Ideas in Mpumalanga
Here are some suggestions for activities and attractions Mpumalanga that your guests might be interested in. It is important to be knowledgeable about attractions in your area – if you recommend something that your guests really enjoy, it will make their day.
Roots and culture
Most visitors love cultural experiences, and it pays to know about those in your area.
Here are some examples of how guests can explore South African culture in Mpumalanga:
- Visit Pilgrim’s Rest, which is a small town that has changed little since the gold-rush days of the 1870s
- Explore the Makhonjwa Mountains outside Barberton, the place that many believe is the 'genesis of life'. The rocks in these mountains show evidence of bacteria that lived billions of years ago, and geologists travel from all corners of the globe to study them
- Visit Shangana Cultural Village, outside Hazyview, where the village represents the traditional ways of the Shangaan people. A market, where tourists can buy souvenirs, forms the centre of the village
- Visit Botshabelo Historical Village, near Middelburg, which portrays the culture and customs of the Ndebele people (tourists can also buy traditional mementos here)
Scenic beauty spots
Many tourists look forward to enjoying the natural beauty of our country. Make sure you can point them to the most picturesque spots.
Here are just a few examples:
- The Panorama Route, which, as the name suggests, is a drive through scenery that will satisfy any tourist’s thirst for scenic beauty
- The Bourke’s Luck Potholes, which are not just any scenery, but an example of the art that water can naturally create
- God’s Window, which looks over the Blyde River Canyon from atop 700m-high cliffs
- The Sabie Waterfalls Route, where visitors can see the many waterfalls cascading down rock formations
- Some of the many other spectacular waterfalls around the province. For instance, the Lisbon Falls, Mac Mac Falls or the Elands River Falls, to name a few
South Africa is famed for its wildlife. Our land is home to many, diverse creatures, many of which tourists will have never seen before, and which they probably haven’t seen in the wild.
The majority of visitors to South Africa can’t wait to go on a safari or game drive, so make sure you know where they can do this.
Here are a few examples of where guests can see South African wildlife:
- At the famous Kruger National Park, the gem of Mpumalanga province, which thousands of animals call home and has a renowned conservation record. Words fail to describe the majesty of the Kruger, and every tourist simply must go there
- At Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, which is adjacent to the Kruger National Park and is host to several luxury game lodges, as well as the Big Five and all the other animals found in the Kruger (there is no fence between Sabi Sand and the Kruger)
- At Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, if tourists are looking for grandeur. Ulusaba is owned by Sir Richard Branson, and the Rock Lodge and Cliff Lodge, perched on the side of a massive hill, offer panoramic views and a magical experience of the bushveld
Deep blue plus
In Mpumalanga the Highveld drops down to the Lowveld resulting in more waterfalls than anywhere else in South Africa. Encourage your visitors to explore the following sites:
- Elands River Falls at Emgwenya (previously known as Waterval Boven), the Sabie waterfalls, consisting of the Horseshoe, Lone Creek and Bridal Veil falls, as well as the 70m Mac Mac falls
- The Blyde River (also known as the Motlatse) Canyon Nature Reserve is situated in Mpumalanga and is home to God’s Window, for a reason: it is breathtakingly beautiful
- Mpumalanga and fly-fishing go hand in hand. Do not omit to stop over in dreamy Dullstroom - not even in the winter
- A swimming pool with 'a view that heals' can be found just outside Graskop
Culture and lifestyle
Be sure to recommend the following places to your guests if they would like to learn more about Mpumalanga's cultural heritage:
- Pilgrim’s Rest is a small town in Mpumalanga that is protected as a provincial heritage site. It attracted a rush of prospectors in 1873
- Shangaan Cultural Village
- In Siyabuswa, a small town where Ndebele traditions have been completely maintained, visitors can pick and choose among the many cultural tours that are on offer: Kghodwana Traditional Ndebele Village, Kgoshi Mathebe Royal Kraal, Nzundza Mabhoko Royal Kraal, Mthambothini Royal Residence
- Botshabelo (Place of Refuge) Mission Station, just outside Middelburg is a place of significant activity. The Botshabelo Historical Village showcases old-fashioned trading post complete with blacksmiths, wagon makers, and horse carts, as well as an Ndebele village
- For more contemporary culture visit the Innibos Arts & Culture Festival held in June in Nelspruit. Get lured by art in the wild made by Simon Max Bannister
From rafting to zip lines, hikes and ultra-marathons, Mpumalanga has something for the thrill-seeker in everyone.
- The Blyde River Canyon is 26 km long and 762m deep. Mpumalanga’s Blyde Canyon Adventure Centre hosts adrenalin-pumping tours that involve water rafting, abseiling or kloofing, hot air ballooning, microlight experiences, quad bike trails and zip lining
- Guests can walk the Jock of the Bushveld trail
- Alternatively guests can run 50 km in the Loskop Ultra-Marathon
- Sudwala Caves are the oldest caves in the world at 3 billion years
- Graskop is famous for pancakes - and one of the world's highest cable gorge swings with a 68m freefall
- Mpumalanga offers more than 500 rock climbing routes
Lap of luxury
In Mpumalanga's spectacular surrounds, small corners of luxury are easily accessible, and offer everything your visitors might need to experience this place in style:
- Pilgrim’s Rest Retreat at Jock Safari Lodge, home of the 'spafari', offers a mix of game drives, bush walks and relaxing spa treatments in the famed Kruger National Park
- Deep in the Timbavati bushveld, Motswari Private Game Reserve, offers guests an authentic African bush experience that includes viewing rare and beautiful white lions
- IImagine relaxing in your own plunge pool as game roams in the bushveld way below your luxury mountainside suite at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, in the Sabi Sand Reserve. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Drakensberg mountains
- Set along the scenic Sabie River between Hazyview and Sabie in Mpumalanga, Summerfield's Rose Retreat & Spa is a relaxing haven where the scent of roses complements indulgent Asian/African spa experiences. The 100-hectare property is a wellness haven, known for its excellent service, unpretentious attitudes, and top-class therapies
- Perhaps not luxury in the traditional sense of the word, but the gourmet gems of the R40 tourist route – between Mbombela (Nelspruit) and Hazyview – offer a buffet of local, seasonal produce served in creative and enticing ways
If you are interested in reading about more attractions in Mpumalanga, visit the South African Tourism website.
Guests also appreciate having an idea of what there is to do in other areas, so find out where they are going next and offer some ideas for what they might like to do when they get there.