Situated just East of Zimanga Game Reserve are the Lebombo Mountains, running along the border between Mozambique and South Africa, all the way through Kruger National Park and down into KZN. One of the mountains in the range, the infamous “Ghost Mountain”, happens to be right across the valley from Zimanga. Our volunteers recently tried to conquer it., and this is one of their stories.
Kitted up, we looked at our journey ahead of us before taking a deep breath and setting off the only way we could..up. The sun was high and belting out heat, bodies shocked from sudden physical exertion, blistered feet, burnt skin and dehydration set in…..this was only 5 minutes into our climb. This was our Everest. Brie egged us on with enthusiasm as we carried on picking up our deadweight feet. The view at the top was spectacular and well worth the sweat! The Mkuze river ran straight through the mountains and we could see the reserve in the distance. Once we all had time to ourselves we all scrambled for a little shade to eat our well deserved lunch.
Legend has it Ghost Mountain is haunted strange lights, flickering fires, and strange noises and calls can be seen and heard from the top. Back in 1819 a section of the Ndwandwe tribe lived at the bottom of the mountain before they were conquered by the Shaka tribe. They fled to Mozambique but still carried out their traditional burials of their chiefs in tombs within the mountains. They did this under the cover of darkness to avoid detection from the Zulus. It could be the spirits of the Chiefs in these ancient burial sites that people are experiencing today…….or it could be the exasperated sounds of GVI attempting to trudge up the mountain.
Long term Intern