Mbombela (Nelspruit) is situated in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.

Mbombela is the capital of Mpumalanga and can be found in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River. With its’ abundant sunshine, hills and valleys it is the ideal base from which to explore this beautiful Province.

The town is a substantial one, situated amid orange groves and dominated by a cluster of granite domes. The streets are shaded by flowering trees and in December and January the town seems to be aflame with the brilliant scarlet of Poinciana flowers. Visitors can take a walk along the Nelspruit Historical Trail stretching from the Promenade Centre to the Civic Centre and learn about the interesting facets of Nelspruit’s past life. Among the attractive buildings in Mbombela is the town hall. The sundial on the island outside the hall is in the shape of wagon wheel and serves as a memorial to Louis Trichard and his 1837 trek to Lourenco Marques.

The city has become the second largest grower of citrus fruits in South Africa, after Zebediela. Tobacco, nuts, litchis, mangoes, avocados, papaws, vegetables, cattle and timber are also produced on a large scale.

Mbombela has an abundance of accommodation in and around the city which includes lodges, hotels, guesthouses, B&B’s, Game Reserves and backpackers, something to satisfy all tourists visiting the area. The city is also a favoured stopover on the tourist route to the Kruger National Park and Mozambique.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see

Climate

Nelspruit experiences its rainfall in the summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels.

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 17˚C and 29˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 23˚C.

Transport

There are Domestic flights into Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport on a daily basis. Car rental companies are available for easy access around the area and it will take approximately 27 minutes (27.5 km) from the Airport to Nespruit along the R40.

Road trips from Johannesburg to Nelspruit will take approximately three and a half hours (358 km) via the N12 and N4 Routes.

Festivals

April – Mpumalanga Wine Show: the best of the Cape wines are brought to the Lowveld with over 60 well known producers present.

April – Sasol Rally: reputedly one of the toughest Rallys on the South African Calendar. This event brings large crowds each year to Nelspruit and Sabie. Held in the forests and mountains of the Lowveld

May – Bondal Avo Festival: This festival has something for everyone with 100 stalls and entertainment

May – Uplands Festival: incorporates live theatre, country market, music and jazz festival

June – Innibos: Nelspruit’s biggest festival and voted the best festival in the country by Kyknet. A festival hosting the best in South African Music

History

When the Eastern Line was constructed up the Crocodile River Valley in 1892, a station was built on a farm owned by the Nel family. Known as Nelspruit ('Nels stream'), the station was the natural centre for the fertile middle reaches of the valley.

Traders built stores and farmers recognized the potential for irrigation-rich soil, a level valley floor and ample water from the river.

Men such as Hugh Hall settled in the area. Halls Farm, Riverside, became one of the show properties of Africa. He combined the name of two of his major crops - tomatoes and mangoes - to make the trade name Tomango for his fruit juices and other food products.

Mbombela (Nelspruit) was cursed with Malaria in its early years but control of the disease in the 1930's enabled the Crocodile River Valley community to surge ahead.

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