Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Kruger
Mpumalanga means "land of the rising sun" in the local SiSwati language, and with its year-round sunny weather, soaring peaks and deep valleys of the Blyde River Canyon, the magnificent Greater Kruger Park, the many private game lodges and reserves, and some of South Africa's most diverse and vibrant African cultures, the region is a thriving and exhilarating tourist destination.
The country's most popular "Big 5" destination, Mpumalanga also offers a fantastic array of adventure sports, including expeditions down the world's oldest caves, abseiling, paragliding, hot-air ballooning, and wild water sports.
Blyde River Canyon - The Panorama Route
One of the most popular and scenic travel destinations in South Africa, The Panorama Route leads through the north eastern part of the Great Escarpment, where the inland plateau or "highveld" drops steeply to the plains of the lowveld, 1000m below. The most spectacular stretch is the Blyde River Canyon, a 700m deep and 32km long gorge from "Bourke's Luck Potholes" to the "Three Rondavels". Spectacular views of the lowveld can be seen through God's Window, and a number of spectacular waterfalls plunge over the Escarpment.
The discovery of gold in 1873 in Pilgrim's Creek caused a gold rush to the area, and the village of Pilgrim's Rest was founded. This pretty town has been preserved as an authentic gold-mining village of the late 1800s, and is now a national monument, and popular tourist destination.
Formed over a million years ago, these limestone caverns are linked by a maze of tunnels and passageways, and are adorned with magnificent stalagmites and stalactites. The adjacent dinosaur park is believed to be the biggest and most scientifically accurate collection of prehistoric animal replicas in the world.
Kruger National Park
Covering nearly 2,000,000 hectares in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, the park is one of Africa's great game parks and ranks among the world's top conservation areas. This unspoilt wilderness of bushveld, thornbush and woodland is home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including 147 mammal species, including the famous Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo). Nearly 500 bird species have been recorded here, including more than 50 raptor species. The park also conserves a large number of cultural heritage sites including significant rock art sites and Iron Age settlements.
A network of tar and gravel roads traverses the bush, and National Park's accommodation is offered in 12 main camps and 10 bush camps.
Private Game Reserves
Thornybush, Sabi Sands, Timbavati, Klaserie, Umbabat, Manyeleti and Mthethomusha - these are just some of the private game reserves, which form part of the Greater Kruger Park, and are synonymous with a luxurious, fully inclusive big game safari. Stay in luxurious tented camps, tree houses and private lodges; game drive in search of the Big 5 in open topped 4x4 vehicles, and enjoy superb meals and hospitality in the great African bush.