Nelspruit at a glance
Mpumalanga lies in the east of South Africa, north of KwaZulu-Natal and bordering Swaziland and Mozambique.
The capital, Nelspruit, is situated in the heart of the Lowveld citrus area. The province's second most important town is Witbank, a coal-mining centre. The town of Secunda is the site of one of the country's two petroleum-from-coal refineries (the other being Sasolburg in the Free State). Ermelo is a major wool centre.
The climatic contrasts between the drier Highveld region, with its cold winters, and the hot, humid Lowveld allows for a variety of agricultural activities. Crops include maize, wheat, sugar, citrus, vegetables, subtropical fruit, oil seeds, tobacco and cotton. Forestry, especially around Sabie in the far north of the province, is extensive.
Mainly grassland, it is also blessed with the spectacular northern Drakensberg Escarpment to the north-east, and includes a subtropical Lowveld/Bushveld area to the east of that. Along this eastern border is the southern half of the world-famous Kruger National Park. Many game lodges and reserves attract tourists from all over the country and the world.
The largest freshwater lake in South Africa, Lake Chrissie, is in Mpumalanga, but a larger expanse of water is the Loskop Dam, near the Limpopo Province border.