Mpumalanga, land of the rising sun, home to the lower part of South Africa’s largest National Park and a University. It does not seem like much but before 2014, the second smallest province in terms of land mass did not have an institution of higher learning, meaning all bachelor degrees and its peers had to be sourced elsewhere. But there is more to do in the mountainous terrain of Mpumalanga littered with forests than trying to find five of the most famous animals.
Mpumalanga Wine Show
Fermented grapes and their intoxicating taste aren’t something exclusively reserved for the Western Cape. The Mpumalanga Wine Show not only brings a change of venue to the typical vista of grapes in the background but makes wine much more accessible for people who find journeying down south just a little too far. With more than 250 types of wine to taste and talk to producers of wine directly.
Please note: No under 18s, Babies or Prams allowed.
When: 5 & 6 April 2019
Cost: R200 at the Door
Address: Emnotweni Arena, Riverside Park Ext 1. Nelspruit
Contact: 011 482 5936
Craft Beer and Gin Festival
Brand South Africa is all about celebrating all that is local and lekker, and this particular festival does just that. Enjoy the goodness that comes from barley, hops, rye and wheat. Then after a day filled with responsible drinking, find a place to lay low and prepare for the next day.
When: 13 April 2019
Address: Eish Secunda, Kiewit St, Lake Umuzi Waterfront, Secunda
Contact: 017 634 5980
Forever Loskop Marathon
Mpumalanga has something for everyone, even those of us who have no interest in alcoholic beverages. The Forever Loskop Marathon hosted in Middleburg is a 50km marathon that meanders through suburbs, Highfield terrain that provides a satisfying crunch underfoot and challenges like no other in the form of the Kranspoort Pass 38km in, where it separates the joggers from the runners.
When: 13 April 2019 (6:00AM)
Address: Loskop Nature Reserve, Damwal Complex, Loskop
Humala River Lodge
Kruger National Park feeling a little to mainstream for you, but still in the mood to see wild animals do their thing? Well then, the Songimvelo Game Reserve is the place to be. Not only does it have countless of amazing animals that are overlooked because of five particular animals but it also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the world’s oldest rock art. All of this and more can be enjoyed when you book a stay at Humala River Lodge located within the game reserve.
Cost: Dependant on package
Address: Songimvelo Game Reserve
Contact: 010 007 3620
The Thirsty Bartender
Sometimes it’s not about events or festivals or even the wildlife, and more about finding a new place to explore with your friends and party up a storm. As far as nightlife goes, Nelspruit/Mbombela is the place to be. This is it a bias, but a quick google search will bring up all the places to dance up a sweat and chances are, a majority of them are based in the land of the man-made rainforest. Such as the Thirsty bartender.
Cost: Dependant on the event
Address: Chief Mgiyeni Khumalo Drive 11
Contact: 076 674 5536
Demacon MTB Series
The Demacon tours Mpumalanga over February and May, providing a thrilling race each month that builds upon the action of the previous one. Allowing riders and spectators alike to witness the best skill when they face off against the elements. Catch the 3rd leg of the Demacon MTB series in Dullstroom, with luxurious accommodation venues and plenty of things to do in Dullstroom. Proving that there’s more to this town than fish.
When: 27 April 2019
Cost: R60-R250 depending on race
Situated in the heart of Garden Route, Sedgefield is a scenic and serene town where you can slow down to soothe your soul with its placid pace and breathtaking beaches. Breathe in its southern breeze and let your spirit swirl with satisfaction.
Sedgefield is South Africa’s very own “Slow Town”. It received this status in 2010 after effortlessly meeting the slow movement standards of Cittaslow. It connects with its already existing concept of conservation beyond boundaries. The town continues to improve the quality of life by living a slow stressfree life, taking up less space, conserving nature, consuming fresh local produce and engaging in environmentally friendly practices.
Sedgefield is located between the Goukamma Nature Reserve and the Wilderness National park. What makes it perfect for nature lovers is the electrifying blue Indian ocean on one side and the greenery of Groenvlei lake on the other side. It offers a diverse set of activities for nature lovers, photographers and adventurers. Visitors can have the time of their lives on various beaches, sand dunes, watching sunsets, going on hiking trails and getting an adrenalin rush from paragliding activities. Here are the top 4 must do activities;
1. Gerickes Point
Gaze in awe at Gerickes point. This vast beach is rich in history that dates the 1960s when fishermen used to arrive with their day’s catch. If you look closely, you can still find some boating remains. Walk along this golden sandy shore at low tide and see its mesmerising sea life. Fascinate yourself with some of South Africa’s highest fossil dunes that decorate the beach. You can also sit on its calm shores and gaze up as paragliders add colour to the azure sky of this picturesque location.
A perfect escape for thrill seekers in this town is paragliding. Glide through the air and experience heavenly views of the vast horizon. FlyTime Paragliding offers electrifying tandem and motorised-tandem flights for you to soar freely over and above Sedgefield.
4. Myoli Beach
One of the local Sedgefield secrets is their golden seashore with clear waters and exquisite views. It is one of the top wave riding beaches along this coast and is perfect for surfers, kite surfers and stand-up paddlers. You can also cast your eye across the sea to spot dolphins and whales from their observation platform. It’s also a great place to loosen up little, sip on some cocktails and try exotic foods at nearby restaurants, beach bars, and a good selection of holiday accommodation.
5. Sedgefield slow festival
The Sedgefield Slow festival is a celebration for people of all ages to participate in together. Easter in this town pumps vibrancy into veins of everyone from children to the elderly because of the exciting activities ranging from glow in the dark golf tournaments, slow bike competitions, Trail races, water sports to intense potjiekos competitions and so much more. The town is filled with a sense of vibrancy from the sound of joyous laughter, enthusiastic cheers, the delicious aroma of traditional foods, and a colourful crowd, that will make you appreciate life a little more.
Sedgefield is a town suitable to escape from busy city life and settle for a more peaceful and calm time. It’s ideal for a weekend getaway or to settle and call home. It has all the aspects of a great town and a wide selection of accommodation right in front of the beach from luxury apartments to retirement resorts. This laid back beauty is where quality and simplicity triumph over quantity and complication. Sedgefield is indeed one of the best places to stay in and experience the slow stay in life.
The town consistently lives in harmony with its wonderful natural environment. Furthermore, the Cittaslow criteria have inscribed values that aspire to create a quality of life for all.