“Emlalani”, the Swazi name of the town, means “Place of the small Lala Palms”. The name has an interesting historical connotation, as the Emlalani regiment of Swazi King Mswati was stationed where the town now stands, to guard the river against insurgent Bapedi tribes. Originally a farm, Malelane was only proclaimed a township in 1949. Today the town lies in the heart of a large sugar cane area and is home to the enormous TSB Sugar Factory. The Malelane Gate of the Kruger National Park is close by.
Art And Crafts
Matsulu Craft Centre: Matsulu is one of the largest craft centres in the province and is located at the Matsulu (Place of the Zulu/Swazi) settlement on the N4 road to the Malelane Gate of the Kruger National Park. Exquisite works of art and craft are exhibited and sold under a huge thatched Swazi dome. The works of promising young local artists are displayed at the fine art gallery. The restaurant on the premises offers a wide variety of dishes, catering for every taste.
Fauna And Flora
Kruger National Park: The Kruger National Park is a haven for numerous species of animals, birds and plants. It is also home to the “Big Five” and approximately 16 000 buffalo, 1 000 leopard, 2 000 lion, 1 800 rhinoceros and 7 600 elephant are protected within its borders. Numerous other animals such as hyenas, bushbuck, zebras, giraffes and crocodiles, to name a few, can be seen here. In all, the Kruger Park conserves 147 species of mammals, 114 species of reptiles, 49 species of fish, 507 species of birds, 33 species of amphibians and 300 species of trees. The Headquarters of the Park are at Skukuza, the largest camp, on the banks of the Sabi River. This camp has banking and postal facilities, a workshop for car repairs, a restaurant and curio shop. Access to the park can be obtained through several different gates at various locations. Numbi Gate provides access to Pretoriuskop Camp with its lovely shady trees while the southerly regions of the park can be accessed through Malelane Gate. This gate lends access to Malelane Camp and the luxury Berg-en-Dal Camp. Crocodile Bridge Gate gives access to Crocodile Bridge Camp and Lower Sabie Camp. The northern regions of the Park resort under the Limpopo Tourism Authority. There are also several interesting archaeological sites in the Park.
Mahushe Shongwe Game Reserve: The 9 200 ha Mahushe Shongwe Reserve is owned by a Swazi community. Many different species of birds and game roam freely in their natural habitat. Since there are no dangerous animals in this reserve it is ideal for walking and hiking, and guided hiking and walking trails are offered as well as 4×4 trails. Accommodation is supplied at the tented Mthomeni Camp.
Mawewe Nature Reserve: This 9 200-ha community-owned nature reserve protects some of the local species of antelope in the area. A small but fully-equipped Swazi-style cultural camp with six twin-bedded huts and a swimming pool will accommodate visitors and also provide an opportunity to experience local Swazi hospitality and culture.