Travellers looking to recharge their batteries can rejoice! Afsaal Picnic Site, one of Kruger’s most popular rest stops, is boasting a fresh new look, with further improvements in store. By Nell Hofmeyr

Over the years Afsaal has gained a reputation, in the true spirit of its name, as a go-to place to “break the journey”. Its location at the junction of the H3 and H2-2 roads between Malelane Gate and Skukuza Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park makes it an ideal spot to refresh before the next leg of game viewing.

The site offers light takeaway meals, outdoor seating, toilet facilities, gas skottels for hire and a small curio shop. Visitors come from far and wide to cook up a fresh breakfast under the shady trees, get their caffeine fix or buy some essentials before moving on.

New and improved

The makeover, which kicked off in late 2018, aims to “shake off the dust” so that future visits will be extra memorable, say Tindlovu Management Services.

Renovations will roll out in three phases spanning most of 2019. Phase one, the creation of the Tindlovu Express, is already complete. This little takeaway station opened for business in mid-December and provides freshly prepared eats, like pies and sandwiches, for those who need a meal in a hurry.

A highlight is the coffee menu, which offers up a delicious brew of every variety, from standard americanos and cappuccinos to iced coffee and caramel lattes. Jo-Anne White of Tindlovu promises it to be “an unbeatable coffee experience”.

Along with the express station, the curio shop now includes some new and special items for purchase.

Future upgrades

Visitors can expect to see phase two wrap up soon. A children’s play area, treehouse and a restaurant modelled on Tindlovu’s flagship branch in Nelspruit are the major new attractions to be introduced.

Phase three, to be completed later in the year, will see the opening of a bush spa offering a full range of holistic treatments. What better place to restore the mind, body and soul than in this magical corner of the wild?

If you’re all about rustic charm and simple pleasures, rest assured that Afsaal’s core features will remain intact despite the overhaul. Outdoor braais with the family and chance encounters with nearby wildlife are still what make this spot a top addition to your route.

Also read: Kruger’s best rest stops for views

Wild has followed up with management to get answers to Wild Card members’ concerns about commercialisation. Read more about the reasons behind the upgrade to Afsaal.

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