Mbalabala…

Called Balla Balla in pre-Independence days, Mbalabala has a few of the Matopos-like boulder/outcrops…(often called “Dwala” in the local language isNdebele) dotted about…

MbalabalaThe area we were working in is communal land, commonly called “makaya” or “homes.” People from this area are offered a place to grow their maize, graze their cattle and build their home, either by a local chief or the District Administrator.

MbalabalaWe were there to site a borehole for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Since a site wasn’t found immediately, and another survey was required, I decided to climb higher to get a better view…up here this hill is called Tshakambeba. (Not sure on the spelling on there!)

Mbalabala

I stopped and took photos all the way up the hill. Hey – I need to breathe!

Mbalabala

First stop was this lovely shady tree and flat rock to lie on!

Mbalabala

The view facing north…Mbalabala

Mbalabala

Half way up – I spied this tree…

Mbalabala

It’s more of a  bush, although you cant really see that from this pic – only about two metre tall. The hills around Esigodini are clear on this photo, although seen from a different angle than usual.

Mbalabala

Its a little difficult, crab walking along the rock surface

Mbalabala

Mbalabala

I made it to the top and the other side is an awful lot steeper than the one I climbed!

Mbalabala

That road you can see down there comes out right at Mbalabla.

Mbalabala

I’m pretty scared of heights, so I didn’t go any closer to the edge than this…

Mbalabala

Going down isn’t that much easier than going up…esp when you have to stumble over these kinds of loose rocks. Very strange shaped rocks too – almost like salad bowls and meat platters on a giants’ lunch table!

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11 thoughts on “Mbalabala…

  1. “Given a place to grow their maize” – does this land ever become theirs? Do they have to pay the local chief in any way? THAT was some climb up….The shadow tree and flat rock amazing. Those are some cool countryside shots. The high up one with a view of the river my favourite.

    • No the land in communal areas is not for sale, but, I’m told its hard to remove from the owners. A chief can’t kick people off but the whole succession thing isn’t easy either

  2. These are such beautiful pictures! And yes, unusually green. In my mind, if I think of Mbalabala, I always picture a dry, grey place.
    I love those dwalas. In some places when you walk on them they sound hollow.

  3. Yes, that is true – sometimes they do sound hollow! Mbalabala is usually dry! We were lucky we got some rain just two days before we went there and the going was soft – the bush fragrant and I even found water in a pool at the top of the dwala I climbed!
    My new camera is responsible for these photos – ah shame, Ill have to go back to all the places I visited with the old camera and redo them!!!

  4. You were on the Kopje behind my old home and all the land around where you were used to belong to my father..we had 40000 acres and the entire village of Balla Balla was ours. Thank you for some stunning photos.

    • Oh my, that is very interesting, than you for commenting! How long ago did he own it? I knew there were farms closer to Nswazi, some of the old farmsteads are still standing. Balla Balla is a lovely area, esp as you go closer to the Matopos

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