Badplaas, most famous for the sulphur springs nearby, is a small settlement in the Eastern part of Mpumalanga. Badplaas is ideally located as it is a mere three hour drive from Johannesburg. What makes a visit to Badplaas all the more appealing are the tranquil surroundings - a setting that is so calming it will unknot even the most tied-up city executive.
The small settlement lies very close to the Swaziland border, the mountainous, landlocked country, giving an indication of the surrounding geography. Nestled in the foothills of the Dhlumudhlumu Mountains, the peaks and rock faces have the ability to inspire your inner-artist or poet.
The town was developed, as the history books have it, after a group of Swazi tribesmen discovered the Badplaas sulphur springs. They named it 'Emanzana', which translates to 'healing waters' in English, due to the health benefits of the mineral-rich waters. Today, the sulphur springs are still a large draw card for the Badplaas area.
The springs themselves are set within the Badplaas Resort complex which, with the array of activities on offer, makes for quite an enjoyable day trip. Within the complex, there are four indoor mineral pools, three warm and one cold, three children's pools and three outdoor pools. If you're in need of a bit of pampering, there is a hydro spa on site. For more family-orientated activities, there is putt-putt, paint-ball and horse-riding to take part in.
The resort also offers hiking on the 120 hectare nature reserve. If you're looking to spot wildlife, go on a game drive where you can spot up to 300 bird species and 32 species of mammals including a wide variety of buck.
If you don't want to pay the resort day-entree fee or are not especially drawn to sulphur springs, there is still lots to do in the area.If you are a keen golfer, there is a prestigious golf course nearby. Its magnificent setting makes for a breathtakingly beautiful round of golf.
Furthermore, being in the foothills of a mountain range, it goes without saying that there are interesting walks, offering a diversity of birdlife and plant species. The famed Kruger National Park is also close enough for a day trip - giving you the opportunity to spot Africa's Big Five.
At the end of your holiday in Eastern Mpumalanga, you can get back to Joburg or Nelspruit in a jiffy, preventing that awful end-of-holiday rush back to town.
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