THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Established in 1926, the Kruger Park Game Reserve is without doubt, one of Africa’s largest and most precious of natural attractions and conservation areas. Almost 20 000 square kilometres of savannah plains, mountains and tropical forests, provide a home to the Big 5 – Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard, as well as a multitude of antelope and other large and small mammals.
Birdlife is also prolific and fantastic, with almost 500 species, including Eagles, Owls, Storks, Vultures, Bustards, Hornbills, Kites, the large Ostrich and South Africa’s national bird – the Secretary Bird. Muluwa Lodge is an easy 45-minute drive to the “Numbi” Gate, which gives you access to the southern section of the park, including the Skukuza, Malelane, Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge regions.
THE PANORAMA ROUTE
Running almost parallel to the western boundary of the Kruger Park, the Panorama Route features many fascinating natural and historical attractions. In the north, the Blyde River Canyon meanders deeply like a mystical serpent, venting its thoughts down various spectacular waterfalls. Also known as the Motlatse Canyon, this is the third largest canyon on earth, but boasts the title of the largest “green” canyon on earth. The canyon is a remarkable geological feature, with “God’s Window” providing a vantage point across many miles, “Bourke’s Luck Potholes” showing off what centuries of forceful water can do to the sandstone bedrock, and the “Three Rondavels” giving us the names of the wives of an ancient African Bapedi king.
The area is steeped in parts of South African history, in particular the 1900 Anglo Boer War, which becomes obvious when visiting the “Lom Tom” Victorian canon. The small towns of Lydenburg, Sabie, Pilgrim’s Rest and Graskop also offer fantastic insights into the important history of the area, from the “gold rush” in 1873 to the heritage architecture prevalent through many buildings and monuments.
THE SUDWALA CAVES
Presumed to be the oldest caves in the world, formed over a period of 3000-million years, the Sudwala caves were home to prehistoric man approximately 1.8 million years ago. They are set in dolomite rock and feature microbial fossils. The caves were also used by the Swazi people as shelter during various power struggles for the throne. More recently, the main chamber of the caves has played host to live music and singing concerts.
ACIVITIES IN THE AREA
The Lowveld area of South Africa can be called “the centre of adventure.” Energetic visitors can jump in and go white water rafting, speed up and go zip-lining and quad biking, fall off a mountain with the Graskop Big Swing or fall out and try sky-diving.
The more relaxed visitor can soar with the eagles in a hot air balloon, step out on numerous walking and hiking trails, take in the aromas of the Lowveld Botanical Gardens or marvel at the ancient rock formations of the Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail.
Interactive souls can engage with the Chimpanzees at the Jane Goodall Chimp Eden or marvel at the big-eye characters within the Hazyview Reptile Park.