Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Alanglade

    Guided tours are offered at Alanglade, the former beautiful home of the Transvaal Gold Mining Estates' mine manager, set in a forested grove 2 km...

    Guided tours are offered at Alanglade, the former beautiful home of the Transvaal Gold Mining Estates' mine manager, set in a forested grove 2 km (1 mile) north of town. The huge house was built in 1916 for Richard Barry and his family, and it is furnished with pieces dating from 1900 to 1930. Look carefully at the largest pieces—you will see that they are segmented, so they could be taken apart and carried on ox wagons. Tour tickets are available at the information center and should be reserved in advance to ensure a guide.

    Main St., Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-768–1060-Pilgrim's Rest Information Centre

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours R30
  • 2. Graskop Gorge Lift

    The same Otis elevator brand that sails down Sandton’s tallest towers in Johannesburg can be found on the edge of a cliff in Mpumalanga. The...

    The same Otis elevator brand that sails down Sandton’s tallest towers in Johannesburg can be found on the edge of a cliff in Mpumalanga. The Graskop Gorge Lift drops 51 meters into a magical world of indigenous forest where guests wander the brilliantly signposted boardwalks (wooden walkways and scenic suspension bridges make up a 600-meter [1,969-feet] long trail) to learn about local flora and enjoy views across the Motitsi Falls. After your walk, there are refreshments with upper-level views down the gorge at The Lift Cafe and craft shopping from local vendors in the market outside. Fourteen veteran traders that previously sold from makeshift plastic and wood structures around town now operate from this sheltered, upmarket trading area. The lift is wheelchair-friendly.

    Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-767–1144

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R225; R50 to visit the cafe, craft market, and viewpoint
  • 3. Kruger National Park

    There are nine entrance gates to Kruger, namely (counterclockwise from the north) Pafuri, Punda Maria, Phalaborwa, Orpen, Paul Kruger, Phabeni, Numbi, Malelane, and Crocodile Bridge....

    There are nine entrance gates to Kruger, namely (counterclockwise from the north) Pafuri, Punda Maria, Phalaborwa, Orpen, Paul Kruger, Phabeni, Numbi, Malelane, and Crocodile Bridge. National access roads to all the entrance gates are paved. If you're staying at one of the park's lodges or camps, you can arrange for a late-entry escort until 9 pm for the following gates (and their nearby camps): Paul Kruger (Skukuza), Numba (Pretoriuskop), Malelane (Berg-en-Dal and Malelane), Crocodile Bridge (Crocodile Bridge), Punda Maria (Punda Maria), and Orpen (Orpen). With excellent roads and accommodations, Kruger is a great place to drive around yourself, though first-timers may want to think again about getting behind the wheel, since not everyone knows what to do when an enormous elephant with wavering ears is standing in front of your vehicle, blocking the road. Travel times in the park are tough to estimate, in addition, and a hefty fine is levied if you don't make it out of the gates on time. An affordable solution is to join a game drive with a park ranger, who will drive you around in an open-sided four-wheel-drive. All the major rest camps offer ranger-led bush drives in open-air vehicles (minimum of two people), and, if you're not staying in the park itself, you can still join a tour led by ranger; your option for this are the Park & Ride tours, which leave from the park's entrance gates. There are also plenty of outfitters who will arrange a safari for you (as well as accommodations). Most drives depart in the early morning for either a half day or full day. There are also bush walks on offer, something else you can't do on your own. Whatever you do, don't miss out on a ranger-led sunset drive, when the park is closed to regular visitors. You'll sit in a large open-air vehicle, scanning the bush as dusk settles over the landscape with the ranger, who uses a powerful spotlight to pick out animals, including nocturnal creatures that you would never see otherwise. You might see bush babies (enchanting furry, big-eared, big-eyed little primates that leap from bush to bush), servals (mini-leopard-looking felines), civets (black-and-white possum look-alikes), genets (spotted catlike creatures with bushy tails), or an aardvark ambling along in the moonlight. Scrutinize branches of big trees for the giant eagle owl, with its pink eyelids, or a leopard chewing on its kill. Night is also the time when hyenas and lions hunt. These opportunities alone make a night drive an unforgettable experience. The three- to four-hour trip leaves the rest camps roughly half an hour before the gates close.  Book drives at least two weeks in advance or when you make your park reservations, and don't forget your binoculars, a snack or drink, and a warm jacket whatever the season.

    Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    012-428–9111-reservations

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Game drives start at R285 per adult; daily conservation fees are R440 per adult per day; Wild Cards (available at the gates or online) are more economical for stays of more than a few days
  • 4. Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

    Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

    All of the lodges overlook the river, which is a magnet for all kinds of game. You'll be able to peer into Kruger National Park,...

    All of the lodges overlook the river, which is a magnet for all kinds of game. You'll be able to peer into Kruger National Park, on the other side of the river, and watch game meander along the riverbanks among big riverine trees. You may never want to leave your personal deck, or the big viewing decks. But when you do decide to leave your perch, you have all kinds of options for activities, including game drives and walking safaris, spa treatments, and yoga beneath the African sun.

    Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    010-109–4900
  • 5. Lisbon Falls

    You'll find more gorgeous waterfalls clustered on the Panorama Route than anywhere else in southern Africa. Just north of Graskop, the dramatic falls are set...

    You'll find more gorgeous waterfalls clustered on the Panorama Route than anywhere else in southern Africa. Just north of Graskop, the dramatic falls are set in a bowl between hills just outside the Blyde (Motlatse) Canyon Nature Reserve, sending cascades 120 feet onto rocks below, throwing up spray over a deep pool. Named nostalgically by European miners who came here looking for gold in the late 1800s, this is a good kick-off point for the whole Panorama Route. Hike down (roughly 40-minutes) to the pool on a path from the parking area, and enjoy a picnic below Mpumalanga's highest waterfall.

    Off R532, Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-759–5300-Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R30
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  • 6. Londolozi Game Reserve

    Londolozi Reserve

    Each of the five camps offers unprecedented access to 34,000 acres of Africa's best Big Five game-viewing, led by renowned rangers and trackers. The camp...

    Each of the five camps offers unprecedented access to 34,000 acres of Africa's best Big Five game-viewing, led by renowned rangers and trackers. The camp is most famous for its leopards, with which its rangers and trackers have forged an intimate relationship over the decades. Leopard sightings are frequent.

    Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-735–5653-lodge
  • 7. MalaMala Private Game Reserve

    MalaMala Game Reserve

    MalaMala's animal-viewing statistics are unbelievable: the Big Five are spotted almost every day, along with plenty of other amazing viewings. At one moment your ranger...

    MalaMala's animal-viewing statistics are unbelievable: the Big Five are spotted almost every day, along with plenty of other amazing viewings. At one moment your ranger will fascinate you with the description of the sex life of a dung beetle, as you watch the sturdy male battling his way along the road pushing his perfectly round ball of dung with wife-to-be perched perilously on top; at another, your adrenaline will flow as you follow a leopard stalking impala in the gathering gloom. The rangers are top-class and will ensure that your game experience is unforgettable.

    Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    011-442–2267-Reservations
  • 8. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

    Daily game drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon. There's a strong emphasis on ecology at Sabi Sabi: guests are encouraged to...

    Daily game drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon. There's a strong emphasis on ecology at Sabi Sabi: guests are encouraged to look beyond the Big Five and to become aware of the birds and smaller mammals of the bush. You can also take a walking safari or a specialist birding or photo safari. There's also the Amani Spa, as well as stargazing in the evenings.

    Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    011-447–7172-Reservations
  • 9. Sabie Valley Coffee

    From the moment you enter Sabie Valley Coffee the delicious smell of freshly roasted beans lures you in. A fascinating coffee tour, led by owner...

    From the moment you enter Sabie Valley Coffee the delicious smell of freshly roasted beans lures you in. A fascinating coffee tour, led by owner Tim Buckland, takes you through the whole coffee-making process—from orchards to roasting to packaging. Find out about a coffee grower's life, and the different kinds of beans that produce different tastes, which is why there are so many (often bewildering) coffees available today. Challenge your taste buds with a tasting of homegrown, 100% pure Arabica specialty coffees, before sampling some of the coffee-related goodies for sale: coffee liqueur, cake, and candies. Reservations are best.

    R40, corner of Hazyview and Numbi Rds., White River, Mpumalanga, 1240, South Africa
    013-737–8169

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tours with tastings R140 includes coffee and cake
  • 10. Singita Sabi Sand

    Singita Sabi Sand

    This is among the crème de la crème of the Sabi Sands (although you pay for it) lodges. At Singita, you'll head out during the...

    This is among the crème de la crème of the Sabi Sands (although you pay for it) lodges. At Singita, you'll head out during the day on your choice of game drives, then prepare to be pampered. Whether you fancy a starlit private supper or just chilling alone in your mega-suite, you've only to ask. Forget the usual lodge curio shop and take a ride to the on-site boutique and art gallery where objets d'art, handmade jewelry, classy bush gear, and artifacts from all over Africa are clustered together in a series of adjoining rooms that seem more like a curator's home than a shop.

    Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    021-683–3424-Reservations
  • 11. Three Rondawels

    This is one of the most spectacular vistas in South Africa—you'll find it in almost every travel brochure. Here the Blyde River, hemmed in by...

    This is one of the most spectacular vistas in South Africa—you'll find it in almost every travel brochure. Here the Blyde River, hemmed in by towering buttresses of red rock, snakes through the bottom of the Blyde River canyon. The Three Rondawels are rock formations that bear a vague similarity to the round, thatch African dwellings of the same name. Before Europeans moved into the area, the indigenous local people named the formations the Chief and His Three Wives. The flat-top peak to the right is Mapjaneng (the Chief), named in honor of a Mapulana chief, Maripe Mashile, who routed invading Swazi at the battle of Moholoholo ("the very great one"). The three "wives," in descending order from right to left, are Maseroto, Mogoladikwe, and Magabolle.

    R536, Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-759–5300-Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R70 per person
  • 12. Abel Erasmus Pass

    The descent out of the nature reserve, down the escarpment, and through Abel Erasmus Pass is breathtaking. (From the Three Rondawels, take the R532 to...

    The descent out of the nature reserve, down the escarpment, and through Abel Erasmus Pass is breathtaking. (From the Three Rondawels, take the R532 to a T, and turn right onto the R36.) Be careful as you drive this pass. Locals graze their cattle and goats on the verges, and you may be surprised by animals on the tarmac as you round a bend. The J. G. Strijdom Tunnel serves as the gateway to the Lowveld. At the mouth of the tunnel are stands where you can buy clay pots, African masks, wooden giraffes, curios of many kinds and subtropical fruit. As you emerge from the dark mouth of the tunnel, the Lowveld spreads out below, and the views of both it and the mountains are stunning. On the left, the Olifants River snakes through the bushveld, lined to some extent by African subsistence farms.

    Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-759–5300-Mpumalanga Tourism Authority
  • 13. Berlin Falls

    A small stream, Waterfall Spruit, runs through a broad expanse of grassland to Berlin Falls. A short walk takes you to a platform overlooking the...

    A small stream, Waterfall Spruit, runs through a broad expanse of grassland to Berlin Falls. A short walk takes you to a platform overlooking the cascade, shaped like a candle. It starts off as a thin stream that drops through a narrow sluice (this looks like the candlewick), and then widens out to fall 150 feet into a deep-green pool surrounded by tall pines. If the weather's good, plan to swim and picnic here. Why the not-very-local name? The German miners who came here during the gold rush named it nostalgically after their home country.

    Off R532, Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-759–5300-Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R15
  • 14. Blyde River Canyon

    Starting just below the point where the Blyde (joy) River and Treur (sorrow) River converge, the world's third-largest canyon is also South Africa’s second-most-visited natural...

    Starting just below the point where the Blyde (joy) River and Treur (sorrow) River converge, the world's third-largest canyon is also South Africa’s second-most-visited natural attraction (after Table Mountain). Discover the spectacular scenery of red cliffs jutting up from the canyon base, quirky geological formations, indigenous rare Afromontane forest, cascading waterfalls, and an abundance of birds, small animals, and biodiversity. You can also try your hand at all sorts of adventure activities, from white-water rafting and abseiling to mountain biking and hiking.

    Along R532, Bourke's Luck, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-767–1886-Graskop Tourism

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Individual fees at different access points
    View Tours and Activities
  • 15. Bourke's Luck Potholes

    The amazing Bourke's Luck Potholes are 27 km (17 miles) north of Berlin Falls. Named after a gold prospector, the cylindrical and rather alien-looking deep...

    The amazing Bourke's Luck Potholes are 27 km (17 miles) north of Berlin Falls. Named after a gold prospector, the cylindrical and rather alien-looking deep potholes filled with green water are carved into the rock by whirlpools where the Treur (sorrow) and Blyde (joy) rivers converge—and where the canyon begins. Several long canyon hiking trails start from here, as do shorter walks and trails (pack a hat and sunscreen, there's very little shade). A three-hour walk, for example, could take you down into the bottom of the canyon, where you follow a trail marked by rocks painted with animal or bird symbols as the gorge towers above you. Be sure to stop by the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve visitor center at the entrance to the site, where interesting exhibits describe the canyon's flora, fauna, and geology.

    Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-755–3928-Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R130
  • 16. Dredzen Shop and House Museum

    Uptown

    Experience life after the heady gold-rush days, and relive the '30s and '40s, when 16 general stores lined the streets of Pilgrim's Rest. By 1950...

    Experience life after the heady gold-rush days, and relive the '30s and '40s, when 16 general stores lined the streets of Pilgrim's Rest. By 1950 mine production had taken a nosedive, and most of the businesses had shut down. The Dredzen Shop and House Museum re-creates the look of a general store during those lean years, with shelves displaying authentic items that would have been on sale, from jams and preserves to candles and matches. The attached house belonged to the shopkeeper and re-creates the life of a middle-class family of the period.

    Main St., Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-768–1060-Pilgrim's Rest Information Centre

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R30
  • 17. Forestry Industry Museum

    Make time to visit the Forestry Industry Museum, which provides information on South Africa's wood and timber industry in a fun and interesting way. Sabie...

    Make time to visit the Forestry Industry Museum, which provides information on South Africa's wood and timber industry in a fun and interesting way. Sabie itself is in the middle of one of the biggest human-made forests in the world. These forests produce more than half of South Africa's timber, and where once the wood was mainly used for pit props in the gold and diamond mines, today they provide the raw material for paper, furniture, and all sorts of consumer products. The museum is a little dated, but has some quirky displays, from the matchmaking industry (wood, not people!) to a 100-year-old hand-carved Irish gypsy clothes peg.

    Corner of Ford St. and 7th and 10th Aves., Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-764–1058

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R10, Closed Sun. and public holidays, Cash only
  • 18. God's Window

    God's Window is the most famous of the Lowveld lookouts along the Panorama Route. It got its name because of the rock "window" that looks...

    God's Window is the most famous of the Lowveld lookouts along the Panorama Route. It got its name because of the rock "window" that looks out at the sublime view below. Gaze out into seeming infinity from the edge of the escarpment (which drops away almost vertically). Geared to tourists, it has toilet facilities, paved parking areas, curio vendors, and paved, marked walking trails leading to various lookouts. The God's Window lookout has a view back along the escarpment framed between towering cliffs. For a broader panorama, make a 10-minute climb along the paved track through the rain forest to a small area with sweeping views of the entire Lowveld. The altitude here is 5,700 feet, just a little lower than Johannesburg.

    Off R534, Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-759–5300-Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R40 per person
  • 19. Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

    This center, which cares for, breeds, and protects endangered species, is in the Kapama Private Game Reserve, outside the little Limpopo town of Hoedspruit. It...

    This center, which cares for, breeds, and protects endangered species, is in the Kapama Private Game Reserve, outside the little Limpopo town of Hoedspruit. It started in a small way, when South African Lente Roode, who owns the reserve, decided to dedicate herself to saving cheetahs—a highly endangered species. The center quickly gained credibility and fame when other animals and birds were brought to her, nursed back to health, and returned to the wild (when possible). It now has a state-of-the-art veterinary center, a highly respected research program, outreach programs for schools, international volunteer programs, a restaurant, and a shop, and is a great day destination. You’ll meet Little G, a white rhino found in 2014 beside his mother, who had been brutally slaughtered for her horn. You can also watch wild vultures feast at a vulture restaurant or see wild dogs being fed. You can take a standard tour, or join a dawn or dusk tour; a cheetah-focused tour is also available. The center also rents out two three-bedroom, self-catering cottages on the grounds, and the staff can help you arrange guided game drives; alternatively, you can visit and do things on your own.

    R40, Kapama Private Game Reserve, Limpopo, 1380, South Africa
    015-793–1633

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R150, Daily 9–3
  • 20. House Museum

    Uptown

    Originally a doctor's house, the House Museum, across and up the street from the Royal Hotel, re-creates the way of life of a middle-class family...

    Originally a doctor's house, the House Museum, across and up the street from the Royal Hotel, re-creates the way of life of a middle-class family in the early part of the 20th century. The house was built in 1913 of corrugated iron and wood and is typical of buildings erected at the time. Check out the late Victorian furnishings, kitchen utensils, and the very grand carved wooden commode (precurser to the toilet). Purchase tour tickets at the information center.

    Main St., Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga, South Africa
    013-764–1177-Pilgrim's Rest Information Centre

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: R30

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