Are you dreaming of hitting the road and wandering off the beaten track? Mpumalanga offers much more than just the gateway to the Kruger National Park. Hop in the car, fill the boot with padkos and hit the road to uncover some of Mpumalanga's best-kept secrets.
Here are our Flight Centre experts' favourite spots to discover in Mpumalanga.
Explore Mpumalanga's UNESCO Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains
Likely one of the most under the radar secrets, the Makhonjwa Mountains or Barberton Mountain Land, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This area of small mountains stretches from Mpumalanga into neighbouring Swaziland.
Hit the hiking trails, marvel at ancient rock art and learn about Barberton’s gold rush history and tales of infamous characters that once lived in the historic town.
There's an exciting Heritage Walk taking you to some of the critical sites. The area's green rocks also happen to be among the world's oldest geological formations, and have fascinated geologists for decades.
READ MORE: Where to go for the best Drakensberg hikes
Discover secret waterfalls
On your road trip of the picturesque Panorama Route, be sure to bookmark the many spectacular waterfalls that lie hidden in the lush forest. The Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, Sabie Falls and Mac Mac Pools are just a handful of the most popular.
Don't forget the picnic basket and blanket. Pop into the nearest padstal and pick up a selection of tasty regional delicacies to enjoy next to the waterfall or at one of the picnic sites at the viewpoints.
Step back into gold rush history
Step back into gold rush history as you drive into quaint Pilgrim's Rest. The town has to be seen to be believed. You'll truly feel as if you've stepped back in time! The whole town is a national monument, with its historical buildings restored to look exactly as they did in their gold rush days, around the late 1800s.
Try your hand at fly fishing
Bundle up and try your hand at fly fishing in the fly-fishing capital of the country, Dullstroom. A range of well-stocked dams and rivers shelter many species of trout, offering a great fishing experience for both novice and professional anglers.
Discover culture at the Botshabelo Mission Station village
Immerse yourself in the lives of a traditional Ndebele tribe and learn about life on a 19th-century mission station at the Botshabelo Mission Station and traditional village. The village is an open-air museum but also a living community, where the residents still reside today. Be sure to check out the world of renowned artist, Esther Mahlangu, who grew up in nearby Middelberg. Some of her works are on display at the museum.
Smell the roses
Swap dusty takkies for a plush robe and spa slippers at the luxurious Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa near Hazyview. This luxury accommodation offers tented suites overlooking the Sabie River on a working fruit and rose farm. The spa offers relaxing treatments, infused with the scent of roses. Pop in for a spa treatment or treat yourself to an overnight stay.
Taste your way along the Lowveld Gourmet Route
Foodies will be delighted to discover that Mpumalanga boasts its own gourmet culinary route. Launched by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Board in 2018, the route is designed to make it easy for visiting foodies to wine and dine their way through the finest of the Lowveld's culinary offerings. Some of the top five dining establishments are Summerfields Kitchen (on-site restaurant at the Summerfields Retreat) and Salt in Hazyview, Oliver's Restaurant in White River and Orange Restaurant and 10 on Russell in Nelspruit.
Go ‘Out of Africa’ at a glam tented camp
Perhaps after a few days of roughing it in the Kruger, you'd appreciate fine thread count linen or simply want to treat yourself to a luxurious experience. Check into the five-star Hamiltons Tented Camp, set within the private Mluwati concession in the west of Kruger.
This exclusive accommodation offers just six luxury tents on raised decks overlooking the river. It's akin to stepping back into the romantic yesteryear of safari travel. It's perfect for travellers looking for history, luxury and romance.