The Year of the Rising Sun

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Very high up on my favourite destinations in South Africa is Mpumalanga.

I must have been about 10 years old when I recall a long bus ride through the province on the way to a relative living near the Kruger National Park. I remember looking out of the window of the bus in wonder of the vast mountain ranges that we were meandering through.  As a ten year old, a world this perfect looked glorious and yet extremely… unattainable.

Beautiful to look at but never dare to reach out and touch it…

It did not help that I could literally hear the fear in my mother’s breathing who was sitting beside me. You see, my mother hates two things – bad drivers and heights (lol actually she’s an African woman she hates a whole lot but for the purposes of my story we will focus on these two). So it is no wonder that she dreaded the bus ride through the mountains of Mpumalanga but I on the other hand – was right in my element. I love a good view and adventure and that is exactly what the journey between the mountains of Mpumalanga are. I always knew I would be back there – lets just say I had unfinished business with the place. Trust me to deliberately go after things and places that seem unattainable… its what I do. So as we wrapped up the end of 2016 and the squad finally got it together (trust that we weren’t short of any of the drama I touched on recently in my Squad Deep post),  we headed for a roadtrip through Mpumalanga.

10 – year old excitement again! Oh yes!

Mpumalanga
Excited for Mpumalanga

For those who don’t know Mpumalanga is a province in South Africa where the sun rises first. It doesn’t often get a lot of attention which is sad taking that it is a beauty… real Africa is you will. It is serene and yet close enough to Johannesburg to drive down for a weekend yet it is still far away enough for you to truly escape reality for a while. Taking that Mpumalanga means ‘the place of the rising sun’  we knew we had to be there at sunrise to enjoy its glory… however African time laughed at our ambitions. But nonetheless we made it to Sabie in time for breakfast with a view and all the other specialties of Mpumalanga. Everything from Waterfalls to pancakes, small towns and people that look like God kissed them when He was done. Woooh there is something in that water…

Our first stop in Sabie was the Mac-Mac falls which are found along the Panorama Route of Mpumalanga. The Mac-Mac Falls belong to a cluster of lovely waterfalls in Mpumalanga’s Sabie area, on the stunningly scenic Panorama Route. Its twin falls plunge dramatically 70km into the gorge below as rainbows dance over the white spray.” – South African Tourism . After driving through forests and long winding roads we were excited to get our hike on! Okay given, its not such a hike per se but a little voyage to the viewing point.

 

Mac-Mac Falls
Welcome to Mac-Mac Falls
Mac-Mac falls
Notice Board at Mac-Mac Falls Mpumalanga
Mac-Mac Falls
Voyage to the falls

Mac-Mac Falls

View of Mac-Mac Falls

I believe that Mpumalanga South Africa is one of the best routes for a road trip honestly and there is so much see. After our voyage to the Mac-Mac falls viewing point we took the hike back down and made our journey to Graskop town. This little town hosts all the splendor of what you would expect from a small town with a beautiful mountain range to match. We managed to do some shopping (we never need an excuse lol) before we journeyed back on the scenic road to God’s window to make a couple of wishes for 2017.

According to gal, one lady went through the worst misfortune and in the midst of her misfortunate life, she visited the window. She prayed over her life, tossed a coin over her prayer and needless to say one year later she’s happily married and living her dream. Myth or fact – we weren’t going to pass up on the chance of our dreams coming true (or being happily married) so we had to follow suit…

God's Window Mpumalanga
Its now a couple of coins richer

As the last province before you cross over into Mozambique – we spent the remainder of the trip in Xai Xai Mozambique. Bringing the New Year in with a bang which @mgeezy90 captured phenomenally well in the video below.

Give this the Thumbs Up on YouTube when you watch it.

Video by: McGee Gede

Location: Mpumalanga South Africa & Xai Xai Mozambique

Instagram: @mgeezy90 

I think its safe to say that I accomplished what I wanted to in Mpumalanga. I beat the notion that mountains cannot be tackled, that everything is attainable and being high up is not anything to fear. Matter fact – the view is so much better from the top!

 

Here’s to a year of the rising sun – 2017!

Mwa.

 

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  1. Only By Land

    I had never heard of Mpumalanga province, the province where the sun first rises in South Africa. It’s great your mum went with you despite her disliking bad driving and heights. Great pictures of the waterfall, well worth the effort.

  2. Winnie

    The Mac-Mac falls look stunning! I can only imagine the awesome and scenic views you had during your road trip. The place is definitely worth a visit 🙂

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  3. Agnes

    Great video and shows how beautiful South Africa is. I have been wanting to go for a long time now and hopefully can make that dream come true soon. The waterfall is especially wonderful. Nice post 🙂

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  4. Ariane

    Great post with beautiful pics that made me discover Mpumalanga and its mind-blowing views! I think it’s trying to attain the unattainable that makes travelling an adventure! I loved every bit of your post, it’s exactly how I like to look at travelling and life in general! 😉

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  5. Punita Malhotra

    Being such a vast country that it is, how can anyone even try to see al of it…this post makes me think. Such a wonderful trip it sounds. So now i know of two places that are called ‘land of the rising sun’

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  6. Cliodhna Ryan

    I would love to visit Mpumalanga. I travelled along the coast of South Africa last year and went inland as far as Hogsback. I really regretted not spending more time inland as the mountains were just amazing. I’ll hopefully be back soon so will definitely bookmark this for a trip from Johannesburg!

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  7. Charlotte

    South Africa is definitely on my bucket list! Seems as though there are so many wonderful places to visit and the Mac-Mac falls is one of them! Thank you for sharing these great spots!

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  8. Wendy Maes

    South-Africa is such an amazing country. I was in Mpumalanga over 20 years ago (honeymoon) and I loved it. Mac Mac Falls were nice, but I also enjoyed Berlin Falls. I am visiting South-Africa again within 2 months, but now I will only visit the Cape and taste some of your lovely wines.

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      Sindi Girl

      Oh great to here Wendy! I wonder how much Mpumalanga has changes in 20 years… I would like to hear about your experience.
      Cape Town! Yay! Welcome again to SA (in advance)! Its a world class city indeed! While you’re there remember to sneak some time away from the tourists routes thats where all the gems are.

  9. Nina

    I would love to get to South Africa one day! This hike and waterfall look amazing! And to also spend some time in Mozambique sounds awesome too!

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