Malalane was the first resting place on the road from the old Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) to Pretoria. In many ways it is still precisely that. The name means "guardians" after the first people who maintained the ford across the Crocodile River. The town is now a bustling agricultural and tourist centre.
In the early part of the 20th century, much of this area was the domain of the hunter. But with the formalisation of the borders of the Kruger National Park, hunting all but ceased and photography took over. To the south of the main road there remain a number of a private conservancies that tourists can visit as an alternative to the Kruger National Park.