Mpumalanga, formerly the Eastern Transvaal, means 'the place where the sun rises', which should give you a pretty good indication of where it is: smack on South Africa's eastern border, wedged in between the Drakensberg and Mozambique.
Geographically it's divisible into the drier highveld and the low-lying and humid lowveld, which combine to cater for a huge range of agriculture. In fact, while many may associate the region purely with the big cats of the Kruger National Park, 68% of it is set aside for agriculture and the farming of everything from wheat and barley to sugar cane, tobacco and citrus.
But, while you'll see it whizz by in the car, it's unlikely you'll want to focus your holiday on crop rotation. Or perhaps you do? Come here instead for Boer War battlefields, bungy-jumping, birding and big game, most of which is conveniently condensed within the north of the province.
The town of Nelspruit provides the most natural springboard into the region (or across to Maputo and Mozambique) while many of the guest houses lie around the towns of Hazyview and White River.
I would urge you to plan for more than just a single game park visit. Lions and elephants are, of course, a must-see on anyone's list but there is so much else to do too. Take time out to drive via the so-called Panorama Route through the mountainous Highveld with its escarpments, passes and gorges (most dramatic of these being the Blyde River Canyon).
Far below you lie the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park that sweep away towards Mozambique. Play some golf (!), try out our dining suggestions, investigate the history and find out about Long Tom Pass. And then you can go and get your animal fix. See our accommodation guide for the best places to stay in the private reserves attached to the Kruger Park.