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Spotlight on Mpumalanga

Known as ‘the place where the sun rises’, Mpumalanga is the eastern most province in South Africa and a popular location for bush experiences and adventure activities. It’s also famous for its colourful roadside stalls, stacked with farm-fresh citrus fruit and behemoth avocados, as well as exceptional arts and crafts made by talented locals. Taking a road trip through this diverse and lively province is a must for any traveller worth their salt and the very reason why we have chosen it as our ‘destination of the month.’ Here are a few of our favourite activities, accommodation and restaurants/eateries to check out.

Fly-fishing in Dullstroom

Known as South Africa’s fly-fishing capital, Dullstroom is home to a huge array of dams and rivers in which to cast your line. Most of these are stocked with rainbow- and brown trout. If you haven’t brought your own equipment, there are various places in town that offer rods for rental. Perhaps fly-fishing tickles your fancy, but you’ve never actually tried it yourself? Well, don’t let that put you off! There’s always a first time for everything and, besides, with such a passionate community, you’re bound to find someone to tutor you in no time. We highly recommend, visiting Dunkeld Country Estate for a fly-fishing lesson from their resident expert, David.

Known as South Africa’s fly-fishing capital, Dullstroom is home to a huge array of dams and rivers in which to cast your line. Most of these are stocked with rainbow- and brown trout. If you haven’t brought your own equipment, there are various places in town that offer rods for rental. Perhaps fly-fishing tickles your fancy, but you’ve never actually tried it yourself? Well, don’t let that put you off! There’s always a first time for everything and, besides, with such a passionate community, you’re bound to find someone to tutor you in no time. We highly recommend, visiting Dunkeld Country Estate for a fly-fishing lesson from their resident expert, David.

The Graskop Gorge Lift

One of Mpumalanga’s most exciting new attractions is the Graskop Gorge Lift, which offers guests the opportunity to step inside an elevator-with-a-view and drop 51m into the forest down below. If you’re not much of an adrenaline junkie, don’t stress – the lift descends really slowly, allowing you to take in the spectacular scenery as you go. Once in the forest, you can set out on a meander among the trees as you follow a 600m trail on wooden walkways. Information boards along the way will give you insight into the unique ecosystem around you. You can choose to do this with a guide or at your own pace. It’s a truly magical experience the whole family can enjoy.

Image: Twiggy Moli

One of Mpumalanga’s most exciting new attractions is the Graskop Gorge Lift, which offers guests the opportunity to step inside an elevator-with-a-view and drop 51m into the forest down below. If you’re not much of an adrenaline junkie, don’t stress – the lift descends really slowly, allowing you to take in the spectacular scenery as you go. Once in the forest, you can set out on a meander among the trees as you follow a 600m trail on wooden walkways. Information boards along the way will give you insight into the unique ecosystem around you. You can choose to do this with a guide or at your own pace. It’s a truly magical experience the whole family can enjoy.

Long Tom Toboggan

Looking for a super fun and slightly crazy adrenaline rush? We have three words for you: Long Tom Toboggan. Located at the Misty Mountain Resort on Long Tom Pass, just outside Sabie, this toboggan ride will give you the thrill of a lifetime, while scaring you silly. Basically, you’ll strap yourself into a tiny yellow cart that looks suspiciously much like a child’s plaything, push a little handle forward and set off on a 1.7km, winding, curving and diving pipe track that will take you about 2 minutes and 45 seconds to complete. It’s absolutely terrifying, but exhilarating all at once!

Image: Enock Predestine/Emp_cyclone

Looking for a super fun and slightly crazy adrenaline rush? We have three words for you: Long Tom Toboggan. Located at the Misty Mountain Resort on Long Tom Pass, just outside Sabie, this toboggan ride will give you the thrill of a lifetime, while scaring you silly. Basically, you’ll strap yourself into a tiny yellow cart that looks suspiciously much like a child’s plaything, push a little handle forward and set off on a 1.7km, winding, curving and diving pipe track that will take you about 2 minutes and 45 seconds to complete. It’s absolutely terrifying, but exhilarating all at once!

Drive the Panorama Route

No trip to Mpumalanga is complete without taking a drive along the famous Panorama Route. As the name suggests, it’s a feast for the eyes from start to finish! Highlights along the route include, God's Window, Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, The Pinnacle, Bourke`s Luck Potholes and Blyde River Canyon. Be sure to have your camera at hand and keep your phone’s battery charged throughout to capture all the magnificent views.

No trip to Mpumalanga is complete without taking a drive along the famous Panorama Route. As the name suggests, it’s a feast for the eyes from start to finish! Highlights along the route include, God's Window, Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, The Pinnacle, Bourke`s Luck Potholes and Blyde River Canyon. Be sure to have your camera at hand and keep your phone’s battery charged throughout to capture all the magnificent views.

Learn about Swati culture at Matsamo Cultural Village

An interesting fact about Mpumalanga, is that it shares a border with two neighbouring countries: Mozambique and the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). This obviously adds to the cultural diversity you find in the province and makes it that much more vibrant. The people of eSwatini are particularly proud of their national culture and passionate about preserving their heritage and traditions. You can learn all about this proud nation when you visit Matsamo Cultural Village at Jeppe’s Reef border post. It is located on the South African side of the border, so no reason to bring a passport… unless of course, you think you might be tempted to cross over and experience even more!

During a visit to Matsamo, you will get a tour of the traditional homestead, followed by a spectacular show of song and dance. If you’re not one for cultural experience such as these because of their tendency to be somewhat trite, give this one a chance. We think you might just be surprised!

Image: Twiggy Moli

Image: Nadia Krige

An interesting fact about Mpumalanga, is that it shares a border with two neighbouring countries: Mozambique and the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). This obviously adds to the cultural diversity you find in the province and makes it that much more vibrant. The people of eSwatini are particularly proud of their national culture and passionate about preserving their heritage and traditions. You can learn all about this proud nation when you visit Matsamo Cultural Village at Jeppe’s Reef border post. It is located on the South African side of the border, so no reason to bring a passport… unless of course, you think you might be tempted to cross over and experience even more!

During a visit to Matsamo, you will get a tour of the traditional homestead, followed by a spectacular show of song and dance. If you’re not one for cultural experience such as these because of their tendency to be somewhat trite, give this one a chance. We think you might just be surprised!

Visit the Sudwala Caves

Regarded as the oldest of their kind in the world, the Sudwala Caves offer a visitors an awe-inspiring and humbling glance into the history of our planet. The caves are conveniently located just outside Nelspruit and have been a popular tourist attraction since 1965. Devoid of any fancy trappings, it’s retained a measure of unassuming, old-school charm. The major chamber in the complex is 70 metres in diameter and 37 metres high, with a constant temperature of 17 °C. There’s also an amphitheatre, which offers superb acoustics and has seen a number of famous local and international artists perform.

Regarded as the oldest of their kind in the world, the Sudwala Caves offer a visitors an awe-inspiring and humbling glance into the history of our planet. The caves are conveniently located just outside Nelspruit and have been a popular tourist attraction since 1965. Devoid of any fancy trappings, it’s retained a measure of unassuming, old-school charm. The major chamber in the complex is 70 metres in diameter and 37 metres high, with a constant temperature of 17 °C. There’s also an amphitheatre, which offers superb acoustics and has seen a number of famous local and international artists perform.

Eat at Harrie’s Pancakes in Graskop

If you’re looking for the ultimate decadent indulgence, don’t miss out on tucking into one of Harrie’s famous pancakes in Graskop. The menu has something for everyone – from cinnamon sugar and lemon juice for those with a more classic mindset to banana, choc chip and peanut butter for those who are always looking to push the boundaries. They also offer gluten-freeoptions and for those who don’t like pancakes (uhhhmm… okay), there are all sorts of other treats to indulge in too.

If you’re looking for the ultimate decadent indulgence, don’t miss out on tucking into one of Harrie’s famous pancakes in Graskop. The menu has something for everyone – from cinnamon sugar and lemon juice for those with a more classic mindset to banana, choc chip and peanut butter for those who are always looking to push the boundaries. They also offer gluten-freeoptions and for those who don’t like pancakes (uhhhmm… okay), there are all sorts of other treats to indulge in too.

Go beer tasting at Sabie Brewing Co

If you love craft beer, you will adore Sabie Brewing Co. This quaint microbrewery is located on Sabie Main Road and offers guests the chance to have a brewery tour, followed by a beer tasting. With a selection including Weiss, Lager, Stout and even a cider, you’re bound to find something you like. They also have a restaurant on site, offering hearty pup-style meals to wash the beer down with.

If you love craft beer, you will adore Sabie Brewing Co. This quaint microbrewery is located on Sabie Main Road and offers guests the chance to have a brewery tour, followed by a beer tasting. With a selection including Weiss, Lager, Stout and even a cider, you’re bound to find something you like. They also have a restaurant on site, offering hearty pup-style meals to wash the beer down with.

Overnight at AfriCamps at Mackers, Hazyview

Like the IDEA of camping but not so much the execution thereof? Then, spending the night glamping at AfriCamps at Mackers outside of Hazyview is just for you! Located right on the banks of the Sabie River, the site is home to ten luxury safari tents that feel like home away from home. Each has two bedrooms (one with a double bed and the other with a double bed, as well as a bunk), a bathroom with a shower and flush toilet, a large lounge/porch area, a fully-equipped kitchenette (and yes, there’s a coffee plunger!) and even a wood-burning indoor fireplace!

Image: Enock Predestine/Emp_Cyclone

Like the IDEA of camping but not so much the execution thereof? Then, spending the night glamping at AfriCamps at Mackers outside of Hazyview is just for you! Located right on the banks of the Sabie River, the site is home to ten luxury safari tents that feel like home away from home. Each has two bedrooms (one with a double bed and the other with a double bed, as well as a bunk), a bathroom with a shower and flush toilet, a large lounge/porch area, a fully-equipped kitchenette (and yes, there’s a coffee plunger!) and even a wood-burning indoor fireplace!

Go on a safari

Mpumalanga is, of course, Big 5 country and well-known for its variety of game reserves. End your visit to the province off with a few days on safari with Jaci’s Sabi House in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.This exclusive-use luxury home accommodates a maximum of six guests and features a locally designed Main Lodge House and separate Guest Cottage with spacious interiors and bespoke decor. It is, however, the team of people looking after you that really make it a memorable experience. With the warm and charismatic Mama D in charge, you’ll feel right at home from the start. Her right-hand women are  Eunice (or Mama Eu) and Candace, while ranger Andrew will ensure that you have the most magical sunrise and sunset game drives imaginable.

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve lies adjacent to the south-west corner of The Kruger National Park, with which it shares a 50 kilometer border. This private reserve comprises 65 000 hectares of wilderness and is renowned for its Big 5 sightings (especially leopards) and Wild Dogs. Apart from these, there are also 330 tree-, 45 fish-, 30 amphibian-, 110 reptile-, 500 bird- and 140 mammal more mammal species to keep an eye out for.

If you want to experience Mpumalanga for yourself, check out our awesome travel package or contact Destinate Travel to plan your own tailor-made Mpumalanga experience.

Image: Alfred Thorpe

Mpumalanga is, of course, Big 5 country and well-known for its variety of game reserves. End your visit to the province off with a few days on safari with Jaci’s Sabi House in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.This exclusive-use luxury home accommodates a maximum of six guests and features a locally designed Main Lodge House and separate Guest Cottage with spacious interiors and bespoke decor. It is, however, the team of people looking after you that really make it a memorable experience. With the warm and charismatic Mama D in charge, you’ll feel right at home from the start. Her right-hand women are  Eunice (or Mama Eu) and Candace, while ranger Andrew will ensure that you have the most magical sunrise and sunset game drives imaginable.

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve lies adjacent to the south-west corner of The Kruger National Park, with which it shares a 50 kilometer border. This private reserve comprises 65 000 hectares of wilderness and is renowned for its Big 5 sightings (especially leopards) and Wild Dogs. Apart from these, there are also 330 tree-, 45 fish-, 30 amphibian-, 110 reptile-, 500 bird- and 140 mammal more mammal species to keep an eye out for.

If you want to experience Mpumalanga for yourself, check out our awesome travel package or contact Destinate Travel to plan your own tailor-made Mpumalanga experience.