Generally accepted to be the safari capital of South Africa, Mpumalanga is best known for the Kruger National Park and the many private game reserves on its border that offer a usually somewhat more exclusive alternative to staying in the park.
The province has a colourful history, particularly its gold rush era, when lawlessness was the order of the day and brave pioneers wandered through lion-infested bush to reach their claims. Many historical sites, battlefields and small museums document the era when this area was of such strategic importance during the wars between the Transvaal Republic and Britain. Paul Kruger fled South Africa through this province, and many people believe he left a fortune in gold bullion and coins buried here somewhere.
For tourism purposes, Mpumalanga is divided into seven routes, or sections. The Cultural Heartland and Cosmos Country are closer to Johannesburg, and are quite urbanised with a heavy reliance on mining and industry, albeit with some scenic pockets of interest.
Despite the official divisions, the province is usually divided into the Lowveld and the escarpment.
The Lowveld is hot and humid with long grass and broad-leaved trees including such iconic ones as marulas and baobabs. And, of course, it has spectacular game.
Many people visit this lovely province just for sightseeing and, when they do, it is usually the spectacular Panorama Route they follow. A long drive taking in God's Window, Bourke's Luck, the Blyde River Canyon, the Three Rondawels (three almost circular mountains), Swadini Dam and the Sudwala Caves can be done comfortably in a day.
Download the provincial map of Mpumalanga by clicking on the area you're interested in, or download the full map below.