10 Facts: Nelspruit

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Nelspruit has been selected as one of the nine host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The city is situated is situated in Mpumalanga Province. I have not visited this city since 2005. In my humble opinion it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

Here are 10 facts about Nelspruit, one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa:

  • The city was founded in 1905 by three brothers of the Nel family who grazed their cattle around the site of Nelspruit during the winter months.
  • According to a 2000 census Nelsparta has a population of 220,000 people.
  • The city has 2 airports, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to the North East and the general aviation Nelspruit Airport to the South West. Kruger Mpumalanga is used for scheduled flights to Johannesburg and less frequently to Cape Town and other cities.
  • During the Boer War (1899 – 1902) the then town served briefly as the seat of government for the South African Republic (Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek).
  • The Mbombela Stadium was newly built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament is situated 7 km from the city and has seating capacity for +/- 40,000 people.
  • San art can be found in the middle of one of the city’s suburbs.
  • Nelspruit is a major stopover point for tourists traveling to the Kruger National Park and to Mozambique.
  • The Lowveld botanical gardens just outside the city boasts a rare collection of plant species and the first man-made rain forest which attracts the majority of the city’s visitors.
  • The Sudwala Caves (near Nelspruit) is a system of caves over 30 kilometres in length of which only 600 metres is accessible. The caves date back 3,000 million years.
  • Nelspruit is part of the Mbombela (meaning “lots of people together in a small place”) local municipality.

Watch this space for more 10 facts posts with interesting topics.

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