Nestled in the heart of the lush Lowveld on the banks of the Crocodile River, the city of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, did not develop because of the discovery of minerals, or having a seaport.
Instead, a railway connecting Mozambique to Pretoria was being built through the farm, attracting farmers from the surrounding areas, who established one of the greatest citrus and subtropical fruit estates in the country.
Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa
What makes this city in the Mpumalanga province so unique is that it is situated close to the world-famous Kruger National Park. The Malelane Gate, the southern access to the Kruger National Park, is about an hour's drive from Nelspruit. Other attractions in the area are the Sudwala Caves and the Panorama Route with God's Window or the Bourke's Luck Potholes.
The largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is larger than Israel, and a truly magnificent wildlife experience with an incredible diversity of species. This huge National Park in South Africa is characterised by a great variety of trees, these stalwarts of Africa include Baobabs, Marula, Mopane and Fever Trees. The Big Five animals are all resident as well as many other fascinating creatures. Visitors can find out about the Little Five and the Big Six whilst exploring this self-drive destination. Guided tours and safaris of all kinds are also available. Kruger National Park in Mpumalanaga South Africa, has great facilities including rest camps and picnic areas with excellent sites for observing game, from hides and at waterholes.
The city of Nelspruit, capital of the Mpumalanga province, lies in a fertile valley, 3 and half hours drive, east of Johannesburg in the hot and humid Lowveld. Nelspruit is the trading centre for the surrounding fruit growing area of Mpumalanga. Citrus and tropical fruits, mainly mango, banana, avocado, macadamia and pecan nuts are produced in this area.
Highlights in Nelspruit and beyond
The Lowveld Botanical Gardens just outside of Nelspruit have a rare collection of plant species as well as a lovely man-made rain forest. Walking in the Nelspruit Nature Reserve is an enjoyable experience with routes ranging from 1 to 6 hours in duration. There is also an historic route of 1 hour which goes through the town.
Just outside this Mpumalanga town is the Sudwala Caves complex which includes a Dinosaur Park and Cultural Centre. Visitors here can enjoy tours through the underground caves some of which go really deep. There are excellent photo opportunities in the well lit caverns. Adventure enthusiasts can tackle the crystal tour which involves crawling through tunnels that may have water in them, but it is worth it to see the dazzling crystal chamber.
A heart warming and educational excursion is to Chimpanzee Eden on the Umhloti Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The famous Jane Goodall Institute has created a beautiful sanctuary for chimps that have been misplaced from their natural habitat. There are regular daily tours and feeding times.
About 45 minutes drive north of Nelspruit is Hazyview, action central for this region. This town in Mpumalanga has become a centre for all kinds of interesting activities as well as a one stop shop for a variety of adrenalin rides. Visitors to Hazyview can stop in at the Casterbridge Centre for shopping, entertainment and the Saturday morning market. There is also a vintage car museum.
Just further north again from Hazyview visitors enter the Panoramic Route in South Africa, an area in the Mpumalanga province with many attractions and scenic beauty. The Panorama Route is the setting for the Blyde River Canyon and its impressive views. God's Window and Wonder View are noted view points. Pilgrim's Rest is a delightful town to visit in this Mpumalanga area for a step back in time.
Nelspruit attractionsWalking trails
Adventure activities in Nelspruit and Hazyvi
- Gold Panning
- Fruit farm tours
- Riverside Mall, shops and entertainment
- Lowveld National Botanical Garden
- Sudwala Caves, Dinosaur Park, Cultural Village
- Chimpanzee Eden, Umhloti Nature Reserve
- CrocRiver Enviro Park
- De Brug Ostrich Farm
- Kaapsehoop gold mining town
- Kingdom of Africa Centre for arts, crafts, butterfly centre
- KaNyamazane Township Tours
- Mbombela Stadium
- Go Karting - Nelspruit
- Indoor paintball - Nelspruit and Hazyview
- Quadbiking - Nelspruit and Hazyview
- Hiking and horse trails - Nelspruit and Hazyview
- Climbing Wall - Hazyview
- White water rafting, tubing, ziplining - Hazyview
- Mountain biking - Hazyview
- Kloofing and canyoning - Hazyview
Day trips north on the Panoramic Route
- Wine Tasting
- Coffee farm tour
- Perry's Bridge Reptile Park
- Wildlife sanctuaries - various in the vicinity
- Casterbridge Centre shops, market, entertainment
- Pilgrims Rest
- Blyde River Canyon
- Bourke's Luck Potholes
See Nelspruit hotel