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Mantenga Nature Reserve

The reserve is a small protected area of 725 hectares in a secluded corner of the Ezulwini Valley, although it is only two kilometres from a major road. The Little Usuthu River (Lusushwana) forms the southern boundary of the reserve; over this rivier are commercial pine forests and Mlilwane Game Sanctuary. To the north and west is Mlilwane North (a protected area but not open to the public), and a residential area is on the eastern side.

The various portions making up Mantenga were purchased by the Swaziland National Trust Commission between 1979 and 1994. In the latter year work began on infrastructure.

The reserve is made of combination of middle and high veld habitat, and one third of the reserve is covered by Eucalyptus (gum) forest. The middleveld habitat is dominating the low lying areas along the Little Usuthu River, flowing approximately 4km along the southern boundary, while the highveld habitat is mostly found on the areas of high altitude like the Luchoncho, Sibumbu and Lugogo mountains.

The Mantenga Waterfalls are Swaziland's best-known falls, and the largest in terms of volume of water (95m high). This is despite the construction of the Luphohlo Dam some 15 km upstream, where water was diverted for electricity generation.

Map of Mantenga Nature Reserve

Flora and Fauna


Despite Mantenga's small size, a large number of medium-sized mammals are flourishing there. There are vervet monkey and baboon, bushpig and porcupine, otter, rock dassie and bushbaby. One predator that has been sighted is the serval; leopards are possibly present. Buck include kudu, nyala, klipspringer, grey and red duiker.

Birdlife abounds, including the endangered bald ibis.

Top ten common bird species at Mantenga

The reserve is thickly forested: indigenous trees of note are the waterberry ("umncozi") with its small black edible fruit, kiaat ("umvangati") and Combretum molle ("imbondvo lomnyama").




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SNTC Headquarters: Parliament Road. P O Box 100, Lobamba, Swaziland. Tel: (+268) 2416 1516, 2416 1489, 2416 1179. Fax: (+268) 2416 1875, 2416 1480. Email: info@sntc.org.sz
National Museum:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1875
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: curator@sntc.org.sz
King Sobhuza II Memorial Park:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1179, 2416 1489
Fax: 2416 1875
Email: ksmp@sntc.org.sz
Malolotja Nature Reserve:
Tel/Fax: (+268) 2444 3241
Cell: 7660 6755
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Mantenga Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2416 1151
2416 1178, Fax: 2416 1480
Email: culturalvillage@sntc.org.sz
Magadzavane Lodge
Mlawula Nature Reserve:
Tel: (+268) 2343 5108/9
Fax: 2343 5111
Email: magadzavane@sntc.org.sz