The Mpumalanga region of South Africa is a playground for those who love to explore, go on adventures and soak up the beautiful scenery and wildlife this amazing country has to offer. The natural attractions alone are more than enough to satisfy most visitors to this fabulous region, but there are plenty of other things for people to do in addition to enjoying the panoramic vistas of Mpumalanga.
The Mpumalanga region is blessed with many magnificent waterfalls, with five being particularly stunning. Horseshoe Falls, Lone Creek Falls, Mac-Mac Falls, Lisbon Falls and Berlin Falls are all worthy of spending some time experiencing the beauty, power and ambiance of these amazing natural venues for relaxing. Each of the Falls offer great photographic opportunities too.
Kruger National Park provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the wildlife that is in abundance in the region, with the Big Five making their home in the park, as well as some of the major birdlife native to South Africa. If large animals living in their natural habitat are of interest, Kruger is a must-see location when visiting the Mpumalanga region.
For a leisurely day’s activities consider a stroll through each of the eight sections that make up the Lowveld Botanical Gardens before relaxing on the lawn to partake of a picnic lunch. Watch as birds feed on the nectar of gorgeous flowers, then after finishing your lunch wander some more.
Sudawala Caves are considered to be the world’s oldest caves, though scientists are still trying to establish just how old they are. The caves consist of a number of spacious corridors but the part of the caves that is the most interesting is the amphitheatre, which is 70 meters in diameter and at the highest point of the dome-like roof is 37 meters high. The corridors and amphitheatre are all fed with pleasantly cool air from an unknown source, making it an interesting venue for performing arts, seating 500 people.
For those who don’t mind pulling on a pair of hiking boots and get out amongst the glorious beauty of the outdoors, there are a number of great hiking trails that will provide plenty to see and experience. Five Assegais offers 1 and 2 day hikes, Blyderivierspoort offers 3 to 5 day hikes, and the Prospector’s Hiking Trail that begins at Pilgrim’s Rest takes 5 days and covers 62.5 kilometers of terrain. All hiking trails require a moderate to high level of fitness.
Experience the second-to-none Elephant-Back Safari which as the name indicates is enjoyed on the back of an elephant. Guests are seated in comfort on a saddle, behind an experienced elephant handler, and will be gently swayed as they ride through the South African bush. All manner of wildlife can be viewed from the safety of the elephant’s back. At the end of the journey champagne, fruit and fruit juice are served.
When entering this historical gold rush town you will feel like you have stepped straight back into the 1870’s when the town and surrounding area were home to hopeful prospectors seeking to find the elusive ‘big one’ that would assure their fortune. Though significant amounts of alluvial gold were mined few large nuggets were discovered, the biggest on record weighing in at 214 ounces. Larger nuggets were rumored to have been found but these rumors were never substantiated. The town is now protected and preserved so that an important part of South Africa’s history can be available for visitors and historians to enjoy.
So named because when you stand still and take in the panoramic view that spreads far and wide in front of you it is possible to feel as if you are standing on the edge of heaven itself. On a clear day you can literally see for miles along the cliffs and the valley below and off into the distance. There is a well-maintained viewing area with restroom facilities. A small cover charge is necessary to access but well worth paying. Definitely take your camera with you because this is a view you do not want to fail to photograph.
You can’t visit Mpumalanga without learning something about the culture of this multi-faceted region of South Africa. A visit to Matsamo Cultural Village will not only be entertaining but will also give you some insight in to the way of life (both in the past and present) of the people who live and work in the region. Listen to traditional songs, watch age-old dances, explore the two authentic Swazi villages where visitors can observe and interact with the villagers as they work at crafts, cooking and the like. End the day with a stop in at the Curio shop and purchase an authentic handmade Swazi item to take home with you.