South African Travel Tips When Visiting the Mpumalanga Province

The Mpumalanga Province in South Africa is known as the “Place of the rising sun”, Mpumalanga draws its visitors through its magnificent scenery, big game reserves and captivating tribal legends. Apart from investigating the stories behind the 1870’s gold rush era, there are ample opportunities for game viewing, bird watching, hiking, horse riding and trout fishing.

Don’t miss the spectacular Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window to truly appreciate the immense natural beauty of this province.

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The Lowveld areas experience a very hot and humid summer, with winters having pleasant warm days and cool nights. The Highveld areas experience warm summers and cold to very cold winters, with snow sometimes occurring. The province enjoys a summer rainfall, which normally sees thunderstorms occurring in the late afternoon. In the summer months, violent hailstorms occur with some frequency.

Shopping malls, antique shops, craft markets and art galleries abound as well as roadside vendors and stalls. Good buys include, fruit, coffee and tea from the Lowveld, local arts and crafts, hand-woven rugs, carvings and leather crafts.

Highlands Meander
This is a nature-lover’s paradise, with many different activities to do such as excellent rock climbing, spectacular wild flower displays and some of the subcontinent’s rarest birds. In this region there are also walks in the Loskop Valley and dam.

The area features farms and a backdrop of open grasslands, valleys and low hills. In late summer the grasslands erupt with the blooms of different coloured cosmos flowers. Ideal as an excellent scenic route to destinations further eastward, it is also home to the Graceland Casino resort.

A prime birding site in southern Africa, Wakkerstroom offers bird watchers 29 bird species that are either endemic or near endemic to the region. The region’s exceptional beauty in its rolling hills and deep valleys and its temperate climate make it also an ideal centre for hikers, hang gliders, mountain bikers and anglers.

Pilgrim’s Rest:
The entire town has been declared a national monument – a true open-air museum and a perfect replica of a mining town during the late 19th century gold rush. The town’s original architecture remains largely unchanged, and is geared towards tourism, with most of the historic buildings housing shops, restaurants, handicraft centres, accommodation etc.

Sabie Waterfalls:
The Sabie area has been blessed with many waterfalls. Some of the most popular and famous waterfalls include the Sabie, Horseshoe, Bridal Veil, Loan Creek, Maria Shires, Mac Mac Pools and twin stream Mac Mac Falls.

The Lowveld:
The Lowveld offers the tourist a unique African experience with its many wildlife reserves, either privately or nationally owned. All the game species of the Lowveld, particularly the larger animals, as well as numerous bird species can be viewed and photographed in natural surroundings.

Kruger National Park:
This famous park is one of South Africa’s most popular tourist attractions, covers an enormous area, features 16 different eco-systems and boasts an almost pristine natural environment. Visitors can go on many of the daily game drives to view the “Big Five” (elephant, leopard, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo) in their natural habitat. Accommodation to suite all requirements is available both inside and outside the park’s boundaries. You can also gain access to the park through the eight gates open to the public. A must for those wild about game viewing.

The Panorama Scenic Route:
This region has some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa, starting form the town of Graskop which lead northwards along the edge of the escarpment to the Blyde River Canyon, which is the world’s third biggest canyon and biggest green canyon. The immense ravine of 26km is spectacular and visitors can also take a fascinating walk through the indigenous rain forest found near the town.

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve:
This reserve covers more than 22 000ha, sheltering plants, birds and animals, including leopard, baboon, lynx, bushpig and antelope. Visitors may walk on the dam wall, which is 72m high or take a cruise on the dam. There are also numerous walking trails.

God’s Window & Bourke’s Luck Potholes:
Another beautiful place to go and see the Panorama is God’s Window – this outlook point is perched on the edge of the escarpment and offers great views of the Lowveld at 1000m below as well as of rainforest-clad mountains, which you can explore on a walking trail. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are deep, cylindrical cavities formed by the swirling action of the pebble-laden floodwaters. Numerous hiking trails suitable for all types of visitors abound.


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