Did you know?
Standerton was besieged for 3 months during the Anglo-Boer War.
Every year, in late summer, south-western Mpumalanga's Cosmos Country region undergoes a spectacular transformation. Suddenly the flat, drab countryside is a riot of white and pink as the cosmos blooms, lending a transient beauty to the flat landscape. And the cosmos is only the first of the Mpumalanga attractions that Cosmos Country has to offer.
Also called the 'energy belt', Cosmos Country's power stations export energy to most other countries in southern Africa. Boasting the biggest underground coal mine in the world, it is also South Africa's crude oil production centre. Cosmos Country's commercial and agricultural centre is Standerton.
Standerton lies on the banks of the Vaal River at the foot of the 1 641m high Standerskop mountain, 170 km (some 90 minutes' drive) from Johannesburg. Standerton is a great stopover between Gauteng and the Kruger National Park.
The park between the Vaal River and Standerton is a pleasant spot to fish, braai, or relax at the pool. Alternatively, head for the bright lights of one of Cosmos Country, Mpumalanga's premier attractions: Graceland Casino, 65 km from Standerton. Graceland also has an internationally renowned golf course designed by golf legend Gary Player.
For more energetic Cosmos Country activities, Grootdraai Dam has watersports facilities, including boating, water-skiiing, kite-surfing, and wind-surfing. The Vaal River is also an ideal freshwater fishing destination, or if you prefer bird-watching and wildlife walks then head for the 128 ha Standerskop nature reserve.
For local history and culture, there are Anglo-Boer War relics (including the cosmos flower itself, originally imported with horse-feed for English troops), Chief Mzilikazi's kraal, and the Dutch Reformed Church. You can also see the first bridge over the Vaal River, opened by Paul Kruger in 1891. Cosmos Country abounds with arts and crafts, pottery, weaving, basketry and woodwork sold at many shops and stalls.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Mpumulanga Tourism and Parks Agency
Tel: +27 13 752 7012