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Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) is the capital city of the Mpumalanga province. It is nestled on the Crocodile River, about 60 km west of Mozambique. Mbombela (which means “the place of the rising sun”) is the gateway to Mpumalanga and is the ideal base from which to explore the province.

Mbombela is the host city of the national soccer teams from Burkino Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zambia in the group rounds.

The stadium: Mbombela Stadium

The Mbombela stadium has been nicknamed the 'giraffe stadium' because its 18 roof supports resemble the long-necked animals that tower over the surrounding bush. It also boasts distinctive zebra-striped seats. It seats 46 000 spectators.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria, alongside the reigning African champions, the Chipolopolo of Zambia, the Stallions of Burkina Faso and the Black Lions of Ethiopia, will battle it out inside the 46, 000 capacity Mbombela Stadium for supremacy in Group C. The stadium will also host a quarter final and semi final match.


The Africa Cup of Nations 2013 takes place during the months of January and February 2013. The weather will be sunny and hot, ideal for sightseeing and enjoying leisure activities in and around the city.

Remember to pack your floppy sun-hats, plenty of sunscreen, flip flops and light clothes.


Mbombela has a wide range of accommodation offerings, from star-graded B&B’s and guesthouses to luxury hotels. To get a list of star -graded accommodation in Mbombela please visit the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa www.tourismgrading.co.za.

Things to do in Mbombela

Get on a helicopter and see the city of Mbombela from above and get the most spectacular view. You can also take in the sights from a hot air balloon as you gently and safely ascend the sky inside a hot air balloon for a giddy birds-eye view of this magnificent part of the world.

If shopping is your thing then the Riverside Mall, Mpumalanga’s premier shopping centre, as well as the newer I’langa Mall, are the ideal places for you to visit. Whatever you want to shop for, from top-notch fashion and accessories to home appliances; works of art and home crafts; unique African interior designs and much more is found here.

Relax and feel natural serenity in the famous Lowveld Botanical Gardens, a beautiful 159 hectare space dominated by rugged, rocky river scenery that can awaken all natural senses. In White River, about 40km from Nelspruit, is the much sought-after “forest spa” at Cybele Forest Lodge.

Take a tour around the Sudwala Caves, believed to be the oldest cavern system in the world. The Crystal Tour of the caves is a must, but if you're at all claustrophobic, rather visit the open-air dinosaur park that recreates the world as it was when the caves were first formed.

The Barnyard Theatre at the Casterbridge Centre on the city's outskirts is a great place to have a drink. Casterbridge also has great shopping and a motor car museum.

Mbombela is the gateway to Mpumalanga and is the ideal base from which to explore the province. Natural attractions that are a must see whilst in the province include the Panorama Route, Pilgrims Rest, Blyde (Motlatse) River Canyon and God’s Window. Pilgrims Pantry at Pilgrims Rest has the tastiest treats for miles around.

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How to get here

The city has two airports, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and the Mbombela Airport and is also a major stopover point for tourists travelling to the Kruger National Park and to Mozambique.

Once in Mbombela one can hire a car, you can also hire a car in Johannesburg and drive to Mbombela.

To find out more contact:
The Mbombela Local Municipality
Tel: +27 13 759-2257
Fax: +27 13 759-2066
SAT Website: www.southafrica.net

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