At Phophonyane you will perhaps feel the pleasure of splendid isolation, without the slightest compulsion to move beyond the immediate boundaries of the peaceful surroundings of the lodge. The sound of birds and waterfalls conspire to send you into a state of meditative relaxation and provide the perfect tonic for accumulated stress and tension. However, if curiosity and the need to explore (and to shop!) get the better of you, there are some wonderful things to do in the vicinity.
Peak Fine Craft Centre
This is situated about 3 kms from the Lodge on the main Pigg's Peak Road. It hosts a restaurant with spectacular views over the nature reserve and surrounding valley as well as some of the finest craft shops in Swaziland, such as Coral Stephens and Tintsaba.
Coral Stephens Handweaving specialises in décor fabrics including blankets, carpets and cushion covers. The shop stocks smaller items like shawls and scarves and a collection of soaps, tableware and ceramics made locally. Visitors are welcome to the studio which is open Monday to Friday excluding lunch hour.
Tintsaba specializes in the production of highest quality handmade products from sisal, including Master Weaver baskets and jewellery. Each step is carried out meticulously by a group of highly trained creative producers in rural Swaziland. Tintsaba ventured into jewellery-making by refining the basket coiling technique into a miniature work of art. Tintsaba has also established a silver jewellery workshop.
The town of Pigg's Peak is about 11km south of the lodge. It is named after William Pigg who discovered a gold reef nearby in 1882. Gold was mined in this area between 1882 and 1954. The town is a rural hub and offers banks, garages and supermarkets. The townspeople are very friendly and visitors exploring the town get a unique glimpse into the ordinary lives of the Swazi people.
Malolotja National Park
The park is located 30 km south of Pigg's Peak. It offers a unique experience for visitors with breath taking pristine landscapes and wilderness hiking ranking amongst Southern Africa's finest. 65 species of small and large mammals occur in the park including leopard, aardwolf, oribi, red hartebeest, eland and black wildebeest. Malolotja is also host to more than 280 bird species including the Blue Swallow, one of the rarest birds in Southern Africa.
Malolotja Canopy Tours
Experience the thrill of gliding through the forest canopy in one of the last mountain wilderness areas left in Swaziland. Set within the forested Sihlotswane gorge, adjacent to the famous Malolotja Falls, the Malolotja Canopy Tour consists of 11 elevated forest platforms, 10 slides and a 50 metre long suspension bridge that crosses the Majolomba River.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Situated just 70km north of Phophonyane is Malelane Gate the southern entry into the Kruger National Park . Early risers are able to visit the park and either return to Phophonyane the same day or spend the night at our beautiful chalet on the banks of the Crocodile River, along the Kruger Park boundary. The chalet is situated in a game area and guests can enjoy the sight of plains game in the garden while enjoying stunning views of the Kruger Park from the balcony.
Just south of Pigg's Peak is a scenic loop road which leads to the spectacular Maguga dam. Completed in 2002, Maguga dam stores 332 million cubic metres of water. Its wall height of 115 metres makes it one of the highest dams in Southern Africa. Various water activities including fishing and sightseeing are available in the Maguga area. The visitor can have lunch at Maguga Lodge, where the restaurant has a stunning view over the dam. A houseboat is also available for day and overnight trips.
50 km south of Pigg's Peak is Ngwenya Glass, a charming complex set in large indigenous gardens. It is considered one of Swaziland's major tourist attractions. The complex is a hub of unique boutique shops, showcasing a superb selection of Swazilands' finest handcrafts available at one venue. Witness first-hand the magical and ancient art of glassblowing from an overhead balcony - each piece handmade form 100% recycled glass.
A short distance past Ngwenya Glass is the Old Ngwenya Mine where iron ore was extracted more than 43,000 years ago
Swazi Trails offers a wide range of adventure and cultural activities accessible to our guests. These include white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking, caving and cultural tours.
Bulembu Village is about 16 km west of Pigg's Peak and offers a fascinating example of revival and regeneration based on faith, generosity and perseverance. In 2001, the mining company that had built and operated Bulembu for more than 60 years, closed its doors and walked away. With no jobs the town was soon abandoned. Today, Bulembu has a clear vision to become a vibrant, self-sustaining community. This vision for sustainability includes fostering the development of a new generation of emerging leaders through orphan care, education, health services and commerce.
Guests are offered a series of tours and activities such as the Childcare Tour, the Enterprise Tour, guiding Hikes and Volunteer opportunities. Bulembu Village is a unique experience.