Did you know?
Mpumalanga means 'place where the sun rises' because it is in the eastern part of the country. Mpumalanga was a new province, formed in 1994 after South Africa's first democratic elections. Before that, this area was known as the Eastern Transvaal.
A honeymoon in Mpumalanga will ensure a marriage begun in the most beautiful of surroundings. This is a province basking in spectacular scenic blessings, with waterfalls, mountains, forests and picture-perfect vistas at every turn.
The Blyde River Canyon, one of the world’s largest canyons, is particularly popular with honeymooners. Its length is dotted with breathtaking sites such as the Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the oh-so-descriptive God’s Window, an astounding viewpoint at an altitude of 2000m. The canyon is the highlight of Mpumalanga’s aptly named Panorama Route.
Honeymooners are also often drawn to the nearby town of Pilgrim's Rest, once a gold rush town and now filled with interesting, mostly historic, things to see and do. Its romantic, Victorian-style Royal Hotel is much favoured for weddings and honeymoons with an old-world feel.
An Mpumalanga honeymoon could include time spent in nature’s own paradise, the Kruger National Park. Rise before the sun and strike out to share in the world of birds and beasts, realising, as the day passes, how wondrous our planet is. Hikes, backpacking and adventure trails afford a closer experience of the wild. While rest camps run by South African National Parks (SANparks) are quite comfortable, perhaps a honeymoon calls for some extravagance and a number of privately owned lodges in the park will take your accommodation up a few notches.
Singita, Tinga, Jock’s Safari Lodge and Spa and Imbali Safari Lodge are just some of the facilities to investigate. Sumptuous luxury is also available west of the park in the Sabi Sand Reserve where names such as Mala Mala, Londolozi, Lion Sands and Sabi Sabi have pioneered the art of the upmarket safari.
Honeymoon destinations in Mpumalanga are many and varied. To mention just a few, the fly-fishing mecca of Dullstroom is restful and quaint; the area around the town of Hazyview offers balmy, tropical summers and warm winters; and White River in the Crocodile River valley is surrounded by forests. Further, there are activities and sites galore to make a honeymoon all the more memorable, like hot-air ballooning, gold panning, horse riding, nature trails, golfing, cultural villages and caves to marvel at.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
You can hire a car in any of South Africa’s major centres and drive to Mpumalanga, or fly in via Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport just outside Nelspruit.
Best time to visit
Spring (September/October) and autumn (April) temperatures are perfect, as the days are generally warm and the evenings and early mornings cool. Summer (November to March) can be very hot and brings with it rain, while winter (May to August) days are warm and sunny but the nights very cold. The temperature can differ significantly from the high-lying Highveld area in the western part of Mpumalanga to the low-lying Lowveld on the eastern side of the province, so check with your travel agent first.
You can either book a scheduled tour of the top attractions in Mpumalanga or hire a car and do a self-drive trip, as the highways and various tourism routes are all clearly marked.
What to pack
Regardless of the season, sunhat and sunblock are a must. Also check with your doctor regarding malaria prophylactics, as some of the areas in Mpumalanga are malaria areas and the correct prophylactics must be taken before leaving home.
Where to stay
There’s loads of accommodation in Mpumalanga, ranging from forest retreats (like Serenity Forest Eco Reserve and Timamoon Lodge), to upmarket bush getaways (try for example Sabi Sabi, Mala Mala, Londolozi, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, Djuma Game Reserve, Exeter Game Reserve and Leopard Hills). You’ll also find accommodation from across the price spectrum in the Kruger National Park, but you'll need to book early (up to a year in advance).