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Ermelo

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Situated in the Grass and Wetlands region of the Mpumalanga province lies the town of Ermelo, offering budget travellers the opportunity to enjoy numerous adrenaline pumping watersports as well as fishing, swimming and bird watching.

Bursting at its seams with fishing holes, Ermelo has 277 lakes of varying sizes within a 20km radius of the town (which explains why the area ranks highly amongst frogging fans). Other big crowd pullers are the flamingos and flowers.

More mainstream attractions include Stone Age corbelled huts, the source of the Vaal River, Anglo Boer war sites and Goliath’s footprint, a giant geological oddity in the form of a footprint, set in rock that is somewhere between 200 million and 3 billion years old.

Backpackers can hit a few rounds at the Ermelo Golf Course, an excellent 18-hole course layout with plenty of challenging holes, visit archaeological sites dating back to 400 BC at The Songimvelo Nature Reserve, the largest provincial game reserve in South Africa boasting the highest known plant diversity for the Mpumalanga Province or cast a line at Nooitgedacht Dam Nature Reserve, renowned for its access to great fishing opportunities and the annual Morula Fishing festival.

Gateway Backpackers is well positioned as an overnight stop for budget travellers in Ermelo if you are travelling into or out of Swaziland, the Kruger Park, Mozambique or Kosi Bay.