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The Lure Of The Lowveld

15 Jun 2020 | By Author Thornybush | Experiences & Lodges & Wildlife

What does Jock of the Bushveld, Wild Horses, Kruger National Park, Thornybush, 240 million year old caves and the Blyde River Canyon all have in common? One of the best-known, and popular, inland tourist destinations of South Africa, the Lowveld. 

Situated 500 meters in altitude is where this lowland area came by its name. Curving along South Africa’s northern Border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, it comprises sections of the Limpopo province that extends down in the Drakensburg escarpment through Mpumalanga.

With the Kruger National Park and other privately owned game reserves making up just over half of the Lowveld, it rests between the Mozambique border on the east and the mighty Drakensberg to the west. It’s easy to see why this region boasts such a mild climate, diverse wildlife (which includes the big 5) and unrivalled scenery that brings much tourist appeal. 

A Brief History

Renowned for its historic catapult of the 19th Century gold-rush, the towns that make up the lowveld each have their own historic tales that make this region spawn with stories of high adventure, as pioneers raced for the short-lived golden-veins of wealth which eluded many of them.

The most famous of the region’s heroes was not a man, but a dog, the infamous account of Jock of the Bushveld, whose owner Percy Fitzpatrick, was one of the pioneers of the fruit industry that makes up part of the diverse agricultural landscape of the Lowveld.

Each town in the Lowveld has much to be explored as their part in history is varied. Mirrored in the hills and valleys of the region, tourists can explore bushman rock engravings, archaeological ruins, wagon trails and the early gold diggings of the 19th century pioneers. 

Exploring the Lowveld

Taking in the scenery of the lowveld needs to be a reoccurring adventure. With so much to see and explore, its attraction will pull you back again and again. 

From the village of Pilgrim’s Rest, a national heritage site; Graskop the home to African Silk farms; Sabie’s magnificent waterfalls; to the town of Barberton the home to the oldest rock on earth, where ancient greenstones and metamorphosed granites rise out of the ground forming the valley of the Crocodile river mountains. And let’s not forget the Kruger Park which champions the Lowveld’s attraction. It’s a region of mesmerising beauty that holds world-class landscapes and wildlife diversity for every traveler.

Big 5 Country

To allude to the geographic location; east of Gauteng begins the province of Mpumalanga. The landscape rapidly changes as road travelers will experience – from the flat plateau the bizarre mountain world of the Drakensburg of Mpumalanga rises, which separates the inland plateau (called the Highveld) from the low plains of the Lowveld in the east. Here in this expanse lies the Kruger National Park, the world’s largest game reserve. Bordering the Kruger National Park on its western boundary lies a collection of private game reserves amongst which Thornybush is nestled. 

The Lowveld is what many people consider to be the ‘real’ Africa, which brings testament that this is the best destination in South Africa for any traveler seeking high-quality wildlife on a true African safari within these reserves. In recent times, much of the fencing that once separated these private reserves from the Kruger National Park have all come down, allowing wildlife to roam freely as it once was.  

To experience the Lowveld, is to experience a world within a world, unlike many places on earth the Lowveld guarantees an awe-inspiring travel story you’ll want to re-visit for generations. 

We at Thornybush eagerly anticipate your stay with us, so you too can feel the magic lure of the Lowveld, a land of spectacular contrasts.