The well-known Mpumalanga towns of Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder owe their names to the spectacular Elands River Falls.
Plunging 70m in three streams against an ochre cliff-face, the falls are visible from the NZASM tunnel, a familiar landmark en-route to Dullstroom from Waterval Boven. Built in 1883, this tunnel was one of the most outstanding engineering feats of its time, carved through the Elandsberg range and sporting imported Italian stonework and the longest line of electrical cabling in the world. At the time, the tunnel, which opened up the route to Delegoa Bay in Mozambique, was one of the only routes out of the country apart from Durban Harbour, which was under British occupation. Today it is out of use, but remains an interesting landmark to visit while travelling on the Highlands Meander or as part of a daytrip from your luxurious accommodation in Dullstroom.
The Mpumalanga area is home to several other noteworthy waterfalls such as:
- Lisbon Falls
- Horseshoe Falls
- Lone Creek Falls
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Mac Mac Falls
- Berlin Falls
Although the Elands River Falls is neither the tallest (that distinction belongs to Lisbon Falls) or the most dramatic of these, it is a well-known rock climbing destination, a national monument, and the starting point for several activities in the area.
The most exciting way to gain a great view of the falls is certainly climbing up the sheer sandstone cliff faces, but you can get great views of the plunging water and deep clear pools from a wooden viewing platform situated alongside, which is easily accessed from the road.
The cliffs around Waterval Boven provides a great climbing environment and has been voted among the top climbing destinations in the world by those in the know. If you would like to find out why, equipment and tuition are available for both novice and experienced climbers.
Other activities available close to Elands River Falls include abseiling, horse-riding, para-gliding and fly fishing. There are several overnight options for those wishing to explore all the sights, attractions and breath-taking scenery of Mpumalanga, including luxurious Dullstroom hotels, guesthouses and self-catering establishments nearby.