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Swaziland: Malolotja National Park

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Malolotja National Park | Swaziland | Africa

[Visited: February 2014]

The landscape around us is bathing in a warm afternoon light as we enter Malolotja National Park. We drive past a small herd of blesbok, and see an area with rocks scattered around the grassy fields ahead. We quickly drop our stuff in a cabin, and start walking the main track of the park. To our dismay, the sun disappears behind dark clouds at the horizon, and the great light is gone. The next morning, I am outside before sunrise, and walk west. The small clouds in the sky are painted pink by the rising sun, which then touches the top of the mountains in the distance. I walk past a herd of blesbok and a few zebras, and watch at the scenery of a green valley ahead of me, with some rocks and trees, and a layer of clouds below. The clouds soon envelope me - time to have breakfast.

Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Sun rising over the mountains of Malolotja with clouds hanging in the valley below

Fortunately, the sun manages to burn away the clouds while we had breakfast, and we are soon on our way to drive the track towards the south. We stop at a viewpoint, continue towards the Forbes Reef Mine, and return to Logwaja Viewpoint after seeing yet more blesbok and zebra - the same I had seen that morning. We leave our car behind, and start hiking down the valley. After passing between two hills, we are surrounded by a pristine landscape of green mountains, valleys, and stop frequently to enjoy the the panorama. A little further on, we hear the sound of water rushing down, but we have to descend all the way to the stream to actually see the Malojomba Falls. A narrow opening in the rocks just leaves enough space for a thin, yet powerful and tall waterfall. It tumbles down in several stages, and there are small rock pools at each stage. We clamber down the rocks to view the various falls, then walk to the opposite side of the valley to have a frontal view of Malojomba Falls. After sweating it out under the sun, it feels great to plunge into the water to cool off, and have a rest before retracing our steps.

Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Afternoon light shining on the mountains of Malolotja National Park

Taking another path down a mountain ridge, we see the Malolotja Falls, the tallest waterfall of Swaziland, in the middle of the Malolotja Canyon. Further down, we reach a spot from where both the Malojomba and Malolotja Falls can be seen, and find out there is no trail connection to the upper reaches of the Malolotja Falls. The day is coming at an end, and we hike back to where we have left our car. On our way back to camp, we see or blesbok friends again, with the young animals having a playground hour, chasing each other and jumping into the air. The next morning, I am out early again and walk down to Malolotja Falls. Sitting on one of the boulders, I just enjoy the spectacle and sound of falling water, and the sunlight appearing on the rocky cliffs on the other side of the narrow valley. After breakfast, we hike another trail through tall grass, seeing yet more birds, flowers, and with views stretching towards the horizon. It is our farewell hike, we leave the impressive scenery of Malolotja behind with peaceful memories of its landscapes in our minds.

Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): One of the bigger rock formations in Malolotja in the late afternoon
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): View of the lower part of the Majolomba Falls
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): View of the biggest part of the Malolotja Falls
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Majolomba Falls are a gracious waterfall in the Majolomba Gorge
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Upper part of the Malolotja Falls
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Landscape view with rocks and vegetation typical for Malolotja
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): The blesbok, the most common animal of Malolotja National Park
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Rocks and vegetation, and cloud-covered mountains in Malolotja National Park
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Mountains, grass and ferns are all to be found in Malolotja National Park
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): A green carpet of grass on the mountains of Malolotja
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Typical landscape of Malolotja: rocks, trees, and grass-covered mountains
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Small herd of blesbok and zebra grazing in the landscape of Malolotja
Picture of Malolotja National Park (Swaziland): Pink candelabra flower in bloom in Malolotja National Park

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