Beautiful things come in small packages-South Africa’s smallest province and its thriving wildlife are a true testament of this.
In hallowed antiquity, when the Big Bang was recent history and the earth was still a molten, gaseous mass still finding its shaped and solidity, it is in Mpumalanga that the first stones of the earth’s crust cooled. Today, Mpumalanga wears its age beautifully and driving through this province of South Africa is, well, a collection o breathtaking moments strung together.
THE AWE-INSPIRING DRIVE
The first 200 km of the drive from Johannesburg, along the featureless N12 and N4 that run through farmland, are pretty uneventful. The only excitement is when a posse of cops is poise at the other end of an undulation on the road, as a surprise check for illegal taxis and drivers. The area encompassed between Dullstroom, to the west, and Kruger, to the east, is as rich in history as it is geographically blessed.
The latter is because this is the land of the Drakensberg Mountains with green valleys and plentiful rivers, thick with fish. The history bit comes from the fact that this is a strategic flash point during the Boer war between the Voortrekkers and the English. In fact, one of the most dramatic roads here, one that will have you hyperventilating with glee at the wheel, is the sinuous strip of tarmac over the Long Tom Pass. It was named after the two Long Tom cannons that the Boers strategically positioned here during the war.The visitors spent afternoon fly-fishing at the Walkersons Hotel and Spa, a beautiful resort set in woodland, complete with many secluded lakes where guests can fish in peace. It is a perfect wind-down after a flight followed by car drive.
Visitors like to drive to Lydenburg and mostly they choose the R37 to Graskop over the Long Tom Pass and the Buzzing town of Sabie. Close to Sabie, on the old Lydenburg Road, are three waterfalls-Bridal Veil, Horseshoe and Lone Creek-all stunning on a bright summer’s day. And, since they involved short but hard walks to get to them, relief is found on the road to Graskop where there are the Mac Mac pools, idyllic nature swimming holes in a forest. It was wondering relaxing to lounge in the cool, green water. The name Mac Mac comes from the profusion of Scottish names on the local mining register.
The miniscule town of Graskop is a gourmet’s delight, and the epicentre of taste here is Harrie’s Pancakes on the corner o Louis Trichardt and Church streets. I’m not giving any spoilers her; go there and discover the culinary delights for yourself. Mostly visitors will spent an entire day exploring the R532 that runs north from Graskop. That baby –bottom-smooth road running through the Drakensberg Escarpment also runs alongside the Blyde Rier Canyon.
Here people like to drive to gorgeous natural viewpoints with imaginative names like the Pinnacle, God’s Window or Wonder View. Competing with this road, with even more stunning views and lovely curves, is R535 going east from Graskop to Hazyview, a little town which is just 12 km the Phabeni Gate into the western part of Kruger National Park.
Thai Airways, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways, Air India and Emirates are has flights to South africa from from all metroploitan cities in India other countries.
Sabi River Sun Lifesyle Resort, Hippo Hollow Country Estate and Kruger Park Lodge Hotel these are some famous hotel located in Mpumalanga.