The province of Mpumalanga is located in the North-Eastern part of South Africa, the capital is Nelspruit, it has an extension of 79,490 square kilometers, here live about 3.6 million inhabitants.
Its name means "the place where the sun rises" in the Zulu language and, despite being one of the smallest provinces as a surface, it is rich in interesting areas to explore and magnificent natural settings.
The province of Mpumalanga, in the past was called Transvaal and was the theater of the first Anglo-Boer war and Paul Kruger was its first president; now it borders to the North with the province of Limpopo, with which it shares the Kruger National Park, to the West with the provinces of Gautengand Free State, to the South with the province of KwaZulu-Natal, and to the East with Swazilandand Mozambique.
Geographically the Mpumalanga is characterized by the presence of the Drakensberg Escarpment, the Escarpment of the Dragons' Mountains; with a height of about 1,000 meters, divides the territory into two parts: the Western part of the province consists mainly of a plateau called highveld, or "high floor", and the Eastern part with a lower altitude, dominated by the savannah, this part is known by the names of lowveld or bushveld, that literally means "low floor" or "wooded territory".
What to see in the Province of Mpumalanga
The main attractions of the Mpumalanga province are undoubtedly the Blyde River Canyon and the Southern section of the Kruger National Park.
The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve holds the namesake canyon, that is the third deepest gorge in the world, but the largest canyon in the world; the reserve is dotted with majestic mountains, deep gorges, impressive waterfalls and rock formations that well represent the majesty of the South African nature.
To visit the area you can take the Panorama Route, a magnificent scenic road that touches all the main natural wonders of the Blyde River Canyon area.
God's Window is an observation point that offers a sublime view of the canyon, the gaze is lost endlessly over the green of the gorge.
Still along the Panorama Route you can admire the Berlin Falls and the Lisbon Falls, the highest waterfalls in the province.
The Bourke's Luck Potholes are bizarre rock formations created by the rushing flow of water, the strong reels that are created when the rivers Treur and Blyde meet, dug, over the millennia, deep holes perfectly cylindrical.
The Panorama Route offers a wonderful glimpse of the Three Rondovels, huge rock formations topped by a grassy cone reminiscent of the Rondavels, a term that in South African identifies the typical round African huts.
In the province of Mpumalanga is also the Pilgrim's Rest, that represents the phenomenon of the gold rush at the end of the ‘800, today this small village is an open-air museum, where you have the feeling of going back in time and where you can relive the charm of those times.
The province of Mpumalanga can boast a wildlife with few peers in South Africa and in the African continent, and this thanks to the presence in its territory of one of the symbol parks: the Kruger National Park.
This park is one of the largest protected areas in the world as an extension and boasts an impressive number of animal species present within its perimeter, here you can easily see the Big5; it is a very interesting area also from the geological point of view and regarding the different habitats that are found here.
But Mpumalanga not only hosts one of the most famous national parks in the world, here are also numerous reserves, rich in flora and fauna, such as the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a protected area formed by the union of more private reserves.
These private reserves, together with the Kruger National Park, constitute the Greater Kruger, a huge protected area, fundamental for the conservation of numerous animal species.
Today the Sabi Sandis a luxury safari destination, inside are lodges and tented camps of great charm, here are exclusive destinations and real icons of photo safaris such as the Mala Mala, the Sabi Sabi, the Lion Sands and the Leopard Hill just to name a few.
To the North of the Sabi Sand reserve is another reserve of great charm and unspoiled nature, it is the Manyeleti Game Reserve, with only three luxury lodges guaranteeing tranquility and exceptional sightings.
The Manyeleti Reserve borders South with the Sabi Sand, with the Kruger to the East and to the North with the Thornybush reserve
The Thornybush Game Reserve, straddling the province of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, is a destination for photographers because it is easy to spot the Big5 here; inside there are exclusive lodges with impeccable service and offering a safari experience of sure charm.
The region, in addition to the opportunity to participate in incredible photo safaris, also offers opportunities to practice many sports such as hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and even more extreme sports such as canyoning, caves exploration, rafting, bungee jumping, quad biking and motorcycling.