You might think Hoedspruit is a one-horse town but it’s become the centre of the bushveld buzz and has some well-kept secrets
Words and Pictures: Sue Adams
DOWN IN THE HOED
The story goes that after a long hot day in the saddle trekking over the mountains, one of the pioneers arrived in the Lowveld and threw his hat (hoed in Afrikaans) into the cool waters of the Sandspruit River (now mostly dry) and decided to stay. Hence the name Hoedspruit (Hat Creek).
To commemorate this event there is now a large hat statue outside the railway station. The town remained small until tourism took off but recently it’s become the centre of eco-tourism in the Limpopo. Because it’s the centre of supplies for all the luxury lodges in the surrounding bushveld, you’ll find that this is not one-horse-town shopping. Put your hat on, head into the bushveld heat and go shopping.
Hoedspruit Tourism 083 299 3388
Hoedspruit Info 015 306 0244
Watering holes in the bush can be a little dangerous for four-legged creatures when trying to get a drink, but for a thirsty human Sleepers Restaurant and Pub is the place to go. Set in the original railway station, the old ticket counter serves as the pub. Co-owner Maja Prinsloo says this is where all the locals come. Apparently the Blue Train still passes through occasionally and the passengers stop off for a drink. Good food and a great atmosphere make this watering hole a must if you are passing through the ‘Hoed’.
Sleepers 015 793 1014
Anyone who has fallen in love with a rugged ranger will know that it’s called ‘khaki fever’. There is a new kind of Khaki Fever in Hoedspruit in the form of a wonderful range of specially designed bush clothes. Sharon Haussmann, who owns the shop, says it’s all made of cool cotton in bush colours that takes this clothing to a new level of chic. These are clothes designed by people who live in the bush and know what’s important. And there are clothes for all ages. If you feel the need to look good while gazing at an elephant, stop off at Khaki Fever. You can also find all those useful little gadgets that you always forget to pack, like torches and penknives.
Khaki Fever 015 001 7079