Phophonyane guests enjoy a remarkable level of quiet, personal space and privacy together with professional and friendly service. A restful haven in a unique and serene setting, very conveniently located between the Kruger National Park and KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.
Discerning Travellers, seeking those magical little hideaways, come to the end of their treasure hunt at Phophonyane, for Swazi legend relates the romantic tale of a beautiful maiden and her love for a handsome warrior. For her hand he had to present her with the skin of a leopard which he had to hunt for on the rugged Gobolondlo Mountain.
While hunting on the mountain-side he was seized by resident witches who turned him into a white flower, condemning him for his trespassing to bloom and die among the mountain grasses.
When after many days the warrior had still not returned, the lamenting maiden sat on the river's edge where her inexhaustible tears flowed to form the Phophonyane waterfalls. T.V. Bulpin in his book "Lost trails of the Transvaal" as part of his description of the Piggs Peak area writes "As a final masterpiece the Phophonyane (little river of waterfall) went tumbling down nearby from the edge of the heights, in a spectacular rush that is one of the most beautiful cascades in Africa."
Phophonyane is situated high in the mountains with the rugged Gobolondlo and Makhonjwa ranges as a backdrop and those craving a natural environment for soul nourishment get body and soul reunited here.
A hot tip from your local connection, take a walk before breakfast down to the waterfall. You wil get a chance to see some of the 250 species of birds boasted by Phophonyane. One of them will be the elusive Narina Tragon which has made Phophonyane its home.
One of the best features of Phophonyane Falls Lodge is its network of trails that spread out from within the camp into the surrounding nature reserve. These are self-guided walking trails that you can undertake at your own leisure. The trails reach most corners of this 500ha nature reserve and provide access to riverine forests, many secluded pools of water and interlinking system of canals and waterways, such that you are seldom far from the sound of trickling water. An obvious highlight is the 80 metre high Phophonyane Falls iteslf. Exposed in this area are rocks that have been identified as being some of the world's oldest, dating back 3.55 billion years.
Various species of small game such as duiker, vervet monkey, bushbuck and mongoose can be spotted in the area. There are over 230 bird species that can be ticked off in the reserve, including the reserves signature bird - the Narina Trogan. At night the sounds of bushbaby and wood owl are a regular feature that re-affirms this unique opportunity you will have to commune with nature.
Phophonyane has many relaxed spaces to enjoy. One can sip a sundowner drink on the restaurant verandah overlooking the Gobolondlo Mountains and its valley below, whilst on chilly wintry nights the open log fire is a quiet and romantic place to enjoy some quality time.
Taking a dip in the natural rock pool near the Phophonyane Falls is a must-do during summer months, as this point offers some of the best views out over the valley and onto the thick forests on the opposite bank.
Phophonyane can also be used as a base to explore surrounding areas. 4x4 drives to Gobolondlo Mountain, historical sites and to the Nsangwini bushmen paintings are offered by the lodge itself, whilst day trips can be made to the famous Kruger National Park, which itself is only 70km away. Other self-guided excursions can be made to art and craft markets in the Piggs Peak and Maguga areas, whilst the highveld expanses and deep gorges of Malolotja Nature Reserve will be an attraction for serious hikers.
The most popular outing from Phophonyane is the Gobolondlo Mountain Drive. This trip involves a short transfer by 4x4 and thereafter a 20-minute scramble to the summit of the mountain. From here you can enjoy a panoramic feast, with a 360º view of the surrounding area. The Lomati, Shashawane and Shiyalongubo rivers cut through the Makhonjwa and Sondeza mountain ranges, to create spectacular gorges. To the west the sun will set behind Swaziland's highest point - Bulembu Mountain at 1862 metres above sea level. For those enjoying photography or just the beauty of nature the lichen encrusted rock formations on the Gobolondlo summit are particularly attractive.
A hot tip from your local connection book three nights' stay and you will get a complimentary mountain drive to Gobolondlo Mountain.
The Phophonyane Nature Reserve has a restaurant, which can be visited for lunch by day visitors and/or overnight guests.