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Thabaphaswa Mountain Sanctuary

Potgietersus, Limpopo

Thabaphaswa conceals, in its magnificent natural setting, one of South Africa’s best-kept architectural and leisure secrets – an evocative mountain retreat.

Designed by the inimitable Heinrich Kammeyer, the retreat’s camps fit into their specific sites as though custom-made – which they were, of course.

The owners’ wish to blend nature and the use of natural materials were perfectly executed. Kammeyer understood that the very special quality of the setting demanded a unique architectural vision.

Thabaphaswa provides a wide range of accommodation. (Rates apply for reservations of 2 nights or more. Reservations one night only (e.g Saturday night) @ 1.5 of accommodation rate applicable). Good bushveld firewood and ice are available at the farmhouse.


Three bush camps and two cottages

Dome Rock Camp:

Huilboerboon at Dome Rock:
  • Sleeps 6 persons.
  • Double room and bed
  • One room with two bunk beds
Rooi Ivoor at Dome Rock:
  • Sleeps seven persons
  • One double room with double bed
  • One room with one bunk bed
  • One room sleeping three in bunk beds
Maroela at Dome Rock:
  • Sleeps six persons
  • Double room and bed
  • One room with two bunk beds
Kiepersol at Dome Rock:
  • Sleeps six people
  • Double room with double bed
  • 1 x Double Bed
  • One room with two bunk beds


  • The four units are hidden amongst large rocks at the foot of the Mahlare mountain.
  • There are several dams in the mountain stream that flows by. They are lovely to swim in and there are also two foefie slides/zip lines to glide into the water.
  • Sleeping is only allowed inside the units.
  • All accommodation units have a separate braai and washing up area and are equipped with braai grids, pots, pans, kettles, two-plate gas stoves and solar lanterns.
  • There are no fridge or freezer facilities, but we provide cooler boxes to guests, and ice are on sale at the office. A freezer and small fridge are available at the Thabaphaswa homestead.
  • In keeping with the rest of the camp, the ablutions are unique (3 toilets and 3 showers). The separate showers are heated by an old-fashioned wood fired “donkey” and are surrounded by reeds, but open to the sky. The flush toilets are affectionately referred to as “loos with views”. The entire camp is linked by winding concrete walkways.


  • A second unusual camp caters for the more agile and adventurous nature lover. The Kanniedood Camp is a triple storey, reed-enclosed stilt shelter built amongst Commiphora (Kanniedood) trees high up on a steep rock face. The cantilevering upper deck offers incredible views over the hills and valley below. The first deck contains bunk beds and mattresses with sleeping place for 14 people. The space between the stilts forms an open-air kitchen next to a communal braai area. Once again ablution facilities (one shower and one toilet) are open air with reed fencing.
  • Access to the camp can only be achieved by 4×4 followed by a short, steep climb carrying food and luggage. There are no fridge or freezer facilities, but we provide cooler boxes to guests, and ice is on sale at the office. A freezer and small fridge are available at the Thabaphaswa homestead. A braai grid, pots, pans, a kettle, two-plate gas stove and solar lamps are provided.
  • Parking for normal vehicles is approximately 15 min walk/climb from the camp.

Fig Tree camp:

  • Fig Tree Camp accommodation caters for groups of up to 16 people on 8 bunk beds with thick mattresses.
  • It consists of a lockable reed shelter with a corrugated iron roof adjacent to a communal braai area.
  • Basic kitchen equipment (A braai grid, pots, pans, kettle, 2-plate gas stove and solar lanterns) are provided but there are no fridge or freezer facilities. We provide cooler boxes to guests, and ice are on sale at the office. A freezer and small fridge are available at the Thabaphaswa homestead.
  • Ablution facilities (two reed-enclosed showers and 3 toilets) are situated approximately 50m away at the Thabaphaswa campsite.

The Cot-House:

A fully self-contained cottage that sleeps 6 guests. Four guests can sleep in the main Cot-House and two in an outside room with rustic river reed walls. The Cot-House is served by an outside toilet and a shower which also serves visitors camping next to the Cot-House.

What the Cot-house offers:
  • Wheelchair accessible. (See Worth Mentioning below)
  • Sleeps six guests.
  • A double bed in the main room.
  • An outside room.
  • A bathroom and outside showers.
  • Two couches/beds in the lounge. The lounge contains a hearth for the off-chance chilly night.
  • A 2-plate gas stove.
  • Kitchen equipment and cutlery in the kitchen area at the back of the lounge.
  • A cooler box. Solar lanterns and candles to provide light.
  • A specially designed lapa with built-in seats around the fire.
  • At the back of the house near the lapa, there are tables for preparing and serving food.
  • A washing trough for doing washing.
  • Hot water for showering and washing up is supplied by an industrial sculpture geyser.
  • A double bed has been built as part of the lapa for stargazing and sleeping under the open sky, and to experience the bushveld night atmosphere. Mattresses are provided for this purpose.
  • Sleeping areas for a baby and children are also to be found around the lapa and the fire. The Cot-house is surrounded by walking paths and all trails and activities are easily accessible.
  • Adjacent to the Cot-house is a camp site that shares ablutions and a lapa with the cottage. It enables guests from the same group to camp on the camping site, and sleep in the cottage should there be different preferences.
  • A fridge and freezer are available at the homestead.
  • Linen supplied by Thabaphaswa

The Cot-House provides for visitors in wheelchairs to be comfortable. The bathroom and outside shower has been designed for this purpose. There are paths around the Cot-House and the Lapa/braai area that provide for wheelchairs. Assistants who accompany visitors in wheelchairs stay at 50% of the standard rates. Please see the photos of the facilities for people in wheelchairs.

Worth mentioning:

  • The Cot-House is wheelchair friendly.
  • We made a serious effort to accommodate the disabled in order to expand their limited opportunities to enjoy nature.
  • The bathroom inside (flush toilet, shower and basin) is fully adapted to cater for the needs of any wheelchair user. There are lovely paths around the cot-house, leading to the “braai”/lapa area and the star-gaze outside shower.
  • An adjoining room could be used if the wheelchair user has an assistant who requires privacy.
  • Assistants stay at 50% of the standard rate.
  • See the pictures specifically taken to show the wheelchair adaptations in and around the Cot-House.
  • The Cot-House has been renovated to reflect the building style and motives of the Ndebele people who live in this part of the world. This includes cow dung floors on the outside with typical Ndebele decorations.

Camping at Thabaphaswa:

Thabaphaswa continues to experience strong growth in the demand for our campsites.

Twenty years ago we started with one campsite. We are now developing new sites and will soon have noticeably more.

The reason is that our campsites are totally different from those mostly found in South Africa at holiday resorts and caravan parks. There is a big need for camping out in the bush and the mountains and to feel part of the African wilderness.

We are well located for camping tourists on their way to countries North of SA, Kruger National Park or the Northern parts of the Limpopo Province.

Our campsites are far apart for more privacy and are spread out in the bush under trees that provide adequate shade. Each can accommodate at least two tents/trailers/caravans, although there are campsites that can accommodate eight tents or more for larger groups of campers.

First-time visitors normally do not book a campsite but choose one when they check-in. Our many regular visitors soon develop a strong preference for a campsite. Some of them act as if they have made a land claim and get quite upset if someone else dares to book “their site” first.

We have more than 40 campsites in 4 main areas:

  • The Thabaphaswa Mountain Campsites
  • The Riverside Camp sites along the upper reaches of the mountain stream;
  • The Midstream Camp sites just below Hein’s dam. That is the second dam from the top.
  • The one campsite next to the Cot-House must be booked with the Cot–House since it shares the lapa/braai area and the outside shower. We quite often find that our visitors come in a group where some want to sleep in the Cot-House while others camp.
  • Koppie-Alleen Camping Area was developed in September 2020 in reply to increased demand for camping sites.

All camping areas have hot showers and reed-enclosed toilets.

Individual campsites have fire pits, braai grids, water taps and, dishwashing facilities.

We now also have a few movable shower stands that can be provided to campers that wish to take regular cold showers at their campsites.

Some groups of visitors quite often book both accommodation and campsites

The Mountain Club of SA often books the Bergvy Camp as well as the Thabaphaswa campsite nearby for their meets for hiking and rock climbing. This is also the approach of the Audrey Riding School for their annual visit with horses.

Family groups sometimes include older persons that prefer to stay in one of our cottages, namely the Ndebele Cot-House or the Pump House. There is a campsite directly next to the Cot-House to provide for this.

Campers share the Lapa and ablution facilities with the Cot-House.

There are also campsites within 100 meters of the Pump House.

Good bushveld firewood and ice are available at the farmhouse.

Please note that we do not have electricity in any of our accommodations. The farmhouse has solar power for emergency use such as charging mobile devices. 

Pet Friendly:

Thabaphaswa is one of only a few pet-friendly venues north of Gauteng, and a landmark accommodation venue in the Waterberg area, where dogs are allowed to bring their owners.

For pet owners, it’s a challenge to find a place where their dogs can run free and exercise.

Over weekends, dog owners like to take their pets out with them for exercise and some free running. This is especially true if you live in a town or city.

It has become prohibitively expensive to put dogs in kennels, which motivates dog owners to take their pet with them on vacation or away for weekends. It has the added benefit that the family structure and cohesion remain uninterrupted while children are less easily bored.

Hiking and Trailing:

A network of hiking trails on Thabaphaswa offers the ideal opportunity to enjoy nature at its best and hikers can plot their own route according to personal preferences.

Hiking trails:

  • Black Eagle / Tshesane Loop – 15km
  • The Lookout Point – 14km
  • Mahlare circular trail – 2 hours app
  • Klipspringer Hiking Trail – 1,5 hours app
  • The Bobbejaan Trail

Rental Items:

  • Gas stove
  • Gas canister
  • Braai tongs
  • Kettle
  • Braai dish
  • Pan
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Cutlery pack (Knife, Fork, Spoon, teaspoon)
  • Mug
  • Glass
  • Wash cloth
  • Drying cloth
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Bedding (Duvet and pillow) p/p per night

Items available at the farm shop:

Wood; Firelighters; Water; Ice; Toilet paper; Dishwashing liquid; Paper plates; Plastic cups; Coffee; Tea; Condensed milk; Sugar; Salt & Pepper; Matches; Chips; Chocolates; Kitchen cleaning kit; Doom; Sunblock; Peaceful sleep; etc.


Day Visitors
  • R200.00 per once-off per vehicle (max 5 per vehicle)
  • R100.00 pp – Adult
  • R25.00 pp – U12 years

Accommodation (all units are self-catering)

  • R200.00 per once-off per vehicle (max 5 per vehicle)
  • R800.00 per unit per day
  • Rental items are available at farm shop for your convenience.
  • R200.00 per once-off per vehicle (max 5 per vehicle)
  • R500.00 – Campsite p/day (5 campers per site)
  • R150.00 pp – Additional campers

Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 once off per booking.
Dome Rock Camp
Kanniedood Camp
Fig Tree Camp
The Cot-house

Enquire Now

Please choose your option
Please choose your activity as some of the activities needs to be booked in advance.

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