The Mpumalanga province may be one of South Africa’s smallest provinces but it is a place of incredible beauty with diverse landscapes, idyllic scenery, and abundant wildlife. There is so much to do and see in “The Place Where the Sun Rises” and deciding which attractions to visit and activities to do can be quite challenging. Worry not! We are here to help. Whether nearby Sudwala Lodge or further afield, these are things that we believe should be part of your Mpumalanga bucket list.
Go on safari in the Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is definitively one of the top destinations in Africa. It is the largest, world-renowned national park in Africa. Here you find the Big Five in their natural habitat together with over 140 other wildlife species and 150 bird species.
Guests to the National Park are able to do a self-drive safari, however, we recommend that you opt for the guided game drive because you’re more likely to see more animals since the guides know where to find them, not to mention that you will be free to relax and enjoy the scenery as they drive you around – a total luxury!
The National Park is only a 39-minute drive from Sudwala. For day-visits, it is recommended to use the Southern and Central entrance gates which open at 06h00, between the months of April to September, and at 05h30, between October and March. For more information on booking times and the rate structure, kindly contact 013 735 4000.
Swing from Graskop Gorge
Get your adrenaline pumping when crossing the gorge on the highwire zipline or doing a 68m freefall on the Big Swing (highest in the world). If these activities are too extreme for you, you can opt for the Graskop Gorge Lift which travels 51m down and takes you into the indigenous forest below. Once beneath the canopies, you will be able to take scenic strolls along various walkways and suspension bridges, as well as enjoy a view of the Motitsi Waterfall.
The Graskop Gorge Lift Co. is open Monday to Sunday, from 08h30 to 17h00. Entrance and activity fees are applicable. For more information, kindly contact +27 (0)13 767 1144 / +27 (0)66 305 1572/3 or send an email to email@example.com.
Explore the Sudwala Caves
Explore the dark and eerie damp tunnel systems of the Sudwala Caves. South Africa’s Sudwala Caves are more than 240 million years old; making them the oldest cave system on earth! Visitors are able to take a guided tour within the Caves where they can spot a diverse array of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as horseshoe bats!
The Crystal tour is also something you shouldn’t miss. It will lead you into a crystal chamber that is completely covered in lustrous aragonite crystals – a true marvel of nature!
The Caves are open every day, between 08h00 and 16h30, and are located a 5-minute drive from Sudwala Lodge. On arrival, visitors are expected to pay an entrance fee of R100 for adults, R80 for pensioners and R60 for children, between the ages of 5 and 17 years. Make sure to book prior to your visit by contacting 083 446 0228 / 072 497 8268 / 013 302 0995 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Caves can get quite chilly so don’t forget to bring a light sweater or jacket along with you!
Experience the Blyde River Canyon
The Blyde River Canyon is believed to have formed over 200 million ago and is the third-largest canyon in the world, stretching over 26km. It showcases extraordinary geological formations and unforgettable views from some of its popular lookout points like God’s Window, Three Rondavels, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
There are various adventurous activities that guests are able to do such as hiking, hot-air ballooning, horse riding, kloofing, white water rafting and so much more. Guests can be in touch with Blyde River Safaris directly for more information regarding the available adventures. Email them at: email@example.com.
Discover Bourke’s Luck Potholes
Found in the Blyde River Canyon, the Bourke’s Luck Potholes are a series of massive cylindrical potholes that were formed in the sandstone bedrock by centuries of water erosion. The cliffs above provide a captivating view of tunnels and tubes and interconnected whirlpools which, due to the different soil levels, are each a unique array of dark brown, yellow and white.
Visitors are able to see these geological wonders on a number of bridges and viewing platforms that are right above the structures, allowing guests to see the rock features from many different angles. A nominal entrance fee applies. For more information, you can contact the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency at (013) 759 5300 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drive the Panorama Route
The Panorama Route is one of the most spectacular routes in SA. It winds along the Blyde River with some of the top scenery sites along the way like: the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Pinnacle, and the Three Rondawels. This route is breathtakingly beautiful and it should definitely be part of every South African’s bucket list.
There is so much to do and see on this route. We recommend it be driven during the winter seasons when it is dry so that you can properly enjoy the views without any disturbance from rain and mists. Stop in the town of Pilgrim’s Rest for a glimpse back in time to the gold rush era; a range of shops, museums, and restaurants make for a perfect break from sightseeing.
Immerse in Ndebele Culture at Kghodwana Cultural Village
Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the Ndebele people at the Kghodwana Cultural Village. Visitors to the Village are able to discover the vivid geometric designs and striking traditional attire that the Ndebele are famously known for.
The Village is open Monday to Friday, from 08h00 to 16h00, and a visit consists of a tour of the village. You can also purchase handiwork made by the Ndebele people in support of the community, as well as visit one of the royal kraals. For bookings and more information, kindly contact 013 930 1925.
We have only provided you with a glimpse of what this incredible province has to offer. Mpumalanga has plenty more adventurous activities and captivating landscapes to explore. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving, so be sure to add it to your bucket list.