In 1999 Rand Water contributed R2-million to the establishment of the Mnweni Rand Water Trust. This gesture was the culmination of seven years of close association between Rand Water, the Wildlife and Environment Society of SA, Bergwatch and the communities of the Amangwane in the upper Mnweni Valley.
With the assistance of tourism authorities, the Mnweni Tourism Centre was established. The centre allows both day visitors and serious hikers to access this once-remote area.
Visitors also have access to an interpretive display, a sangoma (traditional healer), traditional dancing and safe parking.
An objective of the trust remains the creation of sustainable community-based eco-tourism ventures. Local community members who are familiar with the area have been trained as registered tour guides.
Mnweni hospitality – A community based project:
The Mnweni Centre has four-sleeper rondavels (thatched huts) as well as a traditional beehive hut for overnight visitors. All accommodation is spacious, comfortable, spotlessly clean and equipped with solar-powered lighting. Linen is provided and the ablution facilities have hot showers. The communal kitchen and large dining area are equipped with gas stoves, fridge, freezer, cutlery and crockery. Camping facilities are also available.
The local people are eager to ensure your enjoyment of their beautiful valley. The breathtaking scenery, rural grandeur and friendly people in this mountainous region make this an experience not to be missed.
Guides for hire:
Local community members have been trained to guide hikers into the foothills and summit wilderness. Visits to Bushman rock art sites require guides. Overnight summit hikes can be arranged with experienced guides and equipment is also available for hire.
The Mnweni Experience (by arrangement only):
Arrive at the centre. Enjoy a traditional dinner and entertainment by Zulu dancers.
A guide will lead the group on a cultural experience past local dwellings and a sangoma (traditional healer) to a unique Bushman rock art site surrounded by unspoilt natural scenery.
Under the African sky visitors can enjoy a campfire and a traditional African meal before turning in to sleep under a thatched roof in a cosy rondavel.