The province of adventure, mountains and wildlife, Mpumalanga will sweep you up in its majesty. This summer discover the spots beloved by locals. There is so much to see and do with contrasting landscapes and the friendliest people you’ll find anywhere, here are Travelstart’s top affordable and fun things to do to get to know lovely Mpumalanga. All you need is an adventurous spirit and a set of wheels to start exploring the unparalleled beauty of the Panorama route.
Sleep in a Fig Tree House
Live out your childhood dream of sleeping in the Magic Faraway Tree when you book a night at the Fig Tree House B & B. It costs only R600 a night in total and accomodates up to 6 people. Build a fire, braai, look at the stars and enjoy the unique experience of waking up with gentle sun filtering through the leaves. Self-catering and a friend suggests taking along sleeping bags.
Find it on the road to Malelane.
Though not widely known this is unsurprisingly a very popular spot for those in the know so be sure to book far in advance.
While you’re there you can organise:
- Horse riding
- Survival Courses
- Rock climbing and abseiling
The Three Rondavels on Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route
For a spectacular sunset head to the Three Rondavels View Point above the Blyde River Canyon, not only the third largest canyon in the whole world but also the greenest!
Take the R532 from Graskop to the Blyde River Canyon that begins at Bourke’s Luck Potholes and ends at the Three Rondavels.
Small entrance fee per car to the view point.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes
These geological marvels are definitely worth the hype. Ironically Bourke had no luck in his search for gold here, however the richness of the view more than makes up for it. Prepare to be wowed.
Hit up Potluck Boskombuis for lunch
Billed as the best place to eat in Mpumalanga be sure to stop off and eat a hearty and delicious lunch on the banks of the river. The menu is simple but tasty with a choice of steak or borewors served with pap and veg.
Driving on R532, keep your eyes peeled for a driveway on the right side of the road. There will be signs that say “REAL SOUTH AFRICAN FOOD” on both sides. They’re closed on Mondays.Erasmushoop Farm, Graskop
+27 73 705 4734
Another unmissable item on your checklist is the Sabie Waterfalls Route
Sometimes overlooked because of the fame of the Blyde River Canyon, the string of beautiful waterfalls are one of Mpumalanga’s best kept secrets. You could spend a whole two days going from waterfall to picturesque waterfall.
Where do I start?
From Sabie head north on the R532 towards the clearly signposted Horseshoe, Lone Creek and Bridal Veil Falls.
There are more waterfalls in this area than in the whole of the rest of SA. The Lisbon Falls are the tallest in the country. Enjoy the lush forests and high altitudes of this corner of Mpumalanga.
Pay a small entrance fee per spot of R10-R20.
Mac Mac pools for swimming and picnicking
Speaking of spectacular waterfalls, the best spot on the route to swim and picnic is downstream from the legendary Mac Mac pools, curiously named after the Scottish miners who came to try their luck panning gold in the 1870s.
The waterfall plunges 70 m into a deep gorge, you may not swim here for obvious safety reasons, however 2km down stream is the ideal spot to while away a day with picnicking and swimming to your heart’s content.
Make sure to stop for Graskop pancakes
This is THE spot to quell any hunger pangs worked up after a morning of exciting sightseeing
Graskop is open between 8am and 5pm in winter and 8am to 6pm in summer.
Find it on the road as you enter Graskop from Sabie/Pilgrim’s Rest
We also recommend the vetkoek.
Calling avid hikers
The Fanie Botha Trail is one for the bucket list
The trail is part of the first route of established hikes in the country. It lasts 5 days with 2 and 3 day options available for the time-pressed and at total of 72km for those with time to spare. It is an ornithologist’s delight with Red-Collared Widow, Cuckoo, Malachite Sunbird, Blue Crane and Kingfisher sightings possible.
The hike is relatively difficult so some training before hand is recommended.
Call +27 (0)13 754-2724 to book.
Experience the Blyde River Canyon from a new perspective when you book a boat ride on the Blyde Dam
The boat tour will include a visit to the Kadishi Tufa Waterfall and the Three Rondavels. Keep a look out for hippo, crocodile and majestic fish eagles.
Departure times: 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00;
There must be a minimum of 6 people
Call: 072 260 4212
Only a couple of hours from Joburg, this family-friendly holiday destination is the place to be this December.