Mantenga Nature Reserve

Mantenga Nature Reserve                                                                   
The reserve is a small protected area of 725 hectares in a secluded corner of the Ezulwini Valley, although it is only two kilometres from a major road. The Little Usuthu River (Lusushwana) forms the southern boundary of the reserve; over this rivier are commercial pine forests and Mlilwane Game Sanctuary. To the north and west is Mlilwane North (a protected area but not open to the public), and a residential area is on the eastern side. The various portions making up Mantenga were purchased by the Swaziland National Trust Commission between 1979 and 1994. In the latter year work began on infrastructure. ( Reference to Swaziland National Trust Commission ) Mantenga Cultural Village is the best place to stay at, in Mantenga Nature Reserve.


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Mantenga Nature Reserve                                               
The reserve is made of combination of middle and high veld habitat, and one third of the reserve is covered by Eucalyptus (gum) forest. The middleveld habitat is dominating the low lying areas along the Little Usuthu River, flowing approximately 4km along the southern boundary, while the highveld habitat is mostly found on the areas of high altitude like the Luchoncho, Sibumbu and Lugogo mountains. The Mantenga Waterfalls are Swaziland's best-known falls, and the largest in terms of volume of water (95m high). This is despite the construction of the Luphohlo Dam some 15 km upstream, where water was diverted for electricity generation.

The Cultural Village                                  
The cultural village is a living museum of old traditions and represents a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850's. The building material is strictly traditional: poles, grass, reeds, leather stripes, earth and dried cow dung. The Mantenga Cultural Village is a mini complex of sixteen huts, each with its own specific purpose, kraals and byres for cattle and goats, reed fences that serve as windbreaks, and various other structures. With the traditional artifacts on display, the village illustrates many facets of the ancient Swazi way of life: social, economic and religious. The objective of the cultural village is to enable visitors from all over the world as well as Swazis from all corners of the country to visit it and to maintain a positive interest in the Swazi cultural heritage, including language, customs and practices, rituals, dance, music, folklore, arts and crafts. ( Reference to Swaziland National Trust Commission )
 
                    
 

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