Hiking in Malolotja - Short Walks
A. Gold Mine Walk
Starting point: Near Forbes Reef Dam
This is a short walk through exotic woodland to explore the Forbes Reef gold mines. There are two addits in the side of a large open pit that are open for exploration. Disused for many years, they are now home to bats and the occasional porcupine. Bring a torch and take great care on the slippery slopes.
B. Malolotja Vlei Walk
Starting point: Ngwenya Viewpoint, Logwaja or Forbes Reef Dam
This gentle walk can start from the Ngwenya Viewpoint, Logwaja or Forbes Reef Dam. It is unmarked as there is little chance of getting lost in such wide open country. The vlei is a huge herbaceous bog rich in a tremendous variety of flowers. Please keep to the dry edge of the vlei so as not to tread on the flowers or get stuck in the wet bog.
C. Malolotja Falls Walk
Starting point: Logwaja Viewpoint
A short but steep path takes you to the top of the Malolotja Falls with magnificent views down the valley. This walk is closed from August to October to prevent the Bald Ibis from being disturbed from their nests on the cliffs above the falls. An alternative day walk is provided with more distant views of the Malolotja Falls which does not disturb the birds. This also provides views of the Majolomba Falls.
D. Majolomba Gorge Walk
Starting point: Silotfwane or Logwaja Viewpoints
Follow the footprint signs from Silotfwane Viewpoint to the middle of the Majolomba Gorge. A long, thin waterfall cuts like a knife through the rock and a small pool at the top is ideal for paddling in. This is a short walk recommended for all the family. An extended walk in the form of a loop can be done from Silotfwane or Logwaja viewpoints taking in the Logwaja stream valley. Ask the Tourist Officers for further details.
E. Upper Majolomba Walk
Starting point: Majolomba Picnic Site
This walk follows the upper reaches of the Majolomba river. The vleis feeding the river are rich in flowers especially after a burn, and also provide suitable habitat for common reedbuck. The gentle upper slopes overlooking the Majolomba Gorge and Silotfwane Mountain are rich in game such as zebra, blesbok, eland and warthog.
F. Nkomati Viewpoint Walk
Starting point: Nkomati Viewpoint
A very easy walk from the Nkomati Viewpoint takes you to an impressive view of the Nkomati Valley. Mountain reedbuck, grey rhebok, red hartebeest and klipspringer are often seen on the rocky slopes and rock outcrops along this route.
G. Ntabamhlophe Mountain Walk
Starting point: Logwaja or Ngwenya Viewpoints
A very easy walk, with few steep hilly sections, that goes around Ntabamhlophe Mountain, the ridge of hills between Logwaja and Ngwenya Viewpoints. Part of the walk, on the eastern side of the mountain, is along the tourist road. A rich diversity of flora can be seen along this section and in particular, some very fine stands of the heaths, Erica cerinthoides var barbertona (flowering June to January) and Erica woodii (flowering January to June). On the western side of the mountain, there are fine views over the upper Malolotja Valley and the mountains beyond. Game viewing is excellent and mountain reedbuck, grey rhebok, and occasionally oribi can be seen here.
H. Ngwenya Mine Walk
Starting point: Ngwenya Mine
A short steep walk that presents excellent views of the country lying below Ngwenya Mountain. This is a site of special interest where one can look into Swaziland’s history, ancient and modern. Here one can see the oldest mine in the world, the Lion Cavern, believed to be 40 000 years old, and the modern open cast Iron Ore Mine, which was in operation in the 1970’s. Visitors must be accompanied by a Tourist Officer on this walk.
I. Blue Swallow Walk
Starting point: Log cabins or Main Campsite
A short easy walk that encompasses the source and upper reaches of the Malolotja River. The walk passes through short grassland from the Log Cabins parking area down to the A-frame house near the Main Campsite, then down a small rocky valley to the workshop and Mortimer’s Dam and back along the road past the campsite and Entrance Gate to the Log Cabins. The trail can be started from the A-frame house by the campsite, the Entrance Gate or the Log Cabins. The bird watching is good and many grassland species will be seen, and at certain times of year (September to March), one is guaranteed sightings of the rare and endangered blue swallow.
J. Mortimer’s Dam Walk
Starting point: Mortimer’s Dam
A very short and easy walk that follows the edge of the reedbeds and grassland surrounding Mortimer’s Dam. The walk starts at the dam wall and crosses the man-made stream that takes the overflow from the dam, then follows the edge of the dam around to the point where the Malolotja River, merely a stream at this point, enters the dam. Cross over the stream and return to the dam wall passing the ranger camp and workshop. This is an excellent walk for bird watchers, where widow birds, weavers, swallows and swifts as well as other water-loving birds can be seen. In the summer months one can also see the pretty painted reed frogs clinging to the reeds and rushes around the dam’s perimeter.
K. Forbes Reef Dam Walk
Starting point: Forbes Reef Dam
A very short, easy walk along the Forbes Reef Dam takes you past the bird hide and out into the reedbeds and grassland surrounding the dam. Continue around the perimeter of the dam until you reach the point where the Malolotja River enters the dam. Return from here to the parking area by the dam, and follow the Malolotja River down to the causeway across the river. You can follow the river further, then return to the parking area by the dam by following the track. This is an excellent walk for bird watchers who can spend time in the small bird hide en route. Apart from the birdlife such as widows, weavers, swallows, swifts, cisticolas, kingfishers, waterfowl and herons, there is a good chance of seeing common reedbuck in the reedbeds below the dam wall.