The town of White River is the home of numerous craftsmen and artists, and is a convenient central point for the many attractions of the Mpumalanga escarpment, with its many waterfalls, historic sites and hiking trails.
The Lowveld Botanical Garden has excellent displays of various types of
indigenous flora including a cycads and baobab
The area around White River was first settled by Dutch-Afrikaans farmers in the 1890s. After the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) a settlement was established for demobilized soldiers from both sides of the conflict on the farm Witrivier (White River). Soon afterwards an irrigation canal was constructed to carry water from the Mamazimhlophe (White waters in Swazi) River, a tributary of the Crocodile River, to smallholdings, which were being offered on very favourable terms to the settlers. The "white" in White River comes from the large amounts of kaolin suspended in the water. Today there are more than 3000 farmers living on smallholdings within a short distance from White River and producing a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, flowers and timber.