The Lowveld is aptly referred to as the adventure capital of South Africa! With so many attractions and things to do it is easy to see why this is a popular holiday destination for families, especially over winter school holidays due to the warmer climate!
Apart from the Kruger National Park and the Panorama Route (which in itself is a great experience), the Lowveld offers a big variety of family-friendly outdoor activities and places to visit which young and old will enjoy. The region’s moderate temperatures in winter is a much welcomed escape from the highveld’s cold temperatures.
We’ve put together a few highlights of family-friendly activities to enjoy in the Lowveld:
Situated within the beautiful 1,000 hectare Umhloti Nature Reserve, 15 kilometres outside Nelspruit (Mbombela), the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) South Africa Chimpanzee Sanctuary is home to chimps that have been misplaced from their natural habitats in Africa. Chimp Eden was established in 2006 and is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa. Visitors have a unique opportunity to see chimpanzees in semi-wild enclosures and witness their unique personalities whilst learning about the importance of how we can all work together to save these animals from extinction!
• Chimpanzee Tours
30km from Nelspruit (Mbombela)
Kaapsehoop is situated in the heart of South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province in the Lowveld. While the region commonly serves as the main gateway to South Africa’s prestigious Kruger National Park, there’s much more to do and see!
Kaapsehoop is a quaint little town that offers beautiful views and a rich history dating back to South Africa’s gold rush period. The town’s wild horses roam freely and if you are fortunate enough to see them, it will undoubtedly be the highlight of your visit to this quirky town.
• Kaapsehoop Horse Trails
• Walks and view points
35km from Nelspruit (Mbombela)
A stream of fresh, cool air from an unknown source permeates the spacious corridors, maintaining them at an even temperature of 17°C all year round.
The Sudwala cavern complex is dominated by a spectacular chamber, with a lofty corridor measuring 150 metres to its centre. The amphitheatre is 70 metres in diameter, and 37 metres high to the peak of a dome-like feature in its roof. It has natural ‘air conditioning’ and makes a wonderful performing arts venue.
• Crystal tour
• Fish Spa
• The butterfly effect
• The butterfly dome
• Sudwala dinosaur park
• Sudwala Zip line
Experience nature supercharged at Skyway Trails’ adventure park in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, home to the province’s longest Aerial Cable Trail and a world-class, tree-top Rope Park adventure. Both activities are ideal for outdoor family fun, corporate fun days and team-building events. Suitable for young and old alike. The Aerial Cable Trail is Mpumalanga’s longest aerial cable trail. The rope park consists of two courses and 35 exciting obstacles, including balancing beams, rope bridges, ‘spider webs’ and a 50-metre zipline.
Skyway Trails’ Aerial Cable Trail is set in one of the last remaining natural forested valleys along the Sabie River, adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Ideally situated on the northern side of the river, and predominantly south-facing, it is well protected from the northern sun. As a result, it remains relatively moist throughout the year. The valley forms a steep bowl that has preserved elements of true Afromontane forest and boasts a number of endangered plant species (Breonadia silcina, Pterocarpus anglolensis), including a rarely found orchid (Acampe praemorsa), which has now become the only second record of its existence in the Mpumalanga Province.
• Aerial Cable Trail
• Rope Adventure Park
Induna Adventures is a one stop adventure centre situated just outside Hazyview in the Sabie River Valley and forms part of the beautiful Panorama Route. All the adventures are guided by professional guides and depart daily from the Adventure Centre.
• Tubing / Geckoing
• Quad Biking Adventure Trails
• White River Rafting
At Elephant Whispers visitors can enjoy an enlightening interactive elephant experience, meet the five magnificent African elephants and learn about their extraordinary behaviour and physiology, observing first-hand how the elephants have developed trust in the kindness and care they receive from the team.
Visitors to the Centre experience life-changing moments when they encounter the elephants, the Elephant Whispers Team work hard to translate this into an understanding of the need for long-term, sustainable wildlife conservation, and elephant conservation in particular.
For those seeking an enjoyable meaningful experience, an elephant interaction at Elephant Whispers is a memorable and touching activity not to be missed. The mighty elephant is the world’s largest living land animal, the mere sight of these impressive tusked creatures inspires awe and respect.
• Elephant Interaction
• Elephant Rides
• Walking with the elephants
35km from Lydenburg
Enjoy the ride of your life and ‘excite your soul’ on Misty Mountain’s Long Tom Toboggan. Feel the wind in your hair and the thrill in your belly when you wind and whoosh around Mpumalanga’s Long Tom Pass mountains on the Long Tom Toboggan, the longest toboggan run in Africa with an impressive 1.7 km track. Simply hop on board your Long Tom Toboggan cart and prepare to take a deep breath when you reach a speed of 45 kilometres an hour during your three-minute ride, as you twist and turn through wild flowers, open grassland and pine forests.
• Long Tom Toboggan
• Long Tom Scootours
• Guided quad biking
• Hiking trails
• Mountain biking trails
The Graskop Gorge Lift Company is centrally located on the Panorama Route just outside of Graskop on the R533 towards Hazyview.
The viewing lift takes visitors 51m down the face of the gorge into the indigenous forest below, where wooden walkways & suspension bridges make up a 600m trail.
Interactive exhibits and interpretation boards enable visitors to explore the diverse life that thrives under the dense canopy of trees. Enjoy the waterfall and meandering stream.
The Big Swing is one of the world’s highest cable gorge swings and launches off the top of a waterfall. The experience is very different to a bungee-jump because participants freefall for 70m before the jump rope pulls them into a high-speed arch and they swing from one side of the gorge to the other.
• The viewing lift and forest walk
• Suspension bridge
• The Big Swing
The Panorama Route
The Panorama Route in Mpumalanga is one of the most scenic parts of South Africa and is a popular destination for visitors to the Lowveld.
The route runs along the geological extension of the Drakensberg and is centered around the Blyde River Canyon.
Highlights on the Panorama Route include:
• The Mac Mac Falls
• God’s window
• Lisbon and Berlin falls
• Bourke’s Luck Potholes
• Blyde River Canyon
• The three Rondawels
Innibos Laeveld Nasionale Kunstefees attracts thousands of people of every year. This award winning festival is back in full force this year for the first time since Covid.
The festival runs from 29 June – 2 July 2023 and whilst this year promises to be full of fresh new experiences, visitors can still look forward to all the activities they’ve come to know and love at Innibos over the years. This year’s program includes a huge variety of music-and-theatre productions in various locations across the city, stunning performances by the country’s best artists on the main stage as well as other stages at the festival grounds, a variety of exhibitors, art and art workshops, and of course all the amusement rides you can stomach!
The “Wingerd Kuiertuin” is a new addition to the festival grounds where visitors will be able to taste and buy wines from a big selection of wineries.
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