Lowveld Legogote is located in the western central part of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa and borders the southwestern tip of the Kruger Park. It is a beautiful area lush with subtropical vegetation. Enjoy a summer shower, with heavy short showers and thunderstorms most days. Winters are mild to hot during the day, but cold at night. The best time to visit this region is during the winter months, from April to September. Game or animal watching is also at its best during this time.

Early European settlers avoided the area due to its low position and humid climate. During the 19th century gold was discovered in the region and more people moved to the area. A trade route was also opened to Delagoa Bay on the Mozambique coast, 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”. Early travelers using oxcarts needed to regularly replace the leather straps on their carts and the local tribes living in the caves of Legogote Mountain were experts at making these straps out of oxhide. This mountain is also famous for its “lion” silhouette and is seen just outside the popular town of White River.

At the center of the Lowveld Legogote region is Nelspruit, which is the capital of Mpumalanga province. Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is located just outside of Nelspruit and is the main destination for visitors flying into the Kruger Park metropolitan area. The airport offers car rental and restaurants.

The city offers all modern facilities, from shopping malls, family entertainment and banking to tourist services and facilities. Just outside of Nelspruit you will find the oldest dolomite caves in the world – the Sudwala Caves. The Lowveld Botanic Garden is a short drive from the city center and features a vast collection of cycads in indigenous woodland.

Road conditions throughout the region are generally good. The more adventurous looking for places “off the beaten path” can enjoy many scenic routes. Maps can be purchased at most Nelspruit stationers and at the region’s tourist information offices.

Copyright © 2008 Mark Thomas