Thursday, June 25, 2009


Things to do and places to visit:

Piggs Peak named after William Peak is found in the northern parts of the country, in the Hhohho region. Piggs Peak famously known for its spectacular gold mining, mined during the year 1889 and 1957. Not only is this town known for its gold, there is also plenty of accommodation with luxurious hotels and casinos, lodges and guest houses.

Orion Piggs Peak hotel located on the main route between the Kruger National Park of South Africa and Mbabane makes a perfect stopover for visitors. This is the biggest hotel found in this area. Also visitors will not run around while at the Piggs for there is a redecorated and a wonderful resort for tourist at the Bulembu lodge.

Not only is this town overflowing with accommodation, there are plenty of things to do and places to see, visit the Maguga dam one of the largest dams in the kingdom and experience its dazzling and peaceful water outing, also at the dams adjacent there is a garden operated by local community where you can relax.

Visit the historic Bulembu village situated 19km west of Piggs Peak, next to the now non-operational asbestos mine and take a look at Emlembe, the highest Mountain in Swaziland. Devils Bridge is a rock structure on the slopes of Emlembe Mountain which forms an ordinary snaking crossing between South Africa and Swaziland.

Also while in town you can browse through at the Peak Fine Craft Centre nearby where you can find Swazi and African crafts worth buying. At the Tintsaba Crafts find the best artistic and function basket and home waves and also at Likhweti Craft find beautiful African accessories and silver shop.

The Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) identified Rock paintings attributed the san in many parts of Swaziland, the largest of them are found in the Western highveld areas. The paintings demonstrate animals and people in dances, hunts and battle scenes and are comparable in style and colourings to the rock art found in Drakensburg, Lesotho and other parts of Sourthen Africa.
The best known style is:
Nsangwini in the northern Hhohho region in the area of Chief Molwane Dlamini, paintings are damaged and fading.
Sandlane paintings still in reasonably good condition can be seen at Sandlane, about 1km from the Sandlane border post.
Dlangeni next to Shiyabedla Gama’s home there are other paintings that have at least two eland that are clear but the other animals have faded.
Maguga dam area one of the paintings that would have been covered by the dam will be saved.
Other rock painting site have been identified in the Ezulwini Valley near Sheba’s Breasts at kuthandeni, at Nkaba near the Luyane Stream on the banks of Mpetsane stream near the Ngwempisane river at Ntfungula mountain and in the environs of Gege.

The Phophonyane waterfall is situated at Peaks Peak. Come and enjoy the peaceful envoronment while dazing the stream fall along the rocks of phophonyane.

• Fizz down the Usutu River on a white-water rafting trip (website: The rapids through Bulungu Gorge give a thrilling ride and you'll need to negotiate a 10m (33ft) waterfall. Away from the rapids you can also float lazily down the river checking out the ‘flat dogs' in the water.

• Go game-spotting on a wildlife drive, organised through Big Game Parks (website: Mkhaya Game Reserve is a top private reserve where you may spot the elusive black rhino; and in Hlane Royal National Park look out for lion, elephant and plenty of antelope.

• Organise any number of activities in the beautiful and serene Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, including mountain biking, horseriding and game walks - where you have a chance of spotting giraffe, warthog, antelope, hippos and eagles.

• Soak those weary bones in the ‘cuddle puddle', one of the many hot mineral springs around the country. This one is situated in the Ezulwini Valley.

• Hike the magnificent countryside. There are plenty of options including the ascent to Malolotsha Falls at Piggs Peak; Sibebe Mountain, a huge granite outcrop that provides a scenic spot for a picnic; and the climb up Emlembe, Swaziland's highest peak.

• Throw a fishing line in at Mlawula Nature Reserve and admire the varied species of antelopes and birds. This is where the Lebombo Mountains meet with the surrounding lowveld.

• Discover true African wilderness at the rugged Malolotja Nature Reserve. There are hiking trails galore, ranging from after-lunch strolls to week-long treks, and 280 species of bird have been recorded here.

Contact details :

Swaziland Tourism Authority

PO Box A1030, Swazi Plaza, Mbabane H100, Swaziland
Tel: (40) 49693/75.

Kingdom of Swaziland High Commission in the UK

20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB, UK
Tel: (020) 7630 6611.
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 0900-1630, Fri 0900-1600 (by appointment only).

Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland in the USA

1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Tel: (202) 234 5002.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Fun Activities!

Picnic in the Lowveld Botanical Gardens, north of Nelspruit. Entrance R15 per person. Tel 013-7525531

Chill out at Bridal Veil Waterfall near Sabie. Entrance R10 a car. Tel 013-7642580

Enjoy a spa treatment at Summerfield Rose Retreat near Hazyview. A one hour aromatherapy massage cost R450. Tel 013-7376500 or web

Go microlighting with Aviation Adventures near Hazyview. From R220 a person for 10 minutes to R1 500 for 1,5 hours. Tel 0833105293, web

Hike the famous Fanie Botha Hiking Trail along the Sabie Valley, R85 per person a day. Tel 013-7542724, web

Explore Sudwala Caves near Nelspruit. The standard one hour tour is R50 per adult and R25 a child. Tel 013-7334152, web

Monday, June 22, 2009

Float among the Clouds

Balloons over Africa

For an uplifting experience, try a hot-air balloon ride with Balloons over Africa. Based in Hazyview, the operators take off from the middle of the Sabie River valley and the gentle winds often propel the balloon east over some spectacular forest scenery. The flight lasts an hour and includes champagne on landing and a full breakfast at a nearby lodge.

Kevin Roberson, the pilot, has 20 years experience, with over 2500 hours of flying time. He was the South Africa competition balloonings champion for 6 years, so guests are in safe hands. His wife, Cathy, emphasises that the flight is not meant for viewing animals - it's a scenic ride, although you do sometimes traverse a private game reserve.

Cost :
R 2 400 per person includes champagne on landing and a full breakfast at Chestnut Country Lodge.

Contact : Tel. 013-7376950, email and website

Adventure Galore

Induna Adventures and Big Five Country:

Induna Adventures and Big Five Country offer a range of activities, starting with white-water rafting on the Sabie River (20 rapids of grades 2 and 3 on a 8 km route suitable for novices) or a day meander through the Blyde River Canyon. Gecko down the Sabie River in small inflatable rafts named after these reptiles because they're steered with webbed gloves. If you want more adrenaline, try the zipline, a 450 m high-speed cable, which reaches speeds of up to 100km/h. Other activities include quadbiking, abseiling, kloofing, horse riding, paint ball, climbing and hiking.

At the Big Swing near Graskop, you can drop 68 m in just under 3 sec, or do the 131 m long high-wire foefie slide which, if your eyes aren't closed from blood pumping fear, give you a chance to admire the local waterfalls.

Cost :
Activities range in price from R35 for six laps on a quad bike for children to R950 for a full day of rafting through the Blyde River Canyon.

Contacts :
Tel : 013-7378308, email, web:
For the Big Swing, tel 013-7671621, email, web
Big 5 Country Tourism & Activities : Tel 013-7378191, email, web

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lions - Marloth Park

This week the lions were spotted again at 2 Boompies down at the Crocodile River, 400m from Khaya Umdani.

It is a huge male and 4 females. They are now regular visitors to this specific spot. A herd of buffalo are grazing nearby, so a kill before the weekend is very possible.

Kruger National Park

Wild wild Africa!!!!

The largest national park in South Africa. It is located in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, west of the Lebombo Mountains on the Mozambique border. Established in part in 1898, the park in 1926 was named for Paul Kruger, former president of the South African Republic (the Transvaal) and builder of the Afrikaner nation. The headquarters of the park are at Skukuza. The park, with an area of 7,523 square miles (19,485 square km), is about 200 miles (320 km) long and 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) wide. The area has a generally flat terrain with low ranges of hills traversed by nearly 5,000 miles of paved and gravel roads. Vegetation varies from open veld to dense bush that includes mopane, acacia, marula, and baobab trees. Wildlife includes elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalo, rhinoceroses, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, and numerous birds. Although six perennial rivers cross the park, droughts often make artificial watering necessary.

There are more than 336 tree species, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 bird and 147 mammals.

The main restcamps are : Berg and Dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Lower Sabie, Mopani, Olifants, Orpen, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Satara, Shingwedzi, Skukuza and Tsendze.

Bushveld Camps are : Bateleur, Biyamiti, Shimuwini, Sirheni and Talamati

Overnight hides can be found at Sabie and Shipandani.

The more expensive luxury lodges are: Imbali Safari Lodge, Jock Safari Lodge, Lukimbi Safari Lodge, Rhino Walking Safari, Shishangeni Private Lodge, Singita Lebombo Private Game Lodge, Tinga Private Game Lodge and Pafuri Camp.

Kruger National Park Conservation Fees

Over and above the accommodation tariffs particular to each camp, guests inside South African National Parks need to pay conservation fees.

Kruger Park conservation fees can be paid in advance or upon arrival at the Park, and are charged on a per person per day basis. Frequent visitors to the Park should look at the affordable Wild Card loyalty program which allows access to specific National Parks without having to pay the daily conservation fee.

Members of the Wild card loyalty programme don’t pay conservation fees provided that proof of Identity and their WILD card are shown on arrival to the park.

A non-refundable fee, payable in advance, of R24 per adult and R12 per child is charged on all advance reservations for day visits. This is charged in addition to conservation fees and applies equally to WILD members.
International Visitors, daily conservation fee

1 November 2008 – 31 October 2009:
Adult: ZAR 140.00
Child under 12 years: ZAR 70.00

1 September 2009 - 31 October 2010:
Adult: ZAR 160.00
Child under 12 years: ZAR 80.00
South African Residents, daily conservation fee

1 November 2008 – 31 October 2009
Adult: ZAR 35.00
Child under 12 years: ZAR 35.00

1 September 2009 - 31 October 2010:
Adult: ZAR 40.00
Child under 12 years: ZAR 40.00

The daily cards for South African residents may only be purchased at the parks and you need your ID, driver's license or passport.
SADEC, daily conservation fee

1 November 2008 – 31 October 2009:
Adult: ZAR 70.00
Child under 12 years: ZAR 35.00

1 September 2009 - 31 October 2010:
Adult: ZAR 80.00
Child under 12 years: ZAR 40.00
Entrance Gates Telephone Numbers

Entrance Gate and Telephone Numbers :

Crocodile Bridge Gate : +27 (0)13 735 6012

Kruger Gate : +27 (0)13 735 5107

Malelane Gate : +27 (0)13 735 6152

Numbi Gate : +27 (0)13 735 5133

Orpen Gate : +27 (0)13 735 0237/0238

Pafuri Gate : +27 (0)13 735 5574

Phabeni Gate : +27 (0)13 735 5890

Phalaborwa Gate : +27 (0)13 735 3547

Punda Maria Gate : +27 (0)13 735 6870


Name Type X-coord Y-coord
Balule Rest camp 31.7290400 -24.0560000

Bateleur Bushveld camp 31.2023300 -23.2340600

Berg-en-Dal Rest camp 31.4512200 -25.4200100

Biyamiti Bushveld camp 31.6990300 -25.3212200

Boesman Trails Trails camp 31.3604200 -23.6076300

Boulders Rest Camp 31.3792300 -23.6076300

Crocodile Bridge Rest camp 31.8923600 -25.3584300

Letaba Rest camp 31.5767300 -23.8510200

Lower Sabie Rest camp 31.9172700 -25.1210600

Malelane Rest camp 31.5089000 -25.4723500

Maroela Caravan camp 31.3995000 -24.4562800

Metsimetsi Trails camp 31.9131400 -24.7464600

Malelane Rest camp 31.5089000 -25.4723500

Mopani Rest camp 31.3998300 -23.5274400

Napi Trails camp 31.4379200 -25.1617300

Njalaland Trails camp 31.0856000 -22.5129000

Olifants Rest camp 31.7402200 -24.0056500

Olifants Trails camp 31.8006400 -23.9963100

Orpen Rest camp 31.3910600 -24.4747000

Pretoriuskop Rest camp 31.2692800 -25.1722500

Punda Maria Rest camp 31.0161100 -22.6954900

Roodewal Rest camp 31.6304300 -24.1440000

Satara Rest camp 31.7777800 -24.3976800

Shimuwini Bushveld camp 31.2716900 -23.7111700

Shingwedzi Rest camp 31.4323800 -23.1161700

Sirene Bushveld camp 31.2309300 -22.9493800

Skukuza Rest camp 31.5928700 -24.9954000

Sweni Trails Trails camp 31.9262400 -24.4892700

Talamati Bushveld camp 31.5551300 -24.5573700

Tamboti Tented camp 31.3984200 -24.4617700

Tsendze Camping site 31.4408200 -23.5559500

Wolhuter Trails camp 31.3929200 -25.3720100

KaDirk Camping site 31.96654 -25.1662

KaMorageng Camping site 31.82423 -25.1317

Lonely Bull Camping site 31.38733 -23.7488