Heartland of Mpumalanga
Did you know?
Colourful geometric Ndebele art is sold in Cairo, Cape Town, New York and London.
In the Cultural Heartland of Mpumalanga, home of the Ndebele people and a way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries, one of South Africa's most exciting cultural experiences awaits you.
For total immersion in Mpumalanga Heartland, head for Siyabuswa, a small town where Ndebele traditions have been completely maintained, and then take your pick of the cultural tours on offer. By the time you've visited all the must-see places − Kghodwana Traditional Ndebele Village, Kgoshi Mathebe Royal Kraal, Nzundza Mabhoko Royal Kraal, Mthambothini Royal Residence − you'll have made a deep and lasting cultural connection. Siyabuswa also lies close to Mabusa Nature Reserve, Mdala Nature Reserve, Mkhombo Dam and Nature Reserve and the SS Shoksana Nature Reserve.
Another cultural hotspot is Botshabelo Mission Station in Middelburg. At the Botshabelo Historical Village, you can have a good meal and absorb the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned trading post complete with blacksmiths, wagon makers, and horse carts, as well as an Ndebele village.
The Botshabelo Mission Reserve also contains the best stands of Lanatus cycads in Mpumalanga. These protected plants transform the countryside in summer with their silver blooms.
If you head deeper into the heartland of Mpumalanga, you will come across the Loskop Dam situated within the malaria-free Loskop Dam Nature Reserve. Here, over 70 mammal species including buffalo, white rhino and leopard roam free through 23 000ha of pristine bushveld while raptors circle overhead.
But what really makes Loskop a fantastic Mpumalanga attraction is seeing the game up close and personal by boat. You can also enjoy some of the best fishing anywhere: every year, in September/October, around 1 500 anglers converge on Loskop for the Light Tackle Boat competition, in the hope of landing a prize-winning carp, bream, catfish, eel, yellow fish or mudfish.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 13 759 5300
How to get here
The Mpumalanga Cultural Heartland is only one and a half hours' drive from Johannesburg along the N12.
Best time to visit
Winter (May-September) is the best time to visit for game-viewing because the grass and vegetation is low and scant and it's easier to spot game.
Around the area
Don't miss Loskop Cheetah Sanctuary and Witbank Dam, the largest municipal dam in the southern hemisphere.
Tours to do
The Marble Hall area has several mining museums and arts and crafts centres.
The best way to get around Mpumalanga Heartland is by car.
Length of stay
A weekend will suffice for a single attraction but plan to stay longer to do justice to the region.
Where to stay
Mpumalanga Heartland has accommodation to suit every taste, ranging from backpackers, campsites, caravan parks, self-catering, to B&Bs, guest houses, lodges and hotels.