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TOP WINTER IDEAS WHEN VISITING MPUMALANGA

May 28, 2018
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Mpumalanga is known as 'THE PLACE WHERE THE SUN RISES!' Formally known as Eastern Transvaal, Mpumalanga is considered to be one of the most geographically diverse and unbelievably beautiful places in South Africa. 


In the northeast, the land rises towards mountain peaks and then terminates in an immense escarpment. In some places, this escarpment plunges hundreds of meters down to the low-lying area known as the Lowveld. We have compiled a list of the beautiful destinations in Mpumalanga that will make you fall in love with this part of South-Africa. 

PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO 

1. See St Peter’s Church 
Browse the pretty gardens of St Peter’s Church in Sabie. The 99- year-old stone church was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, who is renowned for his late 19th-century and early 20th-century architecture. 

2. Walk through Pilgrim’s Rest 
History buffs should wander through the old gold-mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, marvelling at the restored buildings, many of which were built in the late 1800s. Start your walk at the information centre for an interesting display on the geology, photographs, maps and other artefacts depicting the history of the town.  

3. Remember days gone by in Chrissiesmeer 
Chrissiesmeer town cemetery is the final resting place of many Boer and English soldiers who lost their lives in the Anglo Boer War at the Battle of Chrissiesmeer on 6 February 1901. While you’re in town, take a look at some of the impressive original sandstone buildings, some more than 130 years old. 

4. See some of the best views on the Panorama Route 
Drive the Panorama Route that winds through Mpumalanga’s far northern Drakensberg where the escarpment descends 1 000 metres to the Lowveld. Although it’ll cost you a bit of petrol, the drive boasts some of the country’s most impressive views.

5. Stop at Lisbon Falls 
Make a turn at Lisbon Falls, just outside Graskop. At 92 metres, it’s the highest waterfall in the area. 

6. Explore Kaapse- hoop 
Visit the Lowveld village of Kaapse-hoop, 35 kilometres from Mbombela. Follow the wild horses, visit the old cemetery, swim under the waterfall, picnic in the pear orchards and do a midnight tour to see if you can spot the ghost of Kaapsehoop.  

7. Blyderivierspoort Hiking Trail  
The Blyde River Canyon Trail, or Blyderivierspoort Hiking Trail, wends its way through the third largest canyon in the world, and arguably one of the most beautiful. The Blyde River Canyon outshines every other landmark in the country, bar Table Mountain, as a tourist attraction and this hike spends three days venturing from one geographical feature to the next.

8. The Vine Restaurant
The Vine serves a variety of mouth watering South Africa dishes which cater for all tastes. Items on the menu include boerewors, pap and sheba, oxtail served with samp, steak and salad, homemade burgers with chips and stuffed trout is a firm favourite. A special menu of tour groups is also available.


SUDWALA LODGE - NELSPRUIT, MPUMALANGA 
Sudwala Lodge is located in a spellbinding wooded valley near the Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park, which makes it the perfect gateway to the Panorama Route. Within striking distance, you have the awe-inspiring Lisbon, Berlin and Mac Mac Falls. You can also visit scenic landmarks like the Wonder View, Pinnacle, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and Three Rondavels. Best of all, the Lodge itself also has plenty to see and do on their own premises!  

Sudwala Lodge offers affordable accommodation in a variety of configurations. Guests can opt for a stay in the perfectly situated A Block, or well-appointed self-catering Chalets nestled in the shade of indigenous trees, on the banks of the Houtbosloop River, at the foot of the Mankelekele Mountain.  


BELGRACE BOUTIQUE HOTEL - WHITE RIVER, MPUMALANGA  
Belgrace Boutique Hotel is a place of luxury, opulence and unapologetic romance.  Ideally situated on a working macadamia nut farm just 20 minutes from White River and Nelspruit, and a mere five minutes' drive from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, this bespoke destination offers an array of luxury accommodation options that have been tailored to enhance the region's distinguished charm. 

Visitors are invited to indulge in a wide range of wellness treatments and fine dining delights. Wedding packages and relationship investment programmes are also on offer. 

TOMJACHU BUSH RETREAT - NELSPRUIT, MPUMALANGA 
Situated in the midst of 550 hectares of pristine, game-fenced mountain bushveld that lies within the bounds of the scenic Crocodile Valley Nature Conservancy outside of Nelspruit, Tomjachu Bush Retreat is a private nature reserve co-owned by Jack Fillery and his brothers, Tom and Hugo.

The area was a tobacco farm in the 1970s, but over the course of the last four decades, the Fillery family worked tirelessly to reinvigorate the area’s natural ecosystems through careful management and the reintroduction of various species.

Today, Tomjachu Bush Retreat is a conservation haven for indigenous plants, birds, mammals and other wildlife. The retreat accommodates guests in a picture-perfect homestead which is accompanied by three delightful cottages, each of which boasts a unique character. For the ultimate romantic experience, settle into either Keepers or Rock House Cottages for an exclusively private hideaway, looking out to the majestic Bekker Mountains.

STONECUTTERS LODGE - DULLSTROOM, MPUMALANGA 
Stonecutters Lodge is a luxuriously appointed country accommodation venue situated between Dullstroom and Lydenburg. Here, guests are invited to shrug off the slog of everyday life to relax and emerge rejuvenated.  

The lodge features an array of self-catering accommodation units that can sleep two, four or seven guests – so it’s tailormade for couples, families and groups of friends who want to reconnect and enjoy the unfettered beauty of natural abundance. 

For more information on this spellbinding destination, visit the Stonecutters Lodge website or get in touch with their reservations team directly. 

SUMMERFIELDS ROSE RETREAT & SPA - NELSPRUIT, MPUMALANGA 
Located near Hazyview, Mpumalanga, just 10km from Phabeni Gate of Kruger National Park and right on the doorstep of the Panorama Route, Summerfields Rose Retreat & Spa is a 5-star, family-owned retreat on the scenic banks of the Sabie River. 

This sought-after destination offers luxury accommodation in 12 tented suites and one premier timber suite, all of whom have access to two restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Summerfields is the ultimate destination for relaxation and tranquillity on a pristine working farm beside the Sabie River. Book your spot now and experience barefoot luxury at its finest.

TRANQUIL NEST - HAZYVIEW, MPUMALANGA
Hazyview is fast becoming the hub of Mpumalanga, catering to local and international visitors. Tranquil Nest is conveniently situated adjacent to the R40 between White River and Hazyview, making it a conveniently located Mpumalanga holiday resort.

Each chalet is nestled amongst indigenous trees, overlooking the Sabie River Valley which lies at the edge of the escarpment of the misty Drakensberg Mountains; various animals frequent the grounds, including Zebra, Impala, Kudu and Wildebeest to name a few.

Tranquil Nest offers a variety of accommodation options, including chalets, caravan sites and family-style A-Frame houses. Guests can also look forward to all sorts of leisure activities, including golf, tennis, bowling, and an array of exciting day excursions.
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SECRET SCENIC SPOTS IN MPUMALANGA

THE PLATEAU OVERLOOKING THE BARBERTON VALLEY AT KAAPSEHOOP
High up on the plateau above Nelspruit, alongside the picture-perfect mining town, Kaapsehoop  (a far more authentic experience to Pilgrim’s Rest – they discovered gold here even before Johannesburg’s gold rush) you can do a tour of Adams Calendar (apparently the oldest man-made structure on earth). From the stones the views out over the Barberton Valley are superb – views and mysticism rolled into one.

THE VIEW FROM THE TOP OF LISBON FALLS
The Lisbon Falls, with their 92 metre drop, is the highest waterfall in the Pilgrim’s Rest area. The viewing platform gives you great views over the falls. Find the falls where the R534 rejoins the R532, take a left and then right onto a gravel road. It’s well signposted and there is a small fee involved (most attractions involve a fee in Mpumalanga).

BARBERTON’S MOUNTAINLANDS RESERVE
The views from Mountainlands Nature Reserve of plains, mountains, wildlife and sunsets (if you’re there at the right time) include 360 degree views. Find the reserve in the Makhonjwa Mountains close to Barberton.

VIEWS FROM THE MAKHONJWA GEOTRAIL
The 38 km self-drive route heads up the Bulembu pass to Swaziland, from Barberton. Not only is there impressive scenery from this pass, but some of the rock formations in these mountains are from the Archaean period that dates back 3.2 to 3.57 billion years. Go now, before it becomes a popular route

THE UNASSUMING BEAUTY OF WAKKERSTROOM
Close to the border with KZN, Wakkerstroom not only boasts some of the best birding in the province but it also has an authenticity that is difficult to find when most towns have been commercialised until they drop. Expect dirt roads, mountain views, townies and rustic appeal.

DULLSTROOM’S TONTELDOOS VALLEY
Just outside Dullstroom is the Tonteldoos Valley filled with old-style farms and dams perfect for flyfishing. It is tiny and might not feature much in tourist brochures, but its mountain and country views are just beautiful.



EXPLORE MPUMALANGA 
South Africa is such a multi-faceted country; before you head overseas for a holiday, remember to seek out our local gems. White River, 40km outside of the town of Nelspruit is a wonderful destination from which to explore the wonders of Mpumalanga, and the 3-star Forever Hotel at White River is a beautifully appointed accommodation venue for couples and families who require a convenient location to call home during their stay. 

The Forever Hotel at White River recently enjoyed refurbishment, offers accommodation in 52 rooms, of which 32 are double rooms, and 20 are twin, each with en-suite bathroom facilities as well as tea- and coffee amenities. Guests can take their meals at the on-site restaurant, or book the open-air boma for groups. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, lounging deck, twilight lounge bar and theme evenings. Read more here... 


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