A summer-rainfall area divided by the Escarpment into the Highveld region with cold frosty winters and the Lowveld region with mild winters and a subtropical climate. The Escarpment area sometimes experiences snow on high ground. Thick mist is common during the hot humid summers.
Bombela (formerly Nelspruit) is the capital of Mpumalanga, the commercial and administrative hub of the Lowveld, and centre of a vast citrus-growing region. In Mpumalanga the main languages spoken are; Swati, Zulu Ndbele and Afrikaans, but it’s easy to get by with English.
Iron Age art work
In the Mpumalanga region, just before Graskop, you will find Lydenberg. Lydenbert is located on the tributary of the Olifants River, called the Spekboom, and on the foot of the Long Tom Pass. In Lydenberg you will find the Lydenberg Heads (seven terracotta heads ceramic vessels), as well as iron and copper beads, bone fragments and other pottery artefacts that were discovered here. They are among the oldest known African Iron Age artworks found below the equator.
Wildlife and game viewing are some of the biggest attractions
Kruger National Park is home of the Big 5: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Cape Buffalo. But many more animals are found in the game reserves. Visit Kruger National Park, or one of the adjacent Greater Kruger, like Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Timbavati Game Reserve and Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
The Panorama Route
One of the biggest attractions in Mpumalanga, next to Kruger National Park, is the Panorama Route. The Panorama Route is one of the world’s most beautiful driving routes and is centered around the Blyde River Canyon – the third largest canyon in the world. Wildlife and habitats in the canyon are varied. Sights worth seeing en route includes Lisbon Falls, the spectacular view over the Lowveld from God’s Window and the Berlin Falls. Visit the natural wonder Bourke’s Luck Potholes and stop at Three Rondavels viewpoint. Exciting and adventurous excursions when visiting the Panorama Route are the Big Swing, the world’s highest cable gorge swing, or the 130 meter high-wire zipline across the gorge.
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Must-do activities in Mpumalanga
- Drive the Panorama Route
- The Big Swing
- Take a bush walk
- Adventurous activities; ziplining, abseiling, canoeing