Place Where The Sun Rises - South Africa
by: Gerald Crawford
Welcome to Mpumalanga in South Africa.
If you like to visit the worlds most famous game reserve, climb the worlds third-highest canyon, explore the worlds oldest cave and spend the night in the worlds best private game lodges, Mpumalangas the place to come to!
Mpumalanga, which means 'place where the sun rises in the local languages of Siswati and Zulu is one of South Africas tourism hotspots, loved by both local and international visitors for its beauty and diversity. This province is home to The Kruger National Park (big five country), exquisite panoramic views, mountains, rivers, caves, trout fishing and birding opportunities, eco-tourism, adventure holidays and the rich offerings of the local Ndebele and Swazi cultures.
Mpumalanga is bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland in the east, and Gauteng in the west. It is situated mainly on the high plateau grasslands of the Middleveld, which roll eastwards for hundreds of kilometres. In the northeast, the land rises towards mountain peaks and then terminates in an immense escarpment. In some places, this escarpment plunges hundreds of meters down to the low-lying area known as the Lowveld. Even though it is one of the smaller provinces (79 490 km2 in surface area), Mpumalanga is home to some three million people.
The Mpumalanga climate is a summer rainfall area with hot summers, especially in the Lowveld regions. Mild in winter, it can become very cold in the Highveld areas.
The tourism possibilities of this province are as diverse as the landscape itself. As the safari capital of the country, the major draw card to the area is the world-famous Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga has a lot more to offer than the big five it is a scenically magnificent province and boasts a rich cultural heartland where visitors can embrace the warm hearted spirit of Africa. Forests, pristine waters and trout fishing opportunities abound and there is no shortage of adventure activities, such as rock-climbing, abseiling and other high-adrenalin activities, on offer.
Major attractions in the area:
The Kruger National Park
One of the major tourist attractions of the country, the Kruger National Park is among South Africas finest assets. Well-equipped to offer big five safaris, the park includes a large number of accommodation options, Ranging from some of the best private game lodges in the world to very affordable rest camps. This famous park boasts over 140 species of mammals and over 500 species of birds, not to mention a wide variety of amphibians, reptiles, flora and fauna. A wildlife wonderland, this enormous sanctuary is a must-see for any and every visitor to South Africa.
Best Game Lodges in the World
A number of private camps and lodges are on offer in the areas surrounding the Kruger National Park. The Sabi Sands is renowned for being home to some of the best African game lodges in the world, bar none. These lodges are known worldwide for their exclusivity and top-of-the-range accommodation. Here, private safaris are simply par for the course, conducted by qualified rangers in open-air vehicles. These lodges are all about attention to detail, personal service and a true Out of Africa experience in unique comfort.
Big Catch Country
The perfect getaway for fly-fishing enthusiasts, Dullstroom and surrounds offer fantastic accommodation including everything from five-star hotels to modest Bed and Breakfast establishments. The spectacular beauty of the area and its many lakes makes Dullstroom the perfect weekend getaway spot. A number of quaint restaurants and pubs dot the area.
Return to the gold rush days of South Africa. The little town of Pilgrims Rest offers a step backwards into South Africas history, complete with themed museums, and restored buildings and the notorious Victorian-inspired Royal Hotel. The area is a favorite for overseas and local visitors and is well-equipped to handle all of the attention with a good offering of restaurants, bars and reasonably priced accommodation available.
Best Pancakes in Africa
A short drive from Pilgrims Rest lies Graskop, famous for its scenic waterfall and for Harries Pancake Shop, known to serve up the best pancakes this side of the Kruger National Park. It is an established tradition to stop off here for a favorite sweet or savory pancake en route to the Blyde River Canyon. A vibrant artist community exists in and around the area, and curio shopping opportunities abound.
The green belt of Sabie offers a wonderful base to explore Mpumalangas Escarpment. This is the centre of South Africas forestry region and boasts excellent lodges, bed-and-breakfast establishments as well as a rather fine backpackers lodge. Although the pace in Sabie is rather laid back, there are a number of activities and day trips for the adventure seeker. Mountain-biking, horse-trails, hiking trails and river rafting are all offer. There are also fabulous bird-watching options. If youre happy to keep a slower pace, simply sit back and let the peaceful forests fortify the soul.
Views from Paradise
One of the most scenic views in South Africa is undoubtedly offered up at the famous Blyde River Canyon this colossal canyon is famous for its dramatic window on the world. Here, camera-touting visitors love to visit the Gods Window ledge, Bourkes Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels all of which offer breathtaking panoramas. The Mac-Mac Falls and Lisbon Falls are also a keen favorite for visitors to Mpumalanga.
Arts and Culture
Explore the local Shangaan culture at the famous Shangana Cultural Village, a short hop away from the town of Hazyview. The user-friendly cultural village offers visitors the opportunity to interact with the local Shangaan people and to enjoy a taste of traditional cuisine. The Nyani Shangaan Cultural Village is also an option, as is Matsulu Village a traditional Ndebele Village.
About The Author
Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Website Address: http://www.12234455.co.za