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The Mahamba gorge is found right next to the border of Eswatini and South Africa and is one of the most outstanding features in Eswatini. Surrounded by the Mkondvo River, the gorge is an attraction that you should check out while in the country. The Mahamba gorge is an impressive feature that is surrounded by chalets made of stone, a Centre where you can get more information about the gorge and an extremely welcoming community that will make you feel at home.

It has not seen a lot of human settlement and therefore still has its untouched beauty. When you get to the Mahamba gorge, there is a mission that you will first see before heading deep into the gorge where you will lots of fun things waiting for you. The Mahamba mission was set up in the year 1912 during the reign of king Mswati II. Some of the main things you should look out for when you get to the Mahamba gorge include the trekking trails, visiting with the locals and the old church. Your visit to the Mahamba gorge will help with its maintenance and also increase on the development of the area and the locals.

It was the place where the first missionaries who came into the country and built their church. It has a rich history that can be told best by the locals who live in the area at the moment. It is also a good place for birding and some of the bird species that you will be able to see include the fish eagle, the black eagles and many more others. The hike trails start from the Mahamba gorge and while some of them take lonely hours before they are completed, others take days. It is also a good place for tourists to take a photo Safari as they enjoy the Mahamba gorge wilderness that was set up by the community to conserve the environment.

Hiking in Mahamba gorge

Before the hype in 2014 where many tourists were invited to try out the hike route in. Mahamba, hiking around the gorge was held carried out by between the months of March and April annually by the Royal palace and this was done immediately after the Marula festival which included making bear from the Marula fruit and bringing the first harvest to the king and queen to first taste at their palace before subjects did the same.

The hiking event in the Mahamba gorge was set up to promote social development of the area and it was not all about the money and that is why people are encouraged to visit the Mahamba gorge so that the area gets more development through the donations that are made. The hike route at the Mahamba gorge is four kilometers long and no one should tell you that the terrain is smooth. It is jugged and one of the roughest routes in Eswatini and that is why before you head out for the hike, you must thoroughly prepare for it and follow the tour guide if you so not want to slip while hiking. Some of the major things that you should take with and know while hiking in the Mahamba gorge include the following:

  • Good and strong hiking boots to avoid slipping and falling.
  • Bottled drinking water since the water in Eswatini is not safe.
  • Sun screen during the dry season as the sun can become unbearable.
  • Follow the guidelines of tour guide and always come behind him.

The Mahamba gorge hike is one that you will want to try out while in Eswatini because it will not be all about the exercise but it is one way to enjoy the serene beauty that is in form of rocks, the dense vegetation and water that is in the gorge. Do not forget your camera as you head out to the gorge because you will want to keep these memories with you.

Exploring the old church in Mahamba gorge

As you head into the Mahamba gorge, there is an old Gothic church which is believed to be the first church to ever be constructed in the country. This can be seen while you are on a hike and as you get closer to the church, you will see in detail the materials that were used while constructing and how it looked like before when it had just been constructed and how it looks now after all those years.

Have a one on one with the locals

The Mahamba lodge is one of the many places that tourists can visit in order to get to know more about the culture of the people of Eswatini. A visit to the Mahamba mission where most of the local reside will not be like a walk through but you will get to meet the different people, learn how they live their day to day lives and also get to participate in the different activities that they do. The best way to learn about the Eswatini culture in Mahamba is by trying to participate in almost every activity that is participated in by the locals.

Go swimming in the gorge

The Mahamba gorge has a pool where tourist can easily go for a swim after a hike around the area but you should note that before you go in the pool for swimming that the water is extremely cold. For those that are not interested in swimming, you can enjoy a picnic with your family and friends while seated around the  gorge and if you are lucky, you will get to see some of the bird species in the area.

The Mahamba gorge is an all year round tourist destination although you can also first inquire from the tour operator and find out the best time especially since the season is unpredictable. When it comes to the accommodation facilities in the area, the best is the Mahamba gorge lodge since it is located in close vicinity but you can also try out the other accommodation facilities that are found in the neighboring towns.

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