The Top Ten Cultural Attractions in Mpumalanga
Much like South Africa as a whole, Mpumalanga is a melting pot of cultures. From the sea faring Hindus that arrived over 40,000 years ago and built temples, and astronomic observatories on the mountaintops. To the San and Koi- San who’s rock art is found in the caves all over the Mpumalanga, and the colourful geometric arts of the Ndebele cultural villages.
Modern day Mpumalanga has artists routes, township tours, labyrinths, shopping centres, casinos and the magnificent Mbombela Stadium. The provinces rich culture continues to thrive.
1) The Botshabelo Mission Station and Historical Village
Visit the Botshabelo Mission Station and Historical Village and learn all about Middleburg’s History and Ndebele culture. See Fort Merensky and the Ndebele Village where Ndebele made products such as souvenirs are sold. Look out for the rare Lantus Cycad’s, which bloom beautifully during the summer.
2) Matsamo Cultural Park
The Matsamo Cultural Park is the perfect blend of modern comforts and traditional style and hospitality. Visiting groups are all hosted by a tour guides who entertain guests, and inform them about Swazi culture and the significance of their traditions and customs. The fusion of food, warm, welcoming people, music, and dance makes visiting Matsamo a unique and heart-warming experience.
3) Kaapsehoop Ghost Tours
Take a step into the realm of the paranormal. The small, misty mountaintop town of Kaapsehoop is renowned for its ghosts, including a child who cries out with a bloodcurdling scream and the ghost of a widow who occupies the veranda of the local pub. It is said that this ghost murdered her husband with an axe.
4) Wild about Whiskey
Dullstroom has the largest collection of whiskey in the Southern Hemisphere. Go on a Whiskey Tasting Tour and learn about “the water of life” from three self-confessed whiskey fanatics. Each tour consists of four tots of whiskey and ranges from R140 upwards.
5) Rock Art
Visit the Nkomazi Game Reserve and see the rock art sites that date back more than 300 years. These ancient pieces of rock art depict the spiritual beliefs and lifestyle of the nomadic San People.
6) The Elephant Museum
The Elephant Museum in the Letaba Camp within the Kruger National Park is an innovative museum that captures the history of human and elephant interaction within the park. The Museum also educates visitors on the evolution, biology and behaviour of elephants. Their main showcase piece/s are the tusks of six of the Magnificent Seven, the parks big tuskers.
7) Mbombela Stadium
The Mbombela stadium was built as a venue for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The billion rand Stadium seats 120 000 people and has been nicknamed the giraffe stadium because of the 18 roof supports that resemble giraffes. It is a world-class facility that incorporates The Big Five into its design; which is fitting because of the stadium’s proximity to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Watch a local soccer or rugby match at this magnificent stadium.
8) Shangaan Village
Visit the Xintu Village and learn about Shangaan culture, food and way of life. The centre of the village is a market at which you can buy arts and crafts and sample traditional meals. The village’s most popular event is the Evening Festival in the Chief’s Kraal.
9) Ndebele Village
Groblersdal is a part of the Cultural Heartland and is well known for the multicoloured art of Ndebele culture. You can recognise the Ndebele Tribe by the vibrant symmetrical patterns painted on their homes and their intricate jewellery. The Ndebele Tribe is known for their warm spirit, beautiful beadwork and crafts.
10) The Jane Goodall Institute
Visit the Jane Goodall Institute, for a Guided Tour that teaches you all about the chimpanzees that they have rescued. This tour is an hour long and afterwards you can enjoy refreshments at the restaurant. A tantalising fact about chimpanzees: Chimpanzees are mankind’s closest relatives, and it is said that about 98% of human and chimpanzee DNA sequences are the same.