Piggs Peak Eswatini
Accessible Piggs Peak represents the heartland of the old Swaziland gold rush Set in-between the hills of the north, it once attracted miners and prospectors of all types, who came to dig in the shafts around the town.
Unfortunately, the mineral wealth never really materialized, and the gold faces of Piggs Peak were closed down less than 70 years after opening.
Today, the spot has great hiking, some interesting craft markets, and nice homestays.
And it’s the perfect stopover for travelers making their way through to Kruger National Park, located just across the border in South Africa.
Piggs Peak is the only settlement of any size in North West Eswatini. The town’s name is often Africanised in local parlance to ‘Spiggy-Speegy’, or even just ‘Spiggy’. Whatever its pronunciation, it derives from the French prospector William Pigg, whose son, ironically, went on to marry a girl with the surname Hogg. Pigg made his fortune not in bacon but gold, after discovering a reef in the nearby hills in 1884. His ‘peak’ was the nearby summit of Emlembe, Eswatini’s highest mountain. As mining developed in the region – first gold and then asbestos – the intersection of the Bulembu supply road with the Mbabane–Matsamo corridor became a local hub, offering services to settlers. This was the origin of today’s town, and also its entry route for tourists.
The gold mine was once the most important in Eswatini. By the time it was exhausted in 1954, however, it had already been surpassed by the more profitable Havelock asbestos mine at Bulembu. Today forestry has long since eclipsed mining as the main local industry. The town is also known for its large hotel and casino, splendidly situated on the crest of a ridge 10km north of town and is just a few kilometers away from the old mining town of Bulembu, the ancient rock paintings of Nsangwini, and Phophonyane Nature Reserve.
The Peak Fine Craft Centre, just to the north of the hotel, is indisputably Eswatini’s most scenic handicrafts outlet. It centers upon the workshop and boutique of Coral Stephens Hand Weaving, an impressive family enterprise, whose mohair curtains, carpets, and other products are exported worldwide. Other craft outlets include sisal-weaving (Tintsaba), jewelry, ceramics, and stone-carving. The craft center has a restaurant offering spectacular views over the surrounding area.
How to get to Piggs Peak
Piggs Peak has located 65 km from the main capital Mbabane
Where to stay Piggs Peak
- Places to check out include
- piggs peak hotel and Casino
- phophonyane falls eco-lodge
- sunset view guest house
- Mountain Aloe Den
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