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Ngwempisi is a rarely visited area but with it comes some of the amazing things connected to the Swazi culture in a quiet corner almost off the radar of Eswatini. It is located in a remote area in the Lubombo conservation area and is one of the many community conservation areas that was set up to make sure that the lives of the locals is cared for and to also make sure that the culture is richly preserved.
Mostly visited by tourists who want some peace and quiet from the busy city Centre while getting a one on one experience with the locals from the homesteads. Its location allows for many activities especially outdoor activities like hiking, visiting the homesteads and taking walks to the Ngwempisi River which is in close vicinity with the wilderness. The wilderness also has a gorge that is found next to the Ntfungulu hills where some of the hike routes are found.
The Ngwempisi River
The Ngwempisi River is one of the things that you should check out while in the Ngwempisi wilderness. It flows through the wilderness forming a gorge before it flows into the nearby hills. A guided walk around the River can easily be arranged either with a tour guide or an eager local who will give you a tour, a boat ride and also show you the ropes of local fishing using local methods all at a small fee that you will have to hurdle out with the local guides. You can also have a swim in the river and a picnic with your friends and family at the River bank while you enjoy a view of some of the birds that breed around the River.
A Cultural Trip Around Ngwempisi Wilderness
The Ngwempisi wilderness is a good place for tourists to go especially those interested in learning more about the culture of the Eswatini people. Culture is showcased in every homestead around the wilderness and also at the recently introduced traditional huts. Homestead trips can easily be arranged since the locals are welcoming and you can get to stay with a family that has been chosen for you. Here you will be able to engage in the different activities that include going to farm, fetching water, getting involved in the different homestead activities as this is the best way to get close to the locals.
The Ngwempisi beehive huts that are used as accommodation facilities in the wilderness are also offer tourists not only accommodation but also a chance to live in the traditional houses that the people of Eswatini use. The huts were constructed using only local raw material and grass was used for roofing. The material was collected by the community and although they have the outside look of the everyday sight of local huts in the country, these are fitted with modern things like bathrooms and toilets. However note that there is no electricity in the area although solar is sometimes used.
The Ngwempisi hiking trail
Ngwempisi wilderness has a very good hiking trail that runs through the trees in the forest and the Ngwempisi Gorge. The route is 33 kilometers long and can be hiked on for a few hours. A hike through the wilderness is the perfect way for tourists to do birding as the hike route is filled with various bird breeding grounds. Getting to the hike trail is easy because it is clearly marked that is from the main road, you will have to drive for about 12 kilometers before you get to the signpost that shows the hike routes.
Located just above the Ngwempisi River, the gorge is another attraction that is found in the wilderness that adds to the beauty of the scenery in the Ngwempisi wilderness. You can easily walk to the gorge and admire the vegetation that is found around it but remember to take your camera with you so that you take photos of the stunning scenery. It is also a good place for tourists to have picnics while in the wilderness.
Volunteering , Ngwempisi Wilderness
This will highly depend on the time that you want to spend in Ngwempisi but it is one of the best activities that you can engage in while in Ngwempisi. Volunteering at the different projects that have been set up to increase development in the community will be a good way for you to get close to the locals. You can volunteer at the schools, hospital and money raising projects like crafts Centres where you can buy yourself a souvenir while at the same learn how to make the crafts. You can also join the outreach program that that advises locals on how to avoid HIV/AIDS which is extremely high in Eswatini.
There are no accommodation facilities within the wilderness and you will have to use some of those that are in close range with it and in order to get some of the best accommodation facilities, you will need to book in advance so that the bookings are done in time. The Ngwempisi wilderness can be visited all year round that is without minding the seasons although you will need to get a four wheel drive car so as to get around the roads especially during the wet season when they become slippery. And during the dry season which is the best, make sure that you at least go with something to protect yourself from the sun like wide brimmed hats, drinking water and sunscreen.
Ngwempisi wilderness is a gem in the country that you should try and put on your list of destinations while in the country and we know that you will not be disappointed. It is a safe place to visit and with a welcoming community, it will be like a second home to you although in a different location. Book your trip to the wilderness because you each time you visit, you help with the development of the community.