Sibebe Second Time Round

Sibebe is a massive lump of granite, the second biggest monolith in the world. It is 2.6 billion years old and 1350 metres above sea level, reducing by half a centimetre each year. The summit is strewn with huge boulders, improbably perched or split through fault lines into segments. The high plateau forms a microclimate, with its own plants. It reminds me of the “land that time forgot”.

Usually it is verdant green, with lakes, streams and marshes at this time of year, but with the failure of the early rains, it is dry and parched. Traversing the spongey plants of the bog felt like walking on a bouncy castle.

Steve took us through a secret tunnel and a crevasse to a rock formation known as the cathedral. It was stunning.

The views from the summit are spectacular, from the Mbuluzi River to the Mahlokohla mountain range across the valley. We could just make out the Lebombo Range of hills to the east. Emlembe to the north west, and 500 metres taller, was clearly visible.

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