Mbombela/Nelspruit has turned from town to city in the past decade. Today the capital of Mpumalanga is a vibrant mix of people and cultures: English, Tsonga, Pedi, Swazi, Mozambican, Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French. Set in the hot heart of the Lowveld region, Mbombela/Nelspruit is a gateway to the Kruger National Park, and it is an easy drive through to Swaziland and Mozambique.
Mbombela/Nelspruit comprises historic Nelspruit, the provincial legislature, and the colourful township of Kanyamazane. Mbombela/Nelspruit has some iconic urban landmarks, like the elegant 2010 FIFA World CupTM stadium and the bush-style Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. In the heart of the city is the Lowveld Botanical Garden, a popular sanctuary of greenery on the banks of the Nels River.
Mbombela/Nelspruit is a stepping stone to assorted adventures in the Lowveld and Panorama regions. These include artists’ routes and township tours, casinos, nightclubs, and artistic and historical spots.
Look out for
The Kruger National Park - The Kruger Park is the country’s premier game reserve. This world-renowned park has a network of roads that lead through the bush to waterholes, camps, picnic sites and lookout spots.
Arts & culture - View the excellent collection of contemporary SA art at the Provincial Legislature buildings. Also take the Artists’ Route that leads to the studios of potters, painters, weavers and sculptors in nearby White River and environs.
Lowveld Botanical Garden - A delight of indigenous greenery, including a large cycad collection and an African rainforest.
Panorama Route - From Mbombela/Nelspruit the Panorama Route heads east through subtropical foothills and farmlands, into the mountains of the Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon. The route has spectacular scenery and takes you along a series of historic mountain passes to the towns of Pilgrim’s Rest, Sabie, Graskop, Mashishing/Lydenburg and Orighstad.
Sudwala Caves - These caves are reputedly the world’s oldest - estimated as being 3 billion years old. The Crystal Tour is not to be missed – it goes deep into the cave system, where beautiful stalactites and stalagmites can be marvelled at.
Wild Frontier - Head for the historic hills of Barberton, rich in gold rush history. Or go to the Songimvelo Game Reserve. The Makonjwa mountain here is one of the most well-preserved series of sedimentary rocks on earth.