South Africans think it’s at the end of the road and international tourists wonder how to pronounce it! Phalaborwa (pronounced as Palaborwa) is indeed situated at the end of a road; the R71 in the Limpopo Province. The road leads straight into Kruger National Park.
Phalaborwa is the only town in South Africa that is situated directly on the border of the iconic wildlife reserve. Where else in the world can you come across a hippo wondering the streets at night, have warthogs graze on the side of the road and hear lions roar while you enjoy dinner in a local restaurant?
The small town started growing in 1956 when mining on large scale commenced. Mining in the area did however already start in the Late Iron Age and artefacts from those days can be found at the Masorini Archaeological Site, situated inside Kruger National Park.
Nowadays the town is still fairly small, with about 20.000 inhabitants, but offers all modern day amenities with shopping malls, doctors, dentists, a selection of nursery, primary and high schools and a growing tourism industry.
If you are planning to visit Phalaborwa, you will have a good selection of bed & breakfasts, guesthouses, hotels and lodges to choose from, ranging from budget to 5 stars. Phalaborwa can be reached by car or by air on direct flights from Johannesburg. Touch down at a beautiful small airport in safari style and within minutes you can check in at your establishment of choice. Whether on business or on holiday you have to slot in one of the many safari activities on offer. From mountain-bike or walking safaris, to boat cruises, open vehicle game drives and night drives. It is all possible while staying in the comfort of town.
Why is it called the Town of Two Summers, you might ask? The area has the highest winter temperatures in South Africa. Winter days are lovely with bright blue skies, daytime temperatures of about 25C and night temperatures that seldom drop below 10C. During summer it can heat up though, with temperatures anywhere between 25-40C! With the occasional rainfall between November and March, Phalaborwa makes for a year-round destination.