ELANDS VALLEY2019-08-26T11:55:30+00:00
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ELANDS VALLEY

The Elands Valley stretches lavishly along the Elands River and follows it from the area west of Waterval Boven
to Elandshoek further north where it joins the Crocodile River, and to Kaapsehoop in the east.
The Valley separates the Highveld, with its towering escarpment, from the bushlands and savannah
of the subtropical Lowveld. Citrus fruits and other crops flourish in this fertile region.
Gold and lime have also been found and mined. The landscape is a beautiful mixture between
mountains and hills, forests along the river and savannah – an irreplaceable area with the highest biodiversity status.

ELANDS VALLEY

The Elands Valley stretches lavishly along the Elands River and follows it from the area west of Waterval Boven to Elandshoek further north where it joins the Crocodile River, and to Kaapsehoop in the east. The Valley separates the Highveld, with its towering escarpment, from the bushlands and savannah of the subtropical Lowveld. Citrus fruits and other crops flourish in this fertile region. Gold and lime have also been found and mined. The landscape is a beautiful mixture between mountains and hills, forests along the river and savannah – an irreplaceable area with the highest biodiversity status.

IRREPLACABLE AREA

Elands River is an important perennial water source for the Valley, the Lowveld and the southern part of Kruger National Park. Its beauty is reflected in the remarkable waterfall in Waterval Boven. In days gone by the Valley is believed to have been inhabited and farmed by the Khoikhoi and, later, the Basuto. By the time the first Europeans arrived, those early inhabitants had been driven away by the Swazi, who subsequently settled here. Nineteenth-century records tell of encounters between the Swazi and the occasional game hunter, or pioneers passing through in an era when travel was only possible on foot, horseback or by ox-wagon.

IRREPLACABLE AREA

Elands River is an important perennial water source for the Valley, the Lowveld and the southern part of Kruger National Park. Its beauty is reflected in the remarkable waterfall in Waterval Boven. In days gone by the Valley is believed to have been inhabited and farmed by the Khoikhoi and, later, the Basuto. By the time the first Europeans arrived, those early inhabitants had been driven away by the Swazi, who subsequently settled here. Nineteenth-century records tell of encounters between the Swazi and the occasional game hunter, or pioneers passing through in an era when travel was only possible on foot, horseback or by ox-wagon.

BOOSTED TRADE

Things changed dramatically in the 1890s, when the Netherlands-South African Railway Company (ZASM) built a railway to connect landlocked Pretoria to Delagoa Bay (today’s Maputo Bay) in Mozambique. The advent of the railway boosted trade in the Valley. In 1895 the railway between Waterval Onder and Waterval Boven became known for its four kilometres of rack railroad that climbed up the escarpment and for the famous ZASM tunnel that had been blown into the rocks for this purpose. This narrow-gauge sideline – a remarkable piece of engineering – was one of few racktracks in the world. In 1920, upon completion of a new train line along the waterfall, the tunnel became the first road leading directly into the Valley, which had previously been accessible only on foot or by train. It was only in 1972 that an adjacent tunnel and the N4 national highway were built to link Johannesburg with Nelspruit and Maputo.

BOOSTED TRADE

Things changed dramatically in the 1890s, when the Netherlands-South African Railway Company (ZASM) built a railway to connect landlocked Pretoria to Delagoa Bay (today’s Maputo Bay) in Mozambique. The advent of the railway boosted trade in the Valley. In 1895 the railway between Waterval Onder and Waterval Boven became known for its four kilometres of rack railroad that climbed up the escarpment and for the famous ZASM tunnel that had been blown into the rocks for this purpose. This narrow-gauge sideline – a remarkable piece of engineering – was one of few racktracks in the world. In 1920, upon completion of a new train line along the waterfall, the tunnel became the first road leading directly into the Valley, which had previously been accessible only on foot or by train. It was only in 1972 that an adjacent tunnel and the N4 national highway were built to link Johannesburg with Nelspruit and Maputo.