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Mbombela, formerly known and still often referred to as Nelspruit, is in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Vegetation in Lowveld National Botanical Garden

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By car[edit]

  • Take the N4 highway from Pretoria. Have cash at hand for the toll gates. From Johannesburg to Mbombela is 359 km.
  • The distance from Mbabane, Eswatini, is 183 km; from Polokwane, 302 km; and from the Mozambique border at Komatipoort is 109 km.

By train[edit]

ShosholozaMeyl operates regular trains west to Johannesburg via Middelburg, Witbank and Pretoria, and east to Komatipoort on the border with Mozambique. From Komatipoort you can take a Mozambiquan train east to Maputo. The train departs Mbombela Thursday and Sunday at 8:40 PM and you get to Johannesburg the next day at 6:20 AM. The train departs Johannesburg every Wednesday and Friday at 6:10PM and you get to Mbombela the next day at 4 AM.

  • 2 Mbombela railway station (Corner of Andrew St and Henshall St).

By bus[edit]

  • There are City to City and Citiliner buses going to/from Pretoria R200 and Johannesburg R200 at 10:30AM and 10:40AM. The bus ride to Pretoria takes (6 hours), and (7 hours) to Johannesburg.
  • There is a City to City bus from Mbombela going to Maputo Mozambique every day at 12:40PM for R200 the trip takes (3½ hours).
  • There are minibus taxis going to/from Eswatini (Swaziland).

Get around[edit]

Map of Mbombela

By car[edit]

Travel around Mbombela by car and get an eyeful of the beautiful scenery and meandering mountain passes. The area is still quite wild and while you are driving around at your leisure, you may view small game and even some vervet monkeys and baboons.

By helicopter[edit]


Panoramic view from a hilltop of Mbombela

There are few attractions in Mbombela itself, but the surrounding towns and area can make for an interesting drive.

  • 1 Lowveld National Botanical Gardens. It has a tropical atmosphere. It's on the road to White River before you get to the casino. Has several loop walks, bridges and waterfalls with several interpretive signs. There is a cost of admission, and like in many part of South Africa a tip for the car minders. It can feel quiet and isolated, and there is no real security to speak of. Lowveld National Botanical Garden (Q6694210) on Wikidata Lowveld National Botanical Garden on Wikipedia


  • 1 Mafunyane Waterpark (located adjacent to Riverside Mall and Emnotweni Casino), +27 81 538 9311. 10:00-17:00 W-Su. Water slides and pools to play in. R130, R80 if height under 1.2m.
  • 2 Emnotweni Casino, Government Blvd, +27 13 757 4300. 08:00-21:30 daily. Try your luck at gaming, or there are the Movies at Emnotweni, stores, and restaurants on the premises, too.


There are three large shopping malls in Mbombela, and like most of South Africa they are security patrolled. However, they are not open in the evenings.

  • Riverside Mall (From the N4, turn into Daan Pienaar/White River Road (R40) towards White River. Follow this road for about 5km and the mall will be on your right.), +27 13 757-0080, fax: +27 13 757-0085, . M-Sa 9AM-6PM, F until 7PM, Su and holidays until 3PM. A large regional shopping mall.
  • Spar Supermarket (son park). 8AM-8PM.
  • Pick N Pay, Sitruscres. 8AM-8PM.
  • Shoprite Supermarket, Samora Machel drive. 8AM-8PM.
  • Ilanga Mall, Samora Machel Drive. 9AM-6PM. Has a Game store and a Pick n Pay.


A view of Mbombela



Mbombela can be used as base for visitors touring the Kruger National Park and the nearby sights, like the Blyde River Canyon. There is a range of accommodation available here, but there is also a similar range near some of the Kruger gates like at Crocodile Gate and at Phalaborwa, which may be more suited to touring the park.

  • Chantelle Younes, 27 Venn Street, +27 78 852-9839.
  • Crocodile Country Inn (On the N4, 20 km west of Mbombela), +27 13 733-3040, . From R680pps.
  • 1 Crocodile Nest Bed and Breakfast, N4 (12 km west of Mbombela on the N4), +27 13 733-3090. Accommodation lies within the huge, peaceful garden with acres of lawn creating wide open space. Large parking area and good security. All rooms, rondavels, regular bedrooms and cabins have bathrooms en suite, as well as heaters and fans. Several are equipped with tea/coffee facilities, fridge, television and microwave. From R280pppn.

Backpackers Hostels[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

It is not safe to walk around Mbombela after dark. There are lots of traffic lights in Mbombela, and vendors and beggars will approach your car when you are stopped. Keep your car doors locked at all times, and consider whether you may find dinner at your accommodation more pleasant than driving a distance through Mbombela after dark.

Go next[edit]

  • Visit the Kruger National Park
  • Take the N4 to Mozambique. Even only for sightseeing. You can enter Krugerpark at the southern gates.
  • Visit the train tunnel at Machadadorp. Check before if safe to walk through tunnel.
  • Drive north heading to Blyde River Canyon, Gods window.
This city travel guide to Mbombela is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.