The Genesis Route lies in the heart of Mpumalanga in the Makhonjwa Mountain Range. The 220 km route connects the historic town of Barberton to the holiday destination of Badplaas and agricultural Low’s Creek.
The Genesis Route showcases some of Mpumalanga’s most diverse landscapes. With spectacular viewpoints, from rolling savannah grasslands through rocky mountainous ravines and indigenous forests. It has recently won tentative World Heritage Status, making it only the ninth place in South Africa to do so. The Route is rich in Gold Rush history with a unique geology found nowhere else in the world. It is packed full of vibrant cultural experiences and action-packed adventures. As well as being the perfect place for those wanting a perfect relaxing weekend getaway.
The Genesis Route is the gateway to the Kruger Lowveld, Swaziland and Mozambique. It provides the scenic alternative to the N4 for those travelling from Gauteng. Access the Route from Carolina on the R38, Machadodorp on the R541 or Nelspruit on the R40. Come explore one of Mpumalanga’s hidden gems – The Genesis Route
The Genesis Route Drive
The Genesis Route can easily be accessed from Nelspruit, via the R40. You will experience one of the most spectacular and winding passes in the province. Here you will head down into the Barberton basin
The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Range
The route provides a scenic alternative to the N4 between Gauteng and the Kruger Lowveld. It will lead you through the historic town of Barberton (originating during the gold rush in the 1880s). Experience the tourist attractions of Badplaas and the agricultural community that surrounds Low’s Creek
While travelling along the N4 route towards Malelane, you can stop at Boondocks Mountain Lodge and Labyrinth. The property provides visitors with impressive panoramic views of unspoilt Bushveld from its high mountain perch. Meanwhile the labyrinth is the perfect sanctuary away from life’s daily hustle and bustle to relax and unwind.
Brays Golden Quarry
The next stop has to be a visit to Bray’s Golden Quarry, one of the ‘Mining Wonders of the World’. Found in the beautiful Mountain lands Nature Reserve. The quarry was first formed after Edward Bray discovered rocks which seemed to be made completely from gold. Tours can be arranged of the quarry and Sheba mine. Sheba is renowned for being the oldest and richest gold mine in the world.
Nothing can prepare you for the vast underground Quarry, especially when you consider this was all dug by hand. There was no heavy machinery, dynamite or room for mules. It was purely the blood, sweat and tears, of men laboring with picks that made this massive hole a reality. The logistics of creating it are simply mind-blowing. Unearthing numerous questions like how they got the rock out. How they managed to traverse the steep sides. And how Edwin Bray have felt when he laid eyes on the rocks that appeared to be cemented in gold. The fact it is still a working mine only adds to the experience. It is hard to imagine what life would have been like for the miners back then. Spending days underground digging for someone else’s fortune. Fashioned entirely by hand, this cavernous mine is considered by many as one of the mining wonders of the world
The Genesis Route Nelshoogte Pass
If it is spectacular scenery you are looking for, the Nelshoogte Pass between Barberton and Badplaas will be perfect. Offering breath-taking views, the pass has earned its reputation of being one of the most scenic routes in South Africa. The Queen Rose Hiking Trail situated on the pass is renowned for its picturesque beauty and variety of wildlife.