5 weekend getaways in Mpumalanga

Posted on 20 October 2023 By Tsoku Maela

What adventures await us in this small province? Here are five weekend getaways in Mpumalanga with things to do and places to stay.

With its name literally translating to “the place where the sun rises”, it’s no surprise that Mpumalanga is one South African destination that shines bright.

1. Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga

First on our list of five weekend getaways in Mpumalanga. Blyde River Canyon, also known as the Motlatse Canyon, is a must-visit place. Believed to have formed more than 200 million years ago, it is the world’s third-biggest canyon and the largest green canyon on Earth, after the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

READ: 5 Family Safari Lodges in South Africa for the ultimate adventure

Weekend getaways in Mpumalanga Blyde river

The nature reserve spans over 290 km² and is home to abundant animal life, picturesque viewpoints, excellent hiking trails, and an array of adventure-packed activities for thrill-seekers. Hiking, horse riding, white water rafting, kloofing, hot-air ballooning, fly-fishing, and biking are just some of the fun things to do here. But if you just want to take it easy, book yourself into one of the private lodges so that you can spend a few days immersed in nature.

2. Sudwala Caves, Mpumalanga

If you’re looking for an exciting weekend getaway in Mpumalanga, look no further than the Sudwala Caves. These remarkable underground caverns are believed to be the oldest in the world, and date all the way back to 240 million years ago! As you explore these dramatic labyrinths of chambers and passageways, you’ll marvel at their ancient beauty and learn more about how they formed over the ages. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventurer, or history buff, a visit to the Sudwala Caves is sure to thrill and amaze you. So if you’re looking for a fun weekend activity in this beautiful province of South Africa, don’t miss out on this unmissable attraction!

The guides share their knowledge with visitors as they move through the cave’s open chambers and down the 150-meter drop and through the 600-meter length of open chambers in about an hour. The most impressive part of the Sudwala Caves is the PR Owen Hall, which is a round room that is 70 metres wide and 37 metres high. It was named after Philippus Rudolf Owen, who bought the farm where the caves are, Sudwalaskraal, in 1965 and opened them to the public as a tourist attraction.

People have said that this amphitheatre has amazing acoustics, and many singers, orchestras, and bands have performed there for audiences of up to 500 people sitting down. The trip is hard work because you have to crawl through tight spaces, wade through water, and climb over rocks, but the rewards will be worth it!

3. Graskop Gorge Lift, Mpumalanga

The Graskop Gorge Lift is the first of its kind in South Africa and offers the perfect point to stop off along the Panorama Route.

Weekend getaways in Mpumalanga - Graskop Gorge Lift

Your adventure starts when you ride down a specially designed viewing elevator that can hold up to 26 people and drop off the top of a grassy cliff. It makes its way 51.1 metres down the side of the cliff and into the verdant mountain forest below. Along the forest trails that are 500 metres long and across the streams, you will find an extensive network consisting of elevated walkways, suspension bridges, and interactive exhibits. Enjoyable, risk-free, and guaranteed to get your heart rate up a little bit.

  • Entrance fee: R30/Adult & Pensioner (17 years and older)
    R20/Child 4 – 16 years (under 4 years for free)
  • Lift Rates (daily multi-ride ticket):
    R205/Adult (17 years and older)
    R140/Child 4 – 16 years (under 4 years for free)
  • Where to Stay: Rustique in Graskop
  • Get Directions

4. God’s Window, Mpumalanga

If you are looking for a weekend getaway destination that offers superb views and plenty of outdoor activities, then look no further than Mpumalanga. With its many game reserves, nature reserves, and hiking trails, as well as its diverse landscape, Mpumalanga is the perfect place to get away from it all and relax in nature. And what could be better than enjoying the view from God’s Window?

Weekend getaways in Mpumalanga - God's Window

A 20-minute walk takes you through a lush forest to God’s Window for endless views as far as Mozambique. Picture: Teagan Cunniffe.

The incredible views that can be had from this vantage point, both of the escarpment and the valley that lies below it, are the primary reason why it is considered to be so unique. The landscape is absolutely stunning, consisting as it does of rolling hills of emerald green that seem to go on forever, towering cliffs covered in lush vegetation, and deep ravines. If the weather is clear, you might even be able to make out Maputo in the distance!

Travel tip – Bring cash as cards aren’t accepted.

  • Entrance fee: R20

5. Mac Mac falls, Mpumalanga

A trip to Mpumalanga wouldn’t be complete without a dip into one of the destination’s many pools and waterfalls.

Weekend Getaways in Mpumalanga - Mac Mac Falls

Mac Mac Falls, so nice you say it twice. Credit: Travelground

Last, on our list of 5-weekend getaways in Mpumalanga. Located about 13 kilometres along the R352 outside of the beautiful town of Sabie, you will find Mac Mac Falls, a 70m high waterfall plunging into a tranquil gorge below.  Here you can swim in fresh mountain streams, have a braai, or just relax under the trees. The entrance to Mac Mac falls has a safe parking area with lots of curio stalls for buying novelty items and gifts. This attraction gets very busy, so be sure to get there EARLY to beat the crowds!

READ: 5 waterfalls to visit in Mpumalanga and places to stay under R400

Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit.

  • Entrance fee: R30 per person (cash only)

ALSO READ: Exploring the wonders of Graskop Gorge

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