When you feel life gets hard, you probably need the thrilling sensation of the Mambo Waterfalls as it washes over you. For in that moment, nothing else matters.
On a cold and wet Sunday morning we met at Hamilton Junction at 7:00am to walk the highway leading to Mambo before heading off-road for the hike through the village to the Mambo Waterfall.
Hikers inadvertently form mini groups by usually based on pace or friendships with either option helping to deliver an even more fun hiking experience. Mambo is usually challenging for first time visitors as we challenge the mountains that must be climbed before a descent which leads to the fall.
Heading up the mountain across rugged terrain it doesn’t take long before some of us pause for a while, drenched in sweat and exhausted, to regain our breath. We turned back as if to check how far up we had come and we met a mesmerizing view of the Mambo community and some other parts of the Peninsula like Lakka and Sussex. A view that reminds you of the character and breathtaking beauty of Freetown’s landscape.
The fall’s last section is a descent through what’s left of the lowland rainforest, which is now dominated by few human pathways. We met with several community caretakers at what appeared to be an informal checkpoint. They requested Le10,000 per person which they say goes towards the cleaning of the area around the falls. As we continued on, the thunderous sound of the waterfall in the distance got louder, reminding us that the end is nigh the thought of which delivered another wave of energy delivering a spring to our steps as a consequence.
As we approached we got to the top of a slope from where we could see from afar the waterfalls and as we continued our final descent to the falls we had to negotiate the crossing of a small stream with sharp and slippery rocks that required strategic crossing especially if you are avoiding getting your footwear soaked. Some of us didn’t care about getting our footwear soaked at this point as it had started raining a little bit.
In awe, some of us first timers at the Mambo waterfalls stood gazing, mesmerized. Just like magic, all the discomfort we felt after the long climb vanished. The waterfall made its way from the top of the cliff down demonstrating power and beauty in equal measure.
At first it seemed hikers were hesitant to get close to the falls, taken aback by the sheer force of the water enhanced by the rainy season. However, all it took was one dare-devil to get in there and more hikers joined in. Even some who were watching reservedly from the sideline couldn’t resist the call of the falls when they saw how much fun others were having. Some of us were getting free back massages from the gushing water while others appeared to seek shelter in what seemed like a cave over which the waterfall did its thing in full splendor giving opportunity for some great photos (if you have a waterproof device).
Beyond there, the waterfalls continue to cascade down, producing a stream with a cross section of pools running down the deep end of the forest. The Mambo waterfall is an incredible place to be and we need to do all we can to ensure it is protected. The best time of the year to see the Mambo waterfall in all its splendor is during the rainy season which peaks between July-September.
If you are interested in joining our next trip on Sunday 19th September 2021, please send us a message.
Check out this video below from our last trip.