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BBordering with Mozambique and Swaziland, Mpumalanga is known for its stunning flora and fauna, soaring mountain peaks and game reserves teaming with wildlife. However, the province is also an eco-adventure buff’s paradise.
Eco-adventure involves minimising your impact on the land, increasing your environmental and cultural awareness and undergoing a positive nature experience. Mpumalanga offers you all that and more.
The province may not be a coastal region but at least you can take to the rapids of the Sabie, Blyde or Olifants rivers for some aqua action. Whether it’s a quiet float along the river to focus on the wildlife and scenery or an adrenaline-pumping rapids scream-fest, Mpumalanga’s rivers offer both and everything in between.
If you would prefer staying on dry land, you may want to climb on a quad bike and experience nature on wheels. Riders are given a crash course before setting off to assess their levels of experience, and although there may be a little technical riding involved, there are always experienced riders on hand to guide you through any sticky situations.
Eco-adventuring does not only involve spiking your adrenaline levels, you can also simply take a leisurely hike and enjoy nature in a more relaxed manner. Komatiland Forestry offers a number of hikes for you to enjoy, from the one-day loerie trail, forest fall trail, secretary bird trail and rooikat trail, to the multi-day Fanie Botha, Soutspansberg and Uitsoek hiking trails. You’ll be able to see, among others, bush pig, bushbuck, baboon, jack buzzard and, possibly, the rare bat hawk as you walk along any of the routes.
Head to Mpumalanga for a short, or long, adventure break – it may be just what you need to feel excited about life again.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Mpumalanga Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 (0)13 759 5300/01
How to get here
There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) near Mbombela (Nelspruit).
Best time to visit
Summer can be very hot, so the best time for hiking is during autumn (March to May) and spring (September to November). August to October, however, would be the best time for game viewing.
Things to do
Aside from hiking, Mpumalanga offer white-river rafting on the Sabie River, quad biking in the Sabie River Valley, abseiling, horse trails, ziplining, mountain biking, paintball or even an introduction to archery. Geckoing is also available in small rafts steered with webbed gloves!
What to pack
Insect repellent and malaria medication if travelling to a malaria zone. Be sure to check the weather for the region you’re travelling to as temperatures can vary.
No matter what the season, always remember to bring plenty of sunblock and a hat. Good walking shoes or hiking boots are a must for those who enjoy exploring on foot.
Where to stay
The Kruger National Park offers a wide range of rest camp options suitable for all budgets, from camping to luxury safari-style.