Exploring Tourism in Swaziland
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Sibebe Rock

Manzini, Swaziland

Sibebe Rock is the largest exposed granite dome in the world. It sits about 10 kilometers outside the capital city of Mbabane, and unlike its Australian cousin, Sibebe doesn’t suffer from tourist overcrowding. The rock’s sheer magnitude can be felt from the base, but many daring visitors choose to make the 4-hour round-trip hike to the top with a local guide. Sibebe Rock is number ten on our list because it’s over 3 billion years old!

Sibebe Rock, just north of Mbabane, is one of southern Africa’s most impressive geological features. This immense, three-billion-year-old volcanic slab, which rises to 1,488m and covers some 16,500ha, is the world’s largest granite dome. Only Australia’s Uluru pips it to the title of ‘world’s largest rock’.

The best way to see it is to climb it. On top, you will find a wonderland of sculpted boulders, granite slopes and hidden forest clefts, with trails leading to caves and waterfalls. Orchids and other wild flowers carpet the grasslands from October to December, and you might spot such highveld birds as jackal buzzard, ground woodpecker and – if you’re lucky – a rare blue swallow.

After rains, the rock glistens silver with countless streams running down its bare face. It’s a magical sight from afar, but slippery and dangerous, so take care and follow only the marked trails. The road to Sibebe passes along the attractive Pine Valley, with the rock so close to the verge that in places you must crane upwards to see it. At the end lies Sibebe Trails community project, from where a well-marked and manageable path leads to the top. Guides are available.

A few well-run and well-appointed guest houses in the area have truly amazing settings and quite wonderful scenic views across this beautiful part of the Highveld, yet lie a surprisingly close hop to the centre of the country’s capital city!

ibebe is a granite mountain in Eswatini, located 10 km from the capital city Mbabane. It is the second-largest monolith in the world and the largest exposed granite pluton,[1] rising 350m above the valley of the Mbuluzi River.[2] It is also known as 'Bald Rock'.[3]

The Mbabane-Mbuluzi Rotary Club organises an annual fund-raising walk up Sibebe Rock, called the Sibebe Survivor. Several thousand people take part each year.[4]

Sibebe also gives its name to a lager produced by Eswatini Beverages Ltd, called Sibebe Premium Lager.[4]

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