Mpumalanga Province. South Africa.
· Southern Kruger National Park.
· Sabi Sand and other famous private parks.
· The Highveld trout fishing areas.
· The gateway to Mozambique.
· The Blyde River Canyon.
This province is in the east of South Africa up against the Mozambique border and hugging the sovereign state of Swaziland. Mpumalanga translates into “Place of the Rising Sun” and this province includes the southern half of Kruger National Park. The Drakensburg Mountains (mountains of Dragons) divide the province into an East and West half. The western half is at a higher altitude and known as the Highveld. Portions of Mpumalanga Highveld are very scenic and the mountainous sections have a thriving trout fishing industry.
The eastern section of Mpumalanga is at a low altitude and referred to as the Lowveld. The Lowveld is flat with rocky outcrops and bordered by the legendary Lebombo Mountains in the far east on the border with Mozambique. The border post between South Africa and Mozambique is currently being upgraded and streamlined and the capital of Mozambique; Maputo and the Indian Ocean is only an hour and half away on highway.
The Lowveld has a subtropical climate with humid and hot in summer with mild frost free winters. Warm weather crops and fruit like mangoes, bananas, avocados and tobacco are grown in this area. The Highveld is much colder and at high altitudes winters can be chilly with severe frosts.
Close to Mombela (formerly Nelspruit), lies the town of Barberton which has an interesting geology and some of the oldest rocks on earth. Here visitors can go down a mine and pan for gold in one of the numerous creeks. Evidence of the San people is common in the mountains and the recent history of the gold rush make Barberton fascinating. Mpumalanga is well known for being the home to the BIG 5. Some of the original and now famous private reserves and game lodges are found in this province.
Another major attraction is the Blyde River Canyon the third largest canyon worldwide and the certainly one of the few green canyons. The Blyde River Canyon is a favourite hiking location with the Highveld section boasting beautiful views of the Lowveld below, then the low altitudes following the path of the river and lush indigenous forests mingled with baobabs and a variety of wildlife.
The capital of Mpumalanga is Mombela, one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa and this is largely due to the Maputo Corridor-a system of road, rail, border posts, port and terminal facilities, the corridor runs through the most highly industrialised and productive regions of Southern Africa, and connects Africa's most powerful economy with one of its poorest. Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is close to Mombela and the area is well serviced by coaches and shuttles between major cities.