The Living Journey

While Mpumalanga Province is best known for its incredibly scenic  Panorama Route, the lesser known Genesis Route is a 220 km hidden gem that lies in the heart of Mpumalanga’s Makhonjwa Mountain Range. It links Barberton with the small tourist town of Badplaas and passes through the rich agricultural community of Low’s Creek. The Route is a sort of figure of eight loop where you can either follow the R38 up to Low’s Creek first and then take the R38 and R541 loop past Badplaas or do the two loops in reverse.

The Route is also used as a more scenic alternative to the over utilized  N4 for tourists travelling between Gauteng and the Kruger Lowveld. It is packed full of attractions for both young and old and offers up some of South Africa’s most diverse landscape and spectacular scenery.

There is more to the Genesis Route than beautiful scenery. There is an abundance of wonderful wildlife, rich cultural heritage and unique geology which has resulted in the area being awarded tentative World Heritage Status. The route to Low’s Creek has a spiritual tour site and an Artists Garden worth exploring, plus numerous hiking trails and nature and birding walks. Close to Barberton you can find a Nature Reserve with tourist attractions from the Gold Rush period.

Barberton has a wealth of activities and attractions for tourists visiting the area. Spend a day experiencing what life was like as gold rush pioneer, enjoy getting to know the vibrant community on a Township Tour or simply take some time out for trout fishing, golf or any other outdoor activity you can think of.

Badplaas is known for its hot sulphur springs which bubbles out of the ground at 30 000 litres an hour into the superb hydro-spa. Locals once called it “eManzana” – “the healing waters” Today people travel from far to enjoy the therapeutic waters and this has turned the little town into a resort attraction for tourists. The area also offers wildlife, nature reserves, fishing and boating at the nearby Vygeboom Dam.

Things to do and see

  • Barberton
  • Sheba Mine
  • Brays Golden Quarry
  • Low’s Creek
  • Boondocks Mountain Labyrinth
  • Nukain Mabuza’s Stone Garden
  • Mountainlands Nature Reserve
  • Diggers Retreat
  • Mkhonjwa Geotrail
  • Rimer’s Creek Birding Trail
  • Nelshoogte Nature Reserve
  • Cradle of Life Biopark
  • Vygeboom Dam
  • Badplaas
  • Badplaas Forever Resorts’ Healing Springs


Rainfall occurs mainly in the mid-summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels. 

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 17˚C and 30˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 19˚C.


There are daily flights from  JohannesburgDurban and Cape Town into the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mombela (Nelspruit). Car rental companies are available for easy access to the surrounding areas with Barberton only half an hour away along the R40. Road trips from Johannesburg to Barberton on the N12 and N4 will take just under 4 hours.


August – Pecan Festival: Pick your own pecans! Live music, beer garden, food stalls and plenty of kids activities. Held at the Cradle of Life in Badplaas

The Genesis Route is 253 kilometers (157 miles) long.

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