Mpumalanga is affectionately known as “the place of the rising sun”. Formerly known as the Eastern Transvaal, Mpumalanga is considered to be one of the most geographically diverse and unbelievably beautiful places in Southern Africa.
Mpumalanga has something to offer everyone, from adventure filled experiences to relaxing holidays. Take your pick!
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks among the best in Africa! Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, is unrivaled in the diversity of its life forms and is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Mpumalanga offers the adventure enthusiast countless exciting activities, from rock climbing at Waterval Boven to fly fishing in Dullstroom & even hiking through the Blyde River Canyon – whatever gets your adrenaline pumping, Mpumalanga has just the right adventure for you!
For more than four billion years the forces of nature have moulded this region and created some of the most breathtaking attractions in Africa, from the beautifully sculptured cylindrical rocks of Bourkes Luck Potholes to the panoramic views of the lowveld, mountains, rivers and waterfalls that can be seen from God’s Window – Mpumalanga scenery is truly a sight to behold!
Much like South Africa as a whole, Mpumalanga is a melting pot of cultures. From the sea faring Hindus that arrived over 40,000 years ago and built temples and astronomic observatories on the mountain tops, modern day Mpumalanga has artists routes, township tours, labyrinths, shopping centres, casinos and the magnificent Mbombela Stadium. The province’s rich culture continues to thrive.
Events like the beginnings of oxygen producing plants, ancient tribes roaming the lands, the legends of King Solomon’s mines and Queen Sheba. Tracks mark the land caused by the Voortrekkers who forged their way up the country, the Boer War that followed the trek, and the gold rush that consumed the area. Clashes of culture and ideology during apartheid, its eradication. All of these iconic events took place in Mpumalanga. Needless to say, Mpumalanga is steeped in history.
BARBERTON MAKHONJWA MOUNTAINS
South Africa’s tenth and newest World Heritage property was inscribed by UNESCO on 2 July 2018. It is only the fourth natural property in the country, since the others are cultural and mixed properties.
The new World Heritage Site, covers an area of 113 137 ha, located in the south-eastern corner of Mpumalanga province in South Africa. It contains the oldest and best preserved sequence of volcanic and sedimentary rocks on earth, comprising a unique record of the early formation of the planet and a host of endemic and exceptionally rich diversity of plant species, all set in spectacular scenery.
The 3 250 million to 3 600 million year-old rocks, in unsurpassed state of preservation, contain the best sequence of the earth’s oldest geological record. These highly accessible Archaean exposures present a continuous 350 million year sequence of rocks. Scientific research from these rocks have provided the earliest records of how the earth’s crust was formed. It is redefining the date for the first occurrence of life on earth, by an astonishing one billion years earlier than previously estimated. Here evidence has been found of the first massive meteorite impacts possibly related to the formation of our moon. Tidal traces, billions of years old, are so precisely recorded they allow for calculation of changes in the distance between the earth and the moon over time.
The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains is the only place on earth where the development of the early earth and evolution of life itself can be studied. This is truly the place where life began.
There is no doubt that Mpumalanga is stunning and a trip to this rich and diverse part of South Africa will be something to cherish forever.