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Things to do in Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga, which means “Place of the Rising Sun”, was bestowed upon the newly formed province in 1993. The province plays an important role in the history of South Africa. Many tourists go to Mpumalanga, to experience the region’s unparalleled historical, scenic, and wildlife variety.

The natural beauty of Mpumalanga province is well-known. Here we are talking about lush forests, majestic waterfalls, and wild animals. The province also has a jam-packed schedule that people of all ages can enjoy. Game viewing, bird watching, and scenic drives over the valleys and peaks of the vast Drakensberg escarpment are just a few of the many attractions of the area.

Additional examples of Mpumalanga’s natural heritage are the Sudwala caverns and Bourke’s Luck potholes. Among the many cultural attractions in this stunning region are the San rock murals and the ancient mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest.

Having said that, here are some of the most popular tourist spots to visit in Mpumalanga.

Kruger National Park

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It would be a shame to visit Mpumalanga and pass up the chance to view the Big Five. The Limpopo and Mpumalanga province is home to Kruger National Park, often considered to be the best place to go on a safari in South Africa.

The Big Five aren’t the only mammals that call this park home, it is also home to 142 species as well. Birdwatchers will also have a blast, since there are over 500 species of birds to see.

Guests can choose from a variety of lodging alternatives, including private lodges, camps in the parks which include campsites. You can self-drive or go on a guided game drive.

Plus, there are sports like golf and mountain biking as an alternative.

Panorama Route

The breathtaking scenery along the Panorama Route is the inspiration behind its name. The trail descends into the Kruger Lowveld from the Great Escarpment via a series of mountain crossings, one of which being the world-renown Long Tom Pass.

Historically, a portion of what is now the Panorama Route connected Lydenburg with Mozambique. The region has seen its fair share of Anglo-Boer warfare, the marks of which can be seen on the terrain even now. But the majority of early settlers travelled to this region in the search of gold.

Travellers come to the Panorama Route these days in search of a different kind of treasure. What you can expect is:

  • Stunning views over the Lowveld.
  • Lots of waterfalls.
  • Various historical and cultural sites.
  • Outdoor activities such as quad biking, hiking, cycling and canoeing.
  • God’s Window.
  • The Blyde River Canyon and the Three Rondavels.

    Access to the Kruger National Park, South Africa’s biggest game reserve.

Blyde River Canyon

Blyde River Canyon Reserve, the world’s third-largest canyon, is nestled against the Greater Drakensburg cliff and provides breathtaking views to everyone who venture there. Natural beauties abound here, captivating visitors. Some of the best vantage points include God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and the Three Rondavels. Additionally, the canyon can be explored by visitors via hot air balloon rides, hiking, and rappelling.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Erosion has been gradually wearing away at the rock formation over millions of years.

Pebbles carried by the raging rivers have worn away the Black Reef quartzite, creating waterfalls and “holes.” As one continues on, one can make out the many silt tones of red, beige, and other earthy tones, as well as the breathtaking waterfalls that tumble to depths of more than 20 metres.

Lots of different methods to see the falls have been constructed, including walking across the dark rocks, dipping your toes in the cool, clear water, and viewing them from the observation bridges.

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Graskop Gorge

One can find the beautiful Graskop Gorge to the south of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. Among the many heart-pounding attractions run by the Graskop Gorge Lift Company is the world’s tallest cable gorge swing. High wire zip lining across the gorge is another exciting option, as is riding a glass-fronted observation lift down the canyon wall for 51 metres.

Hazyview’s Aerial Cable Trail

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For more flying adventures of the Graskop gorge, stop at Skyway Trails, which is close to Hazyview.

Experience the thrill of gliding over the forest on eight separate zip lines at this attraction, which boasts the province’s longest aerial cable path.

Tree Top Challenge is an elevated obstacle course that anyone may try. It has nineteen tasks and is fun for people of all ages.

Elephant Whispers

For those seeking an extraordinary and memorable interaction with nature, this is the one for you. The Sandford Conservancy is situated in Hazyview where you may find Elephant Whispers. An educational interactive elephant experience is available to guests. As soon as you step foot on this land, you will truly appreciate and be enchanted by the amiability of the majestic African elephant.

Sudwala Caves

One of the world’s oldest cave systems, the Sudwala Caves are located close to Mbombela and have a history of almost 240 million years. Join a guided tour and go 490 feet below ground level to see stalactites and stalagmites illuminated by artificial light. Keep an eye out for the prehistoric artefacts displayed at the entrance and the horseshoe bats. It is about a 30-minute drive from Mbombela.

Barberton’s Gold Rush History

The original town of Barberton came into being as a result of the influx of prospectors to the area in the wake of the 1883 gold rush. Their little hamlet grew into a thriving metropolis complete with a stock exchange, mining companies, and railroad. The prospectors quickly shifted their focus to other reefs, and Barberton’s heyday was brief.

To feel the thrill of the time, visit the Barberton Museum. Then, to learn more about the gold rush and its associated sites, take a walk along the Heritage Walk. This path links several historical buildings and even a steam locomotive.

Another must-see on any trip to Barberton is the Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Chimp Eden

Situated twenty minutes south of Mbombela on the way to Barberton is Chimp Eden.

Located in South Africa’s Umhloti Nature Reserve, this chimpanzee refuge is run by the Jane Goodall Institute.

It provides a home for rescued chimpanzees from the illegal pet and bush meat trades, continuing the work of the famous primatologist.

Seeing one of these endangered animals in its natural or semi-wild habitat will astound you because it is the closest living relative of man.

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In conclusion, you have enough attraction sites in Mpumalanga you can visit during the festive season or any other time during the year and create memories.

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