Phalaborwa is located near the confluence of the Ga-Selati River and the Olifants, halfway up along the western border of the Kruger National Park in the Lowveld.
The name “Ba-Phalaborwa”, given to the area by the Sotho tribes who moved here from the south, means ” better than the south”. The Sotho mined and smelted copper and iron ore here as far back as 400 AD. Masorini, near Phalaborwa gate, is a reconstructed Ba-Phalaborwa hill village, with huts, grain storage areas, and an iron smelting site.
Phalaborwa began as a mining town and still is home to Palabora Mining. The massive open pit mine, nearly 2,000 meters across, is Africa’s widest manmade hole.
Dubbed the ‘town of two summers’ because it never really gets cold in this subtropical town of mild winters and warm summers, Phalaborwa enjoys average day temperatures of 23°C and is the ideal year-round holiday destination.
Tourism and wildlife play a dominant role in the life of this town. It is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger National Park, the Mozambiquan border is only two hours drive away.
Attractions in and around Phalaborwa include:
– Sunrise or sunset wilderness trails, day or night safaris and the extremely popular ‘bush braai/barbeque’.
– The massive open pit mine, nearly 2,000 meters across, is Africa’s widest manmade hole. Follow the road to the top for amazing views.
– Golfing at the famous Hans Merensky Golf Estate
– Boat trips on the Olifants River
– Nearby natural attractions like Blyde River Canyon, the Three Rondavels, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes; the Tzaneen fruit farms and Hoedspruit game farms can all be visited within a day.