Aptly known as “Paradise Country”, few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty of the lowveld and escarpment.
Blade River Canyon
Mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and forests characterise the landscape.
It is difficult to conceive an area of greater historical, scenic, cultural and wildlife diversity anywhere in the world.
The region’s twisting mountain passes, steep valleys, rivers and pristine forests have given rise to alluring natural phenomena, including the 3 000-million-year-old Sudwala Caves, the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, Wonder View and the Three Rondavels.
Not only is Mpumalanga home to the world’s most famous game park, the region is also dotted with numerous game reserves teeming with flora and fauna and has a rich cultural heritage.
• The Kruger National Park / Sabi Sands
• The Blyde River Canyon, the 3rd deepest canyon in the world. Be sure to visit Gods’ window for spectacular views over the canyon and on a clear day as far as Mozambique
• Bourkes Luck Potholes. Essentially, they’re the result of decades of swirling eddies of water where the Treur River meets the Blyde River, the tumult of which has caused extensive water erosion over time. The result is a series of cylindrical rock sculptures that look as though they would be more comfortable on the moon.
• Sudwala Caves, the world’s oldest cave system, formed 240 million years ago
• Pilgrim’s Rest. Relive the glory days of the gold rush. The entire town is a national monument
• Shangaan Cultural Village.
• One of the country’s most scenic self-drives, the Panorama Route, explores the Mpumalanga highlands, or the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg. The most popular stretch of the route winds its way from the town of Sabie via a selection of graceful waterfalls – the Sabie Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Mac Mac Falls to God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the three Rondavels
• The Highlands Meander is situated in the higher reaches of the escarpment and it is sandwiched between the Cultural Heartland and the Panorama Route regions and includes the towns of Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenburg, Machadodorp and Waterval Boven. The Highlands Meander is a region for both nature lovers and the adventurous at heart. Dubbed the ‘Trout Mecca’ this region has an abundance of pristine fishing waters that never cease to lure fly fishers in their droves
• Visit the residents of a traditional Shangana village and share in the way of life of the Shangaan people
• White Water Rafting
• A spectacular helicopter flight over the Blyde River Canyon
• A Hot Air Balloon Flight
• Elephant Whispers offers an Elephant experience of a lifetime
• Mpumalanga is an all-year round destination. The winter months of May through to September offer the best value for money. Winter months are cold by night, warm by day
• Mpumalanga enjoys summer rainfall, October through to March. Weather categorised by afternoon thunderstorms with temperatures more than 30 to 35 degrees centigrade
• The best time to enjoy a safari is in the winter months, May to September
• Malaria is found only in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal and is not much of a risk in the winter months. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas
• As a rule, tap water in South Africa is safe to drink as it is treated and is free of harmful micro-organisms
• Whilst roads are in good condition, distances between towns are significant. Avoid long car journeys that necessitate driving at night