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Lowveld Adventure

Kruger Lowveld  Activities

The Kruger Lowveld region is as well known for its spectacular beauty and adventure activities as it is for the Kruger National Park and its game viewing potential. Boasting the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon, the Lowveld National Botanical Gardens, the Shangana Cultural Village, Chimp Eden, Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Centre, Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre and the Geo Trail, the area abounds with things to do and you can spend days exploring this magical part of the world on a once in a life time adventure holiday.

Historical sites and villages, old wagon routes and monuments aplenty mark the lives of the characters that came to Mpumalanga seeking their fortune. Explore the home of Jock of the Bushveld, the mining towns of Pilgrim's Rest and Barberton - with Africa's first stock exchange – and learn about some of these picturesque and colourful chunks of history.

In Mpumalanga, you will find something to appeal to everyone in your party - regardless of age and fitness levels.  We are happy to book all activities on your behalf but recommend that you use your own vehicle to explore the area. Private tours can be arranged on request. Prices are available upon request.  Please book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.

All of the places of interest listed below are within easy driving distance of umSisi House.

But don't forget that umSisi House has 10 kilometres of walking trails in the Jock of the Bushveld Conservancy to explore.

Lowveld Adventure Highlights

  • 4X4 Adventures
  • Abseiling Adventures
  • Big Swing
  • Chimp Eden
  • Elephant Whispers and The Elephant Sanctuary
  • Fly-fishing
  • Gold Panning
  • Helicopter Flight over the Blyde River Canyon
  • Hiking and Walking Trails of the Panorama Route
  • Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Centre
  • Horse Back Trails
  • Hot-Air Ballooning with 'Balloons over Africa
  • Lowveld Botanical Gardens
  • Luxury Canoeing
  • Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
  • Mountain-Biking
  • Paragliding
  • Quad-Biking Adventures
  • Silk Farm and Weavery
  • Sudwala Caves
  • The Crystal Tour
  • Trout Fishing
  • White Water Rafting
  • Skyway Trails
  • 4X4 Adventures

4x4 Adventures

There are many scenic routes that can be enjoyed by the more adventurous seeking places 'off the beaten track' or alternatively River Wild run exciting day courses for the absolute novice or the seasoned 4x4 enthusiast. You can either take your own vehicle or use one of theirs. The course includes 4x4 instruction in the morning, lunch and practical application in the afternoon.

Contact: River Wild on 013 733 3366 / 6099 or visit

Abseiling Adventures

Abseiling adventurers are exposed to scenically beautiful areas and challenging rock faces. There are many sites in Hazyview, Blyde River Canyon, Nelspruit and Berlin Falls to choose from.

Contact: 082 463 2334 or visit

Big Swing

Conquer your fear at an altitude of 1493 meters above sea level and freefall at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour on one of the world's highest gorge swings. Solo or tandem swings can be arranged. Alternatively the high-wire ('foefie slide') option offers a gentler horizontal glide 135 meters above the ground. You can also enjoy a 60 meter abseil at your own vertical pace. Drinks with a view are served chilled at the multi-tiered Edge Bar to quench your first after you've climbed up 442 steps!

Contact: Trips SA 013 7671886 / 013 767 1886

Chimp Eden

Set on a 1000 hectare game reserve, Chimpanzee Eden is a home to chimpanzees that have been misplaced from their natural habitat. The world renowned Jane Goodall Institute has made this tranquil venue their South African sanctuary and has committed itself to the rescue and care of chimpanzees in need of refuge. Being the first, and only, chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, this venue will be able to bring the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education, tourism and modern technology. Entering the reserve, a mere 15 km from the bustling city of Nelspruit, visitors can expect to be captivated by the beautiful bush surroundings with most of the natural game species roaming the reserve.

The guided Chimpanzee Tour is approximately 1 ½ hours in duration. Tours are held daily 10am, 12pm and 2pm while feeding times are at 10am and 2pm

Contact: 087 806 4909 or visit

Elephant Whispers

Elephant Whispers is an Elephant Interaction and Safari Venue located on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview. Lindiwe, the youngest, is Elephant Whispers' much loved female. Medwa, Andile, Shamwari and Ziziphus are the 'teenagers', and Tembo, the six ton behemoth heads up the Elephant Whispers' herd. Tours on offer include:

    • an hour's interaction
    • early morning wake-up, brush down, and an hour's interaction

All of our elephants were rescued from planned culling operations in local game reserves, but given a second chance, now work together with their handlers in total harmony.

Contact: 013 737 7876 or visit

Elephant Sanctuary

The Elephant Sanctuary provides a safe haven for elephants and offers a unique platform for guest education and interaction. All programs are guest and elephant driven, which means the most important part of the operation is to ensure happy elephants and satisfied guests. The close encounter with elephants you experience at The Elephant Sanctuary truly is one of a kind. The Elephant Sanctuary is a family orientated operation catering for both young and old. They focus on education through interaction, so you will not only learn a lot about elephants, but also get to touch, feel, feed and walk trunk-in-hand with these magnificent animals. Elephants are highly intelligent and delightful – when meeting them you will discover that each one has a different character, personality and temperament. Tours on offer include:

    • Elephant brush-downs
    • Elephant trunk-in-hand programme
    • Sundowner Elephant experience
    • Extreme Elephant experience

Contact: 013 737 6609 / 079 624 9436 or visit


The Sabie Trout Angling Club stock 7km of the Sabie River as well as parts of the Blyde River with rainbow and brown trout to supplement the natural breeding population of trout in these rivers. The Sabie river is arguably the best river fly-fishing venue for trout on public waters in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. Strictly fly-fishing tackle and artificial flies only.

Contact: Andrew Kanaris on 083 966 5089

Gold Panning

The first pioneers feverishly panned for alluvial gold in the rivers and streams of the region - some made fortunes, others lost their boots. Re-live the gold fever at the Diggings in Pilgrim's Rest. Purchase a ticket at the Museum in Pilgrim's for a conducted tour and then try your hand at this popular pastime that has been polished to a fine art by some.

Contact: Sherry Goodwin on 082 522 1958

Helicopter Flight over the Blyde River Canyon

This is an exhilarating one-hour flight that swoops over deep and mysterious gorges, through lush valleys bursting with vegetation and color. The Jetranger will linger above roaring rivers and cascading waterfalls giving you time for spectacular photographic opportunities.

Contact: 082 490 8202 or 082 368 4159
Opening hours: This is a one hour flight by appointment only.

Hiking and Walking Trails of the Panorama Route

1. Jock of the Bushveld / Fairyland (8 kilometers)

This is a 3 hour circular trail starting and finishing at the Graskop Holiday Resort. It passes through montane grassveld and the weirdly shaped rocks of the Fairyland Forest as well as Sir Percy Fitzpatrick's (author of Jock of the Bushveld) overnight camp to the edge of the escarpment overlooking the Pinnacle Gorge.

2. Belvedere Day Walk (8 kilometers)

This walk starts at Bourke's Luck Potholes and descends into the canyon to meander through a lush riverine forest, where exotic birds (such as the Knysna Lourie and Narina Trogon) are found and is one of the most satisfying walks in the region. It ends at the old Belvedere Hydro Electric Power Station - the largest hydro electric power station in the southern hemisphere in the 1900's.

3. Adventura Blydepoort (2 to 5 kilometers)

This resort has three, well laid out and signposted walks known as the Kadishi, Leopard and Guinea Fowl trails.

4. Overnight Hikes

There are a number of 2 to 5 day walks in the area.

Contact: Safcol Ecotourism on 012 481 3615

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

The centre conducts unique research on endangered species such as cheetah (including the king cheetah), African wild dogs and lion. Tours of the Centre start with an informative video presentation where interesting background information on the animals, the research being conducted and the progress of the project is presented. An experienced guide will then accompany you on a tour of the Centre where the highlights will include the viewing of more than 60 hand-reared cheetahs, the vulture restaurant, wild dogs and the rare Barbary lion. A walk with Jabulani the elephant is also an optional extra. After the tour you can enjoy a light meal and refreshments in the tea garden or visit the curio shop.

Contact: 015 793 1633 or visit

Horse Back Trails

Kaapsehoop Horse Trails wind through the Berlin Forest above the quaint gold mining village of Kaapsehoop. Overnight rides are also available. Kaapsche Hoop (as more correctly spelt in High Dutch) is set out between large natural clearings in the rock fields near the top of the escarpment overlooking the lush De Kaap Valley situated some 800 meters below with distant views towards Barberton and Nelspruit. A pub lunch afterwards is highly recommended.

Contact: 013 734 4995 / 082 774 5826 or visit

Horse Whispers

Situated just outside of Hazyview, and considerably closer to umSisi House than Kaapsehoop, is the Sandford Conservancy where outrides of between 1 and 2 hours are on offer to both beginners and the more adventurous horse rider.  The outrides traverse scenic valleys and woodland forests throughout the conservancy.  Moonlight rides, sundowner rides and picnic rides are also on offer.  Enjoy the thrill of riding well-trained, home-bred polo ponies.

Contact : 013 737 7876 or visit

Lowveld Botanical Gardens

Located in Nelspruit this beautiful 159 hectare garden dominated by rugged, rocky river scenery is home to over 600 naturally occurring plant species and a further 2000 that have been introduced to the garden. There is a also a charming tea garden.

Contact: 013 752 5531

Luxury Canoeing

Set off on a guided and relaxed early morning paddle, which culminates in a champagne breakfast or opt for the relaxing, late afternoon paddle with wine and cheese. This is a relaxing way to spend a spectacular Mpumalanga day.

Contact: 082 463 2334 or visit

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

The Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is a haven for the rehabilitation and care of sick and injured animals and birds. Wildlife is brought to the centre from all corners of South Africa, and once healthy enough are re-introduced into their natural environment. There are, however, some species which have been rehabilitated but due to the long-term effect of their injuries stand no chance of survival in the wild. These animals and birds are kept on the premises and used in educational tours. The centre is open to the public twice daily Monday to Saturday. Sunday tours are only held at 15h00, over long weekends or during the school holidays. The tours start at 09h30 and 15h00 and last approximately 2 hours. There is also a tea garden at the centre.

Contact: 015 795 5236 or visit


Enjoy the fresh mountain air and lush vegetation on an invigorating bike ride.

Contact: 082 463 2334 or visit


Enjoy a tandem flight over the beautiful Schagen valley from Mount Carmel with the Lowveld Slope Soaring Club (LSSC).

Contact: Anton on 083 462 1616

Perry's Bridge Reptile Park is dedicated to the conservation of reptiles. The enclosures are designed to mimic the animals natural environment, providing a more enjoyable lifestyle for the animals and a providing greater viewing pleasure for our visitors. Children will also love to meet the three potbellied pigs (PumPum, Peaches and Pumpkin), their goat friends (Daisy and Gandalf), the peacocks (Letitia and Lancelot), as well as a variety of ducks and geese. The gardens are a bird haven attracting many of the local species.

Daily demonstrations are held at 11am and 3pm while crocodile feeding happens Sundays at 2pm Open from 10am until 5pm all week

Contact: 013 737 7680 or visit

Quad-Biking Adventures

Participate in a guided eco-safari and enjoy the challenge and fun of riding 300cc or 400cc quads on guided bush, farm and forest trails. Most of the trails are situated on the eastern escarpment of Mpumalanga.

Contact: 082 463 2334 or visit

Silk Farm and Weavery

South Africa's only working silk farm is situated between Hazyview and Graskop. Guided tours are offered Monday to Saturday. Visitors are invited to see the whole process from the silk worm eggs, worms, spinning of cocoons to the actual processing of the silk. A visit will prove to be a memorable experience.

Contact: 013 767 1665 or visit

Sudwala Caves

The Sudwala Caves lie in the heart of the Mankele Mountains and are considered to be some of the oldest dolomite caves in the world. You can either take a guided tour through the main caves, or book to do the Crystal Tour.

The Crystal Tour

This is a specialised event for the more adventurously-minded. The tour involves an organised excursion under the guidance of specialist caving guides into the bowels of the earth - approximately 2000 metres are covered. The tour culminates on the outskirts of the crystal chamber with its impressive aragonite crystals. It is a once in a lifetime experience and the route is moderately difficult - meaning that it involves stretches of crawling through tunnels and watery patches. The tour lasts for approximately 5 hours.

Contact: Sudwala Caves on 013 733 4152 or visit

Trout Fishing

Spend an afternoon or morning fishing for trout at Misty Mountain.

Contact: 013 764 3377 or visit

White Water Rafting

In the Lowveld you can raft on the Sabie, Blyde or Olifants Rivers. The experience is fun and exciting, and is designed not only for pure adrenaline, but also for exposure to the riverine ecology. The awesome beauty and proliferation of bird life make this an unforgettable experience. There are several operators in the area who run either day or overnight trips. Different levels of experience are required for the different options.

Contact: 082 463 2334 or visit

Skyway Trails

Experience the freedom of gliding over one of the last remaining natural forested valleys along the Sabie River adjacent to the Kruger National Park. The aerial cable trail takes you down into the valley basin, stopping along the way on a number of elevated platforms to admire the natural vegetation, birdlife and the views of the forest floor below. Each section of the trail varies in length from 70 to 230 meters linking a total of 10 platforms, making this the longest cable trail in Africa (1,2km). The trail has been designed and built to South African civil engineering standards and all the equipment has been designed specifically for this activity and tried and tested worldwide. All groups are escorted by qualified guides.

Contact: 013 737 8374 or visit




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