Bulembu Country Lodge is a simple but effective establishment in northwest Swaziland, at the base of Emlembe, the country's highest mountain. The town of Bulembu is on the border with South Africa and the views of the rolling hills and lush forests of the Komati Valley are just breathtaking. Bulembu was once an important mining settlement but is now essentially a ghost town, which is well worth exploring on a guided tour.
The building once housed senior mine staff and has since been converted into a lodge befitting travellers from all over the world. The mine manager’s home now consists of 12 comfortable en-suite bedrooms each offering a private retreat. There are separate cottages which can be hired for groups, families or those seeking a spot of seclusion. The lodge is spread among lush gardens and there is a swimming pool, squash court, pool table and lounge to compete for your attention with the majestic mountains and meandering valleys. The food is hearty fare, incorporating fresh produce and best enjoyed on the patio, while local dancers will keep you entertained at night.
Be sure to take a guided tour of Bulembu, once an important mining settlement in its heyday but now effectively a ghost town. Derelict buildings abound in the town, and the 285-seat cinema is still in its original state, as is the town jail. The cableway reaches over 21km into South Africa and is officially the longest of its kind in the world. After your dose of history, why not get some fresh air and head out into the surrounding mountains? You can summit Emlembe which at 1863m is the country's highest peak, or simply meander around the rolling countryside. There are plenty of trails in the area taking you to waterfalls and rock pools and some great birdwatching in the 1,700 hectare property.