Mpumalanga, South Africa

Mpumalanga, formerly known as the Eastern Transvaal, is one of South Africa's
top tourist destinations. People are drawn to Mpumalanga by the
magnificent scenery, by the fauna and flora and by the saga of the
1870s gold rush era and a wealth of fascinating tribal legends.

Aptly know as Paradise Country, few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty of the Mpumalanga Lowveld
and escarpment. Mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers,
waterfalls and forests characterise the landscape. This is also Big
Game Country, the setting for dozens of sanctuaries teeming with wildlife and birds. Among them, the Kruger National Park is world renowned, as are several of the luxurious private reserves
on its western boundary. The entire Mpumalanga area offers exceptional
opportunities for bird-watching, hiking, horse-riding and fishing.
Streams once panned for gold have become the haunts of eager anglers
and lazy trout. Steeped in the history of pioneers, hunters and fortune
seekers, fascinating gold rush towns abound. Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest are among the most famous. A special, additional dimension occurs in the Middleveld region which is inhabited by Ndebele people, notable for their traditional costumes and attractively decorated houses.

Leopard in the Kruger Park, Mpumalanga
En route to the Kruger National Park through Mpumalanga, you have the advantage of some stunning scenery. Turn off the N4 to the village of Dullstroom, travel over the Long Tom Pass and its splendid panoramic views to Lone Creek Falls and the charming forestry town of Sabie.

Just beyond Sabie, the Mac Mac Falls are worth stopping for; and you
can treat yourself to a swim in the crystal-clear pools. A small detour
leads to Pilgrim's Rest; a fascinating historic town, well worth
exploring before continuing to Blyderivierspoort Nature Reserve. In the
reserve, you can feast your eyes on the Blyde River Canyon and the rich bird life. At the southern tip of the reserve, the view from God's Window
stretches to eternity across the Lowveld. From there, it's a short and
easy drive to some of the finest private game reserves in the country
and Orpen Gate to the Kruger National Park.

The Botanical Garden in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga
Fruit put the City of Nelspruit
on the map in the 1890s, and fruit has always played a vital role in
the town's development. The fertile Crocodile River Valley, in which
the town lies, is also notable for its tobacco and timber industries.

Nelspruit today is the capital of Mpumalanga, the
commercial and administrative hub of the Lowveld, and the centre of a
vast citrus-growing region. The streets of this large, modern town are
lined with jacaranda and flamboyant trees and impeccably tended
suburban gardens abound, flaunting flowering subtropical plants and
shrubs. From Nelspruit, good roads radiate to many of the most
beautiful and interesting parts of the Lowveld, including game
sanctuaries, mountains and historic towns. Curio shops and wayside
stalls offer excellent hand-woven rugs, carvings, leather goods and
fresh farm produce. Hotels in Nelspruit
and caravan parks in the vicinity are convenient for stopovers, and
several days can be profitably spent exploring the surrounding
countryside. Hiking trails criss-cross this scenic area in every