One of our many “just drive” days we woke up with no destination in mind but since it was a day to explore we decided to head to the Maguga Dam area. The drive to Maguga is beautiful once you escape the highway roads, but we have already been here a few times so we decided to keep going down this main road. I started looking on the GPS for things near me and we came across Phophonyane Falls and thought why not. After you go through what seems like the largest tree farm (Pine I think) in the world and make a turn or two heading towards Piggs Peak you will see a sign for Phophonyane Falls pointing you to a dirt road on the left running parallel with more trees. I wasn’t so sure about this road and was going through my usual movie references and what if’s and Justin was laughing at me but kept going. Once we got to the gate of the EcoLodge and paid a small fee to enter it was like a secret world was nestled into this massive forest.
The lodge itself was gorgeous and peaceful. A guide walked us around showing us the different hiking trails and everything that the lodge has to offer, which is a must see for everyone. Of course we were not prepared for a strenuous hiking adventure but we wanted to get some pictures of the falls and I reluctantly agreed to take the route that the guide suggested. Somewhere along the way we forget the route and end up walking for ever!!!! I was hot, exhausted, my feet hurt and I was trying not to freak out from all of the spiders that I had seen. Just when I am about to start whining we see the falls and I am in the “photography zone”. These falls, or at least what we seen are not large but more cascading and truly beautiful.
It was getting late, I was over the hike and we decided to head back up to the car, but we forgot that we started WAYYYYYY back up at the top of that mountain and that tiring walk down is going to be worse going up. I am not kidding you when I said it was going to be worse, it seemed to go straight up the mountain with steep steps after steep step. Did I mention we forgot to pack for a hike, since we weren’t planning on hiking and oh yeah we didn’t bring our water with us. Yeah so after what seemed like forever climbing stairs I just had to sit down and OMG a millipede was already using that log for his resting spot. After my initial freak out I jump up and I was instantly revived to make it up the mountain. Once we are at the top and jugging water I look out at this beautiful place and remind myself that all that pain was worth it. Words nor pictures can truly describe how this amazing Lodge is nestled in the middle of no where, not touched by housing developments, or chaos of modern times. We didn’t get to see half of the landscape because of our late and unprepared arrival but it is one my return list. I would love to spend a full day there or three just exploring and relaxing. This was another successful journey out in what is an amazing country.
Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserves sit within the Barberton Centre of Plant Endemism. There are more than 600 hectares of amazing forest and botanical diversity and for that reason 200+ species of birds call this location home.
The cascades and falls that you will see here travel over the world’s oldest rocks, called ancient gneiss. These rocks were formed over 3.6 billion years ago.
Be prepared for long strenuous trails (they have easy trails but if you are like me the easy ones are HARD!).
A bit of a warning every time that we have went in this direction we have seen wrecks on the road leading right to Maguga Dam.
Keywords: Africa, Expat, Explore, Family, JustDrive, Love, Marriage, Photography, Safari, South, SouthAfrica, Sundays, Swaziland, Travel, Wildlife
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