Mpumalanga is one
of nine provinces in South Africa. It was formed
after the first free elections in 1994 from the
eastern region of the
former Transvaal. Initially called the
Eastern Transvaal it was renamed Mpumalanga in 1995.
Meaning "place where the sun rises" in isiZulu,
Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa bordering
Swaziland and Mozambique.
With a land mass of 79 490 km� it constitutes
6.5% of South Africa's land area.
The population of just over 3 million million is
92% Black and just under 7% White. The first
language of most people is Siswati (31%), followed
by IsiZulu (26%), IsiNdebele (12%) and Sepedi (11%).
The major cities and towns in
Mpumalanga are Balfour, Barberton, Belfast, Bethal,
Carolina, Ermelo, Middleburg, Nelspruit, Piet Retief,
Secunda, Standerton, Volksrust, Witbank. Nelspruit
is the capital of Mpumalanga.
The Drakensberg Escarpment divides Mpumalanga
into an eastern half situated in low altitude
subtropical Lowveld (also known as Bushveld) and a
westerly half situated in the grasslands of the
Balfour, Barberton, Belfast,
Bethal, Carolina, Ermelo,
Middleburg, Nelspruit, Piet
Retief, Secunda, Standerton,
Mpumalanga is also a popular tourism
destination, not least of all because the southern
part of the Kruger National Park is
situated in the Lowveld region.
Caves are the oldest known caves in the
world. These incredible caverns lie in the
Drakensberg escarpment from a time when the
area was covered by warm shallow seas.
Besides the awesome rock formations the
caverns boast an array of enormous
stalactite and stalagmite displays.
The Blyde River Canyon is a significant natural
feature of South Africa, located in the northern
part of the Drakensberg, it is 26km long and about 800m deep,
making it the third largest canyon in the world. It is
one of the great wonders of nature in Africa. "God's Window"
is a popular vantage point which featured in the
1980 film "The Gods Must Be Crazy". Near the end of
the movie, the Bushman Xi (played by Namibian bush
farmer N!xau) travelled to
God's Window believing it to be the end of the