Emgwenya (Waterval Boven)
If you are travelling along the N4 highway towards the Kruger Lowveld, slow down when you reach Machadodorp (now renamed eNthokozweni) and take some time to explore this historical town and its surrounds.
Take a break at the famous Milly’s, which has a restaurant overlooking a large trout dam and a farm stall selling trout, homemade jams and preserves and a variety of souvenirs.
The town was originally named after Joaquim Machado, a Portuguese engineer involved in the construction of the Pretoria Delagoa Bay (now Maputo) railway line. The town was the Transvaal Republic’s capital briefly after President Paul Kruger’s escape from Pretoria.
In the hills surrounding the town one can still see the remains of baKoni settlements, dating back some 500 years.
The Machado Toll Plaza on the N4 highway lies 5km east of Machadodorp and 3km beyond that the N4 splits, giving travellers the option to follow either the Eland’s Valley or Schoemanskoof routes.
Waterval Boven/Emgwenya lies 5km from the spilt on the Eland’s Valley route. Originally established as a marshalling yard and locomotive depot on the railway line to Delagoa Bay, the town is surrounded by historical railway bridges and tunnels.
These days the steam trains have gone, but the area is well-known for its scenic beauty, a favoured trout fishing spot and being a world-renowned rock climbing destination.