Nelspruit has excellent road links to Mpumalanga’s major tourist attractions. The nearest entrance gates to Kruger are less than 80 km away on the N4 (east), and the R40 through White River (north), and a day trip to see the southern sector of the park is quite feasible. The gold rush town of Barberton is 43 km to the south on the R40, and a visit here could be combined with a day trip over the border to Swaziland. The mountain villages of Sabie and Graskop are equally accessible and make a pleasant change from the heat of the Lowveld. All these places have an excellent range of accommodation and there is little reason to stay in the centre of town. The shopping centres in town are convenient for stocking up on food and equipment before setting off to stay in self-catering accommodation in Kruger.
Nelspruit has good transport links, with an important international airport and good train and bus links. There are great facilities here for tourists planning trips to Swaziland, the Panorama region and Kruger National Park, as well as across the border to Mozambique (there is a daily train service between Tshwane (Pretoria)/Johannesburg and Komatipoort, the border post with Mozambique). The Baz Bus runs from Johannesburg, Tshwane (Pretoria) and Swaziland. Greyhound, Intercape and Translux all operate services from Johannesburg and Tshwane (Pretoria) to Maputo in Mozambique, which stop in Nelspruit.
Nelspruit has grown rapidly in recent years and it has a prosperous air with a new sprawl of well-off suburbs surrounding the city centre. New business parks and a number of shopping malls have been built in the area, especially along the road to White River. As a consequence, Nelspruit has extended its municipality by joining with neighbouring White River and Hazyview to form the Mbombela Municipal Region (meaning, appropriately, ‘a lot of people put together in a small space’). Mbombela is now the provincial capital of Mpumalanga Province. The new Mbombela Stadium is 8 km northwest of Nelspruit (follow the N4 out of town) for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM. The signature feature is the 18 tall roof supports that resemble giraffes.