Nelspruit is the capital of Mpumalanga and is the largest town in the Lowveld. The city lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River, 330km (205.06 miles) east of Johannesburg. The Malelane Gate, southern access to the Kruger Park, is about 60km (37.28 miles) away. Close to the Kruger National Park and other game destinations, Nelspruit is the gateway through which many people enter the province.
The history of this beautiful, fast growing metropolitan area dates back to 1892. It all started off with the construction of a station up the Crocodile River valley, built on a farm owned by the Nel family. The place Nelspruit (Nels stream) attracted traders and farmers in high profile because of the natural richness of the soil, adequate water for irrigation and a level valley floor.
It is also close to the Swaziland border and is a good stopover if en route to that country from Johannesburg. The Sudwala Caves, Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and other scenic splendours of Mpumalanga are not far away. Nelspruit is served by the brand new Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, which is capable of handling wide bodied aircraft.
Visit the Sudwala Caves, 20 minutes outside Nelspruit. Many stone artefacts indicate that the caves have been used for shelter and refuge since the dawn of mankind. In the early 1800s the king of the Swazis, Sobhuza, found shelter in the caves while hiding from the militant Ndwandwe Zulu tribe and their leader Swide.
Also worth seeing when visiting Nelspruit is the Lowveld National Botanical Garden in the west of the town at the banks of the Crocodile River, right next door is a Crocodile farm.