Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge, 1 800m up in Mpumalanga’s majestic mountains, is a place of dramatic vistas – deep valleys, purple-patched mountains and steep rocky slopes that burst with colourful flowers and endemic plants. Rated as one of the best big resorts in the country, Crystal Springs is a great place to unwind.

Did you know?

Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge has been named one of the top 5 big resorts in South Africa.

Once upon a time, at the top of Mpumalanga’s Robbers’ Pass, highwaymen held up coaches carrying gold bullion to the coast from the mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest.

Today, however, you’ll find the award-winning Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge, filled with treasures of another kind – purple-patched mountains and lush valleys, softly nibbling giraffe and zebra, thatch cottages that cling to the sides of rocky outcrops, and pure, invigorating mountain air.

Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge is tucked away amidst some of Mpumalanga’s most spectacular scenery, with many dramatic natural attractions less than a 100km away.

If you can tear yourself away from your own personal viewing deck outside your cottage, follow the Panorama Route and head off to Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the aptly named God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon or the Sabie Waterfalls, before coming home to sundowners at the pub or a delicious meal in the Pointer’s Rest restaurant.

If you’re still full of energy, take a dip in one of four swimming pools, including two that are heated for those chilly nights.

Although a few rarely seen leopards silently stalk the 5 000 ha game reserve adjoining the resort, the game is generally of the gentler kind. You’ll see giraffe, mountain reedbuck, blue wildebeest, kudu and waterbuck on guided game drives. Keep an eye out for the elegant little klipspringer antelope, which bounds about among the high boulders and rocky slopes.

Don’t be fooled by the antics of the vervet monkeys that gambol around your cottage and provide great photo opportunities. Forget to close just one window and they will be inside in a shot, gobbling up all available food and generally having a good time at your expense.

When the sun begins to sink, sit on your deck, drink in hand, and watch the stars begin to pulse in the African sky as baboons bark in the encroaching darkness.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)13 768 5024

How to get here

From Johannesburg take the N12 towards Witbank. Pass Witbank and take the Belfast/Dullstroom turn-off (R33/R540) to the left and drive through Belfast. At the last stop street in Belfast turn right and follow the signs to Dullstroom (R540). Drive through Dullstroom (R540) and head towards Mashishing (Lydenburg). Once there, turn left at the second traffic light and continue straight. Go towards Ohrigstad (R36). Turn right onto the R533 towards Pilgrim's Rest. Left after 17km at the Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge sign.

Best time to visit

Any time of year is good, although spring and autumn are particularly lovely and not too crowded.

Around the area

The historic mining town of Pilgrim's Rest is nearby, as is the spectacular Panorama Route and the world-famous Kruger National Park.

What will it cost

Around R400 to R600 per person per night. Dinner, bed & breakfast approx. R800 to R1 000 per person per night.

What to pack

Comfortable walking shoes, swimming gear, sunhat and sunscreen.

Where to stay

There are over 100 self-catering thatch cottages and 42 suites at Crystal Springs.

What's happening

In spring the mountains are alive with the riotous colours of spring flowers.

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