Eastgate Airport

Car Hire Eastgate Airport

Eastgate Airport was a completely military airport for the South African Air Force until the 1990s when the air force portioned off an unused part of the air base for a small commercial airport. Today, flights arrive daily to the airport, properly called AFB Hoedspruit, from Johannesburg, bringing tourists to see the world renowned Kruger National Park.

Eastgate Airport Mini Guide

About Eastgate Airport
The airport is very small, accepting only one commercial flight a day from Johannesburg but it also accepts chartered flights by arrangement. You’ll have to walk from the aircraft via steps, across the tarmac to the terminal building and there you’ll find a bank should you need rand and the single car rental desk which can supply four wheel drive cars if you want to tour the Kruger independently.

There is no public transport from the airport but you can phone for a taxi if you’re not renting a car. For departing passengers there’s a great little restaurant serving a mixed variety of food and alcoholic, soft and hot drinks. There’s also a superb craft shop that sells exquisite jewellery, hand made by a local designer with platinum, gold and diamonds, all produced in South Africa.

About Hoedspruit
Hoedspruit used to be a small village but following the development of the Kruger National Park together with other private game reserves around the edges of Kruger, the village has grown into a sizeable town with many five star hotels gaining custom by offering excursions into the nearby parts of the park that have regular sightings of the so called ‘Big Five’. The town is found at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg Mountains, not as high or as rugged as the full Drakensberg further south but still an impressive mountain range that offers opportunities to hike and camp amongst nature.

To further cater for the wealthy tourists that go there, Hoedspruit has developed several shopping malls with expensive couture and jewellers together with a number of designer boutiques. The Kamogelo Centre has even developed into a fully inclusive complex with cinemas, restaurants and shops all under one roof.

If you want to learn more about the animals you see in the park, spend a day at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre which breeds endangered species endemic to the area and releases them into the wild following a carefully controlled adaptation process. The centre offers tours of its work, accommodation and trips to see the successes it has enjoyed for the public, school groups and students who might want to consider getting involved in conservation.  On your return to the airport for your flight home, spend some time in the AFB Hoedspruit Game Reserve that surrounds the airport and take a last look at the big game.

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Hoedspruit has some great hotels for your stay and by hiring a car you can use it as a base for exploring the park at your leisure. Night drives are an amazing experience but you’ll need to be confident of your driving skills.

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