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Adventurous raids at

Some of our popular tours are the combination of the Panorama Route with the Kruger National Park. (

The last spots to visit on the Panorama Route is a boat ride on the Blyde Dam. This dam is a gravity-arch dam on the Blyde River that runs through the Blyde River Canyon, a 26km long Canyon located in Mpumalanga, South Africa. It is the one of the larger canyons on Earth but much smaller than those of Asia, the Grand Canyon and the Fish River Canyon. Unlike the Grand and Fish River Canyon, the Blyde River Canyon is a "green canyon" which is dominated by subtropical vegetation. The canyon forms part of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. One of the holiday resorts in this nature reserve is called Swadini, and this is the story how it got its name:

In the landlocked country now called Eswatini, which was a few years ago still called Swaziland, and during the reign of Sobhuza I (1815-1836), and after succeeding his father in 1845, Mswati II commenced a career of large-scale raids and adventure. He selected, as his hunting ground, the prosperous tribal lands of the various groups to the north of Swaziland, brought terror to African homes as far afield as the Northern Province and Mozambique. Mswati was known for his cruelty and lust for murder and this made his subjects and people near and far tremble.

In 1864 Mswati's armies attacked the maPulana living next to the Blyde River. The maPulana retreated to the top of the mountain (Mariepskop), some 1 944 metres above sea level, which towers over the magnificent Blyde River canyon, nearly 1,5 km deep and at least as wide. The maPulana piled up rocks along the top edge of the mountain in readiness of an attack by the enemy. The mountain could only be reached by a single footpath of about 2 km in length. The Swazi were aware that they could not attack the maPulana without any danger on top of the mountain and bivouacked on the mountain north of the Blyde River and waited for misty weather.

It was summer and in cloudy weather Mariepskop is usually covered by thick mist. The Swazi did not wait long. One evening the clouds started rolling in from the south and covered Mariepskop with mist. The Swazi left their camping site and started moving, approaching the mountain from the south. The mist was very dense and they had to move with their hands virtually on the shoulder of the person in front to remain close together. The brother of Mswati II, was amongst the first group to ascend the mountain.

The maPulana were ready and when the first Swazis reached the top the maPulana rolled the stacked rocks down onto their enemy. While the Swazi were in turmoil, the maPulana warmed down the hill and started attacking those down at the river on the southern side of the hill. To this day the bones of those who were killed by the rocks may still be seen in the inaccessible rock crevices of the mountain (Dube: 1993).

The maPulana named the mountain Mhuluhulu (Mogologolo), which means 'the mountain of the wind', because the Swazi only heard the wind of the rocks before they were killed. The mountain where the Swazi camped was named Swatini, which means 'the place of the Swazis'. The resort at the foot of this hill is now named Swadini.

As a result of this defeat, and the death of the King's brother, the remaining Swazis refused to return to Swaziland for fear of death.

Join us for a tour and see these magnificent nature sightings where mountains can tell many stories from the past.

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Blyde River Canyon, Panorama Route
Blyde River Canyon


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