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 tarred 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), while a new residential area is growing 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 Mantenga Waterfalls are Swaziland's best-known falls, and the largest in terms of volume of water. This is despite the construction of the Luphohlo Dam some 15 km upstream, where water was diverted for electricity generation.
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 and klipspringer; grey and red duiker.
Birdlife abounds, including the endangered bald ibis.
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").
Some 300 hectares of the reserve currently contain gum forest. This stand will be felled and uprooted in order to return the land to its original condition. Other alien plants such as lantana, bugweed and guava will also be eliminated.
Malarial mosquitoes do not occur in the Mantenga Reserve. Swimming is allowed in the Lusushwana river: no cases of bilharzia have been reported.
Mantenga Research Swazi Cultural Village
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Biodiversity Objectives/Legislation Programmes Miscellaneous