Mpumalanga's grass and wetlands
Did you know?
The Barberton area has 4 'secret' nature reserves, each dedicated to conserving a single rare plant species.
Bordered by KwaZulu-Natal in the south and Swaziland in the east, the Grass and Wetlands of Mpumalanga are the Lake District of South Africa: a network of hundreds of lakes and rivers that draws bird-watchers from around the world. Four of South Africa's biggest rivers - the Tugela, Vaal, Olifant and Pongola - have their source in the grasslands of Mpumalanga.
At the heart of the Mpumalanga wetlands lies the town of Chrissiesmeer, like a world within a world, graced by the presence of the greater and lesser flamingo. With some 270 lakes and pans within a 20km radius and plentiful accommodation within the town itself, Chrissiesmeer is a logical starting point for a wetlands adventure. If you're an avid bird-watcher, your work's already cut out - can you log all 82 acquatic and 170 non-acquatic bird species? A picnic on the banks of Lake Chrissie, South Africa's largest freshwater lake, is a good start. The small town of Wakkerstroom near the KwaZulu-Natal border is another birding magnet.
Unsurprisingly, the Grass and Wetlands of Mpumalanga offer countless outdoor activities, both on the water - sailing, boating, fishing, water-skiing - and off (quad-biking, 4x4 trails, horse trails and hiking). Then there are the pastimes unique to the region. Ever fancied going on a frogging expedition? What about a star-gazing weekend? Keen to explore ancient San rock art? Or measure yourself against Goliath's footprint, embedded in the rock? Heard of the lost Legoya nation and its huts? They're still there waiting for you 1 000 years after they were built.
Then there's the colonial Dumbarton Oaks Hotel; Billiard Cottage, shipped by ox wagon all the way from Bloemfontein to served as a recreation mess for British soldiers in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War; and the yearly reenactment of the Battle of Chrissiesmeer.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 13 759 5300
Tel: +27 17 847 0051