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When travelling from Johannesburg, disregard the unremarkable road because once you reach Emgwenya, the terrain miraculously changes into lush green hills and you are transported into a world of natural beauty.
Emgwenya, meaning Place of the Crocodile in Zulu, is in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa and located at the edge of the escarpment before the landscape drops down into the steamy Lowveld. The town lies alongside the Elands River and above a 70m waterfall.
At 1.5km above sea level, the air is thin and the climate mild at Emgwenya, ideal for adventure sports lovers. The area is renowned for rock climbing with over 500 climbing routes established in and around Emgwenya. But the town has a lot more to offer; history and railway enthusiasts will enjoy the magnificent railway bridge and tunnel, the waterfall and surrounds attracts nature lovers and the region is perfectly suited for hiking, mountain bikes and horse riding.
Top 6 reasons to visit Emgwenya
1. Climbers new to the sport can attempt the Madiba Magic rock climbing route before progressing to the popular Waterfall Crags route directly alongside the Elands River waterfall.
2. Grab a rod and collect a permit from the Boven Trout Fly Tackle shop before heading out to find a fishing spot on the Elands River banks. Expect to catch yellowfish, carp and bass. Some dams are stocked with trout for fly fishing devotees.
3. If you have 5 days to spare, join a hiking party on the Num-Num Hiking Trail. This spectacularly-scenic 50km trail crosses private land, passing waterfalls and rock pools, and through natural forest.
4. There are a number of challenging mountain bike trails in the Elands River Valley and the organisers constantly change the routes to control erosion. Trails range from 5km to 20km in length.
5. The Blue Swallow Reserve in Kaapschehoop is where the... Show more