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Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and many more to open from June 23

Following the latest announcement by government, the MTPA have readied these and many more attractions that allow for social distancing compliant activities.

According to a statement released earlier today, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) will, with effect from June 23, open its nature reserves to the public for self-drives, hiking, fishing and hunting activities.

This follows the latest announcement made by national government that such activities can now be offered to the public under strict health and safety protocols.

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“A selected few of our provincial nature reserves around the province, that offer game viewing and other social distancing compliant activities, will be open to the public.

“This includes those on the popular Panorama Route like Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, Three Rondavels and Pinnacle.

“We have been working tirelessly to ensure that we prepare thoroughly for the expected arrivals of guests to these nature reserves.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes >Photo: Nadia Mare

“We are excited to be welcoming back those nature lovers who have been eager to return and explore the natural wonders that Mpumalanga has to offer,” said Johannes Nobunga, CEO of MTPA.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that as we open our nature reserves, we follow strict health protocols to safeguard both our staff and guests.

“Areas such as braai facilities, picnic sites, swimming pools and camping sites will remain closed for the public.”

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Visitors will be allowed to arrive without pre-booking, but the MTPA encourages guests to make the necessary bookings prior to their arrival; either through the central reservations office at reservations@mtpa.co.za or on 013-759-5432. It also encourages full payments using bank cards where possible.

 “This will assist in ensuring that we limit face-to-face contact as much as possible,” added Nobunga.

Visitors will be required to wear their face masks at all times, maintain social distancing and follow the necessary directives relating to transport capacity.

Vehicle quotas

  • Sedan = 3
  • Microbus (10) = 7
  • Minibus (14) = 9
  • Minibus (16) = 9
  • Double cab = 3

Should you be in possession of any firearm, you will be required to declare and surrender it at the gate. A special permit is needed to hunt and one makes those arrangements prior to arrival.

“We appeal to our visitors to adhere to these guidelines to avoid disappointment upon arrival at the gate. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in guests being turned away.”

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The following nature reserves will be open to the public with the following activities being offered:

  • Loskop Dam Nature Reserve (self-drive)
  • Barberton Nature Reserve (self-drive)
  • Songimvelo Nature Reserve (self-drive, hunting and fishing)
  • Manyeleti Nature Reserve (self-drive)
  • Blyde River Canyon (self-guided walk and hiking trails – Belvedere day walk hiking trail available from 07:00 to 12:00)
  • Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve (fishing and hunting)
  • Andover Nature Reserve (hunting)

Working hours at all the above listed nature reserves will vary during this period and will be from 07:00 to 16:00. Staggering times will be implemented only as and when required.

Finally the MTPA urges private reserves to ensure that they also stick to these protocols when opening their reserves to tourists.


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