The Lowveld Legogote lies in the central western part of the Mpumalanga province in South Africa and borders the south western tip of the Kruger Park. It is a beautiful lush area with sub-tropical vegetation. It enjoys a summer rainfall, with short heavy showers and thunderstorms most days. Winters are mild to hot during the day, but cold at night. Best times to visit this region is during winter months – April to September. Game or animal viewing is also at its best during this time.
The early European settlers avoided the area due to its low lying position and humid climate. During the 19 century gold was discovered in the region and more people moved into the area. A trade route was also opened to the Delagoa Bay on the Mozambique coast, what is now known as Maputo.
Legogote is derived from the word lugogo which means “the skin of an animal” and Legogote means “the place of the skins”. The early travellers using ox wagons needed to regularly replace the leather thongs on their wagons and the local tribes living in the caves of the Legogote Mountain were skilled at making these thongs from ox hide. This mountain is also famous for its “lion” silhouette and is seen just outside the popular town of White River.
In the center of the Lowveld Legogote region one finds Nelspruit which is the capital city of the Mpumalanga province. The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is located just outside Nelspruit and is the main destination for visitors flying to the greater Kruger Park area. The airport does offer car rental and restaurants.
The city offers all the modern facilities from shopping malls, family entertainment and banking to tourism services and facilities. Just outside Nelspruit you will find the oldest dolomite caves the world – Sudwala Caves. The Lowveld Botanical Garden is a short distance from the city center and boasts a vast collection of cycads in an indigenous forest.
Road conditions throughout the region are generally good. Many scenic routes can be enjoyed by the more adventurous who seek out places “off the beaten track”. Maps can be purchased at most stationery outlets in Nelspruit and tourism information offices around the region.
Copyright © 2008 Mark Thomas