Often referred to as the gateway to Mpumalanga, the Cultural Heartlands, is a beautiful introduction to gorgeous Mpumalanga, particularly for those travelling from the Limpopo and Gauteng Provinces. Famous for its indigenous Ndebele Tribes, the Cultural Heartlands is a destination of choice if you are looking for a holiday filled with culture, R&R, wildlife and history.
Comprising the towns of eMalahleni, Kraanspoort, Middelburg, Ogies and Stoffberg and the renowned Loskop Dam, a drive through the Cultural Heartlands offers a variety of entertainment and interest. Whether it is wildlife you’re searching for, expansive dams, grasslands or mountainous vistas, we’ve got you covered!
Home to the Ndebele people, the striking traditional dress of this long revered tribe and painted houses, will leave you in awe, and intrigued to find out more about South Africa’s Rainbow Nation. A keen mix of culture, history, wildlife, agriculture and adventure, the Cultural Heartlands has something for all.
Looking at this region from a landscape perspective, it is the perfect combination of Highveld grasslands, mountainous bushveld, dams, rivers and diverse habitats. The plant life is home to a wide array of South African vegetation, one of these being the Lanatus Cycad.
If you’re looking to visit the Cultural Heartland, here is a brief overview of the towns you can explore:
Formerly known as “Witbank”, eMalahleni means “Place of coal” and was founded in 1903 during the coal rush. With the formation of the Pretoria/Delgoa Bay railway line, the town took off.
View a map of eMalahleni here.
A natural home to roaming game, mountain bike trails and hiking routes, Kraanspoort is the ideal destination for the adventurous at heart. A golf estate, consisting of 9 holes, is situated perfectly for those in need of knocking a few balls. However if relaxing around a beautiful dam is what you’re looking for, Loskop dam, only 5km’s away, never disappoints!
View a map of Kraanspoort here.
Originally formed in 1864, Middelburg only received its name in 1872 - for being perfectly positioned in the middle of Gauteng and the gold mining hub of Lydenburg.
Steeped in cultural and historical richness, Middelburg is the ideal destination for those looking to learn more about South Africa’s fascinating history, including the Anglo Boer war and World War 2.
If you’re adventurous at heart, outdoor activities abound! Whether it’s hiking, abseiling, 4x4 adventures or horse riding, the nearby areas of Loskop Dam, Buffalo Gorge, Avontuur Valley, Pienaardam and Middelburg Dam will have you covered.
View a map of Middelburg here.
A beautiful old town, Ogies was originally named so based on the farm it was built on - Ogiesfontein.
Currently Ogies is in the centre of the largest electricity producing area in South Africa. It still holds buildings of old, such as two churches, that are well worth visiting if you’re stopping by.
View a map of Ogies here.
If you’re coming from the direction of the Limpopo province, Stoffberg will be one of the first towns you pass when entering Mpumalanga. Should you drive through the centre of town, you’ll encounter a huge grain silo, a landmark and symbol of the town’s rich agricultural pedigree.
Surrounding areas of Stoffberg offer much beauty to behold, a visit well worth it for the scenery you’ll encounter.
View a map of Stoffberg here.
One of the most beautiful dams in South Africa, Loskop Dam is situated on the banks of the Olifants River, 48 Kilometers North of Middelburg.
Surrounded by a majestic mountain range and home to wildlife such as leopard, crocodile, hippo and more, a game viewing expedition by boat is a spectacular experience and one not to miss!
Many annual events, such as marathons and angling competitions, take place around the dam - so pencil in your adventurous side, and head to Loskop Dam!
View a map of Loskop Dam here.