Mpumalanga is a vast area of outstanding natural beauty located in South Africa's eastern reaches, bordering with Mozambique and Swaziland and boasting widely diverse terrain from mountains, valleys, rivers, and waterfalls to arid and subtropical landscapes. The Drakensberg Escarpment, a 31,000 mile stretch of dramatic, steep slopes, divides Mpumalanga into two distinct zones – namely the Highveld grasslands (the higher western part of the province) and the Lowveld savannah (the lower eastern part). Mpumalanga encompasses the southern half of the renowned Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest and most popular game reserves, and home to the sought after ‘Big 5’.
The main draw here is the Kruger and adjoining Private Game Reserves, but the area is well worth exploring beyond the safari. Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on earth, stretches some 16 miles and is around 4,500 feet deep, featuring striking red sandstone and dense, subtropical vegetation. There are endless opportunities here to hike, bike, abseil, go caving, rafting, horse riding and explore waterfalls.
Mpumalanga’s climate varies depending on which side of the Drakensberg escarpment you find yourself. The Highveld occupies a higher altitude and thus is considerably cooler with frost and snow during the colder months. The Lowveld, on the other hand, is much warmer thanks to its subtropical climate.