Discover the magic of one of South Africa's most diverse provinces - a land of highlands, lowveld and celebrated Big Five wilderness.
Guests will be met on arrival at O R Tambo International Airport, or any other location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria, for the beginning of the Magical Mpumalanga tour. From here the tour travels east through the coal-rich Highveld and the rolling hills of Mpumalanga to the village of Dullstroom. The area surrounding Dullstroom consists of windswept grassland, which is dominated by the 2 332m high "Die Berg" (the mountain). It is the highest point between the Limpopo and the Vaal Rivers. A visit is made to the Dullstroom Bird Of Prey & Rehabilitation Center, which was established in 1997 in order to promote awareness of indigenous raptors and their growing plight as endangered species. A large number of different raptor species and their role in the ecosystem come under the spotlight. Thereafter we travel on to the overnight destination.
A tour of the Mpumalanga Panorama Route is the focus of the day. Here visits are made to the Blyde River Gorge, dominated by the triplet peaks of the Three Rondavels and Bourke's Luck, where the unique geological features of the potholes can be seen. God's Window is the next stop. It is a cleft in the edge of the escarpment from where magnificent views of the Lowveld can be enjoyed. God's Window is situated in a patch of indigenous forest where many flowering and aromatic plants flourish. A visit is also made to the historical mining village of Pilgrims Rest. It is a great example of a mining town which developed in the gold rush and flourished in the 1870's. Gold was discovered here in 1873 and the town was declared a national monument in 1986.
Splendid scenery abounds as the Mpumalanga tour makes its way to the Shangana Cultural Village. Here guests are led through the Marula Market by an experienced guide, who explains how the Shangaan traditionally collect food from their environment and the way in which traditional farming is conducted. The route leads up to a traditional Shangaan Village, which is the residence of the headman, his wives and children. In the village, some time is devoted to gaining insight into the history and culture of the Shangaan.
Kruger National Park is a short drive from the cultural village. The park is named after Paul Kruger, the then-sitting president of the old Transvaal Republic, who proclaimed the Sabie Reserve in 1897. This reserve was the beginning of the Kruger National Park as it is known today. Approximately two million hectares in area, the park is internationally renowned as one of the world's foremost conservation areas. The late afternoon is devoted to a first game drive in search of Africa's legendary Big Five, in an area where many other mammal and bird species grace the savanna and give meaning to the words "Spirit of Africa".
This region is a paradise for the wildlife enthusiast, with close to 150 different mammal species, ranging from Brant's climbing mouse weighing no more than a few grams, to the mighty African elephant which can weigh up to 7 000kg. The identified bird species in the area number more than 500, and the area is blessed with an abundance of flora. Early morning and late afternoon game drives in the company of your experienced ranger afford the opportunity to enjoy the natural treasures of this part of Africa. The unique insight and knowledge of the ranger are sure to add to your experience and understanding of the habits and behaviors of the different species.
A last morning open 4x4 game drive in the Kruger National Park is followed by a late breakfast after which guests are transferred to Hoedspruit Airport for a flight to Johannesburg, bringing to an end a truly magical Mpumalanga tour.
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