Chimpanzee Eden is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, a refuge for these primates that have been misplaced from their natural habitats. The sanctuary houses survivors of the bush meat trade, orphaned chimpanzees and those who are traded in the illegal pet trade to zoos and circuses.
Set in the Umhloti Nature Reserve a mere 17.6km from Hotel Promenade, visitors can expect to be captivated by the striking bush surroundings with sightings of the natural game species roaming the reserve. The Jane Goodall Institute ventures out into Africa to rescue these creatures from lives of abuse and bring them back to Nelspruit where they are rehabilitated. It is unlikely that any of these chimpanzees can be reinstated into the wild, simply because conditions are hazardous for them all over the continent.
It is highly recommended that visitors to the area stopover at the Chimpanzee Eden, it is a moving and uplifting experience.
Visit www.chimpeden.com for more information.
An attraction to tourists and locals alike, the Emnotweni Casino offers gaming, dining and movies. Children can be taken care of at the Butterflies and Bunnies Creche. The casino boasts slot machines and table games such as Blackjack, American Roulette and an electronic Roulette Table.
Adjoining the Emnotweni Casino is the Riverside Mall where you can find a Go Kart Park, Fun Company, Magic Company and the Riverside Water Park. The nearby Nelspruit Botanical Gardens offers a tranquil setting, ideal for a stroll or relaxed picnic after visiting the Casino.
The Innibos arts festival is an annual event hosting music, cabaret, theatre, children’s theatre, literature and visual arts. The festival features an excess of 200 musicians, actors and artists over a four day period with family orientated entertainment.
The grounds of the festival presents approximately 200 stallholders selling food items, sit down restaurants, beer gardens and children’s entertainment areas. The event is visited by more than 100 000 people per year.
Visit www.innibos.co.za for more information
(Usually in the first weekend of July)
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park was established in 1898 for the purpose of protecting wildlife, the park boasts nearly 2 million hectares. Internationally acclaimed, the Park is home to: 147 species of mammals, 507 birds, 49 fish, 337 trees, 114 reptiles and 34 amphibians, as well as the famous “Big Five”.
The Kruger Park has established itself globally for its environmental management techniques. Historical sites featuring Bushman Rock Paintings and archaeological landmarks such as Masorini and Thulamela.
The legendary Kruger National Park offers wildlife encounters that ranks with the best in Africa.
Visit www.krugerpark.co.za for more information.
Located 7.5 km from the Hotel Promenade, Mbombela Stadium is a multi purpose sport facility constructed as 1 of five new stadia for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament. With a seating capacity of 43 500 this stadium has hosted Four 2010 World Cup Matches.
The stadium is a unique facility and should be on your itinerary when visiting the Lowveld. It adds to the impressive list of world-class attractions in the area. The stadium is also located 20 km away from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
Nelspruit Botanical Gardens
The garden is a floral haven, carpeted with Snow-White Pear Blossoms, Kigelia Africana, and Clivia Miniata, and is perfectly suited for picnics. The raging Crocodile River runs through the Garden, gushing through a narrow, pot-holed solid rock gorge, whilst the Nels River cascades down a waterfall. These two rivers meet at a somewhat more gentle pool.
A beautiful 159 hectare space dominated by rugged, rocky river scenery, and home to over 600 naturally occurring plant species, and a further 2000 that have been introduced to the garden. The Nelspruit Botanical Garden can be visited all year round, as there is rarely a dramatic contrast between winter and summer on the Lowveld because of the evergreen nature of trees and shrubs.
Nelspruit Nature Reserve
The Nelspruit Nature Reserve is positioned in the Nelspruit hamlet of Sonpark, close to Nelspruit Primary School and adjoining the Trim Park. Nelspruit Nature Reserve has three walking trails available; the duration is between 1 hour and 6 hours. The walks will take you through indigenous vegetation and are great for bird spotting.
The Nelspruit Nature Reserve offers a dense bush on the riverbanks, woodland and reedbeds in a natural setting within Nelspruit. The Reserve is a birders paradise, one can find species such as Gorgeous Bush-shrike, Pruple-crested Turaco, Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Boubou, Golden Weaver and Olive Bush-shrike. Red-backed Mannikin and Green Twinspot are resident, but often hard to locate in the thick tree tops. African Goshawk often calls overhead during early mornings, while African Wood-Owl and Freckled Nightjar are vocal after dark.
The Reserve is 6.2km from Hotel Promenade and is an ideal location to connect with nature.
The history of this charming village dates back to 1873, when Alex Patterson, a miner, discovered alluvial gold on the farm named Ponieskrants, and the site was declared a gold field. The population within the area grew to 1500 inhabitants, with shacks and tents mushrooming on vacant land.
The village was named “Pilgrims Rest” because here, after many false trails and faded dreams, they had truly found their home.
Mining was closed in 1971 and the village was sold to the Government as a national museum. In 1986 Pilgrim’s Rest was declared a National Monument, with majority of the town’s architect unchanged since its beginnings. In 1998 Transvaal Gold Mining Estates started gold mining again.
Pilgrim’s Rest offers visitors a window into the past, with a diversity of natural, cultural and historic treasures. Situated on the magnificent Panorama Route on the Eastern Escarpment region of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, the history of this town is to be enjoyed by every traveller.