HOYO HOYO SAFARI LODGE

Distinct thatched peaks that peep over the tree-line and flashes of burnt orange through lush Leadwood trees signal guests’ arrival at Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, set on the banks of the Mluwati River in the heart of the Kruger National Park.

A celebration of the local Tsonga culture, from its traditional rondawel rooms to the splashes of tribal design and earthy tones defining its interiors, Hoyo Hoyo exudes a hearty spirit of warmth and welcoming.

Expect an authentic encounter with the local Tsonga culture in extraordinary bush surroundings; the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s most renowned conservation areas and home to the Big Five.

Join the Cape-Turtle Doves and Arrow-Marked Babblers as they welcome a new day, heading out in to the bush for a feast of the senses; the smell of damp grasses, the pinks, oranges and yellows of a gorgeous African sunrise, the hissing of hundreds of crickets preparing for a warm bush day.

Spend your afternoon lazing at the infinity pool, watching the Monarch butterflies flit past and the geckos scurrying across the deck, or retreat to the comfortable lounge for a quiet read surrounded by traditional Tsonga craft and the light breeze of a lazy afternoon.

Savour a tasty Tsonga feast, treat yourself to a lengthy afternoon siesta or indulge in a soothing massage to revive body and mind.

Let the rhythm of the Shangaan ease and entertain you, inspire and teach you. Sit on the deck surrounding the open-air fire and stare at the brilliant starry sky as you listen to a storyteller tell tales of local myths and legends.

Get up close and personal with local traditions, a special encounter with the Kruger National Park and first-class hospitality at Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, guaranteeing a memorable African bush experience.

Location

Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge is located within the private 10 000-hectare concession of Mluwati in the western region of the Kruger National Park, bordering the northern Sabi Sands and Manyeleti Game Reserves.

The vision of Paul Kruger, once president of the former Transvaal Republic, the Kruger National Park was proclaimed as early as 1898 as the Sabie Game Reserve. At the time President Kruger believed that the animals of South Africa’s Lowveld needed to be protected, but it took another 12 years for the expanse between the Sabie and Crocodile rivers to be declared an area of restricted hunting, with James Stevenson-Hamilton appointed the park’s first warden in 1902.

The first tour including an overnight stop at the Sabie Bridge (now Skukuza) organised by the South African Railways in 1923. Tourists visiting the park slept on the train and a game ranger would spend an evening with them around a campfire sharing interesting anecdotes about the bush.

The popularity of this tour gave rise to a range of tourist facilities in the park, including rest huts at Satara, Pretoriuskop, Letaba, Malelane and Skukuza, among other camps.  Roads were built in the 1930s to allow self-drive tourists to enjoy the park at their leisure and by 1934 about 1 200km of road were completed.

For almost 100 years, local and international visitors have had access to the park and enjoyed one of the world’s premier game-viewing destinations. Kruger is home to an estimated 1 500 lion, 12 000 elephant, 2 500 buffalo, 1 00 leopards and white and black rhino. Big Five aside, there are a myriad of other wildlife species to be admired with some 145 mammal species occurring in the park, including hippo, giraffe, zebra, cheetah and wild dog, among others.

Keen birders will adore a visit to the Kruger National Park with almost 500 bird species on the park’s list. From the brilliantly colourful displays of the Kingfisher and the distinct call of the Fish Eagle, to the Giant Eagle Owl perched in a bare Leadwood tree, you could spend your days admiring our feathered friends.

But there’s more to the Kruger than its wildlife, with almost 254 known cultural heritage sites, including 130 recorded rock art sites, 300 archaeological sites of Stone Age man and San Rock Art. Imbali Safari Lodge was in fact built on the site of an ancient African settlement.

As of the 01st November 2016 Gate Entry fee for Guests staying at Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge will be R76.00 per person per stay. This fee is payable at the gate of entry and will be required to hand back your receipt to the gate attendant upon departure.

Please be aware of gate entrance times into the Kruger National Park as they vary throughout the year, depending on the season. Entrance into the park via Orpen Gate should be no later than two hours prior to gate closure time and via Kruger Gate should be no later than three hours prior to gate closure times.

Lodge Gate Opening Times:

October – March

05h30

April – September

06h00

Lodge Gate Closing Times:

November – February

18h30

March – April

18h00

May – July

17h30

August – October

18h00

Speed Limit
While driving within the Kruger National Park, please adhere to the legal speed limit of 50km per hour on tar roads and 40km per hour on dirt roads.

Safety precautions
Please adhere to the Kruger National Park safety precautions, and do not disembark from your vehicle unless you are in a designated area.

Cell phone reception
Cell phone signal is only available at the entrance gates and close to Skukuza, it is therefore recommended to make any necessary calls at the gate upon entry. 

Getting There

SA Express to Hoedspruit:
Hoyo Hoyo offers complimentary transfer for all flights. These are subject to availability of the transfer vehicles and valid for FIT reservations only.  Please note that this is not a shuttle service and all transfers must be booked at time of reservation.

Federal Air from Johannesburg or KMIA:
Guests will fly into the Manyeleti airstrip where they will be collected by the lodge. Driving times from the lodge is approximately an hour and a half. This transfer is charged at R40 per vehicle and R30 per person.

Airlink to Skukuza or KMIA:
Airlink offers flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town direct to Skukuza from 2 June 2014. Airlink also offers direct flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town direct to Nelspruit KMIA.

Transfers are available, but are subject to availability of the transfer vehicles and valid for FIT reservations only.  Please note that this is not a shuttle service and all transfers must be booked at time of reservation.

Connecting times
We recommend the following connecting times to ensure that passengers do not miss any connecting flights:

Departing Johannesburg

  • Domestic flights into Johannesburg must arrive two hours prior to the departing times of your connecting flight to Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
  • International flights into Johannesburg must arrive two and a half hours prior to your connecting flight to Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

Departing Hoedspruit

  • Domestic flights departing from Johannesburg must be booked to depart OR Tambo two hours after the arrival of your connecting flight from Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
  • International flights departing from Johannesburg must be booked to depart OR Tambo three and a half hours after the arrival of your connecting flight from Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
  • Depart from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg
  • Take the R21 highway North towards Pretoria
  • Before reaching Pretoria, take the N4 highway East
  • Turnoff at Belfast, take the R540 towards Dullstroom (approximately 37km)
  • At Dullstroom, take the R540 towards Lydenburg (approximately 43km)
  • At Lydenburg, take the R36 towards Ohrigstad (approximately 62km)
  • At Ohrigstad, take the R527 towards Hoedspruit (Note: You will pass through the JG Strijdom Tunnel)
  • 16km before Hoedspruit, at the Swadini Reptile Centre, turn right onto the R531 towards Klaserie
  • After about 30km, turn left onto the Orpen Gate Road (R531)
  • After 40km you will reach the Orpen Gate of the Kruger National Park

Orpen Gate Entry:
(45km from the Orpen Gate)

  • After entering the Orpen Gate travel for 22km on the H7.
  • Turn right on the S36 where you will see the signpost marked Imbali, Hamiltons, Hoyo Hoyo with the exact distances.
  • After about 20km turn right on the S145 where it is signposted for Imbali and Hoyo Hoyo after 3km turn left at the no entry sign.
  • Drive for 3.5km where you will reach a T-junction.
  • Turn right to Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge.

Paul Kruger Gate Entry:
(95km from the Paul Kruger Gate)

  • Enter Paul Kruger Gate
  • Proceed toward Skukuza
  • From Skukuza take the H1-2 towards Satara (32km)
  • Turn left S36 (Dirt Road) signs will read Imbali Safari Lodge/Hoyo Hoyo Tsonga Lodge/Hamiltons Tented Camp
  • Continue on S36 for 40km
  • At T-junction turn left onto S125 for 5km then right S36
  • Continue for 6km
  • Turn left S145 for 3km
  • At the signs for Imbali Safari Lodge and Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, turn left
  • Travel about 4km to T-Junction, turn right for Hoyo-Hoyo (4km)

Accommodation

Guests are accommodated in six circular air-conditioned Tsonga homesteads with traditional earth-coloured walls and tapered thatched reed roofs.

Tsonga tradition runs throughout these comfortable homesteads; the warm glow of brightly coloured walls, traditional ornaments and little embellishments on lamps, door handles and mirrors bringing this local culture to life.

Relax on your private deck looking out on to the bush, take a long, leisurely shower in the open air or melt in to your comfortable king-size bed for an afternoon siesta. It’s your relaxing, informal bush experience on your terms.

Room facilities and amenities include:

  • Safe
  • Hairdryer
  • Separate bath and outdoor shower
  • Bathroom amenities
  • Insect repellent
  • Umbrellas
  • Air Conditioning
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities

Dining

Your rewards for a hard day’s safari are the delicious dishes created by Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge’s talented chef.

Homemade baked goods, light salads and local specialties such as beetroot salad and ostrich steak are served in relaxed surroundings; the sounds of the bush providing all the accompaniment you need for a memorable dining experience.

Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast with a variety of fruits, nuts, yoghurts, breads, pastries and cheese or opt for a full English breakfast with bacon, sausage and eggs; freshly squeezed orange juice and strong coffee at the ready after your morning game drive.

Lunch is a light, informal affair with a buffet laden with tasty salads and meats. Followed not long after by High Tea with tea or coffee to wash down a delicious selection of cakes and pastries baked freshly at the lodge.

After a rewarding evening’s safari, warm yourself around Hoyo Hoyo’s open-air fire and enjoy a magical three-course dinner under the stars. Good wine and good conversation flow while you listen to the enchanting sounds of the surrounding bush coming alive at night.

Highlights

  • Authentic Tsonga tradition and culture
  • Big Five Kruger National Park experience
  • Set upon an ancient elephant route
  • Located on the banks of the Mluwati river
  • Six traditional circular Tsonga homesteads

Kick-start your day before the sun rises, dunking a homemade rusk into a steamy cup of coffee before setting off on your morning game drive with your assigned ranger.

Watch as the bush awakens around you; the dew glistens on the webs of the Golden Orb spider and Lilac Breasted Rollers flash their startling sky-blue bellies as they flit past your game vehicle.

See wild dogs laze under the Acacia trees and elephants leave their distinct trail as they chomp through the bush at a leisurely pace. Steal a glance at the leopard eating its prey high up in an old Tamboti tree, zebra foraging alongside large herds of wildebeest and impala flashing their characteristic ‘M’ as they disappear in to the thick brush.

Enjoy a traditional Tsonga breakfast under the thatched rondawel roofs of Hoyo Hoyo and then retire to your room and relax, laze at the crystal-clear infinity pool or request a bush walk for an up-close encounter with the Kruger.

Lunch is a relaxed, informal affair. Served on the deck with beautiful views of the surrounding bushveld, guests are treated to light salads and tasty desserts before retiring to their rooms for an afternoon siesta.

Indulge in a soothing massage from the comfort of your private deck, the scents of ylang ylang, vanilla and cedarwood soothing body, soul and mind. Our trained therapists hail from the local community and provide a range of massages, including full-body aromatherapy, foot massages and Swedish back and neck massages.

Afternoon tea, served on the deck, heralds the imminent departure of your special evening safari through the Mluwati Concession. Spot a pride of lazy lions lounging casually in the tall grass and the associated warning call of nature’s tattletales, the Grey Loerie, as they inform the surrounding species of impending danger.

Sip a sundowner G&T as you watch the sky turn from the brilliance of an African sunset to a bright band of stars; the persistent call of frogs, owls and nightjars accompanying you back to Hoyo Hoyo where a traditional Tsonga dinner feast awaits; a blazing fire the perfect backdrop for tonight’s Shangaan entertainment and storytelling.

Bursting with the day’s extraordinary bush experiences, all that’s left is to retire to the comfort of your traditional Tsonga homestead with nothing but the reassuring sound of the crickets and frogs lulling you to sleep.

A private concession within the Kruger National Park comprising three lodges – Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, Imbali Safari Lodge and Hamilton’s Tented Camp, Mluwati Concession was born out of a spirit of ensuring the future sustainability of the national park.

As one of the first private concessions in the Kruger National Park, Mluwati has worked tirelessly to ensure the sustainability of this pristine wilderness that for over 100 years has been a sanctuary for over 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians, 336 tree species and 147 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five.

Keen birders will delight in the hundreds of bird species that call Kruger home. Over 500 species, in fact many of which occur in the Mluwati Concession including the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Crested Barbet and Burchell’s Glossy Starling.

Guests will enjoy some of Kruger’s most spectacular landscapes and an extraordinary variety of wildlife, birdlife and plantlife within the Mluwati Concession, ensuring that each safari experience will be unique.

Experience a morning and evening game drive during your stay at Hoyo Hoyo. Witness the excitement of the first rains; the terrapins playing in river pools, the call of the Pied Kingfisher and steady chirping of tree frogs.

Savour the rich smells of the bush, hear the shrill calls of the Magpie shrike and see the wind blowing through the feather grass dotting the savannah plains.

A Hoyo Hoyo game drive will reveal new scents, curious sounds and the beauty of an extraordinary African landscape to delight your senses.

Winter Safari Times: 01 May – 31 August

05h30 Wake up time and morning tea
06h00 Morning safari departs
09h00 Return for breakfast
13h30 Lunch
15h00 High Tea
15h30 Afternoon safari departs
19h30 Return from safari & Dinner is served

Summer Safari Times: 01 September – 30 April

05h00 Wake up time and morning tea
05h30 Morning safari departs
08h30 Return for breakfast
13h30 Lunch
15h30 High Tea
16h00 Afternoon safari departs
19h30 Return from safari & Dinner is served