Mpumalanga translates to 'Place where the sun rises' from the local language, SiSwati, and is bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland in the east, and Gauteng province lies to the west. It is situated mainly on the plateau grasslands of the Middleveld. In the north-east it rises towards mountain peaks and then changes completely with the amazing escarpment. Mpumalanga is split into two main areas, the Highveld is the area west of the escarpment and the Lowveld lies east of the escarpment. In places drops of hundreds of metres can bee seen, in dramatic scenery.
Mpumalanga offers from exhilarating wildlife to secluded mountain retreats, wild water sports and some of South Africa's most diverse and vibrant African cultures.
Mpumalanga is not a highly developed province with large cities and towns, but instead visitors to this province are brought closer to nature.
Mpumalanga takes up some 6% of the land mass of South Africa and approximately 7% of the population lives in this beautiful province.
Nelspruit is the governmental and business centre, as well as the legislative capital of Mpumalanga. It lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile Rive about 330km east of Johannesburg and boasts the second largest botanical gardens in South Africa. The coal-mining industry centre is in Witbank; Standerton is well known for its dairy industry; Piet Retief is a production area for many fruits and sugar cane, a large sugar industry is also found at Malelane. Ermelo produces the most wool; Barberton is one of the oldest gold-mining towns in South Africa.
Mpumalanga is an excellent holiday destination for foreigners and South Africans alike. With its vast array of scenic beauty and natural features, Mpumalanga is a breath taking place- towering mountains, waterfalls, canyons and wildlife keep visitors coming back here again and again. The southern Grass and wetlands area is world renowned for its bird watching and flora species.
The floral attributes the area has to offer is diverse - a must for anyone who has a keen interest in plants - with a variety of popular hiking trails, water-falls, areas of indigenous forest and a range of nature reserves, there is plenty to keep the most active of holidaymakers busy!. The biggest of the Nature Reserves is the Blyde River Canyon, where God's Window provides memorable views of the Lowveld. An oasis is provided by the natural springs at Badplaas.
Chrissiesmeer is the largest natural freshwater lake in South Africa. It is famous for its large variety of birds, above all flamingos. The Sudwala Caves, deep in the dolomite rocks of the surrounding mountains, is worth visiting. At the Swazi cultural village traditional songs and dances are performed.
The Lowveld area is rich in the history of pioneers and explorers. Gold-rush towns such as Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop and Barberton, give tourists an enjoyable look at the past. Pilgrim's Rest is a National Monument, while Barberton boasts the first stock exchange established in the country. Ermelo boasts many excellent examples of San paintings.
White River offers getaway living for the discerning visitor who wants to settle in one superbly comfortable villa, to play golf, view wildlife, enjoy spectacular scenery and have a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
Dullstroom and Belfast are arguably South Africa's main fly fishing areas, offering excellent still water and river fishing. Rainbow and brown trout are stocked in most dams and streams.
Experience the picturesque beauty of nature in and around Sabie - a small country town nestles in the majestic Drakensberg Escarpment Mountains near Kruger Park. Sabie caters for the whole family, with hiking and back packing; fly fishing, mountain biking, horse riding, white-water rafting, rock climbing and abseiling, bird watching and more.
Find out more about Mpumalanga in our selection of Mpumalanga books