- Tourist Information & Activities
Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
to Map of Mpumalanga Province Images © South
PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA
If you’d like
to visit the world’s most famous game reserve, climb the world’s
third-highest canyon, explore the world’s oldest cave and spend the
night in the world’s best private game lodges, Mpumalanga’s
the place to come to! Mpumalanga, which means 'place where the sun rises’ in
the local languages of Siswati and Zulu is one of South Africa’s
tourism hotspots, loved by both local and international visitors for its
beauty and diversity. This province is home to The Kruger National Park
(big five country), exquisite panoramic views, mountains, rivers, caves,
trout fishing and birding opportunities, eco-tourism, adventure holidays
and the rich offerings of the local Ndebele and Swazi cultures.
Mpumalanga is bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland in the east, and Gauteng
in the west. It is situated mainly on the high plateau grasslands
of the Middleveld, which roll eastwards for hundreds of kilometres.
In the northeast, the land rises towards mountain peaks and then
terminates in an immense escarpment. In some places, this escarpment
plunges hundreds of metres down to the low-lying area known as the
Lowveld. Even though it is one of the smaller provinces (79 490 km2
in surface area), Mpumalanga is home to some three million people.
Mpumalanga is a summer rainfall area with hot summers, especially in the lowveld
regions. Mild in winter, it can become very cold in the highveld areas.
TO KNOW THE MPUMALANGA
The tourism possibilities of this province are as diverse as the landscape
itself. As the safari capital of the country, the major draw card to
the area is the world-famous Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga has a
lot more to offer than the big five – it is a scenically magnificent
province and boasts a rich cultural heartland where visitors can embrace
the warm-hearted spirit of Africa. Forests, pristine waters and trout
fishing opportunities abound and there is no shortage of adventure
activities, such as rock-climbing, abseiling and other high-adrenalin
activities, on offer.
• The Kruger National Park
One of the major tourist attractions of the country, the Kruger National Park
is among South Africa’s finest assets. Well-equipped to offer big
five safaris, the park includes a large number of accommodation options,ranging
from some of the best private game lodges in the world to very affordable
rest camps. This famous park boasts over 140 species of mammals and over
500 species of birds, not to mention a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles,
flora and fauna. A wildlife wonderland, this enormous sanctuary is a must-see
for any and every visitor to South Africa.
• Best Game Lodges
in the World
A number of private camps and lodges are on offer in the areas surrounding
the Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sand is renowned for being home to some
of the best African game lodges in the world, bar none. These lodges are known
worldwide for their exclusivity and top-of-the-range accommodation. Here, private
safaris are simply par for the course, conducted by qualified rangers in open-air
vehicles. These lodges are all about attention to detail, personal service
and a true Out of Africa experience in unique comfort.
• Big Catch Country
The perfect getaway for fly-fishing enthusiasts, Dullstroom and surrounds
offer fantastic accommodation including everything from five-star
hotels to modest Bed and Breakfast establishments. The spectacular
beauty of the area and its many lakes makes Dullstroom the perfect
weekend getaway spot. A number of quaint restaurants and pubs dot
• Gold-diggers delight
Return to the gold rush days of South Africa. The little town of Pilgrim’s
Rest offers a step backwards into South Africa’s history, complete with
themed museums, and restored buildings… and the notorious Victorian-inspired
Royal Hotel. The area is a favourite for overseas and local visitors and is
well-equipped to handle all of the attention with a good offering of restaurants,
bars and reasonably priced accommodation available.
• Best Pancakes in Africa
A short drive from Pilgrim’s Rest lies Graskop, famous for it’s
scenic waterfall and for Harrie’s Pancake Shop, known to serve
up the best pancakes this side of the Kruger National Park. It is an
established tradition to stop off here for a favourite sweet or savoury
pancake en route to the Blyde River Canyon. A vibrant artist community
exists in and around the area, and curio shopping opportunities abound.
• Green Belt
The green belt of Sabie offers a wonderful base to explore Mpumalanga’s
Escarpment. This is the centre of South Africa’s forestry region and
boasts excellent lodges, bed-and-breakfast establishments as well as a rather
fine backpacker’s lodge. Although the pace in Sabie is rather laid back,
there are a number of activities and day trips for the adventure seeker. Mountain-biking,
horse-trails, hiking trails and river rafting are all offer. There are also
fabulous bird-watching options. If you’re happy to keep a slower pace,
simply sit back and let the peaceful forests fortify the soul.
• Views from Paradise
One of the most scenic views in South Africa is undoubtedly offered up at the
famous Blyde River Canyon – this colossal canyon is famous for its
dramatic window on the world. Here, camera-touting visitors love to visit
the God’s Window ledge, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three
Rondavels – all of which offer breathtaking panoramas. The Mac-Mac
Falls and Lisbon Falls are also a keen favourite for visitors to Mpumalanga.
• Arts and Culture
Explore the local Shangaan culture at the famous Shangana Cultural Village,
a short hop away from the town of Hazyview. The user-friendly cultural
village offers visitors the opportunity to interact with the local Shangaan
people and to enjoy a taste of traditional cuisine. The Nyani Shangaan
Cultural Village is also an option, as is Matsulu Village – a traditional
• Self Drive in Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga offers excellent self-drive routes and opportunities, which means
you can make up an individual itinerary and simply go with the flow. These
three routes will lead self-drive visitors to just about every destination
in the province. Accommodation throughout the province is plentiful, but
advance booking is advisable if you require a specific location such as
private game reserve or Mpumalanga Parks Board accommodation.
three principal routes dissecting Mpumalanga:
- The N4, running west
to east from Pretoria to Witbank and through to Nelspruit and Komatipoort
on the Mozambique border.
- The R40, running south to north from Barberton
to Hazyview via Nelspruit and White River and through Phalaborwa in the
- The N11 which enters the province in the south at
Volksrust, travelling north to Ermelo, Middelburg and through to Groblersdal
in the extreme north of the province.
Information courtesy of South African
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