The Mapulana people had settled in the area surrounding the Blyde Canyon during a time of hostilities among the indigenous tribal groups of Southern Africa in a period known as the “Mfecane”, meaning ”crushing or scattering”. This period led to the displacement of many groups in the region.
King Mswati II had just come to power after succeeding his father in 1845 and began a series of raids that sent fear into the minds of people near and far.
In 1864, a group of raiding Swazis attacked the Mapulana living beside the Blyde River. The Mapulana retreated to the top of a nearby mountain and began gathering large rocks at its peak, in readiness for the imminent attack.
The Swazi raiders realized the dangers of attacking the mountain without cover and retreated close-by, where they would wait for the mist to cover the peak and use that as cover to attack the unsuspecting Mapulanas on the summit.
They didn’t have to wait long when, one night, a layer of mist took the mountain and the Swazi soldiers moved up to the peak, approaching from the South. The Mapulana were ready and waiting, and when the first Swazi was spotted they unleashed the large pile of boulders and sent them crashing down the path. The unsuspecting Swazi soldiers were dealt heavy casualties as a result.
It is said you can still see the bones of those Swazi soldiers among the inaccessible rock crevices of the mountain.