Things You May not Know
Here are three things you might not know about Nelspruit…
Photo's by Ludwig Sevenster and courtesy of Dennis Lawrie
#1) Nelspruit is bathed in an orange glow… Frank Sinatra reputedly said, “orange is the happiest colour”, which if true could explain why the people of Nelspruit are always smiling. Drive out of Nelspruit in almost any direction and you will find yourself amidst orange orchards that give the City a vibrant burst of colour during its notoriously dry winter months.
Every year these orchards signal the onset of spring as they flood the air with the heavy scent of orange blossom and the road with traders selling bags of sweet oranges fresh off the tree. Oranges create jobs for thousands of people from the surrounding communities, involved in the harvesting, production and packing. They are also an important income generator for the country and when you consider South Africa is the second largest citrus exporter in the world, you realise just how important our wonderful City is when it comes to providing people from around the globe with oranges.
#2) A Salvador Dali once hung in the City… In 2012 the once private art collection of the council of Mbombela was made accessible to the public with the opening of the Mbombela Art Gallery in the Old Van Riebeeck Sports Hall on Drysdale Street. The star attraction until 2013 was an etching by Salvador Dali, called Sorcieres an balia or Witches on broom. Nowadays there are many other great works from local and internationally acclaimed artists. Pieces by celebrated South African artists like Walter Battiss, Zakkie Eloff, Lebo Thamae, Nico Coetzee, Peter Sibanda, Esias Bosch, Theo Kleynhans and Paul van Blommestein adorn the walls and can be enjoyed for free, daily from 10am till 5pm.
Yet very few locals, let alone tourists, seem to know about the wealth of South African Art we have in the city of Nelspruit.
More Info: Follow the coordinates -25.482029, 30.9840782 to Drysdale Street then continue along till you find the Old Van Riebeeck Sports Hall on your left hand sideEntrance is free.
#3) Nelspruit has some great cycling clubs!
Cycling, whether it road racing or mountain biking is really taking off in South Africa and here in the Lowveld we have some of the best riding routes in the country. Nelspruit is home to three great cycle clubs, the Jock Cycle Club, Valencia Cycle Club and Bicycle Club, as well as countless breath-taking cycle trails and road routes.
The clubs offer road cyclists and mountain bikers a range of wonderful routes to try out in the safe and friendly company of other biking enthusiasts. For avid mountain bikers the Jock club meets every Saturday at Bells Cycling. They offer two distances, a 35km and 70km ride which starts at 7am sharp. The routes vary taking cyclists through plantations, rolling hills and up to stunning destinations like Kaapsehoop and Witklip Dam.
These aren’t for the faint hearted or the unfit, but for anyone with a decent level of fitness who wants to explore the beautiful countryside around Nelspruit joining a cycling club seems to be the perfect solution.
Get in contact with George Bell chairperson of the Jock Cycling Club: +27 (0)72 500 0197