The area is situated on the highest part of the Steenkampsberg Plateau at approximately 2 072 m above sea level, with the Dullstroom station being the highest point in Mpumalanga. The Suikerboschkop koppies are situated in the west of the area. The landscape declines from the plateau towards the escarpment and the Lowveld to the Mozambique Coast in the east.
There are various rivers and watercourses traversing the area, the most prominent of these being the Crocodile River in the north and Komati River in the south. There are numerous wetlands and sensitive environmental areas associated with these rivers, particularly around Dullstroom. These rivers are also popular for fly fishing, attracting large number of tourists to the area.
There are four Nature Reserves in the area, namely the Tullach-Mohr Reserve on the eastern boundary of the area, the Dullstroom Nature Reserve situated north of Dullstroom and the Verloren Valley Nature reserve situated in the north of Emakhazeni. Lastly the Ntsinini Nature Reserve situated East of Emgwenya (Waterval Boven).
Farming is the dominant economic activity in the Emakhazeni area occupying the largest part of the physical area. Small towns have developed throughout the area, which serve as service centres to the agricultural sector.