Most interesting landmarks of eSwatini (former Swaziland)

Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of eSwatini.

Natural landmarks of eSwatini

  • Mahamba Gorge – Shiselweni. Spectacular gorge.
  • Mowane Gorge – Lubombo. Deep gorge, sacred place to local people.
  • Ngwempisi Gorge – Manzini. Deep gorge of Ngwempisi River, formed in sandstone and shale.
  • Usuthu Gorge – Lubombo. Deep, 8 km long gorge of Usuthu (Maputo) river with rare plants and animals, including cycads. Beloved place for rafting.
Mantenga Falls, eSwatini
Mantenga Falls / René Clausen Nielsen, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.
  • Malolotja Falls – Hhohho. 90 m tall waterfall.
  • Mantenga Falls – Manzini. 95 m tall waterfall, consists of two parallel streams sliding down along the granite cliff.
  • Manzamnyama Falls – Shiselweni. Site of royal ceremonies in the past.
  • Nsangwini Gap – Hhohho. Impressive rapids – falls on the powerful Komati River.
  • Phophonyane Falls – Hhohho. 80 m tall waterfall, flowing down along steep surface of gneiss. On the stream have formed multiple falls and rapids. Exposed rocks are 3.55 billion years old.
Other natural landmarks of eSwatini
  • Sibebe Rock – Hhohho. Enormous, 800 m high granite dome, some 3 billion years old. Second largest monolith in the world.

Man made landmarks of eSwatini

Nsangwini Rock Shelter, eSwatini
Nsangwini Rock Shelter / Steven W. Belcher, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.
  • Ngwenya Mine (with Lion Cavern) – Hhohho. Lion Cavern is the world’s oldest iron ore mine, which was worked at least 42 thousand years before present, in the Middle Stone Age. Iron ore was used as pigment – red ochre. Smelting of iron ore started sometimes around 400 AD. Mine contains a pool – sacred place for local people.
  • Nsangwini Rock Shelter – Hhohho. Rock shelter famous due to rich displays of rock art. Cliff paintings were created by San people more than 4000 years ago and some drawings are truly surprising. Unusual are two winged figures and other paintings which may show ancient rituals.
  • Sandlane Rock Paintings – Manzini. Comparatively well preserved prehistoric rock paintings, albeit washed out by tourists willing to see the images. Drawings show animals and humans.
  • Siphiso Rock Shelter – Lubombo. Cave – prehistoric shelter, which has provided valuable information about the human past in this part of Africa.

Described landmarks of eSwatini

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This small country offers several outstanding landmarks.
Most interesting among them are the world’s oldest mines – the 42,000 years old Lion Cavern and the amazing, more than 4000 years old cliff paintings in Nsangwini Rock Shelter. The country is rich with impressive gorges and other rock formations.

Featured: Phophonyane Falls

Phophonyane Falls, eSwatini
Phophonyane Falls / René Clausen Nielsen, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0.

Although there are taller waterfalls in eSwatini, the beautiful Phophonyane Falls are the best known.

Recommended books

Adventures In Swaziland; The Story Of A South African Boer

Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Swaziland (Bradt Travel Guide)

This is the only dedicated, in-depth guide to Swaziland. Author Mike Unwin explores the excellent wildlife reserves and wild hiking trails offering waterfalls, rock art and prolific flora and birdlife. He introduces travelers to the country’s rich and varied landscapes encompassing both the mountainous western ‘highveld’ and the dusty eastern ‘lowveld’. His personal insights, together with colorful anecdotes, drawn both from Swazi residents and travelers throughout the kingdom, provide entertaining insights, affording an insider’s perspective lacking in other guidebooks.

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