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Mpumalanga Travel Guide, South Africa

The Drakensberg mountains, KwaZulu-Natal The Drakensberg mountains, Kwazulu Natal
This Barrier of Spears (Zulu) has towering mountain scenery, hiking, climbing, horseback riding, adventure and tranquility.


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Mpumalanga at a Glance

Big 5 wildlife and safari countryThe Province is home to the famous Kruger National Park, where wildlife roams in unfenced reserves. The Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) are resident in Mpumalanga’s Kruger Park and numerous wildlife reserves.

Adventure paradiseThere are endless opportunities to get an adrenalin rush in Mpumalanga, with game drives, elephant or horseback safaris, trekking, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge swinging and even gliding over an abyss on a zipline.

Culture, heritage and traditions This area has developed into a cultural melting pot. In ancient times, the San and Khoisan people lived here and left their rock paintings. Evidence of gold miners trading with the east goes as far back as 2000 BC or even earlier. The Nguni and other tribes then occupied this region, followed by settler-farmers and the Ndebele people with their own traditions, color and art.

Read More: Highlights of Mpumalanga | Activities and Attractions,

Calendar of events
Tours to this country Mpumalanga Tour Companies and Photo Journals - South Africa links
Honeymoon & safari destinations Gauteng Province - Gateway to South Africa - link
Gauteng - gateway to South Africa and destination for business travellers and visitors to international conventions.
KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Battlefields Country Routes KwaZulu Natal Country Routes - Midlands and Battlefields - link
Explore country towns and artists of KwaZulu-Natal's Midlands and historic Zulu, British and Boer Battlefields
Honeymoon & safari destinations KwaZulu Natal Province - link
The Drakensberg mountains, beaches, scuba diving, surfing, game reserves and historic Anglo-Zulu-Boer Battlefields.


map of mpumalanga south africa


 

 

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Food & Wine Tours
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Other Special Interest Activities

Highlights of Mpumalanga

Greater Kruger Park - The Kruger National Park and adjacent private game reserves provide a vast and unspoiled wildlife paradise. Self drive or guided game drives through the public-access National Park provide the opportunity to view a wide variety of wildlife, including Africa's Big Five - elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo.

To the west of the National Park, private game reserves provide visitors with a unique safari experience. Unfenced boundaries with Kruger National Park ensure the free movement of wildlife, creating an extensive wilderness region with large populations of the Big 5.

Landscape - Two very different landscapes are found in the region with the Drakensberg Mountains dividing the highveld in the west and the lowveld in the east. The highveld is mainly made up of mountainous grassland reaching heights of 2,000m (6,561 feet) and the lowveld has a savanna landscape.

Climate - The lowveld has a subtropical climate but the highveld is much cooler due to its elevation. Day time temperatures in the lowveld average 29 degrees celcius (84 degree Farenheit) in summer and 23 degrees celcius (73 degree Farenheit)  in winter, with wet summers and dry winters. Early mornings and evenings in winter can be very cold and warm clothing is advised.

Agriculture, Forests and Wildlife - The area is most famous for the wildlife parks and reserves but Mpumalanga is also an important agricultural region where crops including maize (corn), wheat, sunflower seeds, ground nuts, sugar cane, coffee and tea are grown. The forests around Sabie at Ngodwana is home to the largest paper mill.

Gold was first discovered in 1883 but other minerals that are mined include platinum, chromite, copper, iron and zinc. Over 80% of South Africa’s coal production comes from Mpumalanga.

Natural wonders Here visitors can explore Blyde River Canyon, the third largest in the world after the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Sudwala Caves, an ancient limestone cavern complex, is another attraction.

Cuisine Route - In 2008 the Haute Cuisine route was born traveling from Mbombela to Hazyview. It visits all the best restaurants in the area, an amazing experience for any foodie.

Falls, Falls, Falls – There are a number of beautiful waterfalls of various sizes and historic importance: the majestic Berlin Falls, adventure lover’s Waterval Boven, historic Mac Mac Falls and the lovely Elands River Falls.

 

Activities and Attractions

Mpumalanga Province

Kruger National Park | Private Game Reserves |Blyde River Canyon | Sudwala Caves | Waterfalls | Adventure |
History and Places of Interest | Scenic Drives and Passes |Cultural Villages and Experiences | How to Get to Mpumalanga |
Health Considerations

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Kruger National Park

The Park was established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the region and is probably the most accessible park in Africa. Half the park is in Mpumalanga Province and half in Limpopo Province, also known as the Northern Province. It encompasses an area of 2 million hectares (7,700 square miles) and is a part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, made up of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Mozambique’s Parque Nacional do Limpopo and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park. These three important wildlife areas cover an enormous 3.3 million hectares.

Kruger National Park is highly regarded for its successful management of the environment and its conservation efforts of wildlife and the history of the region. Bushmen rock paintings and archaeological sites such as Masorini and Thulamela record the history of the people who have lived here in centuries past.

The roads in Kruger Park are either tarred (asphalt) or well maintained gravel roads. The speed limit in the park is 50km/hour (31 miles/hour) on the tarred roads and 40km/hour (25 miles/hour) on the gravel roads. However for a good game viewing experience, slower driving is recommended.

Wildlife in the park
The Top 5 predators, smaller animals, birds, raptors and other notable "fives" are all found in the Kruger National Park.
The Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo – made famous by the great white hunters who hunted them for trophies.
Little 5 – Ant Lion, Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Rhino beetle
Big 5 Birds – Saddle-billed storks, Giant Eagle-Owls, Martial Eagles, Kori Bustards and Ostriches
Big 5 water birds – African Spoonbill, Open-billed Stork, African Finfoot, Goliath Heron and Knob-billed Duck.
Top 5 raptors – Bateleur Eagle, Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, African Fish-Eagle and African Hawk-Eagle.
Top 5 trees – Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.
Top 5 historic attractions - Letaba Elephant Museum, Jock of the Bushveld Route, Albasini Ruins, Masorini Ruins, Thulamela.

Accommodation in the park
Skukuza Rest camp has 2 restaurants, banking facilities, and a variety of accommodation options:

Activities in the park include
Game drives – Well maintained roads offer self drive or guided vehicle safaris. Off road and night drives are not permitted in the National Parks of South Africa
Mountain bike trails – At Olifants camp mountain bike trails offer the cyclists a unique safari viewing experience.
Guided walks – Many camps offer single day or multi day bush walks accompanied by an armed ranger. Walks are conducted in the morning and the afternoon with up to eight guests per ranger/tracker in a group.  
Picnics – Designated areas are available for visitors to stop and exit their vehicles for a picnic or a barbecue. No fires are allowed and only gas powered barbecues are allowed. These are available for hire.
Day visitors – Self drive day visitors are welcome in Kruger National Park but visitors must be aware that only a limited number of cars and people are permitted into the park daily. It is a good idea to book in advance. If the maximum daily quota is reached then only visitors with proof of an overnight accommodation booking will be allowed to enter.

There are a total of 9 gates into Kruger National Park:
Pafuri
Punda Maria
Phalaborwa
Orpen
Paul Kruger
Phabeni
Numbi
Malelane, and
Crocodile Bridge.

Gates will open between 5:30am and 6am and will close between 5:30pm and 6:30pm depending on the season. Rule of thumb is that gates will stay open for longer during the summer. 

Sanparks Code of Conduct for Kruger National Park

Rules and Other Useful Information

Back to Activities and Attractions

 

Private Game Reserves

Adjoining Kruger National Park are a number of private game reserves. The game lodges range from well appointed through exclusive and luxurious, providing guests with great cuisine, fresh air and lasting memories. Activities include game drives, bush walks and with some camps offering elephant back and microlight safaris.

Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Sabi Sands is a private game reserve where neighboring lodges (properties) share the conservation responsibilities of the environment and wildlife. Guests sleep in air conditioned comfort while lions roam near the camp and monkeys frolic in the trees. There are no fences between the properties and none between Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and Kruger National Park, providing a vast protected wilderness area for the free movement of the wildlife.

Accommodation is provided at a price but there are a number of advantages to staying in the private reserves, including off-road tracking and early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives when wildlife is most active. Accommodation styles and luxury levels vary from camp to camp.

Lion Sands, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Acknowledgements - Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

Themed safaris are possible by arrangement: weddings and honeymoons, family packages, walking safaris, spas and wellness safaris.

Other Private Game Reserves include:

Timbavati Nature Reserve
A private reserve with luxurious camps and unrivaled wildlife viewing by foot, 4x4 vehicles or in some cases from the camp's viewing deck. It also shares an unfenced border with Kruger National Park.

Manyeleti Game Reserve
Manyeleti is found between Timbavati, Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands and is a quieter reserve with less visitors than the larger conservation areas.

Balule Private Nature Reserve
The reserve is essentially a collection of farms that share unfenced borders to allow the wildlife to roam freely. The reserve is growing steadily as more farm owners drop their fences and become a part of the wildlife initiative.  The Olifants River runs right through the reserve.

Thornybush Game Reserve
The reserve is also a neighbor to Kruger National Park and although small it offers unrivaled game viewing and luxury accommodation.

Spas and Retreats

A good way to escape the ‘wild life’ in the city is to visit the wildlife in the Lowveld. Many of the camps and lodges have a massage therapist on the premises, with aromatherapy and hot stone massages followed by mouth watering cuisine. There are also dedicated wellness centers that cater to folk looking for a quiet place to recover from elective surgery or illness. All of this in tranquil surrounds where the loudest noises you might hear are monkeys playing in the trees.

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Blyde River Canyon

The Canyon is not only the third largest canyon in the world but also the largest ‘green’ canyon in the world. It is covered in subtropical plants and forms part of the northern Drakensberg. It is 26 km or 16 miles in length and has an average depth of 800m (2,500 feet) but the highest point of the canyon is at Mariepskop which sits at 1,944m (6,378 feet) above sea level. The canyon was ‘born’ when Madagascar and Antarctica tore away from the continent of Africa.

Blyde River Canyon

Acknowledgements - Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

‘Blyde’ is Dutch for happy which is what the pioneers (Voortrekkers) named the river that runs through the canyon, when in 1844 a small group including Hendrik Potgieter arrived safely from a trip to Delagoa Bay.

There are a number of attractions in the Canyon which has made it so desirable to visitors. God’s Window, Wonder View, Three Rondavels, Pinnacle and Bourke’s Luck Potholes are all on the ‘must see’ list.

God’s Window and Wonder View describe the immense beauty and vistas visitors can look forward to. God’s Window is found along the Drakensberg escarpment in the southern region of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. This is where you will find 250 km (155 miles) of sheer cliffs falling 700m (2,296 feet) into the Canyon. It is possible to see far across the savanna of the Kruger National Park and up to the Lebombo Mountains that border with Mozambique. On a misty day when you can’t see into the Canyon, it is easy to feel as if you are standing at the edge of the earth.

The Pinnacle is a solitary quartzite column that reaches into the sky from the Canyon floor and Three Rondavels are three enormous dolomite rock spirals (see page banner). The harder rock at the top eroded slower than the softer rock at the bottom causing the rocks to look like the huts of the local people, where the Blyde (happy) River and the Treur (sad) Rivers meet water erosion has created the almost otherworldly geological Bourke’s Luck Potholes.

Bourke's Luck Potholes, Mpumalanga

The Potholes are found 35km (22 miles) north of Graskop on the R532. An informative visitor’s center forms the starting point of a 700m (765 yards) walk to the potholes.

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
The reserve is rich in fauna and flora and supports many different species of plant life, antelope, birds and insects. The river is bursting with fish, hippo pods and crocodiles and all five of South Africa’s primates can be found in the reserve, the Samango Monkey, Nocturnal Greater and Lesser Bushbabies, Chacma Baboons and Vervet Monkeys.

Many hiking trails for both single or multi day hikes are available and white water rafting on the Blyde River will make any adrenaline seeker very happy. The rapids are graded 3 – 4 and optional overnights can be arranged on the river bank at the foot of the Three Rondavels. 

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Sudwala Caves

Sudwala Caves are thought to be the oldest dolomite caverns in the world having been formed about 240 million years ago. An unknown source of water in the cave system made it a perfect home for prehistoric residents. More recently the caves were found by Somquba, a son of Swazi King Sobhuza I. Somquba used the cave as a hideout when he fled from his brother Mswati II. When Somquba was killed his followers stayed and were led by a new leader called Sudwala which is how the cave got its name.

Sudwala Caves, Mpumalanga

Sudwala Caves are set in Precambrian dolomite rock which is thought to be the second oldest sedimentary rock on earth. The cave system of Sudwala is over 30 km long (18.6 miles) but only 600 m (1,968.5 feet) is currently accessed. Further explorations into the caves is made difficult with rock falls and underground streams, not to mention the mud streams found underground. Geologists believe that stresses in the rock over 3,000 million years ago split the Mankele Mountains which makes up part of the Drakensberg and divides the highveld and lowveld of Mpumalanga exposing many fossils in the ceilings of the caves. The fossils are aged at an estimated 2,000 million years and are mostly algae colonies known as stromatolites. These cracks allowed water to seep through which eroded the rock to form passages in the caves creating chambers with stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone formations. The tallest stalagmite in the cave is 11m (36 feet) high surrounded by large drip-rock formations.

Somquba was not the only one to use Sudwala Caves during troubled times. During the Second Boer War in 1900, the Boers (Dutch white farmers) used the caves to hide their ammunition for the very large Long Tom guns. There are stories that President Paul Kruger may even have used the caves to hide the “Kruger Millions”.  This was gold bullion that mysteriously vanished somewhere between Waterval Onder and Nelspruit when President Kruger fled from Pretoria to Lourenço Marques (now known as Maputo) in Mozambique.

Bat guano was found in rather large amounts in the caves thanks to the healthy numbers of resident bats. The guano, which is bat dung is an African delicacy and a fertilizer and in 1914 a company was formed to harvest the guano which was then sold to farmers to fertilize their land.

The most dominating chamber in the caves is a somewhat circular 70m (229 feet) diameter and 37 m (121 feet) high chamber known as the PR Owen hall or the Amphitheatre because of the good acoustics and cool fresh air. It is not known where the air is coming from but there are stories that the Sudwala cave system extends all the way to Lydenburg 40 km (25 miles) away and travels through the mountain. The caves have a constant temperature of 17 degrees Celsius (62 Fahrenheit).  Mr. P. R. Owen opened the cave to the public when he bought the Sudwalaskraal farm in 1965 on which Sudwala Caves is found. He also built a road to the cave entrance.

The Caves are found 50km (31 miles) outside Sabie next to Dinosaur World and one hour guided tours are conducted Monday through Sunday from 8:00am to 5:00pm departing every half hour. The last tour of the day is at 4:30pm. The tours lead 600m and 150 m into the cave on a round trip route. Photo opportunities are possible in the caves since they are very well lit. Some of the calcium structures in the cave have been given interesting names such as “Lowveld Rocket”, “Samson’s Pillar” and “Screaming Monster”.

A five hour crystal tour is available once a month for those more adventurous souls, taking the visitor 2,000 m into Sudwala Caves to a crystal chamber. Here one finds incredible examples of glittering aragonite crystals. Be aware that this tour is for the physically fit since there is some walking and crawling on slippery rock and through water.

The P.R. Owen chamber has also played host to a few notable occasions such at when Russian singer Ivan Rebroff gave a concert in the Sudwala Caves in July of 1970. Unfortunately occasions such as these had to be stopped in 2002 when evidence of vandalism was found but carefully managed concerts started again 2006.

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Waterfalls

MAC MAC FALLS
These are the only Falls in South Africa to be linked to the Gold Rush in the 19th century. The Scottish settlers who came to the area looking for gold decided that it would make life a lot easier if they could get the water out of the way and thereby reach the reef of gold behind the 65 m (213 feet) plunging wall of water, so they blasted the rock and created the twin waterfalls of today.

Mac Mac Falls has been declared a National Monument for its historic value and is a favorite spot for photographers and hikers alike. It is found 13km (8 miles) from the town of Sabie on the R532 road towards Graskop. A steep cemented pathway will take you to a viewing platform above the Falls for spectacular views. There are many steps and this is not a wheelchair friendly walk. Expect to pay a small fee at the parking area when entering.

3km (1.8 miles) south of the Falls visitors can swim in the Mac Mac pools and walk through the forested area around the pools. There are a number of birds in the forest so look out for birds such as the Secretary Bird and Natal Franklin.

ELAND RIVER FALLS
Another National Monument is Eland River Falls which plunges 70m (229 feet) in three separate waterfalls into a clear rock pool. It is found near Waterval Boven (Dutch for above the Falls) and Waterval Onder (Dutch for below the Falls) which are found 10km (6 miles) apart in the Elandsberg Mountain range.

BERLIN FALLS
The Falls are 10km (6 miles) north of Graskop on the R532 near God’s Window. A viewing platform has been built so that visitors can get a better view as the Watervalspruit (Waterfall fountain) as it rushes down 80 m (262 feet) into a large green pool. A wonderful picnic site is found at Watervalspruit and a deep natural pool is nearby perfect for a swim.

LISBON FALLS
3km (1.8 miles) south of Berlin Falls are the 90 m (295 feet) high Lisbon Falls. A short foot path leads the visitor from the car park to the base of the Falls and a number of very nice picnic spots are scattered around.

 

Adventure High, Adventure Low

Hiking and mountain bike trails are found all over the province with Mankele Mountain Bike Park being the most popular for bikers. Rivers offer kayaking and river rafting, large open areas provide trails for quad bikers to explore and the reserves are perfect for horseback, elephant back, walking and mountain bike safaris. Of course if this is all a bit too tame for you then you could try a hot air balloon safari, early in the morning just as the sun rises over the horizon.

Waterval Boven
With all the cracks and waterfalls, hiking trails and sheer cliffs in the area it is not surprising that climbers, hikers and aerial enthusiasts should find Waterval Boven so inviting. The crags have been nicknamed the Restaurant at the end of the Universe (see Douglas Adams 2nd book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series). The many climbing routes have difficulty ratings of 17 – 27 or for the French measurement 5b - 7b+ and 5.8 -5.12c for US climbers. There are even climbs with ratings of 33 or 8b French or 5.14a US.

Training courses are available for beginners, advanced, technical and sports climbers and abseiling is an option for anyone looking to challenge themselves.

Graskop
One of the highest gorge swings in the world is found at Graskop, where an adventurer accelerates from 0 – 180km/h in a few seconds. Go solo or go tandem - the speed and adrenalin rush is the same. A Zip-line strung 130m (426 feet) runs for 135m (442 feet) for a very different view of Graskop Falls.

Sabie
Bungee jump off the Sabie River Bridge, it’s really only 30m (98 feet), nothing after the Zip-line experience ….right?! Remember to open your eyes though, the views are spectacular.

Hazyview
Just outside the town of Hazyview is Africa’s longest aerial cableway (canopy tour) called the Skyway Trail. It runs for 1.2km (0.7 of a mile) down the Sabie River over forest and wildlife. The activity will take about 3 hours.

Lydenburg and Dullstroom
In 1948 a fisheries institute was established and today there are many trout farms in the area. Fly fishermen are treated to well stocked dams and streams.

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History and Places of Interest

Five Arch Bridge
Between Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder is a five arch bridge called by the same name, found very near the NZASM (Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg – Maatschappij) Tunnel. The bridge was declared a national monument in 1963 and was built out of dressed stone cut and then imported from Italy. You can see the Eland River Falls from the NZASM tunnel.

It was this bridge that carried the now famous Eastern Line railway track across the gorge of Dwaalheuwel Spruit (fountain). The railway line opened for rail traffic on June 20 1894. It was later converted to a road bridge which travelers used until the present day road and tunnel adjacent to the NZASM tunnel was completed.

Battle of Majuba Hill
The Battle of Majuba Hill on February 27, 1881 was not a very large scale battle but it was a very important one and led to the signing of the peace treaty and the Pretoria Convention later on between the British and the new South African Republic. This helped in ending the first Boer war.

The 405 British Soldiers and 95 Highlanders were led by Major-General Sir George Pomeroy Colley and the Boer troops of about 450 were led by Nicolas Smit. When the Highlanders started shouting and shaking their fists, the Boer troops feared that the British were about to attack and decided to push ‘storming’ parties up the hill. The Boers were very good marksmen and were able to fire from longer distances and avoid hand to hand combat. They were also less visible in the high grasses and shrubs. Their ‘uniform’ was daily attire and they blended well with their surroundings, making them difficult to spot. They circled the hill and were able to defeat the British regiment. Two hundred and eighty Britons were killed, captured or wounded.

http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol052gr.html

 

Scenic Drives and Passes

Mpumalanga is so diverse in its beauty that even a drive to your next stop is something to look forward to.

LONG TOM PASS
Long Tom is the name of the cannon used during the Boer war and visitors can see one at the crest of Long Tom Pass. The pass was first used as a wagon trail between Mozambique and Lydenburg but was a dangerous trail with many hairpin turns, malaria, sleeping sickness and wild animals. A new tarred road now exists and as one travels along it, the old treacherous road is visible. Today however the dangers are not as life threatening and scenery is filled with eucalyptus and pine trees and the peaks of Mount Anderson and Mauchsberg.

BULEMBU PASS
This is a very beautiful pass travelling high into the mountains on the way to Swaziland from the town of Barberton. It is not an easy road to travel with many potholes and steep inclines. 

THE PANORAMA ROUTE
For folks with limited time and a love for scenic beauty the panorama route will certainly satisfy and produce many photographic opportunities. It snakes around to include Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, the Swadini Dam, God’s Window and a number of the lovely waterfalls in the area. Also on the route is Pilgrim’s Rest, where the first gold rush in South Africa took place in the early 1870s. 

Pilgrim's Rest and Robber's Grave

The Royal Hotel Pilgrims Rest and Robber's Grave

Now a museum town, Pilgrim's Rest tells the story of the gold mining industry. When gold mining was suspended in the 1970s the provincial authorities decided to preserve some the mining history and to promote tourism. Today a visit includes six museums, the famous Royal Hotel, quaint stores, coffee shops and restaurants. As part of the 'living heritage' approach, gold panning as a recreational activity is actively nurtured in order to make the heritage experience more tangible.  The South African Gold Panning Association was established in 1997 and is part of the world gold panning fraternity.  The World Gold Panning Championships was hosted in Pilgrim's Rest in 2005 and will again be held here in 2012.

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Cultural Villages and Experiences

There are a number of cultural villages to visit in Mpumalanga, they all offer an insight into the beliefs, traditions and culture of the local people.

The most colorful people are the Ndebele who decorate their homes in vibrant geometric shapes and colors and their art and clothing are just as eye catching. The Botshabelo Mission Station and Historical Village, a Heritage site, was established by two German missionaries back in 1860, when they bought a farm in the Olifants River valley near Middelberg. Botshabelo means ‘place of refuge or sanctuary’ Here visitors can learn about the Ndebele in an open air museum that is designed to look and feel like a Ndebele Village.

A woman’s accessories will hint to her age and social status. Multiple rings are worn around the neck, legs and arms and complicated beadwork and patterns adorn clothing. Art and design is passed from mother to daughter thereby preserving the tradition.

Accommodation is available at some of the villages such as Botshabelo and events such as weddings and art workshops are becoming more popular.

Shangaan and Ndebele adornment

Shangana Cultural Village is found just outside Hazyview where day tours, lunch and dinner shows with traditional dancing and a craft village make it a wonderful village to visit. You may even get a chance to have your fortune told by the resident Sangoma or traditional healer. Tours run from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily.

 

How to Get to Mpumalanga

By air:
The main gateway by air to Mpumulanga is KMIA (Kruger Mpumulanga International Airport, airport code MQP). It serves as a hub for incoming flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa, flights from Livingstone in Zambia and Vilanculos in Mozambique, however schedules and times can be seasonal or based on demand for seats and will change frequently.

Hoedspruit (airport code HDS) is another airport and although small, it does receive a number of flights and is closer to the northern regions of Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve and Timbavati Game Reserve.

Some Charter companies such as Federal Air and Pelican Air will fly directly to the lodges that have airstrips such as Ulusaba and Sabi Sabi.

Federal Air (Pelican Air)
Flies from Johannesburg to KMIA.
Flies from Johannesburg to Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.
South African Airways
Flies from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to KMIA.
Flies from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit
Flies from Livingstone, Zambia to KMIA
British Airways
Flies from Johannesburg to KMIA

By road:
Travelling by car or motorbike is possible and roads are very well maintained. Expect to pay toll fees. The main highway is the N4 from Pretoria.

Transfer companies:
There are a number of very good transfer companies that will meet you at the airport and drive you up to Mpumulanga from Johannesburg or will meet you at KMIA or Hoedspruit and drive you to the lodges in the Parks and Reserves. Ask your tour operator or lodge for referrals. Driving times vary but expect anything from 5 to 7 hours from Johannesburg and 1.5 and 3 hours from the a local airports (MQP and HDS) to the parks.

 

Health

Malaria is prevalent here and visitors must consult with their physician for advice on taking anti malaria medication when visiting, especially in the summer when the risk is higher.

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10 More Things To Do
when visiting Mpumalanga

 1 River rafting in the Blyde River
 2 Rock climbing near Waterval Boven voted one of 10 top climbing destinations in the world
 3 Test your nerves on the Big Swing near Graskop, highest gorge swing in the world.
 4 Visit the award winning Matsamo Cultural Park, a Swazi village, Shangana Cultural Village or Botshabelo Mission Station and Historical Village
 5 Go on an elephant back safari or a horseback safari
 6 Take a tour of Jane Goodall’s Chimpanzee Eden in Umhloti Nature Reserve, near Nelspruit.
 7 Visit the historic gold rush town of Pilgrims Rest.
 8 View wildlife from a hot air balloon, helicopter or microlight.
 9 Visit Moholoholo Rehab Centre, where injured wildlife can recover. See vultures, wild dog and touch a cheetah,.
10 Visit the African Silk Farm near Graskop


Mpumalanga
Tours and Transfers

 
 
 
 


Mpumalanga Hotel Accommodation

Kruger Park Hotels and Lodges: South African Hotels.com

 
 
 
 


Activities

 
 
 
 
 


Adventure Activities


 
 
 
 


Cuisine


 
 
 
 


Attractions

 

 
 
 
 


Golf and Spa

 

 
 
 
 


Markets, Arts and Crafts

 

 
 
 
 


Wilderness, Trails
and Wildlife

 

 
 
 
 


Cultural Experiences

 

 
 
 
 

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