Nelspruit has a sub-tropical climate with some of South Africa's top attractions and is considered the gateway to the Kruger National Park.
Nelspruit or Mbombela, the capital city of Mpumalanga province, lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River. With an all year-round warm climate, lush plantations and magnificent scenery, Nelspruit is more than just a large citrus farming area and gateway to the Kruger National Park.
An exciting and thriving city in the heart of the Lowveld, with a sub-tropical climate, annual sunshine and lush hills and valleys, there is much to explore in and around the city. Featuring over 500 indigenous plants, a man-made forest and a magnificent exhibition of ferns and cycads, the Lowveld National Botanical Garden is a must-see when visiting Nelspruit. As is the Crocodile River Reptile Park, Africa’s largest reptile park where snakes, crocodiles, lizards, scorpions and spiders can be observed, with a wonderful wildlife centre where you can learn all about these creatures and their habitats.
The Sudwala Caves, also a fascinating attraction, are situated just outside of Nelspruit and are regarded to be the oldest caves on earth. They are estimated to be over 240 million years old, said to have been formed at a time when the entire Southern Hemisphere was joined creating a super-continent called Gondwanaland.
Nearby the Sudwala Caves, if claustrophobia is a reality, is a dinosaur park and cultural centre that will educate you of Africa’s most primal history where you can experience the world as it was when the caves were first formed. Further away from Nelspruit is the town of Kaapsehoop, known to be a gold mining town with herds of wild horses and misty fields. The mountains in and around Nelspruit provide splendid camping sites where many hiking and cycling trails can be explored.
For those seeking a less intensive adventure, the Nelspruit Nature Reserve offers several walking trails through the reserve of which The Green Heritage Hiking Trail and Nelspruit Historical Walking Trail are most popular. A wide range of antelope, birds and indigenous vegetation can be expected on these trails. Nelspruit is also well-known for the only chimpanzee rehabilitation centre, The Jane Goodall Institute, knowns as “Chimp Eden”. Chimpanzees are considered to be the closest relative to humans and are under the red list of endangered species. The chimpanzee sanctuary promotes eco-tourism through education and conservation.
Accommodation in Nelspruit is spread evenly throughout the city and provide a great platform to visit the Kruger National Park and other game reserves around the city. Backpackers are cosy and affordable. Self-catering accommodation are great for those wanting some quality time. Nelspruit accommodation also offer a variety of guest houses, lodges, bed and breakfasts and world class boutique hotels.