Along the eastern reaches of Mpumalanga lie the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park, and this is a region that must be visited by anyone traveling to South Africa. The area stretches from the Swaziland border in the South as far as the Limpopo river on the Zimbabwe border in the North and is a belt of land between 100 and 150 kms wide. The Northern part forms the Kruger National Park, certainly one of the best places in the world to see the big five, a vast area 400 kms from North to South harbouring 147 species of mammal, over 500 bird species as well as numerous species of reptile, fish and amphibians, to say nothing of the 336 species of trees.
To the South of the area, between the Kruger National Park and the Swaziland border, lies an area of Lowveld known as the Maputo-Nelspruit development corridor. This is, above all else, an agricultural area, and here you will find growing a large proportion of South Africa's tropical fruit and vegetables. The Lowveld is dotted with hills and valleys where you will find traces of the early San (Bushmen) people who left their marks in ancient rock paintings and engravings in the many caves of the area. Visitors can also see archeological ruins, old wagon trails and gold diggings. Situated just to the West of Nelspruit, the Capital of Mpumalanga, are the famous Sudwala Caves, a "must" for any visitor to the Lowveld.
The Kruger National Park is by far the most important game reserve in Southern Africa. The Park boasts many rest camps, and there are numerous private game lodges that adjoin the Park in such a way that there are no game fences between lodge and park. Accommodation prices vary from the very reasonable to the very expensive, some of the more expensive lodges catering more for the overseas visitor. Accommodation can range from safari tents to cottages, and at the higher end of the spectrum to extreme luxury. Camping and caravan sites are available in many of the Kruger National Parks rest camps, and facilities are normally excellent. There are also a number of trails that the visitor can take. These are all on foot and accompanied by an armed ranger. They normally involve spending three nights sleeping in the wild and eating around a campfire ï¿½ evening meals are normally a braai (barbecue) or a potjiekos (hunter's stew).
Situated in the extreme South West of the Lowveld is the resort town of Badplaas. The origins of this resort town go back to 1876 when a Swazi chief gave a white trader the gift of a hot sulphur spring. The town that developed at the site has become well known for its hot sulphur mineral baths and pools. Just a few kilometers to the South of Nelspruit and situated in the historic de Kaap Valley, where some of the world's oldest sedimentary rock formations are to be found, is the historic mining town of Barberton, named after Barber's Reef, a particularly rich gold reef named by Graham Barber and his cousins. The town was officially named in 1884 by the local mining commissioner who did so by breaking a bottle of gin over a piece of rock.
Apart from the obvious attractions of the Kruger National Park, this Lowveld region of Mpumalanga offers a wide selection of adventure holidays, from rock climbing and hiking to white water rafting and windsurfing, from bird watching to paragliding. Mpumalanga is, without doubt, a part of South Africa that cannot be missed by any serious visitor to the country.
My Trip Through the Kruger Park
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"After leaving Dullstroom on our way to Skukuza, we decided to do a detour via Hans Merensky Golf Estate in Phalaborwa.
Palaborwa in itself was a pretty tidy little mining town with fond memories of our visit to a little Portuguese restaurant no more than 2 kms outside the Hans Merensky main gate. We were entertained by Armand Hofmeyer (Steve Hofmeyer's son).......we got REALLY vrot with "sokkie" music blaring and the locals "lang-arming" around the dance floor. Much, much fun.
Hans Merensky Golf Estate and hotel was an eye-opener. The decor in the hotel was mind-boggling and the rooms were top class.
The famous Hans Merensky golf course stood up to it's name as we hacked through the magnificent golf course with close sightings of giraffe, hippo, warthog, impala and crocodile - an experience not to miss.
We checked out and headed out of Limpopo Province down to Skukuza (Mpumalanga Province)
The trip was a little too far for a single day trip which took about 6 hours to reach Skukuza.
Along the way we sighted stacks of elephant, rhino, giraffe, and tons of bokke.
Skukuza Game Reserve (inside the Kruger National Park) presented us with basic, but clean accommodation as well as a restaurant where dinner was more than satisfying.
The Skukuza Golf Course was in OK nick and also had its fair share of wildlife roaming around. The Skukuza Golf Course is situated inside the Kruger National park and there are no fences separating golfers from wild animals............very interesting!!
We then headed off to Sabi River Bungalows" - Avril and Frank
Oppi Plaas Abek is a working Litchi and Banana farm overlooking the beautiful Sabie River Valley with views of the Mountains
At Zebrina we offer you a exqusite rooms, a great view, peacefull gardens with birdlife and ultimately a wonderfull experience.
3-bed, 3-bath Victorian Cottage. Open plan kitchen with microwave, stove/oven, fridge/freezer, washer/dryer. TV and DStv facilities (need to bring own smart-card). Gas fire place and wall mounted heaters for those cold, misty days. The main ...
The Barberton Mountainlands form the core of a proposed World Heritage Site, as it is central to the Achaean Greenstone Belt, in which some of the oldest and best preserved rocks and first life forms on earth are found.?
La Roca, a top 4 star establishment adjoining the Nelspruit Nature Reserve, offers luxurious accommodation with a friendly and warm ambience. Uninterrupted views over the reserve and distant mountains.
Pemba Lodge is situated on the southern border of the world famous Kruger National Park in Marloth Park. Marloth Park which is a private residential Nature Reserve where the Kudu, Zebra, Warthog, Impala, Giraffe and Wildebeest walk freely around ...
The five exclusive lodge chalets offer guests privacy in a natural bush environment. The individually placed air-conditioned chalets are open plan with a four star queen-size bed, small lounge, DStv, bar fridge and tea and coffee making facilities
This peaceful and scenic spot in the heart of Mpumalanga can be found just 15 minutes drive from Hazy View, midway between White River & Hazy View on the R40.
Embanking one of the Kruger National Park's few perennial rivers is the Lower Sabie game camp. With its soothing riverine views and Lebombo-Mountain-skyline in the background, this camp is an exhibition of the natural wealth of this area.
Room 1 - Double (Sleeps 2) Room 2 - Single (Sleeps 1) Room 3 - Single (Sleeps 1) Downstairs - 2x double kickout sofa's (Sleeps 2 each = 4) 2 Bathrooms Fully equipped kitchen (Microwave, Fridge)
Fever Tree cottage is a freestanding, thick-walled stone cottage, situated on a mountain overlooking a dam on an 88 hectare avocado and pecan nut farm. It is spacious, light
Privately situated, self catering, thatched chalet, with own wooden decked private patio overlooking a dam which attracts local birds, resident impalas and vervet monkeys.
This impressive lodge exemplifies the very best in modern architecture and offers six spacious bedrooms, each with its own private balcony, as well as all amenities on your wish-list: spa-bath or jet shower, extra long beds with quality linen, ...
Our rooms all have tastefully selected furnishings and linen, and are stylishly decorated. The rooms are set in different locations on the property and most have their own private entrance and patio.
There is one self catering cottage (2 plate stove available) that can typically be described as home away from home. It has a queen size, a three quarter and a single bed.
Picture yourself next to a huge bonfire and a typical South-African braai while you enjoy the tranquillity of the bushveld with the wild animals of Marloth Park on your doorstep.
We warmly welcome you to our tranquil, tastefully appointed, luxury 'bush home' in the heart of the African bush. This is what you will enjoy ... The Bush & Gables is a beautiful, private, self-catered Bush Lodge...
The units are beautifully furnished and different options are available - either open plan units, or units with separate bedrooms and lounges containing sleeper couches - our family unit consists of 3 bedrooms
Nestled on the edge of the Mpumalanga escarpment, Kaapsche Hoop looks over the valleys toward Barberton and Nelspruit and in this tranquil setting you will find "Kaapsche Hoop Gastehuis" (Guesthouse).