Hotels in and around the Nelspruit suburb
Nelspruit is situated in the Lowveld of the gorgeous, lush South African province of Mpumalanga. It plays an important part in manufacturing and agriculture for the entire region. In fact, the subtropical conditions make for the ideal farming of tropical fruits like mangoes, bananas, avocado pears, litchis, papayas and some types of nuts. Orange orchards dot the landscape as well since citrus fruits do particularly well in this north-eastern environment. Being situated in the Crocodile River valley sets this town apart in terms of natural beauty and the fertility of its land.
Because of its central positioning in relation to other tourist hotspots like Johannesburg, Mozambique and the Kruger National Park, Nelspruit also acts as an effective base from which to explore these various areas.
The Mpumalanga province was home to ancient tribes that lived as hunter-gatherers throughout the continent. These ones left accounts of their lives and customs by means of rock art, in addition to the many fossilised remains of their bodies, implements and tools. It was only a few centuries ago that Europeans began to recognise the natural and mineral value of this country, as well as its optimal positioning in terms of travel routes. These settlers pushed the local tribes out of their homes and farms, occupying the land for themselves and often killing the indigenous people in large numbers.
Nelspruit itself was established in 1905 by the three Nel brothers. These farmers would travel to the lush valley to allow their cattle to graze from the rich foliage during the winter times. It was then named Nelspruit, “spruit” referring to a winter-flowing stream.
Nelspruit is about 360km from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport. Johannesburg is South Africa's commercial and cultural epicentre, which makes for fantastic sight-seeing and shopping opportunities.
The roads in and around Nelspruit are well constructed, safe for driving with any vehicle or motorcycle. Directions are clearly indicated on effective signboards.
Professional cabs and taxis are available, and tourists are urged to contact reputable services to organise these, or to request your hotelier to do so. It is not advisable that you make use of the minibus taxis as they are frequently unroadworthy and are inconvenient if you are not familiar with the local customs and languages.
Nelspruit has its own international airport, the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. In addition, there is the Nelspruit Airport, which houses the aviation wing.
The natural beauty of Nelspruit has invited tourists from all over the world year after year. It presents a number of places to go and things to see, just by virtue of its natural value.
Chimpanzee Eden – The Jane Goodall Institute is one of the major attractions that delight young and old alike. This reserve rescues and rehabilitates chimpanzees that have been taken out of their natural habitat and / or are in need of refuge. Chimpanzee Eden undertakes various education initiatives. It is also focused on eco-tourism in an effort to maintain sustainability for future chimpanzee generations.
The Lowveld Botanical Gardens are perched right on the banks of the Crocodile River and are characterised by their extensive green lawns, shaded by the multitude of towering trees. There are over 2600 plant species in these magnificent gardens, of which over 650 are trees.
Of course, the Kruger National Park is situated in relatively close proximity to Nelspruit and is a must-see for all international visitors. This huge park is home to hundreds of birds, animals and plants living in authentic African bushveld. These include the Big 5 (lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant and leopard) as well as many other intriguing species.
Nelspruit is situated in Mpumalanga's Lowveld region. This area is subtropical; warm and humid. Rain falls mostly as summer thundershowers in the afternoon. Summer is between December and March and winter from June to August. The average summer high is about 29 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures average in at about 23 degrees.
Mpumalanga is one of South Africa's few malaria risk areas, although the rate of incidence is very low. Visitors must consult with a travel doctor or clinic regarding anti-malarial prophylaxes well ahead of their visit. In addition, treat clothes, bedding and skin with a specific repellent, sleep under a treated net and wear clothing that covers exposed areas, especially at night.
It is important that visitors protect themselves and their family against the damage caused by sun exposure. In addition to a high-factor sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, light cotton clothing should be worn to cover exposed areas of the skin like the neck, arms and legs.
Ensure that your tetanus shots are up-to-date in case of being injured by broken glass or cans in the cities or rural areas.
Do not touch or even approach any wild animal in the formal parks or the bushveld of Mpumalanga or Nelspruit, and be aware of the possibility of snakes when you are walking, even if it is around your campsite or hotel.
When visiting the local towns and tourist attractions, do not carry large amounts of money or photographic / video equipment and do not accept help from strangers (particularly at ATM's). If you are travelling in a group, do not stray from the main body of people. Never pick up hitchhikers.