The city of Nelspruit can trace its roots back to the Dutch. It means Nelís stream. Read on to know more about this lush South African city.
The city of Nelspruit is situated at a height of 660m and is home to around 22,000 people. The city is located on a lush and low-lying plateau in the Crocodile River Valley. The plateau’s commonly known as the Lowveld. Nelspruit belongs to South Africa’s north eastern Mpumalanga province and experiences warm summers and mild winters making the city extremely people friendly.
The Mpumalanga province, in the South African language siSwati, means ‘a place where the sun rises’, and rightly so. The rays of the sun kissing Nelspruit’s picturesque mountain ranges, the green hills and the rolling rivers, all come together to make for a splendid view. The city is also home to a world class football stadium and is surrounded by a handful of South Africa’s most breathtaking game reserves. Nelspruit even enjoys an exclusive proximity to the world famous Kruger National Park.
The name of the city can be traced back to the Nel family who made the area their home in 1905 and in time settled along the banks of the Crocodile River. The Crocodile River flows through the centre of the Mpumalanga province. The city can also be associated with the Swazi legend which revolved around Prince Somquba. It was believed that the Prince sought refuge from persecution at the Sudwala caves located near the city. Prince Somquba eventually died, leaving behind his followers who under the leadership of Sudwala, a tribal councilor, made the caves a haven of sorts.
Nelspruit is blessed with a thriving fruit industry and with its myriad waterfalls and lush greenery resembles the Biblical ‘Garden of Eden’. The agriculture and mining industries also contribute significantly to the growth of the city’s economy. Nelspruit serves as the perfect base to venture out to a few of the world’s most loved ‘National Parks’. The Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe), the Limpopo Trans-frontier Park and the Limpopo National Park (Mozambique) are all located at a drivable distance away from Nelspruit.
Football In Nelspruit
As far the game football is concerned, the city of Nelspruit does not really have much to build on. However, recently a professional side called the Mpumalanga Black Aces was formed, maybe even to give Nelspruit a football flavor of its own. Nelspruit as a city produced the star footballer David Nyathi, the former Bafana Bafana fullback. David was fortunate enough to play in Switzerland, Spain and Italy’s Serie A for Cagliari. He also played a match in Marseille to celebrate the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final Draw and was a member of the FIFA World XI.
Nespruit even gets to boast about an association with the now defunct Dangerous Darkies. The team played successfully for two seasons in the much celebrated South African league before extinguishing themselves in the corridors of time.