This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Nelspruit. To help you make friends with Nelspruit before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Nelspruit is the provincial capital of Mpumalanga, South Africa, and sits 110 kilometers from the Mozambique border at Lebombo, just east of Komatipoort, 102 kilometers from the Jeppe's Reef border with Swaziland, and 340 kilometers east of Johannesburg. Nelspruit is a modern city with all the amenities you'd expect: shopping malls with supermarkets, international bank ATMs, internet cafes, and plenty of restaurants and bars. It is also a transportation hub for this region, with buses and minibuses traveling in all directions, as far as Johannesburg to the west, Komatipoort (on the Mozambique border) to the east, and Durban to the south. It also has transportation into the Drakensberg mountains and towards the Panorama Route farther north in Mpumalanga.
For visitors, Nelspruit is one of the places to organize or start their tours into Kruger National Park. People don't tend to stay long but find a few places of interest there. The Lowveld National Botanical Gardens, 4 kilometers north of the city centre, is well worth a few hours of your time. Bisected by both the Crocodile and Nels rivers, the gardens are home to over 240 species of bird, 73 species of reptile, as well as vervet monkeys, mongooses and hippos. There is a small entrance fee of per adult. 15 kilometers south of Nelspruit, you can find Chimp Eden which is home to rescued captive chimps and orphans. Tours are at 10 am, 12 noon, and 2 pm every day. The Nelspruit Private Nature Reserve is just a few minutes' walk away from all the hostel accommodations, offering a variety of bird life and some much needed peace and quiet in the city.
There are a number of hostels in Nelspruit, which helps to keep standards up. Most of them are centered a little way south of town off Van Wijk Street. It's quite a stiff uphill walk from the centre or bus station, about 4 kilometers long, so it pays to call ahead and ask if they will pick you up. As all the hostels operate tours to Kruger, Drakensberg and Blyde River Canyon, you stand a better chance of getting a lift if you've booked an excursion with them or if you're part of a group. There's no public transportation around there. There is also some hostel accommodation nearer to the centre on Andries Pretorius Street. That's still more than 2 kilometers from town, but the walk is not nearly as hilly!
Written by local enthusiast for Nelspruit hostelsLondonroad