Where will you be spending your annual holiday this year? Thousands of South African’s end up at the same place every year. If you’re one of them, why not try something new this year instead of taking the obligatory pilgrimage to the beach for the umpteenth time.
If you’ve never stood at God’s Window and seen the awe-inspiring Lowveld opening up before your very eyes, if you’ve never walked the Blyde River Canyon or ran the rapids on the Sabie or Komatie rivers, then you don’t know what you’re missing!
Those who want to escape to an authentic bush experience will enjoy the variety of hiking trails, where you can get up close and personal with nature.
Too sedate for you? How about a heart-stopping leap into the Graskop Gorge with the highest cable gorge swing on the planet? A 68 metre free-fall will accelerate you to 160km/h in just 2.3 seconds! If you prefer your adrenalin rush to last a bit longer, why not try some white water rafting? There are several locations for white water thrills of varying degrees of terror in Mpumalanga.
If the idea of terror on the water doesn’t float your boat, how about some action on terra firma? Mpumalanga boasts a wide variety of 4×4 and quad bike trails for everyone. Or you could climb aboard a micro-light aircraft for a different point of view of the world!
Paragliding, caving and rock-climbing are just some of the other activities that adrenalin junkies can look forward to in this magnificent part of South Africa.
History and culture beckon
Mpumalanga also boasts a rich cultural and historical diversity – almost every town, river and krantz is alive with history.
Barberton, the scene of South Africa’s first gold rush, is where Cockney Liz plied her trade, and Percy Fitzpatrick walked the dusty streets accompanied by his faithful dog, Jock.
At the Royal Hotel bar in Pilgrim’s Rest it’s easy to imagine yourself conversing with vagabonds, financiers, diggers and prospectors from far-flung corners of the earth.
Trek further south and explore the Highveld Heritage route harbouring secrets and mysteries of yesteryears. Step back even earlier in time and take in the centuries-old Mashishing heads, crafted by some of the region’s earliest inhabitants, or be inspired by the colourful patterns and beadwork of the Ndebele people.
Scenic splendour beckons
Wherever you go in Mpumalanga, you’ll be surrounded by breathtakingly beauty. Numerous scenic drives on good roads take you through mountain passes where every bend reveals a new and awe-inspiring vista. The strange geological formations of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Pinnacle Rock and Kaapsche Hoop will inspire you to wax lyrical. And you’ll be mesmerized by the sheer grandeur of a place so beautiful it could only be named God’s Window!
The wild beckons
Mpumalanga is also home to one of the largest game reserves in the world, the internationally renowned Kruger National Park. Here you could encounter surprising and unexpected delights like a pride of lions heading out for a hunt, or perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to spot a leopard!
Birders can keep their binoculars handy because with over 500 species you never know when you’ll be able to add another new species to your list.
Adventurous souls can take advantage of one of the many guided walks that will get you up close and personal with some of our most impressive denizens.
Do something different this year
This article features just a sampling of the many attractions available to visitors. Those who do visit always want to return for more. There is accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes, ranging from rustic campsites to luxury lodges.
So what do you want to do this year? Lie on the beach for a week or two, or give your family a holiday that will last a lifetime in their memories?
Visit www.mpumalanga.com for more information.