As a joburg’er who lived in Cape Town for a few years, I was absolutely shocked and strangely triggered by how little Cape Tonians had visited in their own country.
I said it then and I’ll say it again – there is more to South Africa than just the Western Cape!
I lived in Cape Town for four years and will agree it is one of the most beautiful, enchanting and diverse places to adventure through.
Despite this - one of my all-time favourite provinces to visit in South Africa is Mpumalanga – which means “the place where the sun rises” in isiZulu and isiXhosa.
South Africa is ranked the third most biodiverse country in the world, with nine different biomes (vegetation types), which means – and it pains me to say this – you aren’t right when you say, I’ve seen one mountain, so I’ve seen them all.
The mountain ranges in Mpumalanga are completely different to that in Cape Town, or even the Eastern Cape or the Northern Cape.
South Africa has some of the most spectacular and diverse mountain ranges in the world – to me it’s a crime to not visit the ones in the country you were born in if you have the means.
There's loads you can do in Mpumalaga - like go visit the Kruger National Park, the 26km long Blyde River Canyon (that includes epic views of God's Window and the Three Rondavels) or the Sudwala Caves.
But here's what I did during a long weekend at on the most untapped gems in SA - Verlorenkloof.
Located in a secluded valley below the Dullstroom highlands and surrounded by a farming community - it's the perfect peaceful getaway.
It's only a 3 and a half hour drive from Johannesburg.
You can spend you days fishing in the river, hiking the kloofs of the Steenkampsberg and the Dullstroom highlands, mountainbiking off the beaten dirt track or get a tiny bit sunburnt by the pool.
Hike a mountain
Not lion's head, one that doesn't have 800,000 geotags on instagram
Drive off the beaten track
Swim under the waterfallI
it might be 2cm deep though, but you're welcome to try
The signal isn't great so you're left to have conversations with your friends and family that might last more than 3 minutes, play copious amounts of 30 seconds and get your entertainment from watching your cousin attempt to catch a fish.
I've been going there since I was a kid and every single time I love something new and come back home feeling rejuvenated and a little bit more human.