The Shewula Nature reserve is located in within the Lubombo Mountains in the Lubombo region. It is a community based conservation Resreve which covers about 2650 hectares in the Mountains. The Malolotja game reserve can be seen covering the western part and the Indian Ocean is found to the east of the reserve. The Shewula community is an extremely small conservation which is part of the Lubombo conservation and it was set up to help the locals who live in the area. When the community was set and it became a developed area, land was set aside to cater for the wildlife in the area and this is where the Shewula nature reserve came from.
The Shewula nature reserve is an area where tourists can rest as they enjoy the beauty that is provided by the Lubombo Mountains, the Indian Ocean and the gorge below. The beauty about visiting the Shewula nature reserve is that the locals are extremely welcoming and they do not mind visitors because they are at the moment used to them. Therefore you will go about your business without any trouble from the locals and they will also be willing to help out if you need any assistance.
Activities around the Shewula nature reserve
There are aren’t many activities that you can carry out while in the Shewula nature reserve and the camp and these include the following:
Guided walks through the reserve
These guided walks around the reserve will give you a clear insight on how the locals live their day to day lives and it will take you up to the Mbuluzi gorge. The Mbuluzi gorge has a variety of things that will keep you entertained all throughout your nature walk like the different types of bird species, wildlife in the area especially the crocodiles and the dense vegetation that is filled with the different indigenous tree species.
Guided walks through the reserve is the main activity and it will take you around the different homesteads where you will get to meet the locals and genuinely interact with them on a one on one basis. It is also during these walks that you will get to meet school going children at the school that was set up to increase levels of education in the community, you will also get to meet the traditional healers who are locally known as Sangomas and enjoy traditional dances that are performed in the evening by the locals.
Cycling through the reserve
This works out for the all those tourists who do not have time to walk through the reserve. The cycling will take you to the Mbuluzi gorge and once there you will be able to get a clear view of the nearby Lubombo Mountains and on a clear day when the rains are not heavy, you will also have a clear view of the Indian Ocean.
Shopping in Shewula
Shopping in the Shewula is done at the camp where the crafts Centre is located. Here you will find many of the crafts made from different materials by locals on sale like beads, anklets, head wraps, traditionally designed Swazi clothes, craft shoes and so many others. These are sold at quite an affordable price so that they can also earn a living. There are also women in the crats Centre that can teach you how the crafts are made from the different materials.
The Shewula camp is known to be responsible for the development of tourism in the nature Resreve and is community owned. The accommodation in the camp which was built using local material collected by the locals that is grass for thatching the houses, food is collected from the different homesteads and if there is anything in the community that needs repair and maintenance, everything is done in groups making it one of the strongest communities in Eswatini.
The Shewula Mountain camp has also introduced quite a number of projects that have helped with the development of the camp and the locals at large. Some of these projects include a craft Centre where many of the crafts made by the locals are sold to tourists, a garden where crops especially indigenous ones are planted by the locals, solar power has also been introduced and an orphan program among others. The main reason as to why the Shewula camp was set up was to improve on the agriculture in the area, help in maintaining the culture of the locals that live in the area both traditional and religious.
If the above has not been enough for you to try and visit the Shewula camp and reserve then at least visit it for the sake of helping develop the community because the money that is got from all the visitors that come around is shared among the community so that the development continues and the projects to keep on running smoothly.