NELSPRUIT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Named after the Nels River, Nelspruit is host to many attractions and activities, including a crocodile farm, elephant sanctuary, the oldest caves on Earth and a remarkable botanical garden. Travelers can also recharge their batteries in Nelspruit’s exquisite surrounds. Though there’s plenty to do, the town is also a great place to just sit baqck and relax. Though better-known as a gateway in to Big 5 country, floraphiles can have as much fun as those who are thrilled by the great diversity of fauna in the region. The town’s botanical garden is a great place to get in touch with the natural environment. South Africa’s only Chimpanzee rehabilitation center is found on the fringes of the city. Housed within the Umhloti Lodge estate, the Jane Goodall Institute opened its gates for these abused primates a few years back. Helicopter flips are available for those who wish to experience Nelspruit’s attractions from above while a short drive from the town are the Sudwala Caves, believed to be the oldest cavern system in the world. The crystal tour at the caves is a must, as is a visit to the dinosaur park that recreates the world as it was when the caves were first formed. Nightlife is an important part of Nelspruit’s activities, and the Barnyard Theatre, in the Casterbridge Center on the town’s outskirts, showcases performances by both international acts and some of the country’s best musicians, dancers, comedians and actors. Casterbridge is also packed with arts and crafts shops, clothes boutiques and coffee shops, as well as a micro-brewery, home to some superb beers, and a motor museum. Finally, just down the road from the center, is lies Rottcher Wineries, which will awaken a few other senses with its delicious array orange-flavored wines and liquers.