"Swaziland Regions | North West Swaziland"
The visitor to
Swaziland entering through the Jeppes Reef/Matsamo or the Bulembu/Josefsdal
border posts will have chosen the most spectacular scenic routes in the Kingdom
of Swaziland. The routes travel through the highveld of the Kingdom of Swaziland
with its undulating mountains covered in indigenous growth and timber forests
with breath taking views. The three highest peaks in the Kingdom of Swaziland,
the oldest Iron Ore Mine in the world, spectacular waterfalls and Bushman
Paintings are all located in this area.
The Protea Piggs Peak Hotel, with luxury rooms, is located high above the valleys beneath the Makonjwa Mountains, with spectacular views from every balcony. The sporting enthusiast, nature lover, gambling expert or night owl visitor to Swaziland will find that the Protea Piggs Peak Hotel meets their needs. The Protea Piggs Peak Hotel has a swimming pool, gymnasium, stables, putt-putt golf, bowling green, tennis courts, squash courts, regular live entertainment and the Casino.
Three kilometres from the Protea Piggs Peak Hotel is the turn off to Phophonyane Lodge and Nature Reserve. Deep within the natural beauty of cascading water, soaring mountains and forests lays the Phophonyane Lodge and Nature Reserve with 3 separate camps offering double storied thatch chalets. All units are self catering but for those visitors to Swaziland who don’t wish to cook for themselves, there is an a la carte, licensed restaurant. Within a relatively small area, the visitor to Swaziland will find a variety of habitats containing an exciting number of bird species, flora and small game. A number of trails meander through the reserve to viewing points above and below the Phophonyane Falls and to natural pools within the forest.
The town of Piggs Peak was named after William Pigg who was an early prospector who found the gold reef here. Believe it or not but his son married a girl with the surname Hogg. Gold was mined here from 1889 until 1954 but was never considered a spectacular find. Piggs Peak is now reliant on timber from the surrounding forests and their by-products.
Havelock is only 1km from the Bulembu/Josefsdal border and is an asbestos mining area. This mining town has an excellent Sports Club with golf, squash, tennis and bowls facilities. The aerial cableway linking the Havelock Asbestos Mine (now called Bulembu Mine) with Barberton, in Mpumalanga, dominates the slopes of Makhonjwa Mountain. The 20 kilometre long cableway is supported by 52 pylons, with the longest span being some 1200 metres and the highest point 190 metres above ground. The cableway was built in 1938 to carry asbestos to the railway station in Barberton and coal back for the Bulembu power station.
There are many scenic drives in the area. One can imagine the spectacular views that can be seen on these scenic drives as they wend their way up and down the mountain slopes. Some of the scenic drives require a rugged 4x4 vehicle and are impassable during the wet weather. The visitor to the Kingdom of Swaziland who enjoys hiking will find many hiking trails on offer from the various hotels and lodges as well as in the Game Parks/Reserves.
The Malolotja Nature Reserve, with the two highest mountains in the Kingdom of Swaziland, is an ideal getaway for the visitor to Swaziland, with its broken mountain peaks, lush valleys, plains and deep river gorges with their cascading waterfalls. The Malolotja river begins in the east of the reserve at 1500 metres and tumbles over numerous waterfalls, including the highest in the Kingdom of Swaziland, the 100 metre high Malolotja Falls, to the Komati River some 900 metres below. The Malolotja Nature Reserve has fully equipped log cabins that sleep six as well as camping facilities. There are scenic drives around the reserve with picnic and braai areas at the numerous lookout points. This is a bird watchers paradise and is the home of the rare Gurney’s sugar bird. The visitor who is a hiking fanatic will find the Malolotja Nature Reserve exactly suited to his needs. There are 200 kilometres of hiking trails ranging from one to seven days duration. The Reserve also caters for the Fly-fisherman with its many dams and streams.
In the South Western area of the Reserve is the Ngwenya Mountain, beneath which is the oldest mine in the world, which dates back to 41 000 BC. Haematite and Specularite were mined for ritual and cosmetic use. Haematite was also used by the Bushman for their paint. A guide, requested from the Malolotja Nature Reserve main office, will lead you to all the ancient workings, modern open cast mine, Forbes Reef Gold Mine (both no longer in operation) and other areas of interest at Ngwenya like the lion cave with its bushman paintings. Unfortunately the “Ghost Town” at Forbes Reef has all but disappeared.
There are many other places in this region offering the visitor varied and different activities.