The Highlands Meander is situated in the higher reaches of the escarpment. It is sandwiched between the Cultural Heartland and the panorama route regions.
The Highlands Meander is a region for both nature lovers and the adventurous at heart. Known as the ‘Trout Mecca’ this region has an abundance of pristine fishing waters that lure many a fly-fisherman.
The imposing mountains and rivers of the Mpumalanga Highlands presents the opportunity for adrenaline pumping activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, hot air ballooning and paragliding to mention a few.
A major highlight of this region include vibrant arts and crafts communities dotted around the escarpment.
A string of quaint historic towns make the Highlands Meander a popular weekend breakaway for city dwellers. Hamlets such as Dullstroom-Emnotweni, with its quaint stone lodges and cool trout dams and streams, has become renowned for its trout and fly fishing, its crisp air and popular log fires burning all year round.
Belfast being the gateway to the meander, is not only known for its fishing but for its brilliant array of hues when the daffodils and tulips bloom each September – that’s the time to join in the fun at the annual Trout/Tulip festival!
The largest town on the meander, Mashishing (previously Lydenburg), was once the capital of its own independent republic, and still boasts some interesting museums detailing the mysterious history of the famed Lydenburg Heads – unique pottery masks made by Early Iron Age people thousands of years ago.
The ruins of stone and iron age settlements are accessible to hikers on the surrounding Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve, which has been earmarked for Mpumalanga’s first astrological observatory. But, the meander isn’t all about history.
Its cliffs, ravines, and rolling mountain grasslands offer spectacular hiking trails, with some striking views.