Things to do near
Phophonyane Nature Reserve
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Malolotja Nature Reserve (22.9 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Glide through the forest canopy in one of Swaziland’s mountain wildernesses. Close to the famous Malolotja Falls and set within the forested Sihlotswane gorge, the Malolotja Canopy Tour offers a three-hour thrilling adventure.
The tour takes guests zipping across ten slides and a 50m long suspension bridge that crosses the Majolomba River. Eleven elevated forest platforms provide stopping points to enjoy the view and spot birds and forest animals.
The Malolotja Nature Reserve is home to a numerous mammals and birdlife including the rare Forest Canary and Ground Woodpecker. The tour starts with a long drive in an open game vehicle blesbuck, eland, impala and zebra can frequently be seen. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Barberton (24.7 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
The Makhonjwa Mountains around Barberton are renowned for their ancient green rocks with their unique scientific record of the pre-history of the earth and for the human stories in pursuit of hidden gold.Also referred to as the ‘Genesis of Life’, its geology includes the best preserved truly ancient rocks on earth. Despite the rocks being 3.5 billion years old they are so well preserved that their fossils faithfully record the earliest life forms on the planet as well as evidence of the first recorded massive meteorite impact.Come to Barberton for the most spectacular sceneries, over the mountain for picnic, and if the beauty does not hold you back too long, a trip to Songimvelo Nature Reserve."The oldest well preserved sedimentary and volcanic rocks on Earth. ... These rock layers are like the pages of a book that we can read and translate in terms of early Earth's history. Here in Barberton is the Rosetta Stone for this period of time." Prof Don Lowe, Stanford University"The rocks of the Barberton region represent the best-preserved example of the Earth's ancient oceanic and continental crust." Profs Terence McCarthy and Bruce Rubidge, University of the Witwatersrand
Galleries and Museums
Barberton (25.7 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Get bunged up with local knowledge at the Barberton Museum where the geology, mining, Swazi history and general history of Barberton are displayed, as well as Belhaven and Stopforth House Museums, Fernlea Museum and the Block House.Find out about the history of the area dating back 3,500 million yeas before man was able to survive on earth. The Barberton Mountainland is internationally acclaimed as the best developed and exposed remnant of primitive crust. The oldest form of life on earth developed in this hostile environment. The earliest inhabitats of the area were the Stone Age people. Barberton is also known for it's earliest mining activities and prospectors found remains of Iron Age mining in this area.
Barberton (26.7 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Take a slow stroll along the Heritage Walk from Barberton Museum to see a relic from yesteryear. This lovely old locomotive was brought to Barberton on its own steam in 1971, having served on the railway line between Barberton and Kaapmuiden from 1899.
The Barberton Steam Locomotive was manufactured in 1898 by Nielson & Co. for the Cape Government Railways. The Kaapmuiden-Barberton railway line was opened on 1 April 1896 and similar locomotives were used on it.
Barberton (26.8 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
One of the oldest clubs in the country, Barberton Golf Club hosts the popular "Barberton Daisy" Golf Tournament every year. This is an uphill course where one should try to stay out of the buffalo grass which represents the rough.Facilities include a, driving range, bar, halfway house and putting green.Need to know? Barberton Golf ClubHoles: 9Par: M 70, W 70Cost: Non-affiliated R95.00, affiliated R55.00 Caddies: 18 holes R 30.00 9 holes R 20.00
Four By Four Trails
Barberton (28.6 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Eureka City is an easy 4x4 trail located 10 km from Barberton. The trail has a grading of 2 and is 25 km long. It takes approximately 5 to 6 hours to complete. A 4x2 vehicle with diff lock, low range gear and high clearance is permitted. This is a one-way trail with fantastic scenery; geological wonders, gold mines, old rock formations and volcanic landscapes. The route travels across the Barberton Greenstone Belt.
Jeppes Reef (37.8 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Visit Matsamo Cultural Village for the day or spend the night in a traditional Swazi custom-built 'hive'. In this traditional Swazi village the colourful Matsamo people tend their cattle, cultivate their crops and produce beautiful crafts. You'll be entertained to rousing dance and song performances and traditional cuisine, and allowed to wander where you will.
Matsamo is named after Chief Matsamo, a prominent Shongwe chief and contemporary of King Mswati II. He was the first Swazi Chief to reside permanently in the area, and as a reward for his loyalty in defending the territory against invaders from the north, Mswati II allowed Chief Matsamo to remain in charge of the region as an eminent member of Swazi royalty. Today the region is still under the control of the Matsamo Tribal Authority.
Visitors to Matsamo Cultural Village are treated to age-old folk songs, rhythmic dance performances, including the famous ‘Rain Dance', and music using authentic African instruments, as well as traditional Swazi cuisine. They can also wander on a tour through the village with its many huts and seclusions, interacting with the villagers as they go about their daily activities, cultivating their crops, preparing traditional food and fashioning beautiful craft works. Also at Matsamo is a well stocked curio shop with local crafts, and a spacious restaurant with a stunning panoramic view.
Matsamo cultural village near Kruger Park first opened its doors in 2001 and enjoys great support from the broader community. Each staffer has shares in the owning company and it provides an income to more than 100 people, making it an award-winning responsible tourism project (Imvelo Responsible Tourism Award).
Big Event Venues
Nelspruit (46 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
This legendary bushveld concert and party venue is nestled in the hills just 10km south of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Blue Moon is a unique, custom-built, multi-purpose function venue with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.As a music venue, Blue Moon is not genre specific. Local and international highlights include Seether, Dana Winner, Freshly Ground, Prime Circle, The Parlotones, Malaika, Mafikizolo and Steve Hofmeyr.As a functions venue, Blue Moon is unique and versatile, suitable for hosting corporate end-of-year functions, launches, award dinners, weddings and birthday parties. Blue Moon's multiple stages, decks, bars, kitchen, amphitheatre, chalets, bunkhouse, trees and creative lighting can be adapted to suit just about every need. The small team of three owner-operators is always keen to accommodate exciting and challenging ideas.
Nelspruit (56.3 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
If you have visited Chimpanzee Eden it will be an experience you will always talk about. It started about 2-3 year ago, and named " The Jane Goodall Intitude". Chimps get rescued from all over the world specially from Angola. They actully buy and spends thousands of Rands to get these poor chimps that gets beaten, locked up in very small cages and just neglected back to South Africa where they are kept in safe big/huge forest enclosures in Nelspruit. It takes them sometimes weeks to months to get just one chimpanzee out of the country where they went to rescue the chimp or chimps. They do wonderful work and each any every one that visit Nelspruit should support them by visiting the sanctuary. "COSY" a rescued chimp is my favourite. He was kept in a very small cage for many years and could hardly walk when rescued. Today he is the main attraction at the sanctury. Then we must not forget about Suzie a little female who were scared to death for a long time after she was rescued. Then there is also ABU and AMADUES whom everybody would like. It is an experience to listen to the guides about every chimps history. Cruelty is what each and everyone of them had to face before they got rescued. Please support Chimpanzee Eden.
Four By Four Trails
Nelspruit (60 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Bushlane 4x4 Trail is a guided trail 23 km from Nelspruit. The trail is 14 km long and takes about 2 to 4 hours to complete. This trail can be done as a weekend adventure to reinforce skills learnt. The difficulty grading is 4 and passes around rocky outcrops. A high clearance 4x4 vehicle is required to go on this adventure. The exact coordinates are unknown so please phone to enquire.
Nelspruit (60 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Go crawling down in the gold mines where gold is still visible in the walls. Experience the history of the old mine shaft deep in Komatieland Forest, Coetzeestroom. Enjoy the untamed beauty of the surrounding landscape with spectacular views.
Malelane (60.2 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
Duck 'n Dive is a great pub with friendly locals, attentive staff, great service and effective air conditioning. Grab an ice-cold draught with a steak, snails or pizza – reputedly they are the best in the Onderberg! Pizzas are freshly prepared and baked in a wood-burning oven.
Poker, pool and dart competitions take place every second Tuesday and Wednesday. The pub has Big Screen TV and Wi-Fi. Open from 11:00 until late. The kitchen closes at 22:00.
Nelspruit (62.9 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
The Lowveld National Botanical Garden is divided into eight sections with the Crocodile and Nels rivers surging through the riparian forest. The garden has a tropical African rainforest section, with approximately six hundred indigenous plant species.
The other seven sections are the bulb garden, the South African rainforest, dry bushveld, corkwoods and cabbage trees, cycads, baobabs and wild figs. The 158-hectare escarpment boasts rugged, rocky river scenery with Sour Lowveld Bushveld vegetation on either side of the river banks.
The garden is a floral haven with masses of clivia miniata, snow-white pear blossoms and kigelia africana flowers scattered all around. Visitors can find birds feeding off the nectar of the magnificent flowers that attract birds from dawn to dusk, or enjoy a picnic on the lawn.
Sports Stadiums Clubs
Nelspruit (63.7 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
The Mbombela Stadium is one of the new stadiums constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The elevated stadium can comfortably seat 40,000 people and has excellent views from all positions. Situated eight kilometres north of Nelspruit, it is the closest venue to the hugely popular Kruger National Park.
The bustling boom town of Nelspruit is the gateway to Kruger National Park. This busy commercial centre has excellent facilities, shopping malls and air links with Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Maputo.
Nelspruit is also a major stopover for motorists travelling on the N4 en route to Kruger National Park, Swaziland and Mozambique. It is situated really close to Malelane Gate and Crocodile Bridge Gate, entrances to the Kruger National Park.
Malkerns (64.2 km from Phophonyane Nature Reserve)
From humble beginnings in an old dairy cowshed, Swazi Candles has gained a reputation for producing amazing candles, attracting visitors from far and wide.
Today the industry employs over 200 local people and exports candles all over the world. The principles of Fair Trade are strongly upheld and Swazi Candles are members of World Fair Trade Organization. Their candles have been accepted into the ‘Wereld Winkel’ Fair Trade group of stores in The Netherlands.
Visit the workshop to see an astonishing array of patterns, shapes and designs that are all unique.