Sabie, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Mpumalanga, is gradually gaining recognition as a destination of natural beauty and thrilling adventures. This quaint town, surrounded by the majestic Drakensberg escarpment, is a treasure trove of outdoor wonders, each waiting to be discovered and cherished. From the enchanting waterfalls that cascade through its landscapes to the heart-pounding adventures that await the daring, Sabie offers an array of attractions sure to create lasting memories. Join me, James, as I guide you through the best places to visit in Sabie, unveiling the unique charm and beauty of this underrated South African haven.
1. Lone Creek Falls
The Lone Creek Falls is a spectacular natural wonder that captures the essence of the region’s pristine beauty. This remarkable waterfall, cascading 70 meters down into Lone Creek, is not only a breathtaking sight but also a testament to the power and majesty of nature.
Easily accessible with just a 200-meter walk from the parking area, Lone Creek Falls is an ideal destination for nature lovers of all ages. A small entrance fee at the boom gate grants you access to this magnificent site, where the fall’s mist nourishes a lush environment, encouraging the growth of ferns and mosses that add to the area’s enchantment.
Lone Creek Falls is a highlight of the famous “Waterfall Tour” on the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, part of a region known for its rich gold-mining history and high density of waterfalls.
2. Horse Shoe Falls
This naturally formed wonder, distinguished by its horseshoe shape, has earned its status as a national monument. Despite not being particularly high, the falls’ circular appearance makes them an unusual and exquisite sight to behold.
A leisurely walk through the picturesque landscape leads visitors to these cascade-type falls, where one can enjoy a tranquil picnic, swim in refreshing natural pools, or simply bask in the serene beauty of the surroundings. Additionally, the Horseshoe Falls area is renowned as an ideal spot for trout fishing, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and outdoor activity.
While the path to the falls may be steep and rocky, the effort is rewarded with a serene and picturesque setting. Horseshoe Falls is a testament to the natural beauty South Africa offers, a place where one can recharge and revive amidst the tranquility of cascading waters and lush greenery. Whether for a romantic getaway or a soulful retreat, the Horseshoe Falls stand as a must-visit destination along the Panorama Route.
3. Bridal Veil Falls
Located just six kilometers from Sabie, this waterfall is a highlight along the province’s renowned Sabie Waterfall Route, which connects eight of the region’s most magnificent waterfalls. Bridal Veil Falls is named for its delicate appearance, reminiscent of a bride’s gossamer veil, especially under normal flow conditions. The falls cascade gracefully over a 70-meter drop, combining the raw power of water with an air of misty, ethereal beauty.
This area, celebrated for its dense forestry and diverse natural attractions, is a green haven in South Africa. The falls are easily accessible from Sabie, a town known for its tranquil atmosphere and picturesque surroundings. A walk through the indigenous forests from the parking area to Bridal Veil Falls offers visitors an immersive experience, allowing them to appreciate the varied facets of the landscape before arriving at the falls. The path to the falls, though somewhat steep, rewards visitors with breathtaking views and a sense of connection to the unspoiled majesty of nature.
Bridal Veil Falls, with its impressive height and enchanting spray, continues to draw visitors who seek to experience its unique blend of serene beauty and powerful presence.
4. Kestell Adventures
Kestell Adventures offers a thrilling array of activities for those seeking adventure in the heart of Mpumalanga, South Africa. Located just a 45-minute drive from the iconic Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon, this adventure company specializes in a variety of exhilarating outdoor experiences.
Kestell Adventures, established in 2009 by Kestell Barnard, a veteran in the adventure tourism industry, presents six unique adventure activities: White-water Tubing, Canyoning, Abseiling, Caving, Forest Cruises, and Team Building. Their commitment to providing exceptional outdoor experiences at competitive prices has made them a popular choice for adventure enthusiasts. Whether it’s navigating the rapids on a tubing adventure, exploring hidden waterfalls in canyoning expeditions, or descending the Sabie Falls in an abseiling experience, each activity promises an adrenaline-pumping encounter with nature.
Apart from the heart-racing adventures, Kestell Adventures also offers more serene experiences like Forest Cruises. These excursions take visitors on an open 4×4 vehicle to explore the mountains surrounding Sabie, culminating in a visit to a secret waterfall, perfect for swimming and relaxation. The team-building activities are designed to foster problem-solving skills and camaraderie, making it an ideal choice for corporate groups.
5. Coopers Creek Horse Riding
6. The Sabie Brewing Company
Nestled in the enchanting mountain town of Sabie, Mpumalanga, the Sabie Brewing Co. stands as a testament to the art of fine beer crafting. Since its inception in 2012, this boutique brewery has unwaveringly committed itself to producing the finest beers imaginable, never compromising on quality.
Housed in a heritage building along the main road, Sabie Brewing Company is more than just a brewery; it’s a celebration of local craftsmanship and culinary artistry. Our team, drawn from the local community, shares a common passion for excellence, crafting not only exceptional beers but also a range of delicious culinary offerings.
Visitors are invited to explore the microbrewery through guided tours, offering an insider’s view into the meticulous process of brewing. After the tour, guests can indulge in a tasting session, savoring our selection of hand-crafted beers while taking in the magnificent views of the mountains that cradle Sabie.
The menu at Sabie Brewing Co. is designed to complement the beers, featuring locally-sourced ingredients from Sabie, like goat’s milk cheese, fresh vegetables and greens, and bread made with grist from the brewing process.
The brewery offers a range of unique hand-crafted beers:
Glynn’s Gold, reminiscent of a London Ale.
Long Tom Lager, known for its robust malt taste.
Shangaan Stout, smooth with a chocolatey after-taste.
Dravidian Draught, a hoppy ale with rich flavor.
Wheelbarrow Weiss, a light ale best enjoyed with lemon.
Cockney Liz, a surprise batch giving the brewer creative freedom.
7. Komatiland Forestry Museum
The Forestry Museum in Sabie offers a journey through the evolution of the local timber industry, from its inception to modern-day practices. It delves into the natural role of trees, harvesting methods, timber applications, and the industry’s efforts towards environmental sustainability. The museum also highlights the human connection with indigenous forests and their importance in enhancing quality of life.
Among the museum’s captivating exhibits are a 250-year-old yellowwood disc showcasing key events in South African history, a display on match production, and a miniature replica of a Pretoria-based Dutch Reformed Church crafted from glued-together matches. Visitors can also see an old frame saw, miniature wooden shoes carved by a prisoner during the Second Anglo-Boer War, and a century-old handmade Irish gypsy clothes peg, all set against a backdrop of historical timelines of the timber industry’s growth in South Africa.
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