Belfast, the Trout & Tulip Capital of Mpumalanga and “ Gateway to the Highlands Meander.
The small town was established in 1890 on the farm Tweefontein. The farm's owner, Richard O'Neill, was unsurprisingly an Irishman and a member of a well-known Ulster family. He named the town after the Irish city he was born in. This area of Mpumalanga saw a great deal of action during the South African (Anglo-Boer) War and Belfast is the site of one of the country's largest and most notorious Boer War concentration camps that was used exclusively for Boer woman and children. Bergendal, about 6km east of the town was where the last pitched battle of the war took place. Today, the peaceful town is an important sheep, dairy and floral agricultural centre.
Belfast District is high lying at 2025m above sea level, with many fountains feeding the streams and river in the area. The climate in sub alpine with a crisp and healthy environment. The various sub habitats support good populations of certain bird species and the area is one of the last strong holds for the wattle crane. The high grasslands remain botanically unexplored to a large the Escarpment where frequent mists are critical in supplying moisture for small plants living in rock crevices.
Belfast is renowned for its excellent fly-fishing conditions of mainly trout but also black bass, carp, Babel and yellow fish in the town boast 6 dams managed by the Belfast Fly Fishing Association, the largest fly fishing association in Mpumalanga, but it also has a picturesque waterfall that forms part of one of the most popular hiking trails in the country.
A major attraction is the “tulip farm” which is an unforgettable sight during September when the tulips and daffodils are in full bloom.
Another unique feature of Belfast is the black granite, which is a highly valued product as it is the only known and purest granite deposit in the world.
The town is well situated on the main road from Gauteng to the Kruger National Park. About three hours from Gauteng, the pretty town is regarded as the gateway to the scenic Mpumalanga Highlands Meander, also known as the 'Trout Mecca' with rivers and streams in a pristine environment always attract many fly-fishermen.
Another sport that has its origins in Scotland is golf and for those enthusiasts who have their clubs, there is the lovely 9-hole Belfast Golf Club.
Tourists who are here in springtime can enjoy the fun activities that are part of the annual Tulip Festival. For those who are into outdoor activities and extreme sports there is plenty of opportunity to go rock climbing, hiking, abseiling, canoeing, 4x4 trailing, hot-air ballooning and paragliding, all within a few minutes of traveling.
Where to stay in Belfast is only a click of the mouse away.