ATTRACTIONS IN AND AROUND OUR LOWVELD AREA
PLACE'S OUTSIDE OF THE GUEST HOUSE
The White River area boasts numerous opportunities for both leisurely sightseeing and more active adventures. You can relax on a game drive or experience the thrill of water rafting, abseiling, micro lighting or even hot air ballooning. Here is a sample selection of day trips to whet your appetite.
Wildlife & Sanctuaries
Kruger National Park - distance 32Km
The park is one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions. Established by President Paul Kruger in the late 19th century to put an end to the indiscriminate hunting, this world-famous park stretches 380km from North to South and 60km wide but is a mere thirty minute drive from White River to the nearest gate. Home to the Big Five, and hundreds of other species, the park is open daily. The roads are mostly "sand-tarred" and can be traversed with an ordinary car.
SCENIC DRIVES & CULTURAL EXPERIENCES
Spectacular scenery can be seen on any of the following drives. Explore them individually or plan a combination route: Sabie, Mac Mac Falls, Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop, God's Window, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Pinnacle Rock and Kowyns Pass.
CHIMPANZEE EDEN - DISTANCE 36 KM
Set on a 1,000 hectare game reserve, the JGI 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 it's South African sanctuary, and has committed itself to the rescue and care of chimpanzees in need of refuge. This is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, bringing the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education, tourism and modern technology.
KAAPSEHOOP - DISTANCE 51KM
Kaapsehoop is a pretty little village, situated 25km southwest of Nelspruit on a buttress of the Mpumalanga escarpment. It is a protected area that has a wide array of endangered bird species including the extremely rare Blue Swallow. They breed on what is called 'Blue Swallow Plain', a natural heritage site just outside the village.
Kaapsehoop is also known for its approximately 200 wild horses, the only wild herds in South Africa. They range in size from bachelor herds of around 3, to larger more structured herds of 15 to 20 horses. It is believed that they are remnants of British troops stationed here during the South African War, but the acceptable theory is that they were left to the wild when the Kaapsehoop police station was shut down many years ago, to make way for motorized transport. In addition, Kaapsehoop Horse Trails offer riding on their own horses.
ELEPHANT SANCTUARY - DISTANCE 48KM
The Elephant Sanctuary provides a safe haven for their 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 their 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. Focusing on education through interaction, so you will not only learn a lot about elephants, but also get to touch, feel, feed, walk trunk-in-hand and even ride these magnificent animals.
LOWVELD BOTANICAL GARDENS - DISTANCE 20KM
You can explore these magnificent gardens on several hiking trails and view the extensive indigenous tree collection, one of the largest collections of cycads, the African Rain forest and two waterfalls. There is also an abundance of bird life and beautiful picnic spots, with a restaurant and coffee shop in the gardens. Regular Sunday concerts are held during the winter months.
ELEPHANT WHISPERS - DISTANCE 45KM
Situated in the Sandford Conservancy on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, Elephant Whispers offers an Elephant Experience of a lifetime which will leave you with a renewed respect and admiration for these gentle giants of Africa.
The Elephant Interaction offers you the opportunity to feel their constantly curious trunks, touch their rough skin, exchange trunk greetings and offer tasty treats, while learning about their behavior and history from the Elephant Handlers. An Elephant Back Ride offers a different perspective; embark on a journey which was once a privilege reserved only for kings!
SHANGANA CULTURAL VILLAGE - DISTANCE 48 KM
The residents of the traditional villages of Shangana invite guests to share in the way of life of the Shangaan people. The picturesque villages are set in the shade of ancient trees in a reserve of forest and grassland. Local crafts are sold at the Marula Market village, and tours are led by trained guides.
Daytime tours takes the visitor on a winding path through fields and bush, to a village where a Shangaan family lives. The guide explains their fascinating way of life, before moving on to the Sangoma's Kraal for a lesson in traditional medicines. Midday tours enable visitors to share a meal with the Shangaan family in the village. During the evening festival, the history of the Shangaans is presented by a huge cast of choristers and dancers before dinner is served inside the huts. Prior bookings for lunch and the evening festival is essential.
SUDWALA CAVES AND DINOSAUR PARK - DISTANCE 45KM
The series of caverns called the Sudwala Caves are one of South Africa's major attractions. The caves are believed to be about 2 000 million years old and contain not only stalagmites and stalactites, but also the fossilized remains of primitive early life forms known as 'collenia'.
The Dinosaur Park at the Sudwala Caves is set in a lush tropical garden. It contains life-sized, scientifically accurate models of pre-historic animals. The Park tells the story of the development of life on earth. Its models are as diverse as the ancient amphibious and mammal-like reptiles, dinosaurs, extinct mammals and pre-historic man.
EMNOTWENI CASINO - DISTANCE 16KM
The Emnotweni Casino in Nelspruit has firmly established itself as one of Mpumalanga's most popular tourist destinations, providing entertainment and much-needed jobs for the communities around it.
The casino has of over 367 slot machines including of Reel Slots, Video Poker and Video Reel machines, and are on the main casino floor, in the smoking casino and the Salon Prive. Emnotweni also offers Table games in the form of Blackjack, American Roulette and an electronic Roulette Table.