The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced Kruger Park South Tourism from South Africa as its newest destination member. “We are pleased to welcome Kruger Park South to our growing list of members,” said ICTP Chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz, “They are the fifth destination to join ICTP from South Africa, and our alliance is happy with the interest that has been shown in our organization from this region.”
The Kruger Park South region is unique in that it contains 4 worlds in one, with small historically-important South African, and more recently-created bushveld holiday towns, bordering the other worlds of Kruger Park, Swaziland, and Mozambique.
The main towns in the area include Malalane, Komatipoort, Hectorspruit, and Marloth Park running along the N4 and southern border of Kruger Park, providing easy access to this national (and international) treasure via the game-rich Malalane and Crocodile Bridge Gates with access to the vibrant capital city of Maputo and stunning beaches of Mozambique via the Lebombo border. To the south of the region are the townships of Naas, Tonga, and Matsamo, bordering the mountains, and small game reserves of Swaziland via Jeppe’s Reef and Mananga border gates offering easy access to traditional Swazi crafts including wood carving, glass blowing, and candle making. Both Mozambique and Swaziland are easily accessible for day trips and onward transit, although beware the Lebombo border at peak holiday times!
The whole area is rich with bushveld, mountains, grasslands, dams, and rivers, providing endless opportunities for “second to none” game viewing in Kruger (guided or self-drive), tiger fishing in the Nkomazi river, and even elephant or horse back and micro-light safaris! For those with extra energy to burn, the area is home to 3 golf clubs, being the world-class Leopard Creek and smaller Malalane golf clubs, and the small but stunning Kambaku golf club in Komatipoort, all with views over Kruger Park.
A number of cultural projects are well underway in the region to showcase arenas for the local talented traditional crafters and dancers, some of the latter of whom have performed on major international stages, including the Matsamo dance troupe and the Komatipoort-based African Children ‘s Choir.
Of historical interest is the Samora Machel monument at Mbuzini, just south of Komatipoort, where the then and first democratically-elected President of Mozambique, plus Cuban and Russian advisors, died in a plane crash in 1986. Thirty-five people died in total. Today this event is commemorated by the stunning monument consisting of 35 steel tubes, based on the church organ concept placed on the mountain top making an eerie sound as the wind constantly whistles through it, in the midst of the wreckage of the plane reminding those present of the sad loss of life.
The main towns all have a wide variety of accommodation types to suit every personal preference and budget, from backpackers to self catering to small, family-run guest houses and 5-star hotels! There are a number of restaurants and supermarkets in each town, but the nearest casinos/night clubs and major shopping malls are some ways away… come here for the perfect bushveld retreat!