The town of Pigg’s Peak, in the Kingdom of Eswatini [formerly Swaziland], is named after William Pigg who discovered a gold reef nearby in 1882. Gold was mined in this area between 1882 and 1954. Today the main industry in the area is forestry although tourism has grown significantly since the completion of Maguga dam, 15 km south of Pigg’s Peak.
Tourist Sites close to Pigg’s Peak
Nsangwini Rock Art Centre
Located 10km south east of Pigg’s Peak, the Centre is a popular site for international tourists as well as school groups. The Centre sits high above the Komati river. An estimated 4000 years ago, the San (Bushman) people used Swaziland’s western highveld granite areas, including Nsangwini, for spiritual rituals and recorded iconic moments in their lives through etchings on the ancient rocks. Bushman paintings offer a unique glimpse into a way of life shrouded in mystery. The mountainside trail to the rock shelter is steep (about 20 minutes down and 25 minutes up) with loose rocks but is manageable by able-bodied people. Drinks and bottled water are available for sale from local community members.
Just south of Pigg’s Peak is a scenic loop road which leads to Maguga dam. Completed in 2002, Maguga dam stores 332 million cubic metres of water. Its wall height of 115 metres makes it one of the highest dams in Southern Africa. Various water activities including fishing and sightseeing are available in the Maguga area.
Malolotja National Park
Located 30 km south of Pigg’s Peak, Malolotja offers a unique experience for visitors with breathtaking pristine landscapes and wilderness hiking ranking amongst Southern Africa’s finest. 65 species of small and large mammals occur in the park including leopard, aardwolf, oribi, red hartebeest, eland and black wildebeest. Malolotja is also host to more than 280 bird species including the Blue Swallow, one of the rarest birds in Southern Africa.
Bulembu Mountain Village
The historic mining village of Bulembu lies west of Pigg’s Peak at the end of a 19 km scenic drive on a gravel road that takes visitors close to Devil’s Bridge on the slopes of Emlembe, the highest mountain in Swaziland. A hiking trail leads to the summit and the views provided are more than adequate reward for the effort.
Peak Fine Crafts
Just 10 km north of Pigg’s Peak this centre boasts a number of shops showcasing some of Swaziland’s finest arts and crafts including carving, woven grass products and handweaving in mohair yarn. The shops include the Coral Stephens weaving factory where visitors may watch the spinning of mohair yarn through to completion of the various products. Phumulani restaurant, which has unsurpassed views, is located at the Craft Centre.
Using recycled glass the Ngwenya Glass factory, 50 km south of Pigg’s Peak, creates a wide variety of items including glasses, bowls, ornaments and jewellery. Visitors may watch glass blowing from a balcony and make purchases from an adjacent shop. A coffee shop and other craft outlets are situated in the same location.
A short distance past Ngwenya Glass is the Old Ngwenya Mine where iron ore was extracted more than 43,000 years ago. Shops selling spinning and weaving products and other crafts are located in this area as is a restaurant.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Situated just 80km north of Pigg’s Peak, the Malelane Gate offers access to the world renowned Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s premier game reserves. Consisting of almost 20,000 square kilometers of woodland savanna, Kruger Park is home to a large number of Africa’s animal and bird species.
For further details visit the Kruger Park website: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/