Located in the Valley of Oliphants region and only 2 kilometres from one of the main entrances to the Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa is a tourist-orientated town. There are an abundance of game farms, lodges and sanctuaries surrounding the town and various game viewing excursions depart from the Phalaborwa gate daily, including guided drives, night safaris and boat safaris on the Oliphants River.

Sometimes referred to as 'the town of two summers', Phalaborwa has a warm, subtropical climate that extends throughout the year. The nearby Hans Merensky Country Club is set in a beautiful bushveld setting and offers one of the country's best golf courses as well as plenty of other sports and leisure facilities.

The town is rich in mineral deposits, specifically iron ore, and boasts one of the world's largest open-cast mines. Phalaborwa has a rich history, and there is evidence of clay smelting ovens and ornaments belonging to Sotho tribes that settled in the area in 400 AD.