Lydenburg (Afrikaans for 'town of suffering'), in Mpumalanga, was founded in 1850 by the Voortrekker leader Andries Potgieter. His party settled there after retreating from the Lowveld, after they lost some members of their party to Malaria, which at the time was rampant in the Lowveld. The cause of Malaria was still unknown in those days. The suffering caused by the disease was the source of the name for the new settlement.
Among the exhibits of the local museum are replicas of seven terracotta 'Lydenburg Heads' (masks) dating back to the 5th century. These were discovered in the nearby valley of Sterkspruit. This archaeological treasure, together with other Southern African finds, indicates the presence of an advanced African society pre-dating the Middle Ages. The original Heads are kept in the South African Museum in Cape Town.
Attractions in town include the oldest school building north of the Vaal River and a gun powder magazine which did service in the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902).
You travel from Lydenburg to Sabie over the very scenic and historic Long Tom Pass.
The German-guided version of our tour that covers the highlights of South Africa (link to English tour provided as well). It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. The southbound tour starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town.
Highlights: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , iSimangaliso Wetland Park , Transkei , Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Paarl , Cape Town .
Mpumalanga Province lies to the north-east of South Africa. In the Mpumalanga Highveld you’ll find grassland savanna and trout-fishing villages. The Mpumalanga Lowveld is known for fruit farms, game farms, private game reserves and the Kruger National Park. In between lies the spectacular escarpment and Blyde River Canyon.
The Drakensberg Mountain range runs from North to South through the Eastern region of South Africa. In Mpumalanga it divides the province into the Highveld in the West and the Lowveld in the East. This divide is best noted on the escarpment along the Panorama Route.