Sudwala Caves is less than 50km from Sabie. Drive from Sabie towards Lydenburg on the R532 and take the R37
turnoff to Mbombela/Nelspruit, 9km from Sabie. Continue along the R37 for 20km before turning off on the R539 at Rosehaugh. Follow the R539 for 16km and turn right at the T-junction. The Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur
Park is a further 2 km.
The magnificent Sudwala Caves contain the largest dolomite chamber in the
world. This chamber, the Owen Hall, is a natural
amphitheatre of about 70m in diameter and 37m in height.
The tourist route through the subterranean complex is approximately
600m long. Cool, fresh air from an unknown source circulates through
the spacious corridors and mammoth halls, ensuring visitors a
comfortable walk past weirdly shaped, illuminated stalagmites and
The caves are open 7 days a week with guided tours
every hour (on the hour). By prior arrangement a 6-hour tour
to the Crystal Chamber is conducted on Saturdays. The Dinosaur
Park, Swazi Tribal Village, curio shops and a restaurant are all located on the premises.
Times: 08:30 - 16:30
Fees: R95/adult, R80/pensioner, R50/child (6 to 16 years)
The Dinosaur Park at the Sudwala Caves is set in a lush tropical garden. It contains life-sized,
scientifically accurate models of pre-historic animals. The Park, with its collection of
animals, tells the story of the development of life on earth. It hosts animals as diverse as
the ancient amphibious and mammal-like reptiles, dinosaurs, extinct mammals, pre-historic man and
Times: 08:30 - 17:00
Fees: R70/adult, R40/child
From Sudwala Caves follow the R539 to the N4 toll-road. Turn left at the T-junction and
follow the N4 for 26km into Mbombela/Nelspruit. Mbombela/Nelspruit is situated in the fertile Crocodile River
Valley at an altitude of 660m. As the capital of the Mpumalanga province it is the
industrial, legislative and economic hub of the region. With its
mild winters and
hot and humid summers the town's gardens, parks and streets are cloaked by a profusion of pink and
purple bougainvillea, blood-red flamboyants, jacaranda and acacia trees.
on a 1,000 hectare game reserve, the JGI Chimpanzee Eden is a home to
chimpanzees that have been misplaced from their natural habitat. The
world renowned Jane Goodall Institute has made this tranquil venue
their South African sanctuary and has committed itself to the rescue
and care take of chimpanzees in need of refuge. Being the first and only
chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, this venue brings the world of
chimpanzees closer to humanity through education, tourism and modern
From Mbombela/Nelspruit drive on the R40 towards Barberton for 12km and then
turn left at the signboard to Umhloti Lodge and JGI. The Jane Goodall
Institute's Chimpanzee Eden is another 4km off the R40.
The sanctuary is open
7 days a week and offer guided 1.5 hour tours. A restaurant on the premesis serve breakfasts and lunches. Chimp feeding times are at 10:00 and 14:00.
Times: Tours at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00
Fees: R200/adult, R160/pensioner, R90/child (3 to 12 years)
Lowveld National Botanical Garden
From the N4 crossing in Mbombela/Nelspruit follow the R40 towards White River and
turn off right at the trafic lights just before the Riverside Shopping
Laid out on the banks of the
Crocodile River, the Lowveld National Botanical Garden offers the visitor an
insight into the great variety of Lowveld flora. Here indigenous
plants are grown, scientifically studied, protected and shown to the
public in tranquil surroundings. The man-made rain forest with its
lush vegetation is well worth the visit. The Garden also boasts one of
the largest collections of South African fig trees. There is also a comprehensive Lowveld Herbarium and
indigenous plants are for sale at the nursery. Open 7-days a week.
Times: 08:00 - 18:00 (Sep - Mar)
17:00 (Apr - Aug)
Fees: R32/adult, R17/student, R15/child, Pensioners free on Tuesdays
The Cascades waterfall is in the Lowveld National Botanical Garden at the confluence of
the Crocodile and Nels Rivers on property once farmed by Sir Percy
Fitzpatrick, author of "Jock of the Bushveld".
The Emnotweni Casina is just off the R40 at the turn off to the
Lowveld National Botanical Garden and the southern entrance to the
Riverside Shopping Mall.
White River Town
White River is at an altitude of 990m and has a mild subtropical climate.
town is a mass of colourful subtropical flowering shrubs such as poinsettias, hibiscus, tibouchina
and bougainvillea. In 1904 the area was set aside for British ex-soldier settlers but farming
was not successful because the farms were to small. In 1914 a syndicate bought up all the
small holdings and planted it with citrus - the start of today's very successful industry. Today farms and orchards flourish and the air is fragrant with orange blossoms.
groves of pecan nut trees, mangoes, litchis, pawpaws, bananas and avocado pears around White River.
Antique Car Museum
Continue with the R40 through White River. Turn left at the last
robot in town and follow this road (still the R40) for 2 km to the
Casterbridge centre. Apart from a number of furniture, curio and
arts & crafts shops, the Casterbridge Centre also houses an unique
collection of antique and vintage motor cars.
Rottcher Orange Winery
at the Casterbridge centre, visit Rottcher Wineries. Established in 1959
they are the only producers of orange wine in Mpumalanga. Rottcher Wineries takes pride in the unique taste and packaging of their
famous Avalencia orange and ginger liquors, as well as the addition of an Avalencia Chilli wine. Packaged in bottles or hand-made stoneware jugs
these products make excellent mementos of your Lowveld holiday and are ideal as gifts.
From Casterbridge continue with the
R40 to Hazyview town, situated at an altitude of 610m in the Sabie River
Here you can
shop around at the numerous road stalls for various subtropical
fruits, such as mangos, litchis, avocado pears, bananas, pawpaws, passion fruit,
oranges and nuts.
Perry's Bridge Reptile Park
some of South Africa and the world's most venomous snakes in park-like
enclosures, designed to mimic the animals' natural environment.
Species include anacondas, pythons, black & green mambas,
rattlesnakes, boomslang, gaboon adders, cobras, poison dart frogs,
iguanas, the ancient leopard tortoises, the huge Nile crocodiles, as
well as many colourful lizards and frogs.
Children will love to meet the potbellied pigs PumPum, Peaches and
Pumpkin, their goat friends Daisy and Gandalf, the peacocks Letitia
and Lancelot, as well as a variety of ducks and geese.
Times: 10:00 - 17:00 (7-days a week)
Sundays - Crocodile Feeding time
Fees: R65/adult, R40/child (under 13 years)
From Hazyview you can return to Sabie via the R536 (45km
back to Sabie), or you could visit the Shangaan Cultural Village if you return to Sabie via
If you are staying until after dark at the Cultural Village the recommended route back to
Sabie is back to Hazyview and then follow the R536 to Sabie.
Shangaan Cultural Village
north on the R40 towards Bushbuck Ridge for about 1km and turn left on the R535 towards Graskop. The
Shangana Cultural Village
is 4km from Hazyview.
From Hazyview you travel
The residents of the traditional villages of Shangana invite guests to share in the way of life of
the Shangaan people. The picturesque villages are set in the shade of
ancient trees in a reserve of forest and grassland. Local crafts
are sold at the Marula Market village, and tours are led by trained
Daytime tours takes the visitor on a winding path through fields and
bush, to a village where a Shangaan family lives. The guide
explains their fascinating way of life, before moving on to the
Sangoma's Kraal for a lesson in traditional medicines. Midday
tours enable visitors to share a meal with the
Shangaan family in the village.
During the Evening festival the history of the Shangaans is presented
by a huge cast of choristers and dancers before dinner is served
inside the huts. Prior bookings for lunch and the evening
festival is essential.
Times: 09:00 - 16:00
(Day tours on the hour)
Evening and Drumming tours by prior arrangement
Contact: Trips SA for
bookings on (013) 764-1177.
This concludes the Reptile Route.
The closeness (60km from Sabie) of
the Riverside Mall and Emnotweni Casino in Nelspruit makes for a
quick shopping, movie or gambling trip.
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