Tourism: Larry Mhlanga spotlights the Ngwenya mine, the famous Reed Dance in Etswatini on Wonders of Africa Webinar


The wonders of Africa Webinar had its 4th edition on Friday 20th Nov; 2020 and as it’s known for unveiling beautiful wonders and amazing destinations did not fall short of expectations as panelists reeled out interesting destinations one after another.

Among the panelists is Etswatini led-team, Larry Mhlanga, of Vayanami Travel who spoke about the Ngwenya mine. Ngwenya, which means crocodile, describes the shape of Eswatini’s (Swaziland’s) second-highest mountain, looming above the Ngwenya border post.

Larry Mhlanga revealed the Ngwenya mine as Etswatini’s most treasured and oldest heritage which is located on Bornvu ridge north west of Mbabane and near the northwestern border of Eswatini and it attracts lots of people around the world.

He further mentioned that the fascinating beauty of the mine is the petroglyphs which are prehistoric drawings on the wall made by Bush men who mined from the mine over the years.

The Ngwenya mine which is famous not only in Estwatini but all around the world is considered as the world oldest mine approximated to be 41000 to 43000 years old has had iron ore extracted from it over the years.

The specularite (sparkling ores) with a glittering sheen, was traditionally worn by chiefs as body paint for ceremonial occasions.

Umhlanga, the famous Reed Dance festival and perhaps the biggest attraction in Eswatini was next up on Mhlanga’s list.

The event which usually takes place in the last week of August into first week of September sees about 40,000 maidens go out to cut reeds, which they bring to the Ludzidzini Royal Village to repair the windbreak around the Queen-Mother’s residence.

The event lasts about a week, with the maidens or Imbali regiment arriving at Ludzidzini on Day 1, where they are despatched by the Indlovukazi (Queen-Mother) to go and cut the reeds. They return on the fifth day, and present the reeds to the Indlovukazi on the sixth day with dancing.

The dance spectacle continues on to the seventh day. The girls are all topless as they dance before the Mswati and other dignitaries.

Larry Mhlanga’s next attraction was the Sibebe Resort, which lies adjacent to Sibebe Rock, the largest monolith in Africa and second largest in the world.

Also known as the Bald Rock, Sibebe is the largest exposed granite pluton in the world, rising 350m above the valley of Mbuluzi River. It is located 10km from Mbabane. The resort, according to Mhlanga is the first fully and proudly owned Swazi resort.

For his favourite attraction outside home country, Larry chose the city of Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria. Calabar is the host of Africa’s biggest street party, the famous Carnival Calabar

Larry Mhlanga is a creative entrepreneur with 22 years experience in the arts industry in Eswatini.

He is a renowned actor, choreographer, plays indigenous instruments like the Djembe Drums, Makhnyane, Marimba and many more. He has directed a number of festivals and events including the MTN SWAMA Awards, Eswatini Comedy Festival. He has led the Swazi contingent to the Carnival Calabar in Nigeria for the past four years.

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