Machadodorp is a small town right on the N4 highway between Gauteng and Nelspruit. It is very well known for its rainbow trout fly fishing at a number of municipal as well as private dams in the area. If you don't have your own fishing tackle there is an excellent fly fishing shop in the village where you can purchase all that you may need.
It is an interesting place for those interested in history for a number of reasons: President Paul Kruger ran his Transvaal Volksraad for a period from the town in 1900; there are many historical sites in and around the town including a Boer War graveyard and Runes - round stone circles built by an ancient peoples - are evident in the area for those interested in stone age history.
There is a monthly Craft Market at the Riverside Fly Fishing Park on the last Saturday of each month where quality local arts and crafts can be purchased.
If steam trains are your thing then you shouldn't miss taking a trip from Waterval Boven - only five kilometres away.
- fly fish for rainbow trout
- take a steam train trip
- many historical sites to visit
Machadodorp grew up around a railway station originally named Geluk, after the sheep farm on which it was built. In 1894 the name was changed to honour the Portuguese Major Joachim Machado, an engineer who had surveyed the land for the proposed Nelspruit-Delagoa Bay railway line through the Crocodile River gorge.
In early 2010 the town (along with Nelspruit and Waterval Boven) had its name officially changed. The town was renamed from Machadodorp to eNtokozweni, meaning "Place of Happiness". It is often still referred to as Machadodorp despite the name change.
The settlement became a capital for a few months from 5 June 1900, but was only declared a municipal town in 1904. This quirk in history happened during the Second Boer War when the Transvaal Volksraad made the town their temporary seat, using railway carriages as their offices and mint after they had to evacuate Pretoria in the face of a British invasion.
A quick-thinking station master rescued a consignment of dying trout by dumping the fish in the Elands River, which formed the start of the town's subsequent role in Mpumalanga's trout tourism industry. With the demise of passenger trains in South Africa, the once-postcard-pretty station closed in 2001 and is now a derelict ruin.
Today Machadodorp's residents either work for the industries feeding a chrome smelter or the logging industries based on the pine plantations surrounding the town. A large contingent of contract workers employed at the Nkomati mine about an hour's drive out of town also reside in Machadodorp, contributing a large part of the town's economy.
The Komati Gorge, notable for its considerable biodiversity and bluff habitats, forms a backdrop to the town.