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Discover Mbombela (Nelspruit) by Hire Car

Mbombela , which was called Nelspruit until 2010, is the capital of the South African province of Mpumalania.

The city is located on the Lowveld on the Crocodile River, 660 metres above sea level, about 60 kilometres from Mozambique and 330 kilometres from Johannesburg.

There are a variety of hotels, guesthouses, lodges and bed & breakfasts in the town.

In the city centre you will encounter a beautiful Spanish style town hall, restaurants, small shops and a large shopping centre “Promenade Centre”.

One of the special leisure facilities is a golf club “Nelson Country Club”. But not only Mbombela itself, also the surrounding area is worth discovering. This can be done easily by hire car. We have put together a few tips for travel and booking.

Taking over the hire car

Most travelers pick up their hire car in Johannesburg or at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. Numerous hire car agencies can be found in Johannesburg near Terminal E. And Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport also has hire car agencies right at the airport.

Before you book your hire car, just make sure that your rental company is also located right at the airport. After all, if their office is only close to the airport, it can sometimes take a long time for a shuttle to get you there.

Booking the right hire car

Although the area around Mbombela may seem relatively safe, it is still advisable to book a hire car that is as small and inconspicuous as possible. The crime rate in South Africa is high. With an inconspicuous vehicle, you stand a good chance of not being targeted by criminals in the first place.

If possible, you should take an automatic car. This is because South Africa has left-hand traffic. If you are in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you can concentrate fully on the traffic without having to operate the gearshift with your left hand.

If you want to travel in the national parks, you should also make sure to rent a vehicle with four-wheel drive.

Hire car prices

Hire car prices in Mbombela tend to be in the mid-range. You can often get particularly good deals by booking well in advance of your trip and using our handy price comparison tool.

hire car price comparison Nelspruit

Insuring the car properly

In the unfamiliar left-hand traffic, an accident can happen quickly. You are well insured in this case, if you have booked a car with comprehensive insurance without deductible.

With the liability, you should make sure that the sum insured is at least one million euros.

Because if people are injured in an accident or several vehicles are involved, it quickly becomes very expensive.

If the cover provided by your rental company does not seem sufficient, you have the option of taking out a so-called traveller policy to provide further protection.

Talk to your insurance company and make sure your policy is valid in South Africa.

Securing the car properly

As mentioned, the crime rate in South Africa is high. Therefore, you should take some precautions to heart when travelling by hire car. Whenever you drive, close the windows and lock the car from the inside.

Don’t pull over if you think you’ve been in an accident, call the police on 10 111. If you become the victim of a robbery despite all your caution, you should not resist under any circumstances. Most criminals are armed and also make use of the firearm.

age limit

At most hire car agencies in Johannesburg and Mbombela, you must be 21 years of age and have held a driver’s license for three years to hire car. Drivers under the age of 21 are often charged an additional fee. Check the terms and conditions of your rental company before you book your hire car.


Accessories such as a navigation device or child seat must always be ordered separately from your rental company. Make a reservation well in advance to ensure that the equipment you want is available on the day you pick up your vehicle.

Free kilometers

To be able to explore Mbombela’s charming surroundings at your leisure, you will be covering a lot of kilometres in a hire car. So, it is best to hire car right away with all the kilometers free to enjoy the trip to the fullest.

Tank control

With most hire car companies in South Africa, you will receive the car with a full tank of fuel and return the car with a full tank of fuel. Make sure your hire car company keeps it that way, as this is the fairest and most transparent solution.


Some rental companies charge the deposit directly to your credit card and delay paying you back after you return the car. Book dear with a rental company that just blocks the amount.

Then the money will be available to you immediately after you return the car. Before you travel, make sure you have enough credit on your card to cover the deposit.

Customer Satisfaction Hire Car

Most customers are extremely satisfied with the hire car services in Johannesburg and Mbombela. Only a few find fault with the external condition of their rental vehicle.

If you notice scratches or dents on your car, you should get written confirmation of the defects. Keep the document safe so that when you return the vehicle, you can prove that you are not responsible for the damage to the car.

Safety hire car

Although most hire cars in South Africa are quite roadworthy, you should still test the complete lighting before your first drive.

Also make sure you have a spare wheel, first-aid kit, warning triangle and high-visibility vests on board. And do a quick brake test while still in your rental company’s parking lot.

Sights in Mbombela

When sightseeing in the city, you could start by steering your hire car to the Lowveld National Botanical Garden.

There are 500 species of trees alone to admire in this utterly delightful complex with a small waterfall.

After your garden visit, you may feel like playing a little golf.

On the 18-hole course of the Nelspruit Golf Club, even players with a low handicap will be happy. And if the ball ever lands off the fairways, the beautiful nature will compensate you for the sporting mishap.

Before you turn your back on the city to explore the surrounding area in a hire car, you can check out Crocriver Enviro Park. You can expect to see numerous crocodiles but also lizards and snakes.

Suggestion for a round trip by hire car

Barberton: On the trail of the gold rush
The fantastic Kruger National Park should be on the itinerary of any visit to Mbombela, but we’ve picked out some lesser-known destinations for you.

Perhaps steer the hire car to Barberton first. The town can be reached in half an hour by hire car. It was named after Graham Barber, who discovered gold here in 1884.

The subsequent gold rush ensured that the sleepy nest quickly became a respectable town.

Today, numerous historic buildings such as the old Stock Exchange, the Sropforth and Fernlea houses and the Lewis and Marks Building still bear witness to the days when fortune seekers flocked to town. The Barberton Museum brings you closer to the history of the town.

Chrissiemeer: diverse fauna
Continue your journey in just over two hours to Chrissiemeer. The place lies in the middle of a lake district and offers visitors the opportunity to get to know a diverse flora and fauna. Some 20,000 flamingos breed in the area alone.

Middelburg: “Something out of nothing”.
Before heading back to Mbombela in your hire car, you can make a stop in Middelburg. In the small town with a pleasant atmosphere, the artist Sarah Mahlangu is engaged in a very special project. In the township of Mhluzi, she shows how impressive works of art can even be created from waste.

The apt name of the action is then also “Something out of nothing”. Find out how and when to visit the artist at the Middleburg Information Center. In two and a half hours, your hire car will take you back to Mbombela. There you can plan your next excursions at your leisure.

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