A Glimpse At Pretoriuskop Rest Camp
Updated: Jan 7
located on the westernmost side of the park we look at Pretoriuskop Rest Camp. in addition to its status as the oldest rest camp in the Kruger National Park, is also in the top three in terms of size. Being one of the rest camps closest to Johannesburg or Pretoria, it is a fine choice to spend your weekend getaway or spend your first night on your wildlife adventure through the park.
During your stay at Pretoriuskop Rest Camp, you can easily find rhino, buffalo, kudu and large herds of baboons around the camp. Lion and leopard are also frequently spotted on the hills near Pretoriuskop. Various unique antelope species, including the beautiful sable antelope, Lichtenstein hartebeest and the extremely rare roan antelope (bastergemsbok) are all great attractions. You will also find many smaller species such as dassies, klipspringer, oribi and red duiker.
Most of the trees in the camp are clearly marked and the bird life is truly something special. The colourful African green pigeons love eating the fruit of the many wild fig trees, and the red-breasted sunbirds cannot resist the flowers in the well-kept garden close to reception, where you could also spot Red-headed weavers and Black cuckoos. During summer, Pretoriuskop and the surrounding area is one of the best places to spot the Pennant-winged nightjar with its beautiful long wings.
A large variety of accommodation options are available, from self-catering to campsites with and without power. There are also family cottages and two larger guest houses. large convenience store is always well-stocked, a restaurant and clean maintained rock pool for those hot African days. Being one of the camps closest to the cities, this is one of few camps in the Kruger National Park that has full cellular and internet coverage, so you can upload your photos and videos you’ve taken for the day. The restaurant does have wi-fi for guests to use.
Game drives and several day-long hiking trails can also be booked at reception. A highlight for hiking addicts is the Napi Wilderness Route, a luxury three-day route offering ensuite tents, five-star catering and daily sundowners.
This grandfather of Kruger camps offers so much more than the eye can see at first glance, so take the time to explore this piece of paradise. The are many picturesque routes around Pretoriuskop. Close to the camp is the S14 (Fayi loop), offering panoramic views and stunning landscapes – so keep your camera handy! When you’re done exploring the dirt roads around the camp, you can drive the historically significant Voortrekker Street (H2-2) where wilddog and cheetah are frequently spotted. With a little luck, you might just see why the cheetah is the world’s fastest mammal since they regularly hunt on these plains.
Another road to explore is the main H1-1 tar road leading to Numbi gate. Here you can turn right onto the S1, where there is an active lion pride. The large Mestel Dam attracts game aplenty, which makes it ideal for that early-morning coffee and rusk pitstop. The S3 is a bit further along, but the Big Five are often spotted here. The Transport Dam on the S66 is very popular, and the Shitlhave Dam offers a great backdrop for a late sundowner as it is conveniently close to the camp.
For adventurous visitors, there is the Madlabantu 4×4 Trail. The name is Zulu for “Man eater” and the 42km route starts at the Fayi loop, just outside Pretoriuskop. It passes through the Nsikazi River, which is known Big Five country, and ends further north on the Napi road where you will find the Mtshawu Dam near the towering Shabeni Head. The route is also used for overnight hiking trails, so do not be surprised if you see people walking in the veld. It takes about six hours to complete by car and only six 4×4 vehicles are allowed at a time. Note that this route is climate sensitive and dry river crossings can turn into mud baths during the rainy season.
There is a hyena den in the area and large herds of zebra and blue wildebeest regularly drink at the dam. If you want to drive a little further, the Byamiti loop (S114) with its many low-water bridges offers ample opportunities to photograph a wide variety of waterbirds. Pretoriuskop is the park’s oldest rest camp, and the residence of the first ranger in the Kruger, Harry Wolhuter. His hut can still be seen there today, and it’s worth taking a look at some of the photos at reception which give a glimpse into the area’s long history. The camp has one of the most beautiful swimming pools in the park, with large shade trees and tables where the whole family can unwind and have a picnic.
Explore the S22, where you will see the Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Tablet. The Renosterkoppies Dam – another lovely lookout point – is only a stone’s throw away. This is home to fairly large herds of klipspringer, making it an ideal place to get close enough to these skittish antelope for a photograph.
Join us at Nhongo Safaris on one of our overnight Kruger National Park adventures where you will be able to spend a night or two at this Golden Oldie.
Best wishes to all you amazing people. May your holidays be filled with love, happiness, prosperity and adventure!