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Nelspruit, now known as Mbombela, is located on the banks of the Crocodile River and is the capital of Mpumalanga. This central "Hub of the Lowveld", a term coined in 1934, has grown rapidly in the last two decades from a rural town to an urban city and is now home to the provincial government buildings on the outskirts to the North of the inner city. Only 330km from Johannesburg, less than an hour's flight, and 110km from the Lebombo Border control, this is the gateway to the Lowveld and Mozambique Corridor. Its surfacing is rooted in the development of a railway line. First the railway to Lorenço Marques (Maputo) and Delagoa Bay and later the railway to Graskop (Pilgrim's Rest). When surveyors were looking for the best way to the Mozambican port city, their initial thought was via the escarpment. But after meeting the Nel brothers in the area of the creek (spruit) who had extensive knowledge of the area due to their annual grazing migration, that idea was abandoned and recommendations were made to change the route. After an investigation, the recommendations were accepted and published in the Government Gazette on 28 August 1884. Nelspruit was officially proclaimed and this is therefore its official founding date. Just to the north of Nelspruit the traveler will pass through the charming farming community, the town of WhiteRiver (Witrivier) which bears the name of the river that flows through it.

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