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Tour of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Swaziland: 30 – 31 May, 2016 – Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserve

This Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserve is set alongside the Phophonyane Falls and you can hear the water falls from your room. The original homestead is now part of the main buildings. The camp is made up of beehive huts with permanent tent installations that offer en suite bathrooms. The accommodation is well spread out and is very private with no noise or light contamination at all.

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On our last day in Swaziland we paid a visit to the craft market on the other side of Orion Hotel. By now, we were all shopped out. We took the opportunity to pay a visit to Bulembu and the Havelock Asbestos Mine. This mine ceased operations in 1999. The mining town is now part of the Bulembu ministry, a religious group. It appears that they now run the town and it looks in good shape. There is a museum in the old control tower of the old cableway which gave us insight into the workings of this mine. It exported 25,000 metric tons of asbestos annually and delivered it to Barbeton on 26 km’s of overhead cableway. It must have been a hive of activity! Because the roads are so bad, even today, the cableway was built in 1939 and worked through until closure of the mine in 2000. It delivered the asbestos to Barberton and brought back to the mine, all the essentials that were needed to keep the mine running. Bulembu today, is in the heart of a large man-made forest with a mill.

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We then crossed the border into South Africa. The beautiful roads and the finest tourist development of information on a ‘Geology Trail’. This has been created by the Barberton Tourist Authority, in conjunction with the Mpumalanga Department of Tourism. It is one of the finest roadside developments and delivers such an insight into the geological marvels of the area on both sides of the border. We returned through the Ngwenya border post, and the long way back to Phophonyane.

A very exciting last day!!

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