8 reasons to visit Swaziland

8 Reasons to visit Swaziland (eSwatini)

eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland is a lovely small country surround entirely by South Africa. The people are friendly, the pace is slow and there are many nature reserves and game parks to be enjoyed. We have put together a list of things worthwhile doing or visiting when traveling.

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

This lovely wildlife reserve is situated in the Ezulwini Valley and is nowadays known as the kingdom’s most popular eco destination. The small reserve has a large variety of mammals roaming around and you can opt for guided or self-guided walking trails. There is catered as well as self-catering affordable accommodation and Milwane is centrally located and is close to all local attractions in the area.

Mkhaya Game Reserve

Mkhaya offers a unique wildlife experience in Swaziland. Mkhaya is all about intimate encounters with some of Africa’s icons.  All travel within the reserve is solely guided, by open Land Rovers or on foot, providing superb photographic opportunities and probably the best chance of seeing Black Rhino in the wild in Africa today. Mkhaya is staffed and patrolled entirely by Swazis from neighbouring communities and currently boasts what is arguably Africa’s most effective anti-poaching unit. Accommodation in Stone Camp is unique and exciting, you sleep in half open huts which allow experience the night sounds of the bush up close and personal! There is no electricity, gas lamps are provided.

Arts & Crafts Ezulwini

Swazi arts and crafts have become world renowned over the years. In and around the Ezulwini Valley there are plenty of shops and places where you can shop up a storm. Glass, candles, paintings, clothing and much more is available in various places in this area!

Malolotja Nature Reserve

Malolotja is one of the very best highland reserves in southern Africa, its 18,000ha wilderness of high rolling hills and deep forested river gorges offering a genuine wilderness in which hikers can lose themselves for days. The rocks beneath Malolotja are among the oldest in the world – some, known as the Swaziland Supergroup, having being laid down as ocean sediment over 3.5 billion years ago, before metamorphosing under heat and pressure into the shales and quartzites we see today. The reserve entrance is just a 30-minute drive from either Mbabane or Piggs Peak. Visitors can stay at the campsite or in self-catering log cabins. Alternatively they can stay in traditional beehive chalets – complete with modern interiors – at nearby Hawane resort, which runs activities into and around the reserve, including horse-riding. A small dam at Hawane is good for bird watching and fishing.

Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserve

The Phophonyane Nature Reserve, a private nature reserve, lies about 10km north of Piggs Peak and nestles in a forested hillside above the tumbling Phophonyane river, incorporating the attractive Phophonyane Falls. The gorgeous lodge has a beguiling natural ambience, with its cluster of buildings, all painted in African ochres and adorned with hangings and frescoes, smuggled discreetly into the lush subtropical vegetation. Nature runs rampant, with birdsong blending into the ubiquitous trickle of running water. Accommodation ranges from rustic cottages to safari tents and upgraded beehive huts. Day visitors can enjoy the restaurant, trails and natural rock swimming pool.

Mantenga Cultural Village

The cultural village is a living museum of old traditions and represents a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850’s.The building material is strictly traditional: poles, grass, reeds, leather stripes, earth and dried cow dung.

The Mantenga Cultural Village is a mini complex of sixteen huts, each with its own specific purpose, kraals and byres for cattle and goats, reed fences that serve as windbreaks, and various other structures. With the traditional artifacts on display, the village illustrates many facets of the ancient Swazi way of life: social, economic and religious.

The objective of the cultural village is to enable visitors from all over the world as well as Swazis from all corners of the country to visit it and to maintain a positive interest in the Swazi cultural heritage, including language, customs and practices, rituals, dance, music, folklore, arts and crafts.

Swazi Candles

Swazi Candles is a proud member of Swaziland Fair Trade Organization and they make colourful and unique candles in all sorts of shapes and forms. But this is not just a candle experience. They are surrounded by other talented crafters, artists and artisans as well as a bustling market and souvenir shops. Sample some Black Mamba chilli sauce or take a stroll through Yebo Art Gallery. The Sambane Tea Garden provides excellent meals, cakes and daily specials in a beautiful shady garden setting with a fabulous children’s playground. In our webshop you can buy the Swaziland candles.

Experience the difference with South Africa

Although this tiny country is surrounded entirely by South Africa, the atmosphere, culture and people are completely different. It’s a lovely experience on your self drive or group tour through South Africa, which normally has a few nights in Swaziland on a standard itinerary.

Visit Swaziland (eSwatini)

Get in touch with us for a tailor made tour to Swaziland or any other group tour recommendation.