The Lubombo Tourism Route, Komatipoort, South Africa
The trip starts in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga and heads into Mozambique then travels through Swaziland and ends back in South Africa. If you spend two days at every location the trip should last you around 13 days, however you can choose to spend more time at every town if you wish to experience more of the local cultures.
From Komatipoort you should travel across the border into Mozambique and go to Maputo. If you are a citizen of South Africa you only need a passport and not a Visa to cross the border. After crossing the border follow the EN 4 which will take you directly to Maputo. The drive down to Maputo is relatively short and can be completed well before noon if you leave the border at 10 am.
Maputo has some of the best tropical beaches in the world and they’re all filled with beautiful marine life. You can spend a day lounging in the sun or soaking up some of the local Mozambique culture. There are shops and restaurants throughout the city that will provide you with the best gifts and food around. After spending two days in Maputo the next part of the trip starts.
From Maputo it is an extremely short drive down to the Maputo Elephants Game Reserve. Here you can enjoy some more of the tropical beaches but you can focus on the wildlife. Your bike should give you a unique perspective on the bush that fills the reserve. It is highly advised to get off your bike and explore the area with a Safari vehicle. The Reserve is filled with some of the most spectacular animals in the world and of course there are elephants everywhere. Something that makes the beaches here special is that they are protected, this means that you have to get special permission to swim in them.
After a visit to the Maputo Elephants Game Reserve, you have to go through the border to Swaziland, go straight to Big Bend. Simply follow the MR7 to Big Bend, you can easily reach the town if you follow the road. Here you can enjoy a peace that is rarely found in the world. The town is surrounded with Cattle farms and vast sugar cane plantations. Although the town is also surrounded by several game reserves. The easiest thing to do in the town is to relax and enjoy the silence that can only be created by vast open planes. There are several bars where you can enjoy sundowners and the locals are all friendly and should help you find some interesting things to do.
After Big Bend you take a short drive on the MR8 towards Manzini. The town is known as the Cultural Hub of Swaziland, which means that you can experience the Swazi culture to its full extent. With the culture so close you it comes as no surprise that some of the best nature reserves are less than a few minutes away from the town. Seeing the big five walking around your vehicle is one of the best experience in the world.
After Manzini you will travel down the MR9 to Nhlangano. Along the way you will travel past several reserves and rivers. Since the road is short you can stop at some of these and enjoy the views that you will get over the plains. Travelling down to Nhlangano is a very short trip, the total driving time is just over one hour. This means that you can enjoy the local culture as much as possible with some of the locals showing you how to really dance. The area is peaceful with some water bodies close by. This means that you can enjoy some water sports or fishing under the pleasant African sun.
After enjoying your time at Nhlangano you will travel across the R543 towards the border back into South Africa. The town of Piet Retief is close to the border and is regularly used as a stopover for anyone going into Swaziland. The town has a long history in South Africa and it is remarkably close to the Kruger National Park. This is the end of your trip and you can choose whether or not to explore the rest of South Africa or you can simply go home.