16 Top-Rated Resorts in Mpumalanga
South Africa's beautiful Mpumalanga province sits in the eastern portion of the country, bordering Swaziland and Mozambique, and is home to the country's most famous animal reserve, Kruger National Park, as well as some fantastic resorts for all budgets and styles of travelers.
The majority of resorts in Mpumalanga tend to be on the boutique side, with a lot of upscale inns and guesthouse choices. Many of these are in the gateway towns serving Kruger National Park, like Hazyview and Nelspruit.
There are also country estate choices in other parts of the province where the focus is on eating farm-to-table fare and hiking in the lush, green hills and canyons. This province is also famous for the iconic Blyde River Canyon, which is one of the top attractions in Mpumalanga.
There are also options to stay at a game reserve-style resort, where safaris are included in the rate, and you can head out in a vehicle or on foot with a guide to look for lions, elephants, zebras, and more. For more on where to stay, check out our list of the best resorts in Mpumalanga.
1. Summerfields Rose Retreat & Spa
Accommodation: Summerfields Rose Retreat & Spa
If you've ever wanted to experience farm life in the lap of luxury, then check out the lovely Summerfields Rose Retreat & Spa. The property is on a working farm that sits on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview, just a 15-minute drive from Kruger National Park.
An excellent choice for a romantic getaway, the retreat offers accommodation in rustic-glam tents that are beautifully designed and come with handmade furnishings, ultra-comfortable beds, and the option to shower in private outside. They also feature Wi-Fi, so you won't be cut off from the news unless you want to be.
On-site amenities include two farm-to-table restaurants, one of which sits adjacent to the river. There is also a spa by the river and a swimming pool. If you would like to tour the farm, which cultivates fruits, nuts, and flowers, that can also be arranged.
Address: R536 Sabie Road, Hazyview 1242, South Africa
2. Nkomazi Game Reserve
Accommodation: Nkomazi Game Reserve
For a proper safari experience, head to Nkomazi Game Reserve in Badplaas. The reserve is home to all the Big 5 animals, and safaris are included in the rates, along with all your meals.
Safari drives usually last around three hours and depart around dawn and just before dusk as these are the best times of day to spot animals. Guided walking safaris with rangers are also offered.
Accommodation at the five-star lodge is in beautifully appointed, raised platform tents that have you sleeping in the lap of luxury. All have private outdoor baths and plunge pools with views of the Komati River.
The food here is quite good, and there is also an outdoor pool and options to book spa treatments.
Address: R541, Badplaas 1190 South Africa
3. Cheetah Plains
Accommodation: Cheetah Plains
Located in the private Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, the five-star Cheetah Plains is a new luxury safari lodge with a unique look to it. Rather than a traditional African lodge style, it has an ultra-modern vibe about it.
Accommodation is in private villas that can sleep up to eight people, making it a popular choice with multi-gen families and groups of friends. Villas have four bedrooms, lots of indoor and outdoor space, and a private swimming pool. They also come with chef's kitchens although all meals are included in your daily rate, so there is little need to cook for yourself.
Other perks to staying here include twice-daily safaris in electric-powered Land Cruisers with knowledgeable guides. Guests also can borrow a Nikon D850 camera to shoot professional-style photographs. You'll get to keep the memory card as well.
Address: Sabi Sand Game Reserve S36, Kruger National Park 1383, South Africa
4. Walkersons Hotel & Spa
Accommodation: Walkersons Hotel & Spa
Sitting on 800 hectares in the countryside, Walkersons Hotel and Spa is about 20 minutes' drive from Dullstroom town and also about the same distance from Verloren Valaei Nature Reserve should you like to spend time outdoors.
This luxury resort features all-suite accommodations. These are country chic with fireplaces and lake or mountain views from private patios. If you're traveling with kids or just like to cook for yourself, some of the suites have kitchenettes. There is also an option to rent one of the three cottages on the grounds.
Rates include half-board of breakfast and dinner. Amenities on the property include fishing lakes and hiking trails, a swimming pool, spa, and a gym.
Address: Walkersons Private Estate off R540, Dullstroom 1110, South Africa
5. Highgrove House
Accommodation: Highgrove House
It's not the Highgrove House that British royals, William and Kate, live in, but this property with the same name as that famous royal dwelling is also quite posh. Between the towns of Hazyview and Whiteriver, this Mpumalanga hotel offers country manor house lodging on a 64-hectare farm.
The rooms are filled with antiques and Persian carpets and have a colonial-English period ambience about them.
On-site amenities include a restaurant, swimming pool, and spa all set amid beautifully maintained grounds. Day trips to Kruger National Park can also be arranged.
Address: 1 Highgrove Ave Off R40 between Hazyview and Whiteriver, Hazyview 1242 South Africa
6. Akabeko Boutique Hotel
Accommodation: Akabeko Boutique Hotel
If you're looking for a 5-star romantic retreat right on a river, check out the quaint, luxe Akabeko Boutique Hotel & Spa in the Mpumalanga highlands just outside the town of Lydenburg. The property sits in a lush natural setting, where forests meet rolling hills and wildlife abounds.
From walking to photographic safaris to stargazing, as well as nearby fishing and horseback riding, this boutique property has a lot of activities to offer guests.
Accommodation is in spacious suites with contemporary decor and amenities like mosaic sunken baths and fireplaces. There is also a restaurant, spa, and hot tub on-site. The property is geared towards adults and only welcomes children 12 and over.
Address: 1 Kwaggashoek, Lydenburg 1120 South Africa
7. Dawsons Game and Trout Lodge
Accommodation: Dawsons Game and Trout Lodge
Just outside the Mpumalanga town of Barberton, Dawsons Game and Trout Lodge is surrounded by mountains, streams, and waterfalls. It also faces the wide-open savanna, where you will often spot large herds of zebra, impala, and wildebeest among other African animals.
This boutique property has luxuriously appointed rooms that are each individually decorated in African colonial style, with antique furnishings and Victorian-style bathrooms boasting heated towel racks.
There is plenty to keep you busy while staying here. Beyond fishing, there are hiking, mountain biking, and ATV trails to explore on the grounds. Other amenities include a swimming pool, restaurant, and spa.
Address: Nelshoogte Area, Barberton 1200, South Africa
8. Leaves Lodge & Spa
Accommodation: Leaves Lodge & Spa
In a quiet suburb of Nelspruit, which serves as a gateway to Kruger National Park, Leaves Lodge & Spa is a luxury guesthouse on well-maintained and leafy grounds. The lodge borders the Nelspruit Nature Reserve, and there are fabulous views of the surrounding indigenous forest.
Choose from a range of rooms and suites. Some come with extra-long beds and balconies; others come with kitchens and personal plunge pools.
Amenities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and spa. A complimentary breakfast is also included.
Address: Cnr Johanna & Halssnoer Cresent Sonheuwel, Nelspruit 1200 South Africa
9. Schneider's Boutique Hotel
Accommodation: Schneider's Boutique Hotel
Just about 30 kilometers from one of the Kruger National Park entrance gates, Schneider's Boutique Hotel is another five-star country guesthouse. It offers beautifully appointed suites in a tranquil environment. Each has its own private outdoor shower, as well as a full en suite bath inside. There is also a fireplace in each suite.
On-site amenities here include a complimentary breakfast each morning. There is also a restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner, but you must book in the morning. There is also a lovely swimming pool on the grounds.
If you enjoy birding, this area is famous for its bird-watching, and staff can fill you in on where to go.
Address: 6 Warren Hills Close White River Country & Golf Estate, off the R40, White River 1240 South Africa
10. Welgelegen Manor
Accommodation: Welgelegen Manor
Dating back to 1912, the historic Welgelegen Manor is an English-style country estate. In the town of Balfour, which is about an hour south of Johannesburg, this property is popular with couples on a romantic getaway. It is not a good choice for families with young children, however, as kids under 12 are not welcome.
The rooms and public spaces here blend old-world elegance with contemporary luxury. Expect lots of marble floors, teak doors, and brass pieces throughout.
The grounds are equally beautiful, with rose gardens and landscaped terraces.
There is a restaurant on-site that does a well-received English-country-style afternoon tea service. There is also a swimming pool, and lawn games like croquet can be set up.
Address: Farm Rietbult On the R51, Balfour 2410 South Africa
11. La Villa Vita Nelspruit
Accommodation: La Villa Vita Nelspruit
In the Kruger National Park gateway town of Nelspruit, La Villa Vita is a luxury boutique guesthouse with the amenities of a larger resort. Constructed to resemble a Tuscan mansion, the hotel has stone walls and high ceilings. The vibe is elegant country living throughout.
The grounds here are beautifully maintained, with a manicured green lawn and strategically planted foliage. The rooms are set in buildings surrounding the pool and gardens, which itself is surrounded by sun-loungers.
There are 21 rooms, in several styles across a few buildings. The luxury rooms are the most popular. In the main building, they have a classy, romantic ambience with mosquito-netting-draped beds, a chandelier light, beautifully tiled floors, and lots of windows.
The most romantic rooms in the house are the giant honeymoon suites. These feature separate bedrooms and living spaces, bathrooms with large tubs, and private patios with dining tables. Ask upon checking in to have a special dinner served to you on the patio (for a fee).
If you are traveling with kids, book the family interleading rooms. These consist of two connected units that can accommodate up to six people.
A complimentary hot breakfast is included in your room rate. La Villa Vita also serves excellent dinners in its Grand Hall (extra fee). If you want to dine in private, you can book a dinner in the Piano Room, complete with a pianist (extra fee). Other amenities include a gym and a spa.
12. Buhala Lodge
Accommodation: Buhala Lodge
Adjacent to South Africa's magnificent Kruger National Park, Buhala Lodge sits on the banks of the Crocodile River and offers a luxury wildlife and golf experience to guests. The thatched roof lodge sees all sorts of animal visitors, including the Big 5, along with hippos, crocodiles, and many of the smaller antelope species.
Choose from a range of room plans, with even the most basic standard rooms being clean and comfortable. If you need more space, however, check out the two Elephant Garden Suites that share a plunge pool.
On-site amenities include a complimentary breakfast at the river-facing restaurant, which also serves lunch and dinner for a fee. There are also options to book spa treatments and go on game drives and guided walks. Children over 10 are welcome to stay.
Address: 12 Km Beyond Malelane Town on the N4 Van Graan Se Dam, Crocodile River, Malelane 1320 South Africa
13. Sabi River Sun Resort
Accommodation: Sabi River Sun Resort
Right on the banks of the Sabie River just 15 kilometers from one of the main entrance gates at Kruger National Park, Sabie River Sun Resort is a family-friendly favorite that is also good value.
The 3-star hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Children under 18 don't incur a room charge here.
Sabie River has five outdoor swimming pools, a luxe spa, an 18-hole golf course, and a restaurant on-site. They also offer complimentary breakfast and airport shuttle service. Additionally, safaris in Kruger can be arranged.
Address: Main Sabie Road, Hazyview 1242 South Africa
14. Southern Sun Mbombela
Accommodation: Southern Sun Mbombela
The Southern Sun Mbombela is next to the Lowveld National Botanical Garden, which is wonderful to wander around. The upscale resort is less than an hour's drive from Kruger National Park in the lively town of Nelspruit.
Choose from rooms or suites that are all decorated in warm color schemes and come with amenities like free Wi-Fi and coffee machines. If you're traveling with the family, the suites have more space and the added benefit of separate living rooms. They also come with private patios looking out onto the gardens.
Resort amenities include a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, gym, and complimentary breakfast each morning.
Address: 15 Government Boulevard, Riverside Park, Nelspruit 1200 South Africa
15. La Kruger Lifestyle Lodge
Accommodation: La Kruger Lifestyle Lodge
Inside Marloth Park, which is a safari wildlife sanctuary that borders Kruger National Park, La Kruger Lifestyle Lodge is ideally situated for exploring other southern African countries — day trips to Mozambique and Swaziland can both be arranged. They also run half- and full-day safaris into Kruger, where you will have a chance to spot lions, elephants, giraffes, and all the other famous African animals.
The 4-star property features rooms and chalets connected by elevated walkways, all of which are spacious, clean, and creatively decorated.
Breakfast is included, and it is recommended you book their half-board option to also include dinner, which is served as a three-course meal.
Address: 2576 Hartebees Street, Marloth Park 1340 South Africa
16. Hippo Hollow Country Estate
Accommodation: Hippo Hollow Country Estate
Just outside the town of Hazyview with Drakensberg Mountain views, Hippo Hollow Country Estate sits right on the Sabie River. It is also just a few minutes' drive from the famed Kruger National Park, and tours can be arranged.
The 3-star resort is a family-friendly property. Choose from simple rooms with thatched roofs, balconies, and, in some cases, Wi-Fi access and satellite TV, or more back-to-nature chalets, with river or garden views from private decks and, in some instances, kitchenettes that parents will appreciate.
Amenities include two outdoor swimming pools, a restaurant serving South African and international fare, and a complimentary breakfast each morning.
Address: R40, Hazyview 1242 South Africa