed huts. Ablution facilities comprise reed walled showers and flush toilets. A covered lapa serves as a dining / socializing area where the campfire’s flickering shadows encourage stories of adventurers in the African bush. Simple wholesome meals are provided. The day commences with coffee and rusks in the crisp morning hours. A light meal is enjoyed in the bush and brunch awaits the group when they return at noon. Evening meals comprise either hunter’s stew or barbeque, supplemented with salads and vegetables. Groups are limited to eight persons. Duration three nights and two days. Advance reservations are essential.

Bushman Trail

The Bushman Trail lies in the southwestern section of the Kruger National Park, near Berg-en-Dal Restcamp. The trail camp is situated in a secluded valley. The landscape is characterised by awe-inspiring granite hills, reminiscent of the Zimbabwean Motopos, which provide splendid vantage points in the surrounding bush where white rhino, elephant and buffalo are frequently encountered. San \ Bushman paintings can be viewed in many of the hill shelters and are a feature of this trail.

Metsi-Metsi Trail

The Metsi-Metsi Trail runs through the area east of the Nwarmuriwa Mountain near Tshokwane. The trail camp nestles at the foot of the mountain and overlooks a small waterhole. A hide provides the ideal place to view many species of birds and mammals at close range. The landscape varies from undulating savannah to rocky gorges and ravines. The Nwaswitsontso River, being one of the few permanent sources of water during the dry winter months, attracts an abundance of game – especially elephant. A great variety of wildlife, including black rhino and large predators, can be found here.

Napi Trail

Situated midway between Skukuza and Pretoriuskop in picturesque woodland bushveld, the trail camp of the Napi Trail lies nestled in luxuriant riverine bush at the confluentce of the Napi and Byamiti streams. The Napi wilderness is characterised by undulating terrain, granite hills and a high resident population of white rhino. Black rhino, elephant, lion and buffalo frequent the area and are often seen on the trail. Birdlife is prolific.

Nyalaland Trail

The Nyalaland Trail winds through one of the prime wilderness areas of southern Africa. The trail camp is situated on the bank of the Madzaringwe Stream north of Punda Maria, near the Luvuvhu River. The magnificent Lanner Gorge and other vantage points offer splendid views of the South African, Zimbabwean and Mozambique bushveld. The area is known for it’s fever trees and baobab forests, prolific birdlife and spectacular views. The beauty of this wild area more than makes up for it’s lack of big game. Another interesting feature of the trail is the presence of various fossil sites.

Olifants Trail

The trail camp for the Olifants Trail is situated on the southern bank of the Olifants River, west of the Olifants / Letaba confluence. It offers a magnificent view of a beautiful stretch of this perennial river which ultimately flows through Mozambique and into the sea. The landscape varies from riverine bush and gorges to the foothills of the Lebombos and supports a variety of wildlife. Sightings of lion, buffalo and elephant are common. The Olifants River is home to crocodile, hippo and many bird species. The call of the African Fish Eagle is almost synonymous with this trail and the rare Pel’s Fishing Owl can often be seen along the riverine vegetation.

Sweni Trail

Conjure up a picture of Africa at it’s wildest: herbs of zebra and wildebeest and tall stately giraffe scattered across sun-drenched grass plains; the pungent smell of buffalo in one’s nostrils, the heart stopping sight of an enormous elephant bull feeding in a thick stand of lala palms only metres away… The trail camp of the Sweni Trail, which overlooks the Sweni Stream in the wilderness near Nwanetsi provides a view of the surrounding marula and knobthorn savannah. This area is home to the Sweni lion pride and both black and white rhino are often sighted.

Wolhunter Trail

Take a nostalgic walk in the footsteps of the legendary veteran father and son rangers, Harry and Henry Wolhunter, or visit the old haunts of Jock of the bushveld – the dog made famous by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. The trail camp of the Wolhunter Trail is situated midway between Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop in the southern section of the park – the heart of white rhino country. A geological feature of note is the impressive Mangake Hill, which towers over the surrounding bush like a granite sentinel. The Mlambane Stream and other riverbanks offer exciting walks where buffalo, elephant, rhino (black and white), lion, leopard and zebra are frequently sighted. Sunset at Stolsnek and Newu dams, with the associated birdlife, is an unforgettable experience.

Accommodation in and around Eastern Cape

Sara-Lee B&B    accommodation in Eastern Cape
Facilities All rooms are ensuite, comfortable and have heaters. Other facilities at Sara Lee B&B include: Swimming PoolBraai facilitiesChild friendlyTV in rooms Things to do in the area GolfBird watchingHiking4x4 trails ... More




Directory of accommodation in Eastern Cape