Mpumalanga, meaning "place of the rising sun" is South Africa's top tourist destination. Mpumalanga is situated on the north east border of South Africa bounded by Swaziland and Mozambique. The Mpumalanga province is made up of two distinctly contrasting types of scenery which are: the dramatic topography of escarpment and the bush of the lowveld. Passports are required for all cross-border travel, and Visa requirements vary.
Mpumalanga is well known for it's wildlife parks. In particular, the world renowned Kruger National Park, with several luxurious private nature reserves on it's western boundary, are literally teeming with wildlife and is one of South Africa's top tourist attractions. This is big game country where visitors can see the 'Big Five' , namely the elephant, black rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. 'Big Five' originated from trophy hunters who termed them as being the most dangerous to hunt.
Some of the popular attractions include the Blyde River Canyon, one of Africa's true scenic gems, and Bourke's Luck Potholes. The Bourke's Luck Potholes are a magnificent natural feature where the combination of water and rock have succeeded over many centuries, in carving huge cylindrical potholes into the rock-face.
Apart from unsurpassed game viewing opportunities, visitors to Mpumalanga can enjoy bird-watching, fishing, and hiking. Other activities include canoeing, river rafting, sailing and windsurfing, not to mention, microlighting, paragliding, mountain and rock climbing. There are numerous golf courses, one of which is located within the borders of the Kruger National Park. Other entertainment offered by Mpumalanga is Mpumalanga's three casinos situated in Nelspruit, Witbank and Secunda, many of the towns also boast cinemas, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Mpumalanga has a fascinating artistic and cultural heritage from rock paintings to the modern colourful designs of the Ndebele people evident in their beadwork and house paintings. Two artists, the Masanabo sisters, were commissioned by the British Airways to create a design for the tail markings on one of its intercontinental jet aircraft.
If you are visiting Mpumalanga and are looking for car hire, all the major car hire companies are represented in Mpumalanga, driving is on the left hand side and a drivers license is required, if you are from outside of Africa an international driving license is required. Getting to Mpumalanga by air is easy as Mpumalanga is served by several direct flights to Nelspruit, Malelane and Skukuza.
Mpumalanga's climate is mild throughout the year, Mpumalanga has mild winters temperatures ranging from 0 - 15 degrees C (32 - 59 degrees F) and has hot summers temperatures ranging from 20 - 40 degrees C (68 - 104 degrees F). Summer months are from October to April and winter months are from May to September.
The standard power source is 220/ 250 Volts.
Major credit cards, master cards, visa cards and traveler's cheques in major currencies are accepted at all commercial banks in Mpumalanga, the unit is the Rand. Most hotels, businesses and shops also accept credit cards, master cards, visa cards, traveler's cheques and foreign currency, although commission on exchange varies. Petrol / Gas cannot be purchased using standard credit cards, master cards or visa cards but can be purchased with cash or a garage/ petrol card.
For shopping requirements, most of the shops are open at normal hours during the week , 09h00 till 17h00 and are also open on Saturdays 09h00 till 13h00, although some supermarkets and shopping malls may close later and are sometimes open on Sundays. Bars usually close at 23h00 in smaller towns in Mpumalanga and in the larger towns a little later.
For the climate, the scenic and wildlife diversity, the sporting opportunities, historical sites and the cultural heritage, a journey to South Africa would not be complete without a visit to Mpumalanga.