The hot mineral waters that filter from a natural spring at Badplaas were visited by travellers in the mid-1870s. The powers of the water were known to the local tribesmen long before that, and they called the waters 'Emanzana' or 'healing waters'.
The thermal spring is situated in the valley of the Komati River, 48km east of Carolina, on the Barberton road. Legend has it that the spring was presented as a gift to Jacob de Clerq by a Swazi chief and by 1893 was declared state property.
The alkaline waters of Badplaas contain sodium bicarbonate, and are a steaming 50 degrees Celsius when they filter from the earth. The water flows at a rate of about 32 000 litres per hour and is pumped into a warm mineral pool, as well as into private pools at a resort.
Today, people with rheumatic ailments still travel to Badplaas to soak away their aches and pains, but have to compete for space because of the holidaymakers who come to enjoy the facilities offered by the large resort and nature reserve nearby.