The province of Mpumalanga ("the place where the sun rises") comprises out of breath-taking scenery, is home to many world-renowned tourist attractions, including the famous Kruger National Park which is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and ensures a constant flow of international tourists to the province. Other places of interest are God's Window, Bourkes' Luck Potholes, Mac-Mac Waterfalls, historical Pilgrims' Rest, Blyde River Canyons, Dullstroom with its rainbow trout and many, many more!!!
The tropical climate turns Mpumalanga into an all-year-round paradise of beautiful flora, waterfalls, colorful birds and lush tropical fruit to name but a few!!
Mpumalanga is the only province of South Africa to border two provinces of Mozambique or to border all four districts of Swaziland.
Mpumalanga Province is divided into three municipal districts
Apart from it's beauty, the province is also known for it's diverse business community, outstanding tobacco, nut and fruit production, forestry and first-world infrastructure.
Nelspruit the capital, is proudly emerging as one of the country's fast growing cities, the municipal area comprising of a population of 50 people per km2
All surrounding towns are flourishing:White River and Sabie with their forestry industry, Hazyview with its banana production, supplying 20% of the national product, Ngodwana boasting one of the largest paper mills in the southern hemisphere and picturesque Kaapsche Hoop with its fresh mountain air, wild horses and historical buildings which, in itself, is becoming a tourist attraction.
Mpumalanga is ideally positioned for cross-border trade with Mozambique with its unspoiled beaches and palm trees where abundant seafood can be bought al fresco from the fishermen. The port of Maputu considerable broadens the scope for international import- and export business.
At Secunda, Kriel and Standerton the well know Sasol is supplying the south eastern side of Mpumalanga with economic growth and stability.
The Mpumalanga province consists out of the following areas:
North West Mpumalanga
The north western bushveld region of Mpumalanga is an area of great beauty. Typical of Africa, it is the home of the Ndebele people. The region is also a meeting place of other groups, including the Tswana to the west and the Pedi to the north.
The art and culture of the Ndebele is as unique as it is distinctive, and a visit to this region would not be complete without a stop at its various villages and art centres. The typical style of art, both beadwork and house paintings, possesses a freshness of colour and interpretation which has been developed within the communities and which reflects the ever changing social environment.
The tourism region of Vuka-Tsoga (meaning "wake up - arise") has the advantage of being situated just one hour from Pretoria and an hour and a half from Johannesburg, accessed easily via major routes, and is an ideal destination for day trips and weekends. Further north west a vast stretch of bushveld is the site of a number of nature reserves; here the visitor will find peace and tranquility among the animals and birds of this richly diverse region.
Southern grass and wetlands
The two tourism regions of south eastern Mpumalanga and the southern grass and wetlands take in the towns of Piet Retief, Amsterdam, Wakkerstroom and Volksrust, across the southern most sector of Mpumalanga against the KwaZulu-Natal border. The sites of the three principal battles of the first Anglo Boer War of 1881 are located at and near Majuba outside Volksrust.
This is an area of exceptional beauty and interest to the tourist; an area of rolling hills and deep valleys with a temperate climate. Wakkerstroom is one of the prime birding sites in Southern Africa, where 29 bird species are either endemic or near endemic to the region. The region is also a centre for hikers, hang gliders, mountain bikers and anglers. Tourist accommodation is well provided by a number of country hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments.
Highveld and the Loskop Valley
The highveld region of Mpumalanga covers a wide area of high altitude grassland from the Gauteng border on the western boundary to the edge of the eastern escarpment. The area is the principal power generating centre for a large part of South Africa. The highveld is also a major agricultural and maize growing area, producing exceptionally high yields consistently.
Numerous coal mines supply the power stations, which in turn attract major industry such as Sasol's oil-from-coal plant at Secunda, steel mills at Witbank and a stainless steel plant at Middelburg; other peripheral industries also form part of this industrial network. The region thus represents one of the country's largest centres for industrial development, manufacture and employment. Tourists who are interested in industrial.
Photography are able to capture interesting scenic panoramic shots of huge power generating plants set in open country, often in mist shrouded conditions. A number of excellent bird watching sites have been identified on the highveld vleis, which are presently being developed as tourist attractions. The area also takes in the Loskop Valley irrigated farmlands, Loskop Dam and the town of Groblersdal to the north.
This region lies in the south western sector of Mpumalanga against both the Free State and Gauteng borders, and takes in the towns of Standerton, Bethal, Secunda, Leandra and Delmas.
The area features open grassland, vleis and low hills, and is a major agricultural production centre. In late summer the veld comes alive with the blooming of the cosmos flowers which have spread to every corner of the region. This is an area of gently rolling country and an excellent scenic route to destinations further eastward.
Northern Grass and Wetlands
This region, set on the central highveld of Mpumalanga, takes in the towns of Ermelo, Chrissiesmeer, Lothair, Carolina and Breyten. The area, which is primarily of farming and forestry importance, is fast developing as an important tourist destination.
Vleis and dams provide excellent fishing and bird watching opportunities, and numerous hiking trails have been laid out; the area has also become very popular with mountain bikers. A number of archaeological sites are presently being excavated, and will be opened to tourism in the near future.
Southern Lowveld and Middleveld
The Southern Lowveld and Middleveld which lies between the southern boundary of the Kruger National Park and the Swaziland border, is part of the area now termed the Maputo-Nelspruit corridor. To the west the region incorporates the village of Badplaas on the Mpumalanga middleveld.
The history of the southern lowveld and middleveld is mirrored in the hills and valleys of the region, where Bushman rock engravings, archaeological ruins, wagon trails and early gold diggings are accessible to the tourist for exploration and enjoyment. In addition, a network of roadside fruit stalls has sprung up in the region, giving tourists a constant supply of fresh local produce.
Numerous pursuits across the wide spectrum of adventure tourism are enjoyed in this region, making this a truly unique tourism and holiday destination. The Kruger National Park is close by, with unmatched wildlife and bird viewing. Hotels, guests houses and bed-and-breakfast establishments cater for the needs of tourists, whose choice of alternative routes to the lowveld via Badplaas and Barberton take them through beautiful mountain scenery on quiet country roads.
This is one of the prime tourism areas of Mpumalanga, stretching from the Northern Province border southward following the line of the Drakensberg escarpment to the Swaziland border in the south. Some of the most dramatic scenery in South Africa can be found in the area, through which numerous mountain routes pass. On the higher reaches of the escarpment are the trout fishing villages of Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenburg, Machadodorp and Waterval Boven. Lower down, on the eastern slopes are the historical mining villages of Pilgrim's Rest and Ohrigstad and the forestry towns of Sabie and Graskop. Eastward to the lowveld edge lie Hazyview and White River.
The provincial capital of Nelspruit is located on the lower reaches of the escarpment, and is the primary gateway to the lowveld and the Kruger National Park. No visit to Mpumalanga would be complete without a stopover in the escarpment region, which offers tourists a wide range of activities and accommodation.
The lowveld region of Mpumalanga offers the tourist a unique African experience. Wildlife reserves - private, provincial and national - have been created to conserve a large part of the eastern extremes of the province against the Mozambique border.
These parks, including the Kruger National Park, which have been developed over many years, cover an enormous area and boast an almost pristine natural environment. All the game species of the lowveld, particularly the larger mammals, as well as numerous bird species can be viewed and photographed in natural surroundings.
Accommodation to suit all requirements is available both inside and outside the parks' boundaries. The areas not covered by parks is primarily agricultural; it is here that many of the tropical fruits and vegetables are grown.