Things To Do In Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga is a standout amongst the most topographically different and extraordinarily excellent places in South Africa. The city that was first named as Eastern Transvaal lies in the eastern part of South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bounded by Swaziland and Mozambique. In the upper east, the area climbs towards mountain tops and afterward ends in a huge ledge. In a few places, this ledge dives several meters down to the low-lying territory known as the Lowveld, while the steep parts are called the Highveld. The Kruger National Park is so large that it is not enough to see the whole park in a few days.
It is best to stay overnight in the park at one of the rest camps and the next day drive around again to see the rest of the safari complex. The roads are made of gravel or asphalt, or both, and easy to drive, but stay calm on the major thoroughfares because the wild animals just walk across the road! Elephants, lions, giraffes, impala, buffalo, etc.
When To Go:
Mpumalanga is situated in the heart of the Highveld and Lowveld regions of South Africa. It encounters summer in the mid year (October to February) to winter (April to August) scope of around 20º C with normal temperatures in the differentiating seasons, of 25º C and 8º C.
Nelspruit, the capital city of Mpumalanga, lies at the edge and close to the vast Kruger National Park, and appreciates moderately ample summer precipitation (a normal of around 520 mm downpour in the middle of September and March) and mellow to hot subtropical conditions in Africa. In the event that your excursion covers the whole region, verify you are readied for the distinctions in temperatures from the Highveld to the Lowveld areas. The ideal time to make a visit is during the migration of the wild animals during summer which begins from October until February.
Enjoy sunrise and sunset game drives as you tour these top attractions and things to do in the city of Mpumalanga:
Kruger National Park (Nelspruit)
The Kruger National Park is located in the town of Nelspruit, Mpumalanga is the mother of all game parks in South Africa. All the animals come here and that is partly because it is so vast and expansive. It is just about as large as the Netherlands. This life is not just a lot of animals, but also in large herds. It is normal to see a herd of perhaps 1000 buffaloes. In the other game parks in Africa you may see these same animals, but not in such large groups. There are great chances to see the leopards, the big five and pretty much anything. You can drive around very well with your own 4x4 or a jeep but you should definitely do a safari with a guide so that you learn to orientate a bit (and learn more about the animals).
Kruger also has downsides. Because it is so vast, you sometimes need twenty to thirty kilometers of rough road to drive to see another group of special animals. The park organization sees this problem and allows a maximum number of visitors per day. The paved roads are very wide and there are large areas of land burned bare to let the new green vegetations to flourish. Kruger is an excellent place to stay with its row of camping tents with a private terrace and BBQ/picnic areas. The national park is perfectly located and equipped with beautiful bungalows with private parking.
The Sudwala Caves are preserved caves where the prehistoric man found shelter and are known as the oldest caves in the world. It is very interesting to visit them, they are very nice and educational especially for the little ones. On the side, there is a park about dinosaurs and a good restaurant. You can read a collection of the primitive men. Visiting these caves gives a good perspective of what life was like at that time. The caves have several galleries with stalagmites and other beautiful rock formations to see. The skilled guides offer a good tour to the caves, which can be combined with a tour of the dinosaur park. In the caves, it is cool and scary with lots of flying bats, but a bunch of impressions! The guide also leads the way and snuffs out the candle while in the middle of the cave for a bit of fun.
The caves are located at the south of Sabie Sudwala slightly apart on the road from Johannesburg to Mozambique, Lesotho and the southern gates of the Kruger Park. The cave is quite exceptional and widely visited. Outside, sightseeing buses arrive every hour and if you have your own car there is free parking (as well as elsewhere in South Africa), a couple of souvenir shops, a “fish spa”, and restaurants. A visit to every room inside the cave takes about an hour and a half and must be done in groups to accommodate everyone who wants to explore the interiors of the enchanting caves.
Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary
The Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary is a nicely done shelter for Chimpanzees used for whatever reason (or abused) by people. It is wonderful to see how these monkeys roam around freely and look very well groomed in their natural habitat. Most of the chimps were recovered animals from circus and poachers. It is a nice place for the chimps that have been through so much. It is very interesting to hear the stories about the origin of this sanctuary with the tireless effort of Jane Goodall. She has a natural and charming way on how to deal with animals. The tour is ideal for students, a bit confrontational and educational, but a very interesting wildlife experience in the heart of Mpumalanga.
The guides and the staff can tell a lot about the chimpanzees, and you can sympathize with the plight of the chimpanzees and how the guides constantly feel sorry for these animals. They rescue / care for all the animals kept here with a big heart and that's something beautiful to see. This facility is located on the left at the 12 kilometer road number 40 to the south of the city of Nelspruit and very convenient to visit for those traveling by car from Johannesburg to Mozambique, Swaziland or at the crocodile sanctuary of the Kruger Park. Entrance to the park is done with a guide and a group of guests every 40 minutes. There is a small restaurant and souvenir shop. The tour covers three territories, all fenced, but that does not stop anyone from taking photographs. The first territory shows the young chimps, the second shows mixed families of chimps, and the third gives a feeling of being in a zoo with cells that are large enough for the chimps to move around. A visit is definitely mandatory if you’re in Mpumalanga.
Lowveld National Botanical Garden
The Lowveld National Botanical Garden is a haven of peace, the only nice place to walk around and possibly make a picnic and jog safely. For a stroll, a quiet time, or even a breath of fresh air, this park is ideal. It is a small place and you can quickly make the rounds in 2 to 3 hours. It offers beautiful views, and the variety of plants and flowers is impressive.
The garden is a very clean area with an incredible number of information on plant life in Africa. It is slightly hilly, but it is provided with many access paths for wheelchair users. The garden is like a short stop in the rainforest of Mpumalanga which is more ideal to visit in the late afternoon when it is less humid and sunny. The waterfall offers a beautiful setting and the bridge leading through the rainforest is impressive.
Elephant Whispers (Hazyview)
The Elephant Whispers provides a beautiful interaction with the elephants here in Hazyview. The elephant sanctuary helps you to really understand how clever they are, how they live and how they behave. It feels great to touch them, give them delicious croquettes that they reach greedily with their trunk, feel their wrinkled skin, and stand between the front legs under their fangs while touching them amicably. The place offer support for the conservation and protection of African elephant - a more worthy cause. It’s a great way to see and touch the elephants up close. The staff is very qualified, especially for children; it is definitely an exciting and instructive way to teach them how to care for these domesticated animals of South Africa. The ride on the elephants is definitely a unique experience. The trained guides practice maximum safety and professionalism. The staff explains very clearly the life of the elephants and their habits.
This place offers wonderful experience of interaction with the six elephants, but above all to know these splendid animals that were collected in this park by extraordinary people who have avoided the suppression or being victimized by poachers which otherwise these elephants would encounter if they were out in the forest. It is really interesting and even fascinating. The explanation about their characteristics and habits; these animals that are extremely sensitive, and it is nice to see the relationship they have established with those who deal with them everyday. It is possible to interact with them; to touch and feed, and of course engage in the usual photo shoot with these adorable creatures, an unforgettable memory! A tour of the entire complex is absolutely recommended and money well spent.
Without separation or any fence, here at the Elephant Sanctuary is where you can stand face to face with two majestic beasts named Kaspar and Kitso. The caretakers are sweet for them and much is said about the two African elephants, how they live and survive the jungles of South Africa. You can touch the huge elephant and he lies down on command, and you’ll be amazed at how wonderful that is.
Make the caregivers take the photos of the elephants so you will not miss anything. A visit here is definitely recommended because the revenues earned from the entrance fee and the rides are used for the relief efforts and preservation of the elephants.
Perry's Bridge Reptile Park
The Perry's Bridge Reptile Park is a nice place to see all types of reptiles that are found here in Mpumalanga. The full credit goes to the owners; the reptiles are very healthy, kept in clean cages and have a variety of animals under their care. Plus, the presentation is very safe, informative and gives the place a distinctive flair for these unjustly hated animals.
The entry fee is not very expensive, but it lacks some animations and explanations about reptiles and other spiders; they provide just the basics and no detailed facts. The park has a lot of snakes, spiders, giant frogs, a large crocodile and many other large and small lizards. The snakes from around the world are well laid out and managed by a nice and skilled crew. The accommodations of most animals are indeed nicely done, but too small.
The Horse Whispers is a tourist attraction that is operated by the local government. You can visit and enjoy the one hour ride to the jungle while astride the back of a horse. The riding instructors here do a great job of maintaining and training the horses, they are very quiet, noble looking, and give a glimpse of the era of cavalry. In addition, you will be able to learn a lot about the culture of the people as you ride through the peasant areas of the Mpumalanga rainforest.
Blyde River Canyon
The Blyde River Canyon offers breathtaking views and some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region of Mpumalanga. If you like to visit this area, get up early because there are lots of places to see. In addition to the Blyde River Canyon, you can visit the Berlin falls, the Lisbon falls, the Mac Mac falls and the difficult to reach but very scenic Forest Falls. The canyon is an all green region, rich in vegetation, and a diverse flora and fauna.
From above you can see the entire landscape and the mountains eroded by the wind forms and shape that only nature can give. The Blyde River Canyon is well worth a visit, and very reminiscent of the famous Grand Canyon. It’s important to see it with good weather, the colors of the rocks during sunrise and sunset are truly spectacular.
Dullstroom Bird Of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre (Dullstroom)
The owner of the Dullstroom Bird Of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre and the staff who work there perform the preservation of the birds with passion and dedication. Do not miss the aviary show at 10:30 AM and at 14:30 PM it is very informative and brings you closer to the world of the birds of prey. They work hand in hand for all the splendid work involved in maintaining the animal sanctuary.
The bird shows occur daily and it is very amusing and full of detailed information for each bird species that you will meet here. The aviary is very clean and the center is well run by professionals with the sincere intention of protecting the endemic birds of prey in South Africa.
Bourkes' Luck Potholes (Moremela)
The Bourkes' Luck Potholes are very beautiful rock formations that were created by the river. Out of this site, it is also nice to stop and see the monkeys who stop to ask for food. This park is where you can see the formation of the canyon in the intersection between two rivers. You have to pay a small admission ticket, but if you want to stop for a picnic and take pictures it is all worth the effort. The water erosion and debris that the rivers Blyde and Treur move during floods helped create this spectacular landscape. The walkways allow you to pass over gorges that were incredibly modeled by nature over the years. It is a unique place which at sunset takes on an even more special allure. Go to the last stop of the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the photographers will greatly appreciate the excellent photographic opportunities offered by this place that is so charming and captivating. The naturally formed potholes are a spectacle of nature, a place to spend pleasant moments of relief while admiring a landscape that is created by the shape of rocks and water that looks fascinating and fun. It is a wonderful place that is not to be missed while exploring the best attractions around the city of Mpumalanga.
The city of Mpumalanga occupies a huge territory that is dotted with safari game drives, natural wonders, and cultural communities. A tour satisfies all your expectations about seeing the big five, tranquil waterfalls, and meeting the hospitable and indigenous tribes of South Africa. You can visit many wildlife parks, including the less known. But the amount of animals and how close you can encounter them is more than worth the visit. Make sure you go early in the morning or early in the day because you have the best chance to see the animals that are more difficult to spot (for ex. Leopards and lions).
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