1. Blue swallows:
Considered the most endangered bird in South Africa, blue swallows can be found, if you’re lucky, in the Limpopo province, where they nest in old sinkholes, mine shafts, and antler bears, or in Mpumalanga near Kaapsche Hoop. You can also visit the Nyika Plateau in Malawi for a sure sighting.
2. Awake Current:
About 20 of South Africa’s 35 endemic bird species can be seen in Wakkerstroom, a small town in Mpumalanga with a mix of grassland and wetland habitats. Summer is the time to see the grassland species when they are easily identified in their breeding plumage.
3. Mac Mac Duet:
At Mac Mac Falls in Mpumalanga, the Mac Mac River splits in two and the water columns drop 65 meters side by side into a pool in the gorge below. Just one of the many magical waterfalls in the area.
4. The dual flow of Lisbon:
For the best view of Mpumalanga’s Lisbon falls, walk along a footpath to the base of the falls, which tumble 90 meters in a double stream over a semicircular rock face.
5. Berlin Falls:
The mighty Berlin Falls are the most spectacular in Mpumalanga, with numerous waterfalls. The water flows 80 meters over a cliff and into a deep green pool below. You can’t get too close to the falls, but an observation deck offers great views.
6. Cosmos Land:
When you mention spring flowers, you probably think of the West Coast and Namaqualand. But there is also Cosmos Country in the southwest of Mpumalanga, where the field is covered in white and pink cosmos flowers in late summer. And as a bit of trivia, wild cosmos flowers always have eight petals.
7. Cape hop:
Cape hope in Mpumalanga is the kind of place you would miss if you didn’t know it existed. The houses are built against rocky prominences and against a hill, and you cannot see them from the main road. There are hardly any roads in Kaapsehoop, where wild horses are said to live around it. Enter the intriguing shop selling second-hand treasures. Arrive in an old beetle if you can; you will be misplaced in a Merc.
8. Songimvelo Game Reserve:
Little known and one of the most scenic low-field reserves, Songimvelo Game Reserve on the border of Mpumalanga and Swaziland, offers nine-day horse adventures in a vast wildlife area. If your guide is Steven Rufus, be prepared for a great adventure as he is a white knuckle rider.
9. Mpumalanga trout:
Dullstroom is, unofficially, the fly fishing capital of South Africa. The dams and rivers in the area are well stocked with rainbow and brown trout – but that doesn’t mean the fishing isn’t a challenge.
10. Oldest rocks in the world:
It is always difficult to imagine how old the earth is; we cannot count on one million, let alone know how long 3 400 million years ago. But if you head to Barberton, you can see some of the world’s oldest rocks formed 3,400 million years ago. They existed when the first life forms, bacteria, began to develop and not long ago a fossil of that bacterium was found near Barberton; it is estimated to be about 3,200 million years old. You can hike through these Achaean rock formations on the 1.5-kilometer Fortuna hiking trail, which also features 100 species of trees.