We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Emily, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Emily lives in South Africa and submitted the following report about Mpumalanga. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below.)
Languages spoken: English, Sotho, Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa
Reasons To Visit Mpumalanga
This beautiful province is about an hour’s drive out of Johannesburg and has so much to offer anyone visiting.
From beautiful landscapes to the wildness that is Africa. this province caters to those looking for a luxury break or an adventurous holiday! The weather here is almost always warm to hot, and sometimes humid. In winter, it does get chilly in the mornings and evenings, but the days are lovely.
If you choose to stay in Graskop, there is so much to see and do around this sleepy little town, from the world’s highest bridge swing outside town to white water rafting at Blyde River Canyon. The bridge swing is a free fall drop, down past a waterfall. It’s awesome! The Blyde River Canyon is the world’s largest green canyon and a sight to see. Around the area there’s also Bourke’s Luck Potholes, which is like our mini Grand Canyon. Around the Potholes, you can relax in the fresh pools of water and, if you’re lucky, spot some wildlife running about. Another must-visit site in the area is God’s Window. The view from here is stunning. Peaceful and quiet at the top, it truly does feel like you’re looking out of God’s window. You can also walk about in the natural ‘rain forest’ up here.
The Graskop, Sabie, and Hazyview regions are also filled with many waterfalls, the highest being Lisbon Falls, which is – absolutely stunning. Some other waterfalls worth visiting are Berlin, Mac Mac, Bridal Veil, Horseshoe, and Lone Creek Falls. When the waterfalls are named after towns, it usually means that it was named after miners who came to look for gold in those areas.
There’s the world famous Kruger National Park, most of which is situated in the Mpumalanga province. Visitors can take their own vehicles or hire game drives to view animals. I would recommend the game drives with a trained driver, as they are better trained to handle any unexpected situations with the wildlife, who sometimes get too ‘friendly’ with vehicles. Speeding is not allowed in the park, but some people tend to ignore this and end up hurting the animals going about their business in the park. I do recommend that everyone visits the park, though. It’s amazing to see wild rhino, hippos (love them!), elephants, lions, etc. all walking about in their natural state. If you’re lucky you’ll spot a leopard with its kill, sitting in a tree, or a crazy hyena making a getaway with stolen lunch.
Mpumalanga is also famous for other South African legends, like the Staffordshire Terrier that was nearly drowned as a puppy for being the runt of the litter. Jock of the Bushveld is a famous book about this dog that had many crazy adventures with his guardian (author: Sir Percy Fitzpatrick) in the South African highveld. There’s also a quaint little village called Pilgrim’s Rest, an old rest stop for miners which looks like it’s been frozen in time.
I definitely recommend this destination for solo travelers.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 2 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)