Looming several hundred feet over the Olifants river bushveld is an eponymous hilltop restcamp which provides an authentic experience of this area's rugged wildlife, varied flora and exquisite panoramic view.


  • One hundred two or three-bed bungalows are available, all with en-suite ablutions (most with showers, some with baths). All units are air-conditioned, some have kitchenettes while others have communal kitchens. Rooms with or without the perimeter view of the park can be requested upon booking.
    Two four-bed units are equipped with two bathrooms each (one en-suite), air-conditioning, lounge / dining area, large veranda and outside braai (barbeque) area. Open air kitchens come with a cooker plate, dining room/lounge and outside braai (barbecue) facilities, a fridge-freezer combination, sink, cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. Once again, units are available either with or without views of the surrounding area (the river itself) upon booking
  • Guest Houses are large, luxury units, located in prime positions around the camp. Both have spectacular river views with several lookout decks. Kitchens are equipped with microwave ovens, and the units themselves have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as limited channel DSTV televisions.Nshawu house sleeps eight people in four bedrooms, as does Lebombo
  • Accommodation at Olifants Rest Camp is geared largely towards guests looking for a self-catering bushveld experience

Activities and Facilities
Olifants camp offers adventure in the form of guided bush walks and game drives, all under the supervision of well informed and keen professional field guides. Important to note is that children under the age of six are not permitted on game drives, and children under the age of twelve are restricted from game walks.

Pre-booked, overnight activities include the Olifants Wilderness Trail. These trails must be booked up to eleven months in advance to allow the camp sufficient time to coordinate and plan group sizes.

The Olifants River Back-Pack trail and surrounding mountain bike trails provide a rugged, holistic outdoor experience.

Facilities at the camp include activity information at the reception area, public telephones, post box, restaurant, cafeteria, shops, Laundromat, filling station, communal kitchens, cutlery and plate hampers available from reception, basic on-site first-aid assistance, and a day visitor picnic area in the cam. Cell phone reception is also fully available, as well as limited channel access DSTV televisions in the guest houses and TV hall.

Important Info and Warnings
Park officials warn that certain creatures which inhabit the park could prove dangerous if not approached or handled correctly. These may include bats, spiders, snakes, and scorpions.

The camp provides a dedicated camp area for day visitors, with gas cooking facilities available for rent. It is located behind the camp's reception offices.

Wildlife and Vegetation
Keeping in theme with the name of the camp, the area plays host to a multitude of elephants. Baboons, vervet monkeys, fruit bats and thick-tailed bush babies all reside in the camp area, as well as lion, leopard and Cape Clawless otter.

Situated in rugged veld on rhyolite and basalt soil, Olifants river rest hosts lowveld cluster-leaf, raisin bush and mopane. The camp itself exhibits an abundance of trees and plants, including a variety of aloe species. Probably the only accessible sesame bush in the Kruger National Park can also be seen here, as well as sjambok pod (yellow flowers), weeping boerboon (red flowers) and tree euphorbia can all be sighted in the area depending on season.

White-fronted Plover and White-crowned Lapwing (Plover) can both be seen in the riverbed. Pel's Fishing-Owl can be found on the Olifants river near Balule, along with several stork, heron and kingfisher species. White-backed night heron and (in 2002) the rare (to the park) Black Egret have also been seen in the park at very specific locations.
Most Recent Sightings - Baboon, Elephant, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Impala, Zebra, Crocodile

Travel routes and times from central Gauteng

By Air:

The closest airport to Olifants is Gateway Airport situated in Phalaborwa.
Gateway is situated approximately 3 km from Phalaborwa Gate.
There are daily scheduled flights between Gateway and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

By Road:

Phalaborwa Gate

Take the N1 toll-road to Polokwane (Pietersburg).
Forty kilometers before Polokwane, turn right onto the R71 and head for Tzaneen.
After Tzaneen, head towards Phalaborwa and the gate. Allow between 6 to 7 hours for the trip to the gate.
Olifants Rest Camp is 83 km away from the gate. Allow about 3 hours for the drive to the camp, however if you want to enjoy the game viewing possibilities give yourself more time!

GPS: -24.0056500 (latitude), 31.7402200 (longitude)