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It’s hardly a speck on a map but Hazyview in South Africa is very familiar to local and international visitors. That’s because Hazyview is the gateway town to the celebrated Kruger National Park. This is safari country where exclusive resorts stand alongside luxury lodges, backpacker digs and tented camps for the world to enjoy the 19000km² of diverse game in the park.
Four regional roads from all directions meet up in Hazyview, an appealing town surrounded by masses of flora, birds, butterflies and two rivers. The area has abundant banana plantations and the eye is immediately drawn to the bright green colours of the fruit’s leaves.
The town experiences hot summer days, thus the hazy reference in the name when the blazing sun shimmers over the town.
Top 8 reasons to visit Hazyview
1. A visit to the Kruger National Park is a must. The vast network of roads and bountiful game will ensure a thrilling game drive. Some examples of the various animals counted several years ago were 40000 buffalo, 2000 leopard and 160000 impala antelope, an indication of the size of this park, able to comfortably house these thriving populations.
2. Enjoy an interactive session with an African elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary outside Hazyview. The sanctuary offers elephant rides. Early risers can brush down the elephants or walk hand-in-trunk with these majestic beasts.
3. Test yourself on the treetop challenge at Skyway Trails. This is an obstacle course up in the trees where you are required to cross a series of beams, rope bridges and rope mesh, and to end with a 50m zipline back to base.
4. Relax and unwind at the Summerfields Rose Retreat & Spa after an exciting day out in the bush. Look out for their specials that include Swedish and aromatherapy massages.
5. Share a quiet moment high in the sky on a dawn journey over the Kruger National Park in a hot air balloon. Experience the magnificent African sun as it climbs over mist-filled, natural vegetation.
6. The Kruger Park Lodge Golf Club has only 9 holes but it’s a beautiful Gary Player-designed parklands course created around natural features and with animals roaming the fairways.
7. With stores spanning 2 levels, the Lowveld Mall is going to be the last chance to purchase conveniences on the way in to the Kruger National Park. This bright, airy centre has a few outdoor restaurants and several take-away eateries.
8. The two rivers on either end of Hazyview, the Sabie and the North Sand River, are part of a large catchment area and home to many species of fish. Hire a fishing rod to catch-and-release yellowfish, churchill and bulldog, to name a few species.
The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit) is a 45km drive from Hazyview. International flights arrive via Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Car rental agencies are located at the airport and Mbombela, otherwise order a vehicle online. Shuttle operators and metered taxis offer transport between White River and other towns.
Did you know?
You may have read the book or seen the movie of Jock of the Bushveld, the true life adventures of an author’s brave and loyal dog who once chased off a lion. Jock was born in the scenic Pretoriuskop camp, a few kilometres from the Kruger National Park’s Numbi gate.
Hazyview is considered a malaria-free zone, however, it’s always best to avoid infection by taking the necessary precautions before visiting.
For a more down to earth experience there are guest houses. Less expensive than hotels, they offer a more homey environment, as well as more privacy. Converted from a private house it’s a much gentler environment and for those with furry friends, there are also pet friendly options. They are usually well situated with shops and places of interest nearby. Being so small it offers a much more personal and intimate attention to it’s upkeep, leaving you with a more polished and homely experience.