Mpumalanga is a province in South Africa known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse wildlife. With its majestic mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls, and vast expanses of savannah, Mpumalanga is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable holiday experience.
In this article, we will explore some of the top holiday destinations in Mpumalanga, from the world-renowned Kruger National Park to the charming town of Dullstroom.
Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or a history buff, Mpumalanga has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for a journey through some of South Africa’s most breathtaking landscapes.
Our list of top Mpumalanga holiday destinations
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of 19,485 square kilometers. The park is home to over 140 species of mammals, including the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhino), as well as over 500 species of birds and numerous reptiles and amphibians. Visitors to the park can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and bushveld trails. There are also various accommodation options available, from rustic campsites to luxury lodges.
One of the highlights of a visit to Kruger National Park is the opportunity to see the Big Five in their natural habitat. This can be done on a guided game drive or a self-drive safari. The park also offers walking safaris, which allow visitors to get up close and personal with the wildlife while accompanied by an experienced ranger. Other activities available in the park include bird watching, photography, and cultural tours of the local communities.
The Panorama Route is a scenic drive that takes visitors through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Mpumalanga. The route starts in the town of Sabie and winds its way through the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, offering panoramic views of the Drakensberg Mountains and the Blyde River Canyon.
Some of the highlights of the Panorama Route include the Three Rondavels, a series of three mountain peaks that resemble traditional African huts; Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a series of natural rock formations that have been eroded by the Treur River; and the Pinnacle, a towering rock formation that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Other notable attractions along the Panorama Route include the Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, and the Mac-Mac Falls. Visitors can also explore the historic gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, which has been preserved as a living museum, and learn about the area’s rich mining heritage.
In addition to its natural beauty and cultural heritage, the Panorama Route offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking trails, horseback riding, and white water rafting. There are also several restaurants and souvenir shops along the route, making it a great destination for a day trip or a longer holiday.
Overall, the Panorama Route is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Mpumalanga. Its stunning scenery, rich cultural heritage, and range of outdoor activities make it a great place to explore and experience the natural beauty of the province.
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is located in the Drakensberg Mountains and is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Mpumalanga. The reserve covers an area of 29,000 hectares and is known for its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and lush vegetation. Visitors to the reserve can enjoy hiking trails, scenic drives, and boat trips on the Blyde Dam. There are also several viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the canyon and surrounding areas.
One of the most popular attractions in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is the Three Rondavels, which are three huge rock formations that resemble traditional African huts. The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are another must-see attraction in the reserve. These are deep cylindrical cavities that have been eroded into the rocks by the swirling waters of the Blyde and Treur rivers.
Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a private game reserve located adjacent to Kruger National Park. The reserve covers an area of 65,000 hectares and is known for its high density of wildlife, including the Big Five. Visitors to the reserve can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and bird watching. There are also several luxurious lodges and campsites available for those who want to stay overnight.
At the Sabi Sand Game Reserve you have the opportunity to see the elusive leopard. The reserve has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, making it an ideal destination for wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts. Other wildlife commonly seen in the reserve include lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino.
God’s Window is a scenic viewpoint located on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. The viewpoint offers panoramic views of the Lowveld region of Mpumalanga and is surrounded by lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls. Visitors to God’s Window can enjoy hiking trails, guided walks, and bird watching. There are also several restaurants and souvenir shops in the area.
One of the most popular activities at God’s Window is the hike to the bottom of the gorge, where visitors can see the stunning Mac-Mac Falls. The hike is quite steep and strenuous, but the views from the bottom are well worth the effort. There are also several other waterfalls in the area, including the Berlin Falls and the Lisbon Falls.
Hazyview is a small town located in the heart of Mpumalanga’s Lowveld region. It is situated close to the Kruger National Park and other natural attractions, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
One of the top attractions in Hazyview is the Elephant Whispers Sanctuary. The sanctuary offers visitors a chance to interact with and learn about these magnificent animals in a responsible and ethical way. Visitors can go on elephant-back rides, feed the elephants, and even participate in elephant training sessions.
Another popular attraction in Hazyview is the Shangana Cultural Village. The village offers visitors a chance to experience the local culture and traditions of the Shangaan people, with traditional dances, music, and food. Visitors can also go on guided tours of the village and learn about the history and customs of the Shangaan people.
Hazyview is also known for its excellent restaurants and accommodation options. Visitors can choose from a range of hotels, lodges, and guesthouses, with everything from luxury to budget options. The town also has a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering visitors a chance to sample some of the region’s top cuisine.
Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga, is a bustling city known for its vibrant culture, excellent shopping, and proximity to some of the province’s top tourist destinations. The city is situated in the heart of the Lowveld region and is the gateway to the world-renowned Kruger National Park.
One of the must-see attractions in Nelspruit is the Lowveld National Botanical Garden. The garden is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. Visitors can explore the garden’s various walking trails, picnic areas, and bird hides, making it a great destination for families and nature enthusiasts alike.
Another popular attraction in Nelspruit is the Emnotweni Casino, which offers visitors a range of entertainment options, including gaming, movies, and live performances. The casino is also home to several top-class restaurants and bars, making it a great destination for a night out on the town.
Nelspruit is also known for its excellent shopping opportunities, with several malls and markets offering visitors a chance to buy local crafts, clothing, and souvenirs. The Riverside Mall is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations, with over 140 stores, restaurants, and cinemas.
For those looking to explore the natural beauty of Mpumalanga, Nelspruit is a great base from which to do so. The city is situated just a short drive from the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s most famous wildlife reserves. Visitors can go on guided game drives, spot the Big Five, and experience the thrill of being in the African wilderness.
Overall, Nelspruit is a vibrant city that offers visitors a range of activities and attractions to explore. From its stunning botanical gardens and top-class casinos to its excellent shopping and proximity to the Kruger National Park, Nelspruit is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Mpumalanga.
Pilgrim’s Rest is a small town located in the Mpumalanga highlands. The town was established during the gold rush of the late 19th century and has since been preserved as a living museum. Visitors to the town can stroll along the cobbled streets and admire the well-preserved Victorian buildings. There are also several museums that showcase the town’s rich history, including the Pilgrim’s Rest Museum and the Alanglade House Museum.
One of the highlights of a visit to Pilgrim’s Rest is the opportunity to go gold panning. Visitors can try their luck at finding gold in the local streams and rivers, just like the prospectors of old. The town is also surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including waterfalls, forests, and hiking trails.
Marloth Park is a unique wildlife conservancy located on the southern boundary of Kruger National Park. The conservancy covers an area of over 3000 hectares and is home to a wide variety of African wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, and many species of antelope.
You can experience the thrill of living amongst the wildlife in one of the many self-catering lodges or holiday homes that are available for rent. The lodges are located in the heart of the conservancy, giving visitors easy access to the surrounding bushveld and its resident wildlife.
In addition to its wildlife, Marloth Park offers a range of outdoor activities, including game drives, guided bush walks, and bird watching. Visitors can also take a day trip to Kruger National Park, which is just a short drive away.
One of the unique features of Marloth Park is its close proximity to the Crocodile River, which forms the southern boundary of Kruger National Park. Visitors can enjoy a sundowner while watching the wildlife at the river’s edge or take a guided boat tour to see hippos and crocodiles in their natural habitat.
Marloth Park offers a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience that is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its stunning natural beauty, wide range of activities, and close proximity to Kruger National Park make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting Mpumalanga.
Dullstroom is a charming town situated in the heart of Mpumalanga’s highlands, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Johannesburg. The town is known for its tranquil atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and excellent fly-fishing opportunities.
One of the most popular activities in Dullstroom is fly-fishing. The town is home to several well-stocked dams and streams, making it a haven for anglers of all skill levels. Visitors can hire fishing gear and guides from one of the many fly-fishing outfitters in town.
In addition to fishing, Dullstroom offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including the Dullstroom Nature Reserve, which is home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife.
Dullstroom is also known for its excellent cuisine and wine. The town is home to several top-class restaurants and wine bars, offering visitors the chance to sample some of the region’s best food and drink.
One of the must-see attractions is the historic Old Transvaal Inn, which dates back to the early 1900s. The inn is a popular spot for visitors to enjoy a drink and a meal while soaking up the town’s rich history.
Dullstroom is a wonderful destination for anyone looking for a peaceful escape to the countryside. Its beautiful scenery, excellent fishing opportunities, and range of outdoor activities make it a great place to relax and recharge.
Chimp Eden is a sanctuary located in the Umhloti Nature Reserve, near Barberton. The sanctuary is home to over 30 chimpanzees that have been rescued from various abusive situations. Visitors to Chimp Eden can take guided tours of the sanctuary and learn about the chimpanzees’ natural behavior and social structure. There is also a restaurant and souvenir shop on site.
One of the highlights of a visit to Chimp Eden is the opportunity to see the chimpanzees up close and personal. You can watch as the chimpanzees play, forage for food, and interact with each other. The sanctuary also offers a volunteer program for those who want to get involved in the care of the chimpanzees.