The Highlands Meander Region of Mpumalanga is one of its best-kept secrets.
A unique swathe of Mpumalanga set high on the escarpment and unlike any other area in the province. A region of waving grasses that go on for as far as they eye can see, of craggy escarpment walls, stunning mountain passes, thundering waterfalls, enchanting forests and crystal clear streams.
For many people the Highlands Meander is the ‘Gateway to the Lowveld’, a landmark to pass on the route between Gauteng and Nelspruit, somewhere to drive through rather than to stop and visit. For those who are willing to venture off the N4 and explore this undervalued region, a host of incredible sites and wonderful attractions await.
Perfectly situated, less than two hours’ drive from Gauteng and just over 30 minutes from Nelspruit, there is no excuse not to plan a day trip or weekend away to this fabulous Highlands retreat.
The route itself is a 4.5 hour round trip, through the Highlands Meander towns of eMakhazeni (formerly Belfast), Dullstroom, eNtokozweni (formerly Machadodorp), Emgwenya (formerly Waterval Boven), Waterval Onder and Schoemanskloof. The more adventurous will be rewarded for taking a little detour to the town of Tonteldoos (it was recently placed within the boundaries of Limpopo, but remains very much ‘Highlands at Heart’!).
It can be driven as a circular route starting at either eMakhazeni/Belfast, for Gauteng locals, or where the N4 splits and the road goes to either Emgwenya/Waterval Boven or Schoemanskloof, for people coming from the Lowveld.
The 284km drive might seem long when you look at it on a map, but with such wide-ranging and wonderful scenery plus plenty of interesting as well as tasty places to stop en route, the kilometres will flash by!
The Highlands Meander is truly a treasure chest just waiting to be explored, with: landscapes that would look more at home on the moon, scenery straight from the pages of fairy tales, animals and plants that are unique to the region, and a wealth of activities and attractions that will keep the whole family happy! It is a region perfectly designed for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike, with the space and tranquillity for those looking for quiet and solitude alongside a whole host of exhilarating activities for those wanting fun and excitement.