Phophanyane Falls

View point over the falls

I never really understood the attraction to the landscape of the Lowveld. Until now. Our overnight stay at Phophonyane Falls near Pigg’s Peak won me over. This private reserve has existed since the 70s. It was originally a family farm. The guy who created it clearly understands water, and peace. The existence of the falls means there is already a lot of water running through the place, however the streams have been channelled into a series of forest pools so that wherever you are there is the sound of water, and a little body of water just next to you. The entire camp is covered by an amazing canopy of trees so you just hear the sound of bird calls and water. OK, Saturday night we did hear a lone vuvuzela. You can stay in tents built out over the waterfall itself. Those looked delicious and perhaps one day we’ll get to stay in one of them. However, childrens’ safety will prevail over romantic notions so we stayed in a snug cottage near the restaurant. Leo and Emil were in their element. Leo sailed leaves in the pond and basked in his own imaginary world, while Emil practiced his roaring at any living creature in range. Benoit and I got to go on a walk Sunday morning while Mom looked after the kids – up in the hills overlooking the falls. You easily fall in love with that bush and those baking, red granite cliffs. The bush is tinderbox dry right now. We passed a bit where there was still a fire smouldering. One of the wardens was keeping an eye on it. He claimed some local boys had started it the night before, searching for honey. Although the reserve is best known for its birds I found there were more insects there to marvel at – there were spiders there pretending to be butterflies I kid you not. They had colourful false wings on their backs. The butterflies themselves were like nothing I’d ever seen – so many different colours, and then ones that looked exactly like leaves. Wish I knew more about the natural world ek se. We returned to Mbabane (a mere hour’s drive) replenished by the green. Best of all, there is no adjustment to the big city. The cats appear to have deserted us. The only downside to living here right now is that Mbabane is bitterly cold at night. I still can’t believe we managed to enchaine 2 winters in a row. So, the French players on strike (why am I not surprised?)….perhaps there’s still a chance for Bafana Bafana after all.

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