Attraction Type: Landscape/Scenic, Culture/People
Mantenga Reserve, Village & Falls
Mantenga is a small protected area of 725 hectares in a secluded corner of the Ezulwini Valley, although it is only two kilometres from a major road. The Mantenga Falls are Swaziland's best-known falls, and the largest in terms of volume of water (95m high). This is despite the construction of the Luphohlo Dam some 15 km upstream, where water was diverted for electricity generation. Visitors can explore the reserve by foot, on mountain bikes or by car, and there is also a shady picnic site adjacent to the river below the falls.
The reserve is home to the Mantenga Cultural Village, a living museum of old traditions and represents a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850s. It comprises 16 huts, kraals and byres for cattle and goats, reed fences and other structures. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the people in the village and can do so by grinding maize, plaiting mountain grass or joining in the Swazi song and dance.
Mantenga Cultural Village is the only tourist facility in Swaziland with its own fully-fledged permanent troupe. The group has over the years attained international acclaim with invitations to appear in international events in different parts of the world. Since 2004, Mantenga Cultural Group has toured several European countries for a series of festivals and private appearances in countries such as Belgium, German, France. It also flew to the Americas to join the world finest cultural performers at festivals there. The group is also a household name in South Africa where it has been appearing as the main attraction on numerous occasions, including during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Each day comes with two performances; at 11:30 and at 15:15. The group can also be booked for private and additional performances.
Despite Mantenga's small size, a large number of medium-sized mammals are flourishing there. There are vervet monkey and baboon, bushpig and porcupine, otter, rock dassie and bushbaby. One predator that has been sighted is the serval; leopards are possibly present. Buck include kudu, nyala, klipspringer, grey and red duiker. Birdlife abounds, including the endangered bald ibis. The flora of the reserve is not yet well explored, but includes a range of species suited to open grassland and exposed rocky areas through to the wooded riverine vegetation. The river banks and wooded areas are also home to a high diversity of invertebrates such as butterflies and dragonflies.
Mantenga Cultural Village – 8am - 10pm.
Restaurant – every day,.
Traditional dances – 11:15am and 15h30 every day.
Day visits – 8am - 5pm everyday.