Phalaborwa is a city in the Limpopo Province in South Africa. It lies nearby the central entrance to the Kruger National Park and is an operating base for people visiting this best-known wildlife park in the country. The city itself, however, also has a lot to offer, from skydiving to horse riding, and from canoeing to trips on ultralight planes.
The city has over 130,000 inhabitants.
Phalaborwa is located in the northeast of South Africa, west of the Kruger National Park which borders with Mozambique. The city lies in the so-called Lowveld, also known as the Valley of the Olifants (yes, the animal's name is written the South African way). In summer it can get very hot with sudden downpours.
Phalaborwa came into being as a mining town and despite the tourist activities it still is. Mainly phosphate and copper are extracted. There's also a chemical factory where phosphate is converted into several products. Africa's largest opencast mine with a diameter of almost 2 kilometers and about 900 meters deep lies just outside town. In recent years, Phalaborwa has developed into a tourist city. The entrance to the Kruger National Park lies only 800 meters east of town and many activities are organized for tourists in Phalaborwa itself.
The city's airport is said to be one of the most pleasant ones in the world. Kruger Gateway Airport (before: Hendrik Van Eck Airport) is situated directly east of Phalaborwa on the President Steyn Street. It's easily reachable by rental car as it lies directly opposite the entrance to the Kruger National Park, along main road R71.
Phalaborwa has no public transport, but you don't need it as travel agents and tour operators will always pick you up from your hotel and drop you off again.
A rental car is an ideal means of transportation if you don't want to depend on organized activities in Phalaborwa and want to take off on your own. A beautiful trip follows Route 71 to Polokwane via Tzaneen and the stunningly beautiful Magoebaskloof Pass.
Phalaborwa is completely geared towards tourists and has an abundant choice of accommodations. There are basic guesthouses and accommodations for backpackers, but also five-star hotels. You can also rent lodges or stay at a campsite. We advise booking your accommodation well in advance.
For more information about Phalaborwa, we recommend Google and the following sources: