Bulembu is a former mining town that is found at the border of Eswatini and South Africa. Built in the early 19’s, the town was constructed to house the people who worked in the Havelock mine. Although it was once a thriving town, as years went by it became a ghost town that had nothing to offer to both the locals and the tourists but with the coming of the Bulembu ministries, everything changed and the once ghost town has started rising up with many projects along the way.
Bulembu is located west of the famous Piggs peak and it is in close proximity with the highest peak in the whole country that is the Emlembe Mountain which rises to a height of 1862 meters above sea level. Bulembu has a lot of projects that have been underway for quite some time and some of these include an awareness program that was set up to reduce on the spread of HIV/AIDs among the children and adolescents so that they could have a disease free future without worry.
The Bulembu ministries have tried as much as they can to maintain the old town with new buildings and the many projects like houses for the vulnerable children, orphans and they have also set up accommodation facilities for the tourists who visit the town in order to get a good history about the famous Havelock mine that was closed after the collapse of the mine market.
There is much to see and do in Bulembu as many tourists use the town for buying more supplies before heading out to the neighboring country of South Africa. There is however a museum from where you will get to know all the history connected to both Bulembu and Eswatini, you can also walk around the town and get a close look at the old colonial buildings that have been maintained and you can as well join other tourists heading out for a guided hike.
Have you ever heard about a volunteer tourist? Well this is the best way to enjoy Bulembu town because it will keep you busy with the many charities that are found in the area like the schools, orphanages, hospital and many more other voluntary actions. This is also considered to be the best way to get close to the local community who will provide you with all the information that you need and it will give a clear insight on their day to day way of life.
The hike in Bulembu is done on Mountain Emlembe which is the highest peak in the country and it is mostly done during the dry season when the hike routes are not slippery and flooded. There are different hike routes that can be used and whereas some of them are short and take a few minutes, others can be hiked on for almost five hour or more before you reach the peak. Some of the great views that you will be able to see while hiking up the Emlembe include the waterfalls from where you can get to rest and take as many photos as you want before continuing with your hike.
The hike up the Emlembe starts from the Bulembu country lodge and the hike routes are clearly marked so that whoever is taking them does not get lost. There are experienced guards that will be availed to you and these will take you on the hike depending on the speed that you want but do not forget to carry your own bottled drinking water during the hike because the Eswatini water till today is not safe for drinking. You will also be able to see the various vegetation types as you hike up that is the montane grassland where many rare bird species habitate like the Knysna Turaco, the Malachite sunbird and many more other species.
The Bulembu museum tour is the place to be for all history fanatics who want to know what really happened to the mine and how the once thriving town of Bulembu became a ghost town. A tour to the museum can easily be arranged and with a guide you will get to know all the history both fictional and real surrounding the mine, get to see some of the equipment that was used during the mining process during the colonial times and also get a sneak peak into the history of Eswatini as a country. There are also cultural objects that are kept in the Bulembu museum that will be worth your trip there.
The Bulembu country lodge is located right below the Emlembe Mountain and it is the best accommodation facility in the area. Surrounded by the dense vegetation, the waterfall and the backdrop of the Mountain, it is the perfect place for tourists who want to experience the wild while also enjoying their privacy. They have good comfortable rooms and provide good meals to their guests.
The Bulembu country lodge also has a variety of rooms which can fit into every tourist’s budget that is they have self-catering accommodation facilities, lodges and hostel accommodation facilities all which are in god condition, self-contained however each comes with its own price.
The best way to get discounts at the lodge is by coming to the town as a tourist volunteer. Here you will be treated like royalty and everything will be put on discount because you will have come to help out the community and improve on its development.
After your exploration of the Bulembu town, you can also head out to the nearby towns like the Piggs peak, the Maguga dam where you can enjoy boating trips and fishing, the Nsangwini rock where you will get to see some of the best rock art that was painted using animal blood and Ochre by the San and enjoy all the tourist attraction sites and activities that are carried out in those specific towns.