I took a Sho’t Left to Mpumalanga in March 2019 with South African Tourism and had an unforgettable time!
As a travel blogger, I have been to many places in South Africa and around the world and Mpumalanga ranks in my favourites list.
For me, Mpumalanga is a place that after visiting I could not keep to myself. Everyone needs to visit at least once. If you have visited before, go again. This was my third time in the area and I can assure you that I still experienced places and activities that I had not before.
I hope this post inspires you to start planning your Sho’t Left to Mpumalanga.
Ligwalagwala FM was hosting a festival called ‘Love Still Rocks’ featuring local DJs and starring Sjava as the main performer. More on this later in the post.
On the days leading to the concert, we spent our time sightseeing, doing outdoor activities and learning about Mpumalanga. I had an incredible time on this well organized, adventure filled trip by South African Tourism. So I have written about the highlights of each day.
Day one – Sudwala Caves & Kruger National Park
We flew from OR Tambo International on a quick 50 minute flight to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. My first impression when we landed was, ” Wow, this is the prettiest airport!” Checkout the photos below to see whether you agree that it looks like an African Resort.
Our friendly guide, from Ntwanano Safaris, was waiting for us when we arrived. He would be our guide for the duration of the trip.
My eyes were glued to the view from the car window throughout the car ride to our first stop. One of my favourite things about Mpumalanga is how green it is. I am convinced that I saw every shade of green during that car ride. It is magnificent.
I had never been to Sudwala Caves before, so I was looking forward to this being our first stop. It’s dark and eery inside the cave and the cool, damp air is a nice relief from the heat outside. Our knowledgeable guide educated us about the history of the caves as we navigated through the cave.
Did you know that Sudwala Caves are the oldest caves in the world? In the world! I did not know that till I learnt it from our guide. I was glad to have another fascinating fact to show off about Mpumalanga.
After completing the tour, we relaxed at the fish spa outside Sudwala Caves. You heard me right – a fish spa! This entailed putting our feet in shallow water to allow the small Garra Rufa fish to nibble on the dirt and dead skin on our feet. It was a ticklish sensation that I enjoyed haha!
To make this better we had the most incredible view.
The day was not yet over. We were still to be treated to a guided sunset game drive at Kruger National Park.
I really appreciate seeing wild animals in their natural habit and Kruger National Park in South is one of the best places to do this.
We spotted zebra, vervet monkeys, warthogs, plenty of hyena and a rhino!
Day two – Panorama Route
The Panorama Route is a region of scenic views, waterfalls and outdoor activities in Mpumalanga. Driving between each stop is part of the fun because of the lush, panoramic views.
Lone Creek Falls is one of many waterfalls in the region. You are able to get really close and even into the water. Walking towards Lone Creek Falls felt like walking through a scene of King Kong as the dense plants and trees lean into the walk way. I heard the waterfall, and felt it’s spray before I could see it. And then there it was. I took a moment standing there, staring and smiling. Nature is so refreshing.
Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world. Another fact to show off about. The view of Blyde River canyon was easily the highlight of the Panorama Route for me. The view blows me away every time. It is something I can’t and will not get over or get used to.
Make sure to include a stop at Blyde River Canyon & Three Rondavals when you explore the Panorama Route. There are benches available that you can use to comfortably take your time with taking in the glorious sight in front of you.
What would a tour of the Panorama Route be without a visit to God’s Window? Incomplete! Though it was a bit cloudy when we arrived, we still managed to admire the impressive far stretching view at the various view points of God’s Window.
I find that even when I do know the main attractions in a location, there is still always more. That’s what’s so great about South Africa, each province is unique and has so much more to offer than we are aware of. This time, Potluck Boskombuis was the surprise that I never knew about. It’s a restaurant in the bush that serves South African dishes featuring game meat.
I ordered warthog boerewors with pap and was very satisfied with my meal.
Day three – River Rafting & Love Still Rocks Concert
I love being in the water so I am always keen to try water activities and water sports. We started the day at Induna Adventures – they offer a range of outdoor activities such as quad biking, archery and ziplining. We opted for river rafting in Sabie River!
Before getting into the river, we were given a demonstration of how to maneuver the boat using our paddles. Two people fit in each boat. The person at the back is responsible for steering but both are required to paddle.
I must admit that my boat did get stuck a few times but we never fell out of our boat – I’m proud of that! I had so much fun river rafting and especially enjoyed the moments of dodging rocks and speeding up whenever there was a dip in the river.
Then it was time for ‘Love Still Rocks’ festival by Ligwalgwala FM. It took place outdoors at Nutting House Lodge. There was a large and excited crowd at the event all ready for a fun time. Sjava gave the headline performance which was a memorable closing for an unforgettable trip.
I hope you enjoyed this post and got some ideas on how to spend your time when visiting Mpumalanga.
Thank you South African Tourism and Ligwalagwala FM for a fantastic experience in Mpumalanga.