The small, well known camp of Orpen is popular for its easy access to
surrounding grassland vistas, with grazers accompanying the sweet grass, and
predators trailing never far behind. Knowledgeable game rangers guide visitors
towards guided savannah trails, game-viewing hides, and self-guided flora-walks.
Alternatively, guests are free to lounge about the pool.
Recognised for its diversity of habitat and activity, the camp is also superbly
hospitable: guests are greeted with chilled champagne and canopes upon arrival,
and are largely left out of the check-in procedure.
- Available are six two-bed bungalows (with single beds), equipped with
en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning. Bathrooms are fitted with showers.
Kitchens are open air, and come with cooker tops, fridge/freezer
combinations and a full selection of cutlery, crockery and utensils.
- Three six-bed guest cottages are also available, each with two bedrooms
and air-conditioning. One bedroom is fitted with an en-suite bathroom, with
a separate shower and wash basin available for communal use. All units have
attached and equipped kitchenettes, with fridge/freezer combinations, sinks,
cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. An outside veranda that serves as a
Accommodation at Orpen Rest Camp is geared towards guests looking for an
authentic, self-catering bushveld experience.
Activities and Facilities
Orpen 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
Pre-booked, overnight activities include the Bundu Trail. These trails must be
booked up to eleven months in advance to allow the camp sufficient time to
coordinate and plan group sizes.
Timbavati Picnic Site, and Ratel Pan Bird Hide (located about fifty-five and
fifty-eight kilometers outside the camp respectively) allow guests to actively
explore the camp area and take in some of the indigenous wildlife.
Facilities at the camp include activity information at the reception area,
public telephones, post box, shops, laundromat, filling station, communal
bathrooms, basic on-site first-aid assistance, cutlery and plate hampers
available from reception, a day visitor picnic area in the camp, and a swimming
pool. Cell phone reception is also fully available.
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.
Orpen has a designated day visitor area with a braai (barbecue) area for day
visitors and visitors from other camps. Picnic sites are also available at
Muzandzeni and Nhlanguleni southwest of the camp, and Timbavati northeast of the
camp. There is a shop (please note, not a restaurant), available to Tamboti and
The filling station at Orpen only accepts petro cards (garage cards) and cash
Wildlife and Vegetation
The drive from Orpen to Satara offers herds of zebra, wildebeest, giraffe,
impala, warthog and elephant.
Turning from here to the Timbavati river offers a good chance of spotting lion,
cheetah and leopard.
The camp has acacias and marula trees sharing the grounds with red bush willows,
and huts are separated by rock gardens flecked with aloe and Barbeton daisies
The area around the camp allows for watchings the nomadic Senegal (Lesser
Black-winged) Plover, and, on a few occasions, Montagu's Harrier. White-faced
and Comb (Knob-billed) Ducks, Little Grebe (Dabchick) and Lesser Moorhen,
African Rail and African Crake, as well as Wooly-necked, Marabou, Open-billed
(African Openbill), White and Black storks may all be seen in the camp and
surrounding areas. Addtionally, the camp is home to a wealth of raptors,
shrikes, nightjars and owls.
Most Recent Sightings - Zebra, Baboon, Buffalo, Bushbuck , Elephant, Giraffe,
Travel routes and times from central Gauteng
The closest airport to Orpen is Eastgate Airport that is situated in Hoedspruit. The airport is approximately 68 km from Orpen Gate.
Head toward Nelspruit on the N4 and take the R540 Belfast turn off.
At Lydenburg turn left onto the R36 heading north.
30 km before Hoedspruit turn right onto the R531 and head to the gate. Allow between 4 to 5 hours for the trip to the gate.
Orpen camp is right at the gate.
GPS: -24.4747 (latitude), 31.3910 (longitude)