A scenic drive up into the North West through the MR 1 highway will lead a curious traveller to Ngsangwini Rock Art; a community based tourism initiative built around the oldest heritage site in the kingdom. Located in the Nkomati valley, between Maguga & Piggs peak, the paintings that can be found here date back to at least 4000 years, making it quite possibly one of the earliest cradles of Eswatini’s civilisation.
A short drive off the highway through a dirt road then down a mountain side trail across rocky terrain and you’ll arrive at the rock shelter. Here, a local guide will take you through the different ochre and blood painted imagery that can be seen on the walls from spirits with insect heads, animals and humans carrying spears. These ancient paintings are believed to hold symbolic meaning- with the Bushmen having transported into another realm to create them.
Nsangwini is the Kingdom’s oldest connection to earlier life on the land. Like most places in Southern Africa, Bushmen were the first settlers, living a nomadic life of hunting and gathering; moving from place to place and leaving traces of having been there on cave walls. If you’re looking for an educational trip with exciting archaeological finds, this one is well worth the north western drive.