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TThe Olifants River rises near the small town of Bethal in Mpumalanga, before flowing north through the Witbank and Loskop dams. It cuts through the Drakensberg mountains at the Abel Erasmus Pass, and then flows through the Kruger National Park. Eventually, it flows into Mozambique. It reaches the Indian Ocean at Xai-Xai, north of Maputo.
Environmental studies and remedies are currently underway, to address pollution and protect the wildlife that the river attracts.
If you want to admire this river and its friendly-giant visitors, visit the Olifants Camp in the middle of the Kruger National Park. The camp is located on a bluff, overlooking the river. Sit on the terrace with a pair of binoculars, and watch the elephants come to drink and bathe.
You’ll also be treated to a view of the indigenous trees that line the riverbank. You’ll spot the jackalberry, the sycamore fig and the sausage tree (so named because of the big, brown, sausage-like fruits that hang from its branches).
If you can’t get enough of the view, book a few nights in one of the camp’s rondawels (thatched, African-style huts). Be sure to book well in advance.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
+27 (0)13 735 4000
The Olifants Camp, Kruger National Park
+27 (0)13 735 6606
Things to do
Book a guided game-drive through the Kruger National Park, and look out for South Africa’s Big 5 animals.
What to pack
For a closer look at the elephants, pack a good pair of binoculars.