This small community-run lodge, situated high up on the Lubombo Mountain range in Swaziland, is experiential tourism at its best. Shewula Mountain Camp is not just a place to stay, but a place to really absorb and understand Swazi culture and its predominantly rural lifestyle.
Shewula Mountain Camp offers both family and private rooms, all locally built using the skills of local builders, and materials such as stone and thatch from surrounding areas. This is a truly home-grown and authentic establishment that will appeal to travellers interested in responsible and sustainable travel. The lodge provides three healthy meals a day, featuring mostly locally grown and produced food.
Scenic, cultural and nature-based walking trails are a feature, with more than 10 years of visitor-traveller interaction ensuring a warm and friendly welcome throughout the community.
Shewula continues to develop and take advantage of its successful reputation and now also includes a small meeting and conference room which is suitable for workshops and corporate team getaways.
Be prepared - Shewula is an experiential adventure and an opportunity to see Africa at its best - friendly and unspoilt.
Experiences include guided walking trails through the community. Led by guides from the camp these leisurely strolls across the flat mountain plateau will allow you to observe Swazi culture closely and learn about how people continue to live by predominantly subsistence farming. Each walk is unique and your guide will take advantage of opportunities for interaction as and when they arise. Assist herd boys in driving their cattle to the dip, visit a school, help a farmer plough or weed his fields, there is always something to experience.
This cultural tour involves stopping to chat here and there and sample local beer and foods. Pass the Chief's Umphakatsi to hear how the community is administered in an ancient feudal manner.
The opportunity also exists to visit a sangoma - a traditional healer whose skills include knowledge of powerful local herbs and the ability to communicate with the spirit world.This is a premium experience and involves privileged time with a very widely respected traditional medicine practioner who is renowned across Southern Africa.
If you are keen to go bird-watching or experience the natural environment of the Shewula Nature Reserve you could opt for or take a guided nature walk down the Lubombo escarpment to the Mbuluzi River, renowned for its diverse birdlife and ancient ironwood forests. Let your guide entertain you with tales and fables about the local wildlife and join him in picking fresh edible fruit from the forest trees. Enjoy a cool-off dip in the river as the sun reaches its peak, but be sure to be advised by your guide on how to avoid crocodiles.
Mountain bikes (MTB's) can be rented from the camp on a half-day basis. There are 6 bikes available. For those wishing to explore the area in a more relaxed fashion a donkeycart ride can be arranged. This cart can take up to 6 persons at a time.
Last, but no least, the Shewula Mountain Camp offers a grandstand sundowner view of the sun dipping into the far distant horizon - there is no better place to sip an ice-cold beer or sip a glass of wine.
In line with its mission to provide an authentic experience, the Shewula Mountain Camp offers rustic facilities, however fear not, there are hot water showers, flush toilets, gas refrigerators and gas stoves. You will not be hampered by the absence of electricity in the camp. Electrical points are available in the adjoining meeting room, where cellphones, cameras and other electrical devices can be charged. Campers with long extension cords are able to plug-in to this point as well. There is a small charge for this.
Meals can be paid for directly at the camp (cash only), or pre-booked as part of the dinner bed and breakfast rate. If meals are required, but not pre-paid, it is recommended that such meals are orderedin advance under the Special Requests section of your booking.
The newest facility in the camp is a purpose-built meeting and conference room that can take up to 40 people. You may wonder why a conference room exists in a cultural tourism camp, but the facility was established by popular demand, due to the suitability of this facility for many non-governmental activities within the community. The facility is ideal for small corporate group breakaways and/or teambuilding outings.