1) Cave Diving:
One thing you certainly wouldn’t expect in Mpumalanga is the opportunity to go scuba diving. Yet for those wanting an underwater adventure the Komati Springs Dive Centre on the R38, just outside Badplaas, is the place to go.
This rehabilitated mine with its network of flooded tunnels and open pit provides the perfect playground for swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers alike. First time divers can learn the ropes in the 52m deep quarry pit. With its crystal clear water, it is the ideal location for your first dive. While experienced divers can enjoy the network of flooded tunnels that provide the ideal classroom for those wanting to try deeper, more challenging dives and gain technical dive qualifications.
2) Trout Fishing:
If ever there was an ideal location for a spot of fly fishing then Dawsons Game and Trout Lodge on the R38 between Barberton and Badplaas would be it. Set in 1800 hectares of undulating grasslands amidst the majestic Makhonjwa Mountains, which seem to stretch out and totally surround the lodge. Dawsons gives you the sensation of being totally cut off from the rest of the world.
Their three picturesque trout dams are the perfect place to try your hand at a spot of fly fishing. As the dams are stocked with trout, all year round, so it is almost impossible not to get a bite or at least to get hooked on the sport! For the non-fisherman amongst you the Lodge offers a host of other activities including quad biking, hiking and cycling trails, as well as game drives, making Dawsons the perfect place to escape the hassles of everyday life.
3) Houseboat on Vygeboom Dam
If you are looking for something different, how about spending a night aboard a houseboat? Vygeboom (Fig Tree) Dam is located just outside Badplaas on the R38. Here you can hire a houseboat from OppiDam Experience and spend a glorious night afloat.
Enjoy cruising the dam to find the best ‘sundowner spot’, before mooring up for the night to be entertained by the natural light show as thousands of fire flies descend onto the reed beds to the accompaniment of the frogs chorus. Then wake to the unmistakable calls of fish eagles, the picture perfect scenery and another relaxed day on the water.
Vygeboom dam has something for everyone. Whether it is fishing, canoeing, jet skiing, wake boarding, picnic boating, peddle boats or a simple night afloat you’re looking for, at Vygeboom Dam you can guarantee that the whole family will be entertained.
4) The Pools of the Queen Rose Hiking Trail:
Not only is the Queen Rose Hiking Trail, just outside of Barberton, one of the most scenic in South Africa, it also has some of the best natural pools. Pools, that seems to be perfectly positioned along the hike for walkers to take a quick dip before lunch, or to cool down after particularly steep section of the trail. The only problem is that once you are in them you seldom want to leave!
5) The 14 Streams Quad Bike Trail:
The ‘14 Streams’ tour is, exactly as the name suggests, a river crossing adventure with a beautiful waterfall at the end. It is run by Eco Quad Adventures the route starts at the Oppikoppi Inni Krater Guesthouse in Barberton. This half day tour is also suitable for all levels of quad-biker and will leave you wet, muddy and with a huge smile on your face.
Quad bikes are the perfect way to take in the spectacular scenery and diverse wildlife of this area. They get you closer to the natural flora and fauna than you can in a car, stimulating all your senses. Each river crossing has its own challenges and unique beauty, so you never get tired of it. Once you have completed the trail you will leave wantingto do it again, and again.
Contact details for the Big 5 Water Adventures:
Eco Quad Adventures & OppiDam Houseboats: www.barbertontourism.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | +27 (0)13 712 4512 | +27 (0)82 748 6703
Queen Rose Hiking Trail: email@example.com | +27 (0) 79 180 1488