Orpen Rest Camp
View availability and prices before making a booking.
Lovely campsites on the border of the rest camp72 x tent or caravan sites with power point available.
Cozy huts for a maximum of 3 people – Favorite amongst locals69 x 3-bed units available
Spacious family units for up to 6 people – Best Value for money23 x 6 bed units available
Perfect option for the traveller looking for luxury including breathtaking views.2 x Guest houses available
Orpen rest camp, situated about a third of the way up the western border of the Kruger National Park, might be smaller than other camps but it certainly is not unpopular. Orpenis a gate camp, and it is the quickest gate to enter if you want to quickly reach Satara. The camp is filled with indigenous flowers and trees and it offers guests a variety of different styles of accommodation.
Some of the camp basics that you can expectwhen you book your stay at Orpen includes:
Orpen rest camp is situated at the Orpen Gate and you’ll need to travel up the western park boundary to reach it.
Orpen rest camp has an interesting history, one based on generosity. Originally the land on which Orpen is now situated was not a part of the Kruger. Orpen is named after JH Orpen and his wife, Eileen Orpen. As the Kruger grew, there became a pressing need to provide animals with more water than what was available. Those living close to the park had already developed a love for the conservation park and the Orpen’s were among such people. JH Orpen was a land surveyor and a member of the National Parks Board. Part of his role was to help sponsor boreholes.
But Orpen’s origins have little to do with Mr Orpen and more to do with Eileen. Mrs Orpen bought 7 farms around the western side of the Kruger in the 1930’s and 1940’s and donated them to the park. Her donation increased the park size by 24500 hectares. Originally, the gate which was to become Orpen gatewas known as Rabelais, after the original farm in the area.
The donation of land meant that the entrance to the park was extended 10km and the Orpen rest camp was established at the gate
One of the biggest appeals of the Orpenrest camp is that it is filled with trees as well as wide-open plains of sweet grass. This attracts all kinds of grazing animals, and where there are grazing animals, there are also predators. Lions have been spotted quite close to Orpen in the past. The open spaces around the camp are also known for spotting cheetah. The camp has a small waterhole just beyond the camp boundaries where gamecan be spotted at any time of day.
While Orpen is a small camp, it remains the main rest camp inthe area. The variety of accommodation in the camp makes it the ideal place for overnight guests as well as day and half day visitors, especially as the half day visitors have access to the picnic areaAs a gate camp, Orpen is perfect for those who are just spending a day enjoying self-drives as well as those who are ending their trip to the park and want to spend their final night close to an exit.
Every camp in the Kruger can boast great wildlife spotting opportunities, but Orpen’s location means you can look forward to more than your average sightings. Many park guests stick to the southern regions of the Kruger. Although the southis a great area in which to see animals, it is often overcrowded. This makes viewing not only a little unpleasant butalso a little difficult as those in regular vehicles can have trouble seeing over the safari vehicles taking guests on guided tours.
Orpen, being situated where it is and having the landscape that it has, is really a viewing delight. The wide open spacesare often devoid of touristvehicles and very peaceful. Thisis the perfect place to see both plains game such as wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, impala and kudu, as well as predators including lion, cheetah and jackals. Heading away from Orpen will take you into the Satara area which is in the heart of lion country. Many guests who hope to see the Big 5 should consider a stay at Orpen.
Having the option of spending the night in the area, and exploring the surrounds by day means you have the perfect opportunity to have a real Kruger Park experience.
Orpen might be one of the smaller camps in the park but it has the kind of accommodation you could hope to find. Whether you are looking for some rustic setting or perhaps you are looking to treat yourself to a little luxury, you’ll find it here.
But because the camp is rather small, it doesn’t have as many options as you might find in another camp. This does mean that the camp has fewer guests than other camps, which can be ideal for anyone looking for a quieter Kruger experience.
One of the biggest differences between Orpen and other camps is that Orpen does not have a campsite or a place for caravans. This, however, doesn’t mean that there is no campsite nearby. Marula camp is close to Orpen and it’s really rustic. Guests camping here can enjoy listening to lions during the night and if they are lucky, they can spot hyenas close to the camp fences, lured in by the smell of braaied meat.
Bungalows offer the perfect retreat for guests looking to escape from the heat and rest in relatively stylish comfort, without spending too much. After camping, bungalows are thesecond most affordable style of accommodation in the Kruger. And luckily, just about every rest camp has their own style of bungalow available.
Because the camp is so small, there are only 6 bungalows, each with 2 beds. Each bungalow has a shower rather than a bath and an air conditioner for those summer nights.
The bungalows also have an open airkitchen along with a cooker top, a fridge/freezer, and all of the crockery and cutlery you will need during your stay. After a day of game driving,you can head to your bungalow and cook up a meal before settling down and relaxing with a sundowner.
Along with the bungalow options, there are also 3 guest cottages in the camp. Each cottage has 2 bedrooms, and 6 beds (3 single beds in each bedroom). The cottages also have air conditioning. There are 2 bathrooms in each cottage, one is an en-suite bathroom and one is a general bathroom.
The en-suite bathroom has a bath and a washbasin. The shared bathroom has a shower and a washbasin.
Guests staying in the guest cottages will also have full use of a kitchenette which includes a sink, a fridge/freezer, all of your cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery. One of the nicest things about staying in a cottage is that they have a veranda. Sitting outside and watching the sun rise or set is one of the most relaxing experiences.
While there is not a massive variety of accommodation available, the smaller camp does give an air of exclusivity and you can be sure that there is a lot less noise and distraction than you’ll find in other camps.Orpen is not the parks most popular camp but that is part of its appeal. The bungalows are rustic and comfortable while the guest cottages are just perfect for the family getaway. As a gate camp,you can easily plan your travels, ensuring that even if you arrive late in the day you’ll have a place to stay in the park
Staying safewhile in the park is vital when you want to ensure that you have a successful stay in the park. Orpen might be a gate camp, but it’s still in the wild of the Kruger. As a great place to relax, you’ll want to know some of this helpful camp information.
The Kruger, as you most certainly know, is filled with wildlife. Occasionally animals might find their way into the camp, especially monkeys, but with rangers in the camp,the animals are quickly herded out again. This is not necessarily the case when it comes to the other creatures that live in the park. Scorpions, spiders and snakes are quite commonand they are really good at staying out of sight. For this reason, it is really important to always wear shoes while walking around the camp, especially at night. To make extra sure that you stay safe, always carry a torch at night.
A bite or a sting from a snake, spider or scorpion is certainly painful but it won’t necessarily lead to illness (however should this happen you need to get to the reception desk and ask for help). But this is not the only health relatedconcern that you need to be aware of. The Kruger National Park is situated well within a malaria area. This is a common concern all year round and it is really important that you get the appropriate information and medication to prevent malaria infection. The problem with malaria is that it can take a fewweeks for the initial symptoms to present themselves. This is important to take note of, because should you be visiting from out of the country, and you suddenly develop symptoms, you should go toyour doctor and tell them where you have been.
Like the rest of the Kruger National Park, the Orpen climate is really hot. The camp is about a third of the way up the park, in a dry region, except when the summer months come. Intensely hot summers mean thunderstorms, rain and during this time of the year, you canexpect the humidity to become a bit oppressive. Heavy rainfall during the summer will also mean that there is plenty of overgrowth. Vegetation can become lush and thick. This means more grazing animals, although it can be a little difficult to see throughthe overgrowth.
The winter months don’t offer much of a break from the heat. By midday, the sun is scorching and your car can quickly get hotter than you might expect. It’s important to stay hydrated and take breaks throughout the day to cool off.
Gate times, for all camps in the Kruger National Park, are dependent on the time of the year. The gate times are in place for your own safety, you do not want to be stuck out in the wild after dark. If you stick to the gate times, you’ll be safe!
Most guests will find that it is best to head out on a safari early in the morning, and again late in the afternoon. This means you will miss the intense heat, and you’ll end up increasing your chances of seeing wildlife. Most animals will hide away during the hottest times of the day. Luckily, as you can see from the camp times, you will be able to head out early in the morning, before the sun rises, and then also have enough time to indulge in a late afternoon drive.
As mentioned before, Orpen camp is surrounded by plants loved by grazing animals. This is really bushveld land. Some of the trees you’ll see here include acacias and marula trees. You’ll also see red bush willows, aloes and Barberton daisies among the rocks in the area. These plants are not only seenaround the camp but also within the camp.
Of the animals that are often spotted around the camp, you are likely to see herds of wildebeest and zebras, along with elephants, giraffes, impala and warthog. And as with any area that is rich in vegetation, you are also likely to spot certain predators such as lion, cheetah, and hyena.