Area and climate.

The Northern Provinces Consist of the Northern Province, North West, and Mpumalanga for this article. It was previously known as the Transvaal province. In these provinces, the vegetation is mainly Bush-veld, an area of Highveld east of Gauteng, and some forest in the east. Most forests are for agricultural purposes and consist mostly of Pine and Eucalyptus trees. There are. However, many indigenous forests are being protected for future generations.

The North West province gets the least rainfall of the three provinces, and Mpumalanga gets the most. As the rainfall season starts in October and peaks in December to March, and temperatures regularly exceed 40 ºC from December to March, we recommend visiting these areas in Winter and Spring. Winter minimum temperatures vary between 5 and 12 ºC, and maximum temperatures rise to 30 ºC. The negative of winter is that the vegetation is dead during this time. The lush green pastures from the brochures are nowhere to be found. The beautiful flowers are also nowhere to be seen.

Main attractions.

The world-famous South African wildlife is the main attraction in this area. The Kruger National Park and Pilansberg National Park are the largest and best-known game reserves in South Africa. In addition, many game farms and lodges cater to all price ranges. Anything from exotic 5-star lodges to self-catering and camping options is available. The top lodges and game farms have all 5 of the Big 5 (Elephant, Rhinoceros, Lion, Buffalo, and Leopard) on display. Many others have at least 1 or 2 of the Big 5.

Most of these game farms are open all year round for visitors. Try Fall if you can’t make it during the Winter or Spring. People that are not afraid of thunder and lightning storms and can handle extreme temperatures can also visit in Summer. We must add that most of the lodges have air conditioning and game drives are best in the early morning and late afternoon when the wildlife is more active, and temperatures are not too high. Additional entertainment is also available in most of the private lodges. Various combinations of activities are available, including golf, water sports, guided hiking tours, and much more.

In addition to the wildlife, there are also many wonderful natural sights to see. On the eastern escarpment, forming the border between Mpumalanga and the Northern province, you will find many waterfalls, small rainforests like the one at God’s Window, and interesting natural phenomena. The Potholes at Burke’s Luck and the “Drie Rondawels” (Three huts) are some of these phenomena. You can also visit the Sudwala caves outside Mbombela, previously known as Nelspruit. The tea plantations in Magoebaskloof are also a photo opportunity not to be missed. To the West, you can visit Sun City. It offers the widest range of activities and borders the Pilansberg Nature Reserve.

Throughout this region, you will find farm stalls next to the road. Here fresh produce is on sale.

How to get there?

The easiest way to travel in this area is by car. The main roads are in good condition and are marked. A GPS device is also recommended as some names are difficult to pronounce, and spelling might differ. This is still the best mode of transport. If you see something interesting, you can stop and investigate. Other means of transport do not allow this freedom.

There are also many tour operators working in this region. Some will target specific resorts or game reserves, and others will offer scheduled tours through the region. On a more personal note, you can also procure a customized tour from the tour operators. In this case, you plan the tour with the tour operator.

It is usually a private tour recommended for small groups traveling together.

Things to consider in customized (private) tours:

  • Is the vehicle comfortable enough for the group?
  • Will the driver be able to act as a guide?
  • How flexible will the tour be? Will last-minute changes be allowed?
  • What is the price of the tour?
  • Are meals included in the price?

Most of the tour operators will ask for an indication of your budget. This is required to determine the type of lodging, areas to visit, etc. They also use the budget amount to determine how much they can profit from you. Therefore, we recommend starting with an amount lower than your actual budget. This will allow for more spending and will also give the option to add items to the itinerary.

For the luxury traveler, there are also flying options. Some of the top lodges have their airfields. They offer fly-in options. It is the best way to enjoy South Africa if you can afford it. Most of these packages are all-inclusive. Pricing starts at R 30 000 per week.


People traveling from a Western country will find South Africa a cost-effective holiday destination. At exchange rates of $1 = R 13 and 1 Euro = R 14.50, most items are relatively cheap in South Africa.

  • A meal in a normal restaurant – R 200 per person
  • A meal in a top restaurant – less than R 500 per person
  • Bottle wine in a restaurant – R 100 to R 500
  • Bottle wine in the supermarket – R 30 to R 120
  • 500 ml soda drink – R 10
  • 1-liter fuel – R 13
  • 3-star hotel accommodation – R 500 to R 1500 per room per night

Hotel accommodation varies a lot between areas. You must also consider if breakfast is included in the price or not. Unfortunately for foreigners, the South African tourism community discovered they were very cheap and raised their prices to international levels. So when booking your hotels etc., try to search websites that cater to South Africans. These are websites that are priced in rand.

You can have the best holiday ever; it does not matter what your budget is. But before you start your bookings, make sure you know what you want to do and see. South Africa is a big country with lots of things to experience. A world in a country.