Kingdom of eSwatini

Kingdom of eSwatini

its minute size, this African country is a must-visit
for standout safari and authentic Swazi experiences.


Kingdom of eSwatini

Why now?

Bordered by
to the east and South
to the west, this tiny African country – so small that
it could fit inside South Africa’s Kruger National Park – rarely
registers on the tourist trail, except for a brief stint in 2018
when it made global headlines as it changed its name from Swaziland
to eSwatini in celebration of 50 years of independence. With its
diverse geography and infectious energy, helped by a fierce dance
culture that runs deep in the community life, in-the-know
travellers will soon be flocking to this lesser-explored

Flat-topped mountains, verdant rainforests concealing hidden
waterfalls and lush valley landscapes look like they could’ve been
the inspiration for the Land Before Time, while the searingly hot
savannahs in the east are a verdant stomping ground for Africa’s
Big Five. Forget long game drives; sightings are a regular

Ezulwini Valley, nicknamed the Valley of Heaven, is the
country’s main tourist hub and the gateway to deep gorges and
jagged canyons. It’s here you’ll send yourself careering down
zip-lines and cascading across heart-quickening white water rafting
routes. Don’t worry, this isn’t just something to tick off the
tourist to-do list. It’s actually one of the best ways to view the
country’s striking topography. Close by is eSwatini’s political,
cultural and spiritual centre, Lombama. Set against the towering
Mdzimba mountains, it’s home to the country’s parliament building,
National Museum and King Sobhuza II Memorial Park – all worth a

Don’t miss

Safari. Mkhaya Game Reserve is a shining example of community
conservation and is a sanctuary for endangered species such as the
black rhino. Few tourists mean drives are more personable and the
chances of spotting elusive leopards, getting up-close with a
dazzle of zebra and spying on prides of lions playing in thorny
bush are high.

Where to stay

Split your time between Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary for
intimate encounters with elephants as you eat breakfast and
Mogi Boutique Hotel in Ezulwini
where you can enjoy the multitude of outdoor activities on offer in
the valley.

Where to go for dinner…

eDladleni is the place to go to try traditional
specialities and is largely responsible for reviving Swazi
delicacies such as mutton curries spiked with locally grown spices
and mealie bread (similar to cornbread) to soak it up with.
Sandwiched between two luscious hills in the Ezulwini Valley, the
setting is as spectacular as the food. Book a table during the day
to really appreciate the surroundings.

And for a drink…

Most of the late-night action takes place in the casinos. Don’t
worry, this isn’t Africa’s answer to Vegas
and everything operates on a very small scale. Order a bottle of
Sibebe, the country’s local lager, and try your luck on the retro
looking slot machines.

Who to take with you

Someone who’s keen to go on safari but doesn’t want to deal with
the Disneyfication (and overtourism) other African parks have
fallen victim to. This is the chance to embark on an African bush
trek without the unnecessary add-ons.

When to go

Go in April
or May
when the rainy season has passed and the temperatures are at their
most manageable.

Essentials to pack

Channel Jackie O on safari in this Marni twill jacket.

How to get there

Fly direct into King Mswati III International airport from
Flight time is 45 minutes.

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