The beauty of Mpumalanga is the variety of places you can visit, from lush green areas, to adventurous trails and delicious spots to eat - Mpumalanga really does spoil you with different places to enjoy! Perhaps one of the most enjoyable things to do if you’re visiting Mpumalanga, is take a trip along the Highveld Heritage Route. Take a journey with us as we explore this specific route in the place of the rising sun, and all it has to offer!
The Highveld Heritage Route
If you choose to focus on the Highveld Heritage Route as your next Mpumalanga destination of choice, you’re in for a fascinating exploration. Not only will your trip be packed with cultural interest and a lot of South Africa history, you will also be spoiled with an air of mystery and of course that much needed relaxation.
History of the Highveld Heritage Route
This special Heritage Route in Mpumalanga is made up of 14 towns, namely: Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Balfour, Breyten, Carolina, Chrissiesmeer, eManzana (formerly Badplaas), Ermelo, Hendrina, Mkhondo (formerly Piet Retief), Morgenzon, Perdekop, Standerton, Val and Wakkerstroom. A large number of these towns were significant in the history of South Africa and how our country came to be. Visiting these towns will give you a great history lesson on South Africa!
Natural Attractions on the Highveld Heritage Route
The highveld’s natural attractions include the Bakoni settlement ruins, geological rock formations and San rock art, as well as South African War (also known as the Second Anglo-Boer War) battle fields and farmlands. Take a trip a little further and you’ll meet up with the Batwa valley, where you’ll find the giant mushroom rock, early tools, soot-blackened cave walls and rock art that speaks poignantly of a San people called the Tlou E'Tie who once lived here before the?assegais?of the warring Nguni tribes drove them out. Culture and history all rolled into one fascinating adventure!
Anglo Boer War Battlefields on the Highveld Heritage Route
There is so much to be learnt about this time in history, where the two Boer Republics (Orange Free State and the South African Republic) fought against the British Empire, over its influence in Southern Africa. The war itself took place from 1899 to 1902. One of the key places to visit would be the Berg en Dal Monument - a large portion of the Anglo Boer war was fought in this region - taking a tour of the space with knowledgeable tourism suppliers is advised, to take in the full learnings of this time in history.
Town Highlights on the Highveld Heritage RouteThere are a few wonderful towns to visit as you take your time exploring the Highveld Heritage Route. We’ve summed up a few here that may take your fancy.
This quaint town will greet you with gorgeous sandstone houses and an abundance of lakes in the region. Chrissiesmeer is in the centre of what is sometimes referred to as the ‘lake district’ of South Africa. In this region you will find over 270 lakes and pans in a 20km radius!
A warm welcome from the vibrant community of Wesselton awaits you. Take the opportunity of a township tour, before enjoying some R&R and chill time at a local shebeen.
If you’re heading through the Highveld Heritage Route, a stop off in Carolina is always a good idea. Carolina can be found right next to the Komati Gorge Wildlife Reserve as well as the Nooitgedacht Nature Reserve. So if you’re needing a break to get lost in game viewing, bird watching or some outdoor activities - Carolina is for you.
A small town with some cultural heritage dating back to the 1880’s and of Scottish descent, Amsterdam has beautiful, lush green areas, and massive plantations of Gum, Pine and Wattle trees.
So whether it’s a bit of culture and history you’re looking for, or the smell of adventure has you excited, Mpumalanga’s Highveld Heritage Route is waiting for your visit!