Backpacking in Swaziland: Visiting Mantenga Falls

I find when I travel that in general, waterfalls NEVER disappoint and I’ll stand by that. This one, Mantenga Falls came somewhat as a surprise. Swaziland had enjoyed a lot of rain recently and I particularly enjoyed relaxing in the comfort of the cosy Swaziland Backpackers watching the rain beat down on the hills and valleys of Mahlanya. By the time we got round to visiting the waterfall, the rain had cleared but the waters were still high and there was a bit of flooding.
My first close up glimpse of the Mantenga Falls was through the trees. The river is the Usutu. We had just visited the local Mantenga Village where we were treated to a cultural Sibhaca Dance, and the short walk up the hill took about 25 minutes, running almost adjacent to the lower part of the little Usutu River.
Trees had fallen in places, however these trees had been chopped down for their wood rather than for safety reasons. This was the main path we walked up to reach Mantenga Falls.
On the walk there you could see evergreen forest with the hint of a waterfall right at the back. The odd thing was the place was quiet. You couldn’t hear the waterfall.
Once we got closer you could see that it’s impressive and also rather out of place – you don’t expect such a dramatic waterfall here and still it remained rather quiet.
Peeking in at Mantenga Falls.
From a side view. Incidentally this is probably the best photo I took of the Mantenga Falls.
Often you can have a picnic here but part of the path there had been flooded. Consolation was loads of pretty butterflies on the walk up, none of whom I captured on camera.
You can also normally go in for a swim but the water levels were higher than usual due to the recent rainfall. Still looked amazingly pretty. Wasn’t sure if I would trust a swim in those murky waters though. Snakes, lizards and maybe even crocodiles could be lurking nearby.
Fallen trees in the floods.
Lower part of Mantenga Falls.
The dangers are outlined and the normal viewing point here was also flooded. I was with a group of about 10 people so we were safe enough anyway!
This is merely the bottom of Mantenga Falls.
Top of Mantenga Falls.
It was actually quite hard to get a decent photo of the waterfalls as well from the viewing point we were at. This is also a rare report from me without a photo of myself. About time. I never even got a photo of myself at Mantenga Falls.
Where – Mantenga Cultural Village, Near Mahlanya, Swaziland
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