The province of Mpumalanga, which straddles the Drakensberg mountain range, combines the best of both the Lowveld and the Highveld, with humid grasslands below, and cool, quiet forests blanketing the peaks above. On the Lowveld there are many excellent game viewing opportunities with all kinds of animals populating many game reserves, including a portion of the famous Kruger National Park.
The Kruger Park offers luxury accommodation and excellent game drives taken by well-trained guides.
The Highveld area is no less packed with adventure. You can enjoy fly-fishing on the well-stocked rivers and dams, hiking, river rafting and even abseiling. The town of Dullstroom in particular is gaining renown as a trout-fishing destination, as well as for other outdoor activities, such as bird watching and horse riding.
This province is also home to the Blyde River Canyon, surpassed in size only by the Grand Canyon, and the Fish River Canyon. It is South Africa’s largest vegetated canyon and is home to many species of plant, bird and animal. One of the most popular activities in the area is river rafting, with tours to suit everyone.
Also in the canyon, you will find unique and interesting natural features, such as the Three Rondavels – a series of three hills shaped like traditional African huts, as well as Bourkes Luck Potholes, an area of unique and strange natural canyons and potholes.
Mpumalanga, like most of South Africa, is not without its own, unique African cultural heritage. Here you can find iconic, graphic and startling Ndebele paintings, traditionally adorning the huts of these people. A visit to the Botshobelo village, a museum chronicling the lives of these people, offers an opportunity to photograph these beautiful buildings.
Pilgrims Rest, a small town steeped in gold mining history, is rather unique in that the whole town is a museum. Activities here include mine tours, crafts and coffee shops, museums and the original restored hotel.
Sudwala Caves, also in the province, have been described as a must see for visitors. This network of caves, as yet not fully explored, hold the title of the oldest known caves in the world. With fantastic rock formations, and amazing fossils on view, as well as the amphitheater, a huge cavern, capable of accommodating 500 people, these caves truly are a natural wonder. Just outside the caves themselves, there is a dinosaur park, where replicas of those ancient beasts lurk amongst the lush vegetation.
From awesome canyons carved into the earth, to adventure sports, game viewing, and fishing, to magnificent caverns and culturally significant villages, Mpumalanga offers a visitor a wealth of options, and is certainly worth planning a trip to.