Mantenga Nature Reserve and Cultural Village offers travellers to Swaziland the unique twin focus of discovering both Swazi culture and the local natural environment.
Ringing with the sounds of birds, barking baboons, drum beats and singing, this is one of the best value accommodation venues in Swaziland providing easy access to many surrounding attractions in Mbabane, Malkerns, Manzini, and of course the nearby Ezulwini Valley. Immediately within the nature reserve, the Swazi Cultural Village and the Mantenga Waterfallare popular attractions.
Previously known as Mantenga Tented Camp, this venue has been upgradedduring 2010 to offer rooms or cabins, on a bed and breakfast (B&B) basis. Although its spread out design resembles a typical nature reserve camp, we'd by more inclined to call this style of accommodation a "lodge", as it is not self-catering and three meals a day can be sourced via the camp's central restaurant facility.
There is occasional wildlife in the area such as warthog, nyala and vervet monkey which can be spotted whilst walking between the facilities. They are quietly tolerant of human presence.
Although this small 725 hectare area was purchased as early as 1979 by the Swaziland National Trust Commission (a government body) it was only developed from 1994 onwards. Facilities are therefore relatively new and well-presented, with the most recent upgrade, being a substantial investment in terms of both the conversion from tented units to cottages and the very sumptuous furnishing thereof. The management of accommodation facilities and cultural village is typically put out to tender, and is the responsibility of a private sector operator.
The Mantenga area is a favourite launch pad for visitors wishing to undertake Swazi Trails activities, as the reserve is only 1km away from the company's trip departure point for white-water rafting, adventure caving, MTBing and guided tours.
Mantenga Nature Reserve and its associated cultural village is manned by a large team of managers and staff.
All are local Swazi individuals and take a pride in their culture and in representing this facility, which is a public-private partnership between the Swaziland National Trust Commission (SNTC) and concessionaire Jan Lombard.
This accommodation provider has taken action to address one or more issues (whether environmental, social or cultural) which will contribute positively to the long term viability of the destination and hence their site displays a Caring for the destination rating.
Main area of focus in Caring for the Destination:
Nature conservation and cultural heritage preservation.
Detailed description of the Caring for the Destination Initiative:
Mantenga Nature Reserve is operated by the Swaziland National Trust Commission and is entrusted with the management of the natural environment of this area, which includes rare species such as Bald Ibis - which has a nesting colony on the reserve.
The Swazi Cultural Village is also the national focal point for the preservation and practise of traditional Swazi culture. Many ancient skills are kept alive here, as the village employs individuals who are capable of passing on their knowledge to future generations.