White River is a friendly and pretty town that lies in-between Mbombela/Nelspruit and Hazyview. It is in the hot and beautiful Lowveld region of Mpumalanga. Known for its creativity and hospitality, the White River area has a mix of hotels, lodges, guest houses and getaways.
It is home to many artists and creative souls - potters, sculptors, weavers, painters and crafters. It has hence become a showcase for some of the country’s leading artists. The White River area is a day trippers’ delight, offering galleries, craft markets, museums and restaurants. All in a gentle Lowveld setting right next to the Kruger National Park.
The town has several names - Wit Rivier, White River and Mhloppemanzi, all meaning the same thing. The name White River refers to the colour of the water in the nearby river. It has a milky appearance caused by the high levels of kaolin in it.
The oldest house in White River is a vicarage built by an Anglican minister who settled here in the 1880s. He planted a Natal fig tree here, which is a historic monument and is still standing.
Look out for
The Artists Route - Many artists have made their homes in this area and some of the country’s leading artists live here. You can visit their studios and see permanent exhibitions. Art forms include pottery, weaving, glass blowing, candle making and sculpture.
Butterfly Garden - Step into a fairyland of exquisite, delicate butterflies, flying around and feeding on flowers planted especially for them. This family-friendly spot also has a petting zoo and a herb garden.
The Panorama Route - Take a day drive along the route which leads through historic towns and mountain passes. It leads attractions like God’s Window and Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon. The latter is the third-largest green canyon in the world and offers dramatic views.
Kruger National Park - White River is a short drive from the Kruger Park, one of South Africa’s premier game reserves. The park spans almost 20 000 square kilometres. It contains a variety of habitats, ranging from high rainfall mountainous areas to semi-arid plains. Within its borders lies an abundance of wildlife and a rich natural heritage.