Kruger National Park & Lowveld, Mpumalanga Tourism
Click here for Nelspruit accommodation
Fondly called 'Nellies' by the locals, Nelspruit is also known as the gateway to Mpumalanga and the majestic Kruger National Park.
Translated from Afrikaans, Nelspruit means 'Nel's stream', named after the farm built on the Crocodile River by three Nel brothers - Andre, Louis and Gert. Lying in the verdant Crocodile River Valley, Nelspruit has from its humble beginnings, become the capital of Mpumalanga, and the most important commercial centre in the Mpumalanga area. With its bountiful sunshine, lush valleys and sub-tropical climate, Nelspruit Mpumalanga is the hub of the rich surrounding farming area, which produces tropical fruits such as bananas, mangos, avos, oranges and grapefruit. Nelspruit then cans the citrus fruit, and is also booming with timber mills, paper and furniture manufacturing, All in all, Nelspruit Mpumalanga is a very prosperous place to live, and the ideal Mpumalanga holiday destination!
For guests flying into Nelspruit, this booming Mpumalanga town boasts its own privately owned airport. With its thatch roof and stone floors, the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (also known as KMIA), is known as the best looking airport in South Africa, and lies just 23km from Nelspruit city centre.
Once in Nelspruit, you will be spoiled for choice when looking for Nelspruit accommodation, as there is an abundance of lodgings to suit all tastes and pockets. Stay in luxurious Nelspruit Bed & Breakfast accommodation adjoining the Nelspruit Nature Reserve, only a short drive to Nelspruit city centre, or in more affordable, simple, log cabin Nelspruit Bed & Breakfast accommodation. Guests will find Nelspruit Self Catering accommodation in the scenic Alkmaar region just outside Nelspruit, situated close to a dam with fantastic views of the surrounding mountainous countryside - or Nelspruit Self Catering accommodation in the heart of Nelspruit, conveniently located within easy reach of restaurants, shopping malls and the airport. Nelspruit accommodation also caters for guests with specific preferences - visit the WhereToStay Nelspruit Special Category accommodation page for more info on Nelspruit 4x4/Quad/Bike Trails, Nelspruit Conference Venue, Nelspruit Fresh-Water Fishing, Nelspruit Pet-friendly accommodation, Nelspruit Wedding Venue accommodation and Nelspruit Wheelchair Friendly accommodation in Nelspruit.
Nelspruit is perfectly situated as a base from which to explore the nearby Kruger Park Mpumalanga (66.9km, 53 minutes from Nelspruit accommodation), the largest game reserve in South Africa, and rated as the ultimate safari experience. This unique wildlife sanctuary boasts more species of mammals than any other African game reserve, and Kruger National Park guests are almost guaranteed to see the Big 5 - rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, including the Birding Big 6.
Kruger National Park Mpumalanga boosts some of the finest Kruger Park accommodation, which affords a wealth of lodging, gaming and an impressive array of amenities, while guests enjoy an authentic African wilderness experience.
Also in close proximity to Nelspruit are the 3 million year old Sudwala Caves (35.2km from Nelspruit accommodation), considered to be the oldest caves in the world which guarantee a once in a lifetime experience. One of the major tourist attractions in the Mpumalanga Crocodile River Valley, visitors can explore a 600m route through passages and small halls, enjoying wondrous natural stalagmite and stalactite formations such as Screaming Monster and Weeping Woman, and once inside, make sure you take the The Crystal Tour which is a must! Especially for the kids, the The PR Owen Dinosaur Park located near the Sudwala Caves in Mpumalanga is the largest and most scientifically accurate park of its kind in the world. The park is set in a lush, sub-tropical forest garden where beautiful cabbage trees, cycads, monkeys and birds flourish in abundance. This popular Nelspruit Mpumalanga destination offers children an exciting and educational glimpse into the world of Dinosaurs and other pre-historic animals, with over a hundred various varieties of pre-historic monsters on display.
Location - from Nelspruit, take the N4 West for 35.2km.
The golf lover will enjoy the Nelspruit Golf Course, where once a year hundreds of amateur golfers from far and wide descend on Nelspruit Golf Club for the annual 'Jock of the Bushveld Golf Tournament' - the biggest amateur golf tournament of its kind in the world. This 18 hole par 71 Nelspruit golf course has lush year-round fairways, and is lined exclusively by indigenous trees, home to 256 different species of birds.
The Nelspruit Golf Club features a pro-shop, festive bar and clubhouse.
Outdoor enthusiasts can test their driving skills with Nelspruit Riverwild off-road quad and 4x4 trails, which offers expert guidance over challenging muddy river crossings, steep ascents, hair raising descents, and plenty of rocky areas on one of the leading 4x4 trails in South Africa.
Horse ride with Mountain Range Horse Back Trails on trails that run through mountain bushveld where an abundance of game roams. Riders can choose from a one hour trail up to three hours, which takes guests high up into the mountain with ample space to run and views to forever!
Take a hike through the Nelspruit Nature Reserve (4.6km from Nelspruit city center) - the Green Heritage Hiking Trail is a quiet, relaxing way to enjoy the wide diversity of birds and small antelope, or explore the Nelspruit Historical Walking Trail from the Promenade Centre to the Nelspruit Civic Centre. This enlightening history tour highlights the architectural and cultural history of this Mpumalanga town, bringing old Nelspruit back to life.
More things to do and see in and around Nelspruit Mpumalanga
Nelspruit Mbombela Stadium was constructed for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, and can comfortably seat 40,000 people with excellent views from all positions. Situated 8km North of Nelspruit, it's the closest venue to the hugely popular Kruger National Park.
Nelspruit Lowveld National Botanical Garden features over 500 indigenous plants and 650 trees, a man-made rain forest, and a spectacular exhibition of ferns and cycads set in a park-like setting that is a tranquil haven for the world weary.
Nelspruit Croc River Enviro Park
For a unique adventure, a day at the Nelspruit Croc River Enviro Park will provide fun and excitement for the whole family. By far the largest facility of its type in Africa, the CrocRiver Enviro Park in Nelspruit offers a variety of attractions which include the Turtle Ponds, Crocodile Ponds, Fish Pond and the Water Monitor Lizard Pond. In the Desert House, a desert environment houses indigenous and exotic reptiles from all over the world, then see live snake handling demonstrations in the snake pits. Young children can become acquainted with farm animals at the Nelspruit Animal Touch Farm.
Nelspruit Chimp Eden is situated in the beautiful, forested Mpumalanga Umhloti Nature Reserve (about 15km South of Nelspruit). Founded by Jane Goodall, Chimp Eden is Africa's only chimpanzee rehabilitation centre where chimps who have been severely traumatized are treated with love and kindness. Guests will leave Chimp Eden feeling uplifted and hopeful by the moving experience.
Nelspruit Casino Emnotweni
In the mountains of Nelspruit along the banks of the Mpumalanga Crocodile River you will find the ideal entertainment destination, the Emnotweni Casino of Nelspruit. Emnotweni is Zulu slang, meaning 'where the money is at', and guests could strike it lucky on slot machines, blackjack and roulette tables, and at the Salon Prive, which caters for those with deeper pockets. Then dine at the Explorers Restaurant which serves delicious buffet meals sure to appeal to any taste, or the Glassbar, which boasts a contemporary menu featuring a delectable choice of gourmet sandwiches with some of the most creative and lip-smacking fillings in the Lowveld.
Nelspruit Riverside Mall is right next door to the Emnotweni Nelspruit Casino, and is one of Mpumalanga's largest shopping centres and cinema complexes. Riverside Mall in Nelspruit offers a treasure chest of entertainment and shopping options with over 140 outlets including 15 restaurants & coffee shops, fashion stores and entertainment in a well-cooled and vibrant atmosphere.
Find the Nelspruit Riverside Mall on Government Boulevard, Riverside Park Ext 1, Nelspruit
Where to eat in Nelspruit Mpumalanga
Try quality Indian food at Kadai, where guests can sit on the verandah and eat delightful treats like fish pollichathu wrapped in a banana leaf and pan-fried, or crad masala and nadan beef curry.
Location - 7 Faurie Street, Nelspruit
For 'Lowveld chic', the Orange Restaurant in Nelspruit is a heavenly taste experience, featuring dishes such as Ostrich Carpaccio drizzled with basil pesto, rolled with pecorino shavings, and fresh Norwegian salmon lightly grilled in lime and coriander and topped with avocado.
Location - 2 Du Preez Street, Nelspruit
Experience the true spirit of Africa at the Nelspruit Zest Restaurant, who will tantalise your taste buds and spoil you with a visual feast of sweeping Mpumalanga Lowveld panoramas.
Location - 10km from Nelspruit accommodation on the R37 (Lydenburg/Mashishing Road)
Trusty kid friendly restaurants
Ocean Basket / Spur / Nando's / Wimpy / John Dory's / McDonald's
Towns near Nelspruit Mpumalanga with WhereToStay listings
White River accommodation - 18.9km from Nelspruit accommodation
White River is a favourite holiday destination for both locals and foreigners looking to enjoy the beauty of the Kruger National Park & Lowveld Crocodile River Valley. Home to numerous craftsmen and Mpumalanga artists, White River Kruger Park Area is also a great base from which to explore the waterfalls, historic sites and hiking trails of the Mpumalanga escarpment, and is in close proximity to the Kruger National Park.
In White River, stay in Star Graded White River Bed & Breakfast accommodation on the White River 18 hole championship parkland golf course, which also boasts excellent tennis, squash, cricket and hockey facilities, with an outstanding swimming pool adjacent to the White River golf clubhouse. Select White River Bush Lodge accommodation can be found on game farms in the beautiful surroundings of the Kruger National Park & Lowveld, or choose White River Self Catering Cottage accommodation set among beautiful indigenous trees and bustling birdlife. See the WhereToStay White River accommodation page for more options.
Kaapsehoop accommodation (Kaapschehoop) - 30.7km from Nelspruit accommodation
Kaapsche Hoop is an area of scenic beauty known for its wild horses. With its misty mountains, this old gold mining town is a popular tourist destination - a haven of Mpumalanga peace and tranquillity. Kaapsche Hoop's fabulous local restaurants, quaint shops and loads of Kaapsche Hoop accommodation (Kaapse Hoop) makes for the perfect holiday. Nestled on the edge of the Mpumalanga escarpment, you'll find Star Graded Kaapsche Hoop Bed & Breakfast accommodation (Kaapsehoop) at Kaapsche Hoop Gastehuis (Kaapse Hoop), and Kaapsche Hoop Self Catering Cottage accommodation (Kaapse Hoop) on an avocado and pecan nut farm. For more info on these superb establishments, see the WhereToStay Kaapsche Hoop accommodation (Kaapse Hoop) page.
While in Kaapsche Hoop Mpumalanga, take the Kaapsehoop Escarpment Walk, and hike through a maze of unusual rock formations, and you'll find yourself at the edge of the Kruger National Park & Lowveld Mpumalanga escarpment with jaw dropping views.