Things to do in Swaziland
When visiting a destination like Swaziland, there are many things to do. Here we have collected a short summary of the best activities, tours and adventures in Swaziland.
Swaziland has some fabulous natural areas, uncrowded and packed with wildlife. To start with try Hlane Royal National Park, its the largest in Swaziland and home to the four of the Big 5 - Lion, Elephant, White Rhino and Leopard. Overnighting at Hlane can be a worthwhile experience, there is a choice of accommodation and a restaurant. Hlane RNP can also be visited for day activities only, such as guided game drives and ranger-led wildlife and bird walks. Hlane is 1hr 30min from the central Ezulwini area. If you need transportation Swazi Trails offer a Hlane Royal National Park Safari Full day or half day excursion.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland's oldest reserve, its situated conveniently in the Ezulwini Valley. Activities at Mlilwane include mountain biking, horseback safaris, game-drives, walking trails and guided birding walks. Bicycles can be rented from Swazi Trails (just outside the park) or from the main camp. Swazi Trails also offer a guided MTB Safari trail. Horseback is another awesome way to view game and Mlilwane offers hourly horse rides and overnight trails. There is a variety of accommodation at Mlilwane as well as camping.
Mkhaya Game Reserve is a one hour drive from Ezulwini and well worth the drive! There are two options here - to stay overnight on either a Full Board or Half Board package inclusive of game-drives, or to visit the reserve on the day tour from 10h00 to 16h00. The reserve is especially famous for its protection of endangered species, especially White and Black Rhino. One can reach Mkhaya by self drive, or Swazi Trails facilitates a Full day trip to Mkhaya, including game drives in open Land Rovers and delicious bush camp lunch.
Adventure and Activities
For the active individual with a love of nature and the outdoors - Swaziland is heaven! The countries most popular adventure is White Water rafting which takes place on the Great Usutu river, with nothing short of Grade II to IV rapids. Options are a full day rafting trip - including lunch and transfers, or a Half day trip as a quickier way to squeeze in a rafting session.
If you wanna get down and dirty.....Adventure Caving is your activity! Great for both amateur and experienced explorers! The caves are set in the Gobholo Cave system, just east of Mbabane. Arm yourself with helmet, headlamp, battery packs, overalls and be greeted by muddy passages, bats and lots of total blackness..... Swazi Trails offers two caving experiences, a Day caving tour and an Evening Adventure Caving option which includes a well deserving soak in a hot-spring and a yummy pizza of your choice.
Mountain biking is an unbeatable way to see Swaziland! It brings you eye to eye with its people, animals and breathtaking scenery. Swazi Trails offers a number of MTB guided tours: The Safari MTB Trail visits Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, whilst the Cultural MTB Trail weaves around the Ezulwini/ Lobamba area visiting rural homesteads, where you can visualize everyday Swazi lives and routines. If both sound great and you can't make up your mind, you can do a combination of the two: MTB Culture Safari Combo.
An All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) aka Quad-bike is another exhilarating way to get a dose of adrenaline. Swazi Trails offer a 7km quad track called “The Devil's Cauldron Quad Trail” adjacent to the Royal Swazi Spa Hotel. There are two trail options: One Hour and Two hours.
Swaziland's newest adrenaline adventure is a Canopy Tour that runs in and above the Majolomba River Gorge in Malolotja Nature Reserve. This area for canopy tours was recently rated as one of the best in Southern Africa and the only way to explore this gorge is from the air!
Fancy a day or a night on a Houseboat? Maguga Dam houseboat sleeps 4 people and is an awesome opportunity for some quiet time and relaxation. The dam is 100m deep and home to abundant aquatic life, with some 'monster" bass waiting to be caught.
Culture and History
Swaziland is rich in traditional culture and Swazi people are very proud of their heritage. This tiny landlocked Kingdom is one of the last monarch-led states in Africa. There are two main royal ceremonies annually, The Umhlanga Reed Dance and Incwala Ceremony- both celebrating the Swazi culture and its traditions. But the best way to appreciate Swaziland is through interaction with a local guide: options include: A Taste of Swaziland Tour or the Swaziland Cultural Experience, or just hire a tour guide for the day to join you in your own vehicle.
Arts and Craft Shopping
Undeniably one of Swaziland's greatest attractions! Well known brands such as Ngwenya Glass, Coral Stephens, Swazi Candles, Tintsaba, Gone Rural, Baobab Batik, Rosecraft, Imvelo Eswatini, Swazi Secrets, Eswatini Kitchen, Quazi Design, Golden Hands and Amarasti. (to name a few.....) can all be visited on a relaxed drive through the countryside. If you prefer the comfort of a guided tour try the Swaziland's Highlights,. or its half-day components the Northern Highlights or Southern Highlights tours.