The White River area boasts numerous opportunities for both leisurely sightseeing and more active adventures. You can relax on a game drive or experience the thrill of water rafting, abseiling, micro lighting or even hot air ballooning. Here is a sample selection of day trips to whet your appetite.
Wildlife & Sanctuaries
Kruger National Park - distance 32Km
The park is one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions. Established by President Paul Kruger in the late 19th century to put an end to the indiscriminate hunting, this world-famous park stretches 380km from North to South and 60km wide but is a mere thirty minute drive from White River to the nearest gate. Home to the Big Five, and hundreds of other species, the park is open daily. The roads are mostly "sand-tarred" and can be traversed with an ordinary car.
Chimpanzee Eden - distance 36 km
Set on a 1,000 hectare game reserve, the JGI Chimpanzee Eden is a home to chimpanzees that have been misplaced from their natural habitat. The world renowned Jane Goodall Institute has made this tranquil venue it's South African sanctuary, and has committed itself to the rescue and care of chimpanzees in need of refuge. This is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, bringing the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education, tourism and modern technology.
Elephant Sanctuary - distance 48km
The Elephant Sanctuary provides a safe haven for their elephants and offers a unique platform for guest education and interaction.
All programs are guest and elephant driven, which means the most important part of their operation is to ensure happy elephants and satisfied guests. The close encounter with elephants you experience at The Elephant Sanctuary truly is one of a kind.
The Elephant Sanctuary is a family orientated operation catering for both young and old. Focusing on education through interaction, so you will not only learn a lot about elephants, but also get to touch, feel, feed, walk trunk-in-hand and even ride these magnificent animals.
Elephant Whispers - distance 45km
Situated in the Sandford Conservancy on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, Elephant Whispers offers an Elephant Experience of a lifetime which will leave you with a renewed respect and admiration for these gentle giants of Africa.
The Elephant Interaction offers you the opportunity to feel their constantly curious trunks, touch their rough skin, exchange trunk greetings and offer tasty treats, while learning about their behaviour and history from the Elephant Handlers. An Elephant Back Ride offers a different perspective; embark on a journey which was once a privilege reserved only for kings!
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre - distance 125 km
The centre has established itself as one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in the country. The centre places particular emphasis on the breeding and maintenance of cheetah in captivity. The centre now also breeds and conserves other African species for reintroduction to the wild. The excellent condition of these animals and the premises on which they are maintained, reflect the attention to detail, which is the hallmark of this facility. Daytime and evening game-viewing drives for visitors finish with a lunch or dinner in the form of a gourmet barbecue at a boma.
Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre - distance 107km
Situated in the shadow of the majestic “Mariepskop” this unique rehabilitation centre is home to many animals and birds. Some of them are the rescued lions from an Egyptian circus; Queen the Crowned Eagle, Chui the Leopard, Jolly & Juba the Cheetah ambassadors and many more.
Bosch Ceramic Studio - distance 7 km
Anton Bosch works from his pottery studio in White River. He creates individually designed ceramic pieces, which are sought after collector’s items as well as functional, decorative household items. He has developed and mastered various innovative techniques in the production of individual tiles, basins and vases. He is recognised for his subtle understated colours, which blend into interesting textures and designs. His work is influenced by his close relationship with nature.
Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre - distance 4 km
This shopping centre is a unique lifestyle destination with tranquil gardens, quirky independent shops, restaurants and coffee shops, fantastic entertainment spoils and a fitness centre.
Perry's Bridge Trading Post - distance 48 km
A unique shopping experience in beautiful surroundings. Discover a wide selection of curios, linen, leather, confectionery and decor shops. Pamper yourself in the beauty salon, tantalise your taste buds in the deli or spend a lazy afternoon at Digby's Restaurant which offers local and African cuisine.
Tsakani Silk - distance 22 km
Make Tsakani House of African Silks your shopping destination when visiting the Lowveld. If you want to feel pampered and special and experience first-hand the luxury of hand-made, exquisitely crafted silk clothing and accessories, visit their shop and tantalize your senses. The Tsakani product range was originally developed for the Tsakani Silk Farm and includes both wild and cultivated silk products. The company focuses on the creation of fine quality products with a distinct African character using local technology and resources.
Emnotweni Casino - distance 16km
The Emnotweni Casino in Nelpruit has firmly established itself as one of Mpumalanga's most popular tourist destinations, providing entertainment and much-needed jobs for the communities around it.
The casino has of over 367 slot machines including of Reel Slots, Video Poker and Video Reel machines, and are on the main casino floor, in the smoking casino and the Salon Prive. Emnotweni also offers Table games in the form of Blackjack, American Roulette and an electronic Roulette Table.
Scenic Drives & Cultural Experiences
Spectacular scenery can be seen on any of the following drives. Explore them individually or plan a combination route: Sabie, Mac Mac Falls, Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop, God's Window, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Pinnacle Rock and Kowyns Pass.
Kaapsehoop - distance 51km
Kaapsehoop is a pretty little village, situated 25km southwest of Nelspruit on a buttress of the Mpumalanga escarpment. It is a protected area that has a wide array of endangered bird species including the extremely rare Blue Swallow. They breed on what is called 'Blue Swallow Plain', a natural heritage site just outside the village.
Kaapsehoop is also known for its approximately 200 wild horses, the only wild herds in South Africa. They range in size from bachelor herds of around 3, to larger more structured herds of 15 to 20 horses. It is believed that they are remnants of British troops stationed here during the South African War, but the acceptable theory is that they were left to the wild when the Kaapsehoop police station was shut down many years ago, to make way for motorised transport. In addition, Kaapsehoop Horse Trails offer riding on their own horses.
Lowveld Botanical Gardens - distance 20km
You can explore these magnificent gardens on several hiking trails and view the extensive indigenous tree collection, one of the largest collections of cycads, the African Rainforest and two waterfalls. There is also an abundance of bird life and beautiful picnic spots, with a restaurant and coffee shop in the gardens. Regular Sunday concerts are held during the winter months.
Shangana Cultural Village - distance 48 km
The residents of the traditional villages of Shangana invite guests to share in the way of life of the Shangaan people. The picturesque villages are set in the shade of ancient trees in a reserve of forest and grassland. Local crafts are sold at the Marula Market village, and tours are led by trained guides.
Daytime tours takes the visitor on a winding path through fields and bush, to a village where a Shangaan family lives. The guide explains their fascinating way of life, before moving on to the Sangoma's Kraal for a lesson in traditional medicines. Midday tours enable visitors to share a meal with the Shangaan family in the village. During the evening festival, the history of the Shangaans is presented by a huge cast of choristers and dancers before dinner is served inside the huts. Prior bookings for lunch and the evening festival is essential.
Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park - distance 45km
The series of caverns called the Sudwala Caves are one of South Africa's major attractions. The caves are believed to be about 2 000 million years old and contain not only stalagmites and stalagtites, but also the fossilised remains of primitive early life forms known as 'collenia'.
The Dinosaur Park at the Sudwala Caves is set in a lush tropical garden. It contains life-sized, scientifically accurate models of pre-historic animals. The Park tells the story of the development of life on earth. Its models are as diverse as the ancient amphibious and mammal-like reptiles, dinosaurs, extinct mammals and pre-historic man.
Induna Adventures is located in the Sabie River valley, just outside Hazyview. With more than 14 outdoor adventure activities to choose from, ranging between 1/2 hour to full day options, Induna Adventures is your ideal 1 Stop Adventure Center.
Although all the activities run all year round, in summer the most popular activities are Rafting, Geckoing / White Water Tubing and Quad Biking. In winter the most popular activity is Quad Biking followed by Zipline, Paintball, Horse Trails and Archery.
Experience the thrill of Mpumalanga’s longest Aerial Cable or canopy trail as you slide through the forest canopy stopping along the way on a number of elevated platforms as you descend down into the Sabie River valley. This is a non strenuous activity suitable for people of all ages.
Witness first-hand the magical art of glassblowing from an overhead balcony. Each item handmade from 100 % recycled glass. Browse around the adjoining showroom which is well stocked, and purchase your little memento of a truly African visit.
Situated in the Malkerns Valley in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Swazi Candles has been producing fine handmade candles since 1981. Local artists and craftsmen produce unique candle designs which are renowned throughout the world. The shop offers a warm and friendly atmosphere, with a big variety of candles available for purchase. In the workshop visitors can have a look at the candle making process and relax in the neighbouring Café.
Nsangwini Bushman Paintings
The Bushman paintings offer a unique glimpse into the Bantu people’s lives. The caves are managed by the Nsangwini Community, with trained guides on hand to lead visitors through the rock art and interpret the paintings.