10 Amazing Places to Visit in Mpumalanga
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In August 2018, we joined seven local storytellers on a five-day road trip to bring you 10 amazing places to visit in Mpumalanga.
From encounters with the local leopards at Jaci's Sabi House to breathtaking views of the lowveld at God's Window on the Panorama Route, our travellers discovered a range of accommodation in Mpumalanga, with activities and places of interest to cater for solo travellers, families and adrenaline junkies alike.
Here are 10 amazing places to visit in Mpumalanga, including accommodation, activities and other places:
Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate, Dullstroom
If you're looking for a laid-back weekend spot the whole family will enjoy that isn't too far from Gauteng, look no further than Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate in Dullstroom. They offer an amazing range of accommodation options - from romantic lodge suites and simple self-catering units, to luxurious homes away from home overlooking well-kept equestrian paddocks.
During your stay, you will be spoilt for choice with activities. Guests the opportunity to settle into the saddle and enjoy a horse-back ride around the estate. You can also try your hand at the fine arts of archery and fly-fishing. Looking for something more adventurous? How does quad-biking, abseiling, paint ball or hiking sound?
Finally, the estate is also home to a state-of-the-art, world-class trout hatchery. Here, they breed trout to stock their own dams (there are 19 on the property!), as well as those of neighbouring properties. They also export certified disease-free fertilised trout eggs to the northern hemisphere. You can visit this fascinating facility as part of a tour for only R50 per person.
Read more about Dunkeld Estate.
Africamps at Mackers, Hazyview
If you like the idea of camping, but not so much the reality of roughing it, we've got the perfect solution for you: glamping with Africamps!
With a number of properties throughout South Africa, they have just opened their newest site in Hazyview and it's absolutely beautiful!
Located right on the Sabie River, the camp is home to ten 55m2 canvas tents. Each tent can sleep five people in two separate bedrooms and yes, there is hot water and a flushing toilet! Apart from this, you will also have your own fully-equipped kitchenette (it even has a plunger) and large lounge open plan lounge and stoep. There's a cute honesty shop on site, where you can stock up on any essentials you may have forgotten at home and a swimming pool to cool down in on those hot lowveld days.
Read more about Africamps at Mackers.
Jaci's Sabi House, Sabi Sand Reserve
Located in the magical Sabi Sand Reserve, Jaci's Sabi House is an exclusive-use private abode perfect for a family or group of friends wanting to break away for a luxurious bushveld break. The property sleeps six people - two in the main house and four in smaller cottages a stone's throw away. All meals are catered by Mama D - head chef and go-to lady for all domestic details - and her right-hand women, Eunice (or Mama E) and Candace. You will be treated to breakfast, high tea, cocktails and bushveld braais under the starry skies.
In between meals, you can enjoy relaxing in the beautifully decorated lounge or chilling in the splash pool.
Then, of course, there are the game drives. With experienced guide, Andrew, in charge, you are bound to have an absolutely magical experience! For instance, during the #myMpumalanga crew's evening game drive, they were lucky enough to spot Tingana, a gorgeous local male leopard, quenching his thirst at a watering hole and then soaking up the last rays of sun on an abandoned anthill.
Read more about Jaci's Sabi House.
Casambo Exclusive Guesthouse, Nelspruit
With a string of Lilizela, Tsogo Sun and PMR awards behind its name, it's hardly surprising that Casambo Exclusive Guesthouse is known as the 'jewel of the lowveld'.
It's owned and run by the dynamic Carol Sanderson, who is clearly passionate about hospitality and introducing people to the wonders of Mpumalanga. They offer three different accommodation types - self-catering, B&B and the honeymoon suite - and delicious buffet meals for breakfast and dinner. Be sure to spend some time relaxing on the deck, soaking up the early-morning lowveld sun while sipping your tea or coffee.
Read more about Casambo Exclusive Guesthouse.
Long Tom Toboggan at Misty Mountain
Looking for an adrenaline rush of note? Long Tom Toboggan is sure to satisfy that craving completely!
At 1.7km, it's the longest toboggan track in Africa and will have you racing along at about 45km/h during your almost 3-minute ride.
While you won't be able to take much of the scenery in, it will take you from an open bushveld plain into and through a beautiful pine plantation. It's a truly thrilling experience that you will remember for a long time to come and only costs R250 per person. Those who don't enjoy heights and speed, can relax at the Misty Mountain restaurant so long and enjoy the breath-taking views from the deck (or even the infinity pool).
Read more about Long Tom Toboggan at Misty Mountain.
Sabie Brewing Company
Take the edge off your extreme tobogganing experience by enjoying a brewery tour and beer tasting at Sabie Brewing Company.
The quaint restaurant and micro-brewery is located on Sabie Main Road and provides a perfect pit stop for those en route to the Kruger National Park or beyond. If you aren't driving, you can indulge in a choice of seven beers and even a cider. Combine this with a truly fascinating tour of the brewery for only R150!
Read more about Sabie Brewing Company.
Probably one of Mpumalanga's most classic and long-standing tourist attractions, the Sudwala Caves offer an enthralling adventure for the whole family!
These are said to be the oldest known caves in the world and have played an important role in various historical events - from being used as a fortress by Somquba, the brother of the Swazi heir apparent to being one of the places Paul Kruger was suspected of hiding his legendary millions.
Find out all about these fascinating stories and meet the humorously-named rock formations (praying nuns, KFC pieces, screaming monster etc) during one of the tours. Or, if you're feeling brave, you can sign up for the Crystal Tour that takes you 2000m into the heart of the caves. The goal is the crystal chamber with its amazing array of sparkling aragonite.
Read more about Sudwala Caves.
Graskop Gorge Lift
Having only opened in December 2017, the Graskop Gorge Lift is one of Mpumalanga's newest attractions and well worth a visit!
The lift - literally like the type you ride to your office or apartment - gently drops 51m down a steep cliff face into the Afromontane forest below. When the doors slide open, you step out into a tree-filled wonderland that you can explore on a 600m circular boardwalk route. Information boards with details about the unique ecosystem can be found every 100m and if you'd like some extra input, you can be accompanied by a local guide.
It's a truly special experience and sure to become one of Mpumalanga's biggest drawcards.
Read more about Graskop Gorge Lift.
TO FILL THE SENSES
As the name suggests, God's Window offers a magnificent bird's eye view of the lowveld and is considered an absolute must-stop on the Panorama Route.
The #myMpumalanga road trip crew headed there for sunrise and were blown away by the early-morning beauty. If you want to see it for yourself, going early (and missing the crowds) is highly recommended. A number of trails lead to a variety of viewing points, so take some time to explore. There is no entry fee.
There are many wonderful restaurants along the Panorama Route, but Harrie's Pancakes in Graskop has undoubtedly stood the test of time.
No matter what time of day you visit, you'll find a pancake suited to your mood - whether it's traditional cinnamon sugar and lemon juice you're craving or something more decadent: maybe chocolate and peanut butter OR milk tart custard. They also offer a number of other meals for those who don't do pancakes (who are these people)?
Read more about Harrie's Pancakes.
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