Phophonyane Falls offers
Things to Do
Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge is situated in its own 600 ha private nature reserve which offers
- Pristine, high biodiversity middleveld escarpment habitat
- 240 bird species, including good sightings of the narina trogon, wood owl, African goshawk, crowned eagle and other forest species
- Hiking trails through lush sub-tropical bush and riverine forests, leading to breath taking views of the waterfalls, cascades and the surrounding mountains
- Forest game including red duiker, bushbuck, clawless otter, civet, caracal, porcupine, bushpig and water mongoose.
- Swimming in the rock pool situated just above the Phophonyane Falls which commands a spectacular view of the valley below
The Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserve is an important geological site and is host to some of the oldest rocks in the world, ranging in age from 3.5 billion to 3. 2 billion years old which are displayed in a spectacular fashion along the Phophonyane River.
At the lodge one can enjoy spacious water gardens, viewing decks with panoramic views, a large swimming pool, a comfortable lounge, a well-stocked library and a stylishly furnished restaurant.
Proximity to the waterfalls means that our guests will benefit from its well-known therapeutic effects- the negative ions that are known to relax, regenerate and refresh mind, body and soul.
"Most of the health benefits from waterfalls are believed to stem from a property of moving water resulting in negative ions. Somehow these negative ions result in increased serotonin levels (i.e. the dream hormone) secreted in our brain."
Read more www.world-of-waterfalls.com
"Not only that waterfalls have always been the favourite habitat of mystics and artists.., but for some reason, everybody feels relaxed and in a special mood while near them."
Read more: http://www.health-benefit-of-water.com/waterfalls.html#ixzz1lymqsN8J
Community Homestead Walk. Guided walks to the nearby local community are an excellent way of learning about Swazi rural life. Guests are also encouraged to visit the local primary school and interact with the schoolchildren and the teachers. The guide will answer your questions about Swazi cultural and traditional life.
Gobolondo Ridge Trail. This is perhaps the most scenic of all hikes in Swaziland. It follows the Gobolondo Mountain Ridge through rare montane forest , with views over the Makhonjwa Mountains, Lake Matsamo and east towards Mananga Mountain and the Lubombo Escarpment.
GUIDED 4X4 DRIVES:
Gobolondo Mountain Drive
This takes you to one of Swaziland's most dramatic viewpoints. Guests can either take the 20 minute hike up the mountain or the longer trail along the mountain ridge.
Nsangwini Rock Art Centre
Located 10km south east of Pigg's Peak, the Centre sits high above the Komati River. An estimated 4000 years ago, the San (Bushman) people used Swaziland's western highveld granite areas, including Nsangwini, for spiritual rituals and recorded iconic moments in their lives through etchings on the ancient rocks.
(see PDF on General Information for more details and images)
Things to Do
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. www.coralstephens.com
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. www.tintsaba.com
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. www.piggspeak.org.sz
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. www.sntc.org
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. www.malolotjacanopytour.com
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. www.ngwenyaglass.co.sz
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. www.swazitrails.co.sz
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. www.bulembu.org
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Situated just 70km north of Phophonyane is Malelane Gate the southern entry into the Kruger National Park (www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger). 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.