Malolotja is Swaziland’s largest highveld reserve, and a transfrontier park. This scenic mountain wilderness, home to floral endemics and endangered species, is a hiker's paradise. Ideal for groups, families, outdoor adventure market, nature lovers, campers and backpackers.
Malolotja offers 10 self-catering cabins, fully equipped, including bedding and towels. Two cabins accommodate five people in each (two bedrooms, one with two single beds, one with a single and a bunk bed), the rest accommodating four people in each (two bedrooms with two single beds in each).
There is a restaurant and bar located next to the cabins, open from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm for breakfast and light meals. The restaurant seats 150. Lunch and dinner are available a la carte, or buffet for groups. A breakfast buffet is available as well as cooked breakfast a la carte. Children's meals are at half price (ages 5-11).
The main campsite at Malolotja includes 14 sites (accommodating one to two tents, bring your own tent) each with braai facilities, plus a communal braai area and ablution block with hot water, and both showers and baths. There is no electricity, some sites are suitable for caravans, fine for motor homes.
For hikers, there are 19 backpacking camps, each one consisting of a clearing situated near water.
One of Malolotja's greatest attractions is undoubtedly its flora. Throughout the year the variety and profusion of wild flowers provides a magnificent spectacle. Several species of plants, restricted for the most part to the Barberton greenstone belt of southern Africa, are also found growing in Malolotja. Some of the more important threatened species are the cycads, of which two species occur within the reserve. A visit in spring offers the opportunity to view the diverse show of spring flowers. Also of particular interest are the orchids, Streptocarpus species and grassland aloes. (See Malolotja Flora.)
Other activities available include:
- Game drives.
- Guided tour of Ngwenya Mine and Lion Cavern.
- Fishing: Forbes Reef dam and Hawane Dam
- Mountain biking.
- Horse Riding: At Hawane Stables, about 15 km from the Malolotja Entrance Gate.
Tree Top Canopy Tour
Visitors can experience the thrill of gliding through the forest canopy within Malolotja Nature Reserve, the last mountain wilderness area in Swaziland. The canopy tour offers views of towering cliff faces and across the forest.
Malolotja offers a diverse range of hiking opportunities, varying from short walks to overnight trails taking advantage of the network of over 200 kms of hiking trails and seventeen backpacking camps. A seven day trail could encompass all areas of the park.
Hiking in Malolotja
Detailed Hiking Information:
Malolotja Nature Reserve offers a diverse range of highveld and middleveld species, including birds such as the blue swallow, bald ibis, striped flufftail, black rumped buttonquail and many other interesting species. (See Malolotja Birds.)
Hawane Nature Reserve, which includes Hawane vlei and Hawane Dam offers an opportunity to view some of the waterbirds found in the country.
Malolotja provides protected wetland, woodland, highveld grassland and mistbelt forest habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal life. If this were to be measured in relation to the number of southern African endemic species of animals occurring in the reserve, then Malolotja Nature Reserve must surely stand out as one of the most important protected areas in southern Africa. The reserve offers the opportunity to view animals such as oribi, grey rhebok, eland and aardwolf. The diverse fauna includes several regionally important and rare species including the Swazi Thick-tailed Rock Gecko, the Barberton Girdled Lizard and the Swazi Rock Snake. There is a huge diversity of invertebrates, including over 150 species of butterflies. (See Malolotja Fauna.)