16 Aug 2013 by Johan Viljoen [African Adventures]
Situated on the slopes of the Drakensberg Mountain Range, this small town is the adventure hub of Mpumalanga. Named after the distinctive shimmering haze that hangs over the Lowveld in the heat of summer, this town was first proclaimed in 1959 with the building of the post office. Established on the farm De Rust on the outskirts of the western border of the world famous Kruger National Park, 6 roads converge from all directions at the heart of this Lowveld community and is the gateway to the Southern KrugerPanorama route of Mpumalanga.
Travel with us through banana plantations as we discover all the activities on offer in this scenic town on the edge of the eastern escarpment. With hot summers and mild winters, Hazyview offers the discerning traveller a unique insight into God’s Window.
The Kruger National Park along with several other reserves east of town, present the nature devotee superb opportunities to view some of Africa’s wildest animals in this area famous for Big 5 sightings. Self drive safaris through national parks often pose a daunting challenge to first time visitors as camouflage and the survival instincts of these animals make them difficult to spot. Fortunately, there are many other ways to observe the animals in their natural surroundings. Several safari operators offer game drives and night drives and their trained eye will go a long way in sighting some of Africa’s most elusive creatures. The more daring can go on guided walks or catch a flight in a hot air balloon over this unspoiled piece of Africa.
Birding in Mpumalanga can lead to the most memorable experience and some rare and wonderful sightings. The area has all the habitats you could wish for. It is probably the best and best-known birding area in South Africa. With the diversity of the habitat there are over 500 bird species, which include many sought-after and rare specimens. With 58 species of raptors found in the Kruger an encounter with the lords of the skies will leave a lasting impression. You can also expect to see a large number of water birds and remember to share your sighting of the endangered ground-hornbill with authorities to assist in the conservation of this seriously threatened species.
This is a year-round fishing destination and certainly the perfect grounds for your new personal best. Several large lakes in the area offers the ideal habitation for record size bass and bag limits are often filled in a short period of time. Specimen of 4kg’s plus are not uncommon in these waters and the practice of catch and release will ensure they grow even bigger. There is a multitude of private irrigation dams that offers unmatched fishing to the fortunate few who have access to them and stories and pictures of giants aren’t uncommon, but be sure to have the necessary permission to fish these dams… you just might be met by an angry farmer who will prosecute. This is also the perfect destination to paint the sky with your fly line and a whole host of private venues offer the fly fisherman access to some of the most beautiful yellow fish waters in our country.
The town and friendly farming community offers an array of outdoor activities to the whole family and it is undeniably a destination where the adventurer will need a holiday after a visit, but for those who just want to kick back and escape the never ending hustle of city life, this area offers unsurpassed beauty in its landscape.
With the fast-flowing waters of the Sabie and Sand rivers bordering the town there is no shortage of fun-filled water activities. Paddle through the natural forest in the river valley in a kayak or experience the thrill of “Geckoing”. This involves descending down the Sabie river gorge in a one man oval tube but be warned, this is fun. The scenic ravine presents exhilarating quad bike trails which are lead by an experienced guide. All the necessary safety equipment and guidance is provided to ensure a fun-filled day.
Hazyview also boasts the longest aerial cable trail in Africa. Glide through the forest and down into the valley basin, stopping every so often to admire the natural vegetation, bird life and the views of the forest floor below or abseil a 27m high granite outcrop that presents a spectacular outlook across the Lowveld. These are but a few of the activities on offer and other include mountain biking, zipline adventures, animal interactions and many more.
Amongst all the adventures and activities is the natural splendour of the landscape. World famous and some of the most popular natural wonders in our country can be visited. Places like God’s Window, Wonder View, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Sudwala caves and the 3rd largest canyon in the world; Blyde River Canyon, spring to mind and are all in close proximity of this tiny town.
Here you determine on what scale you want to experience nature or just shop in cultural villages, or visit one of the several restaurants. Hazyview has something for everyone and it is no surprise that it was dubbed the adventure hub of Mpumalanga.