Mpumalanga DestinationsMalelane, Wild Frontier
The little farming town of Malalane, as it has become known since July 2007 - a slight tweak from the original spelling of Malelane - lies on the N4 national road just outside the Kruger National Park.
The surrounds of this rather hot part of the country are either given over to rolling fields of sugarcane, tropical fruits or game farms. Itís a laid-back, friendly town and life slows down to a peaceful and casual crawl, due in no small way to the pervasive heat and to the less insistent pace of nature. Itís revealing to learn that one of the original roots of Malelane is thought to come from the Swazi term Ďlalaí, which means to sleep.
The Malelane gate is one of the main entrances into the Kruger National Park, which means that the little town, and the farms that surround it, cater for visitors to the park, and there are some excellent lodges and Bed & Breakfasts - even the major supermarket players like Spar and Pick Ďn Pay have moved into the area, so you are assured of being able to stock up before entering the park.
Malelane is perfect for exchanging city life and its demands for privacy and seclusion. Itís the one part of South Africa in which nature prevails at the expense of commercialism, even though facilities are excellent. Awakening in the bush, the rising sun an impetus for morning bird calls, or the incredible experience of the bush at night, is what draws so many people to spend time with nature.