Eland’s Valley / Schoemanskloof
Three kilometres east of the Machado Toll Plaza, the N4 highway splits, giving travellers the option of chosing one of two spectular routes into the Lowveld.
The Eland's Valley route passes the village of Emgwenya (Waterval Boven), through a tunnel (which runs parallel to the historic NZASM railway tunnel) before descending into the Lowveld alongside the Eland's River. Near the end of the route, the highway passes the massive Ngodwana paper mill before joining up with the Schoemanskloof route close to the confluence of the Elands and Crocodile Rivers.
The Schoemanskloof route passes through vast timber plantations before decending into the Crocodile River valley with its extensive citrus and pecan orchards. The road follows the meandering river until it meets up with the Eland's Valley route 30km from Mbombela / Nelspruit.
Both routes offer a wide range of accommodation and activity options.
- The NZASM railway tunnel and five arch bridge were built in the 1890s as part of the railroad link between Pretoria and Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) in Mozambique. Both are now national monuments. (Eland's Valley Route)
- The 75m high Elands Falls plummets into the valley below. (Eland's Valley Route)
- The area around the waterfall is a major rock climbing attraction, with some 650 sport climbing and 150 traditional routes. (Elands Valley Route)
- Magnificent mountain bikes trails along the edge of the escarpment (Eland's Valley Route)
- Old Joe rock statue situated at Patatanek is a familiar sight to visitors to the region. His look changes from time to time, to commemorate local events. (Schoemanskloof Route).
- Drakenzicht Mountain Links Golf Course (Schoemanskloof Route)
- Situated on the roadside amongst massive citrus orchards, selling oranges and freshly squeezes orange juice, is the Joubert & Seuns Farm Stall. (Schoemanskloof Route)