Top 10 Places to Visit in Nelspruit

Nelspruit is the Gateway to the Lowveld.

What was once a tiny town, barely recognised as a place of significance, has now become one of the most important places in South Africa.

And those heading to Nelspruit for a quick getaway have a lot to look forward to, both from a cultural point of view as well as from an entertainment perspective, as our town turned city, and surrounding areas, have a lot to offer. Here are our favorite 10 Places to Visit in Nelspruit.

1. The Lowveld Botanical Garden

Close to the industrial area of Nelspruit lies an oasis of nature. Although not overgrown like the indigenous Lowveld bush once was, the Nelspruit Botanical garden is filled with plants unique to the area. The garden is criss-crossed with paths that lead to waterfall look out points and through areas that have been turned into rain forests. The entry fees are minimal, and you can even spend the afternoon on the lawns enjoying a pre packed picnic.

Botanical Gadens Nelsprut - Places to Visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

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2. The Nelson Mandela Statue

The Provincial Legislature is located in Nelspruit and to mark this significant place, an eye catching statue of Nelson Mandela has been erected at one of the entrances. You can take your photo with the statue or simply pay your respects to this once great man. There is no entrance fee.

Statue of Nelson Mandela - Places to visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

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3. The Sudwala Caves

A bit of a drive outside of town will take you to the Sudwala Caves. This centuries old cave is considered to be the oldest known cave in the world, and guests flock to it to take in its magnificent rock formations and it’s almost magical crystal formations. Entry fees vary depending on what you wish to see.

Sudwala Caves Nelspruit - Places to visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

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4. The Nelspruit Nature Reserve

This reserve can be found close to the city centre and it features 3 popular walking trails. Some are short and take only an hour to complete while others can take 6 hours to walk. This destination is a must for bird watching enthusiasts.

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5. The Ice Rink

Although Nelspruit is never really cold, it does have an ice rink which was recently added to the town’s biggest mall, iLanga. It’s a great place to spend a day and has a small entry fee of R50.

Nelspruit Ice Rink - Places to visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

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6. The Barberton Nature Reserve

While the Nelspruit Nature Reserve is a fantastic place to spot local birdlife, if you are willing to take the short drive out of town to the Barberton Nature Reserve, you can see wildlife that in the past could only be viewed in the nearby Kruger National Park. The reserve is easily accessible and with its beautiful landscape and varied wildlife population which includes zebra, kudu, and nyala, it’s the perfect day trip destination. Entry prices start at R25 per adult, and R15 for children under 12 and pensioners. If you are interested in hiking in Barberton, check out this Queen Rose Hiking Trail article.

Barberton Nature Reserve - Places to visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

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7. The Motor Museum

In the nearby town of White River, you can view all sorts of old cars at The Motor Museum at Casterbridge. There is a famous collection of classical cars on display and it is also the perfect place for any car collector looking for a restorer to assist them in reviving their beloved car.

White River Car Museum - Places to Visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

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8. The Mozambik Restaurant

The Nelspruit lifestyle is connected to neighbouring Mozambique in many ways, but it is on the culinary front that it is most influenced. At the Mozambik Restaurant you can enjoy a taste of this coastal country, indulging in fresh seafood and a real Mozambique vibe. You can book a table online using their website, where you can also explore the menu.

Mozambik Restaurant Nelspruit- PLaces to visit in Nelspruit -Shandon Lodge

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9. The Casterbridge Food Forest Nursery

Permaculture in Nelspruit and the surrounding areas is enjoying a lot of attention lately and The Food Forest Nursery in Casterbridge, White River, is a wonderful place to spend some time if you are keen on growing your own food or buying some local produce.

Food Forest Nursery - Places to visit in Nelspruit - Shandon Lodge

10. The Kaapsehoop Escarpment

Pack a good pair of walking shoes and spend some time walking along the Kaapsehoop escarpment. The village of Kaapsehoop is around 30 minutes’ drive from Nelspruit and it has one of the most beautiful walking trails that will leave you feeling as though you are in the clouds, looking down at the green landscape below.

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