Mpumalanga avatar


  • Population: 4 816 908 (2023 estimate)
  • Biggest city: Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit)
  • Area: 76,495 km2 (29,535 sq mi)
  • Languages: Swazi, Zulu, Tsonga, Southern Ndebele, Pedi, Afrikaans, Southern Sotho, English
  • Motto: Omnia labor vincit (Labour will conquer all)

Mpumalanga is a South African province that lies in the east of the country, sharing borders with Eswatini and Mozambique. The name means “East” or “The Place Where the Sun Rises” in the Swazi, Xhosa, Ndebele and Zulu languages. Mpumalanga is famous for its natural beauty, rich wildlife and historical importance. It hosts the world-famous Kruger National Park, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and the Panorama Route.

Major Events

Here are some of the major events that have occurred or occur in Mpumalanga:

  • The Lydenburg Heads, c. 500 AD

The oldest Iron Age artworks south of the equator, discovered near Lydenburg and showing human and animal figures

  • The Gold Rush, 1870s-1880s

A time of intense mining activity and immigration in the region, triggered by the finding of gold in Barberton and Pilgrim’s Rest

  • The Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902

A war between the British Empire and the Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State over the control of South Africa’s mineral resources and political independence

  • The Establishment of Kruger National Park, 1898-1926

A series of proclamations and acts that created South Africa’s first and largest national park to protect the wildlife of the Lowveld

  • The Formation of Mpumalanga Province, 1994

A result of the democratic transition in South Africa that merged the former Eastern Transvaal with parts of former bantustans KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, Lebowa and Gazankulu

  • The InniBos Kunstefees, 2003-present

An annual arts festival held in Mbombela that showcases local and national talent in music, theatre, literature and visual arts

  • The Wakkerstroom Music Festival, 2010-present

An annual music festival held in Wakkerstroom that celebrates classical music and supports young musicians and singers

  • The Canimambo Free Form Music & Arts Festival, 2015-present

An annual music and arts festival held in Graskop that features local and international artists and promotes social and environmental awareness

  • The Dullstroom Arts Festival, 2019-present

An annual arts festival held in Dullstroom that showcases local artists and craftspeople and offers workshops and exhibitions

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