Known as one of the few remaining monarchies and being the smallest country in Africa. The Kingdom of Swaziland is without a doubt a gem!
In Swaziland tourism is King and the King is everything to his people. The Swazi’s are extremely proud of their cultural heritage and take pleasure in showing off their beautiful country. Everyone I met was quite knowledgeable about the socio-economic issues
1. Experience the thrill of gliding through the forest canopy in one of the last mountain wilderness areas left in Swaziland. The secluded Malolotja Nature Reserve contains plenty of game, amazing birdlife and a world renowned display of wildflowers in spring.
The tour consists eleven elevated forest platforms, ten slides and a 50 metre long suspension bridge that crosses the Majolomba River. Cost: R650 per person.
2. Go horse riding at Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Known as the Mother of Conservation in the Kingdom as it’s Swaziland oldest nature reserve. Guests can visit for the day or stay overnight. The activities available include game drives, cycling, horse riding and walking tours.
3. Shop till you drop at Ezulwini Valley Market.
4. Explores the villages and get to know the locals in the Maguga area. We were welcomed into the Mnisi homestead where we learned about the different roles of each family member, the importance of a kraal and the types of huts they have.
5. Sing and Dance with the locals at Mantenga Cultural Village. This live museum of old traditions and represents a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850s. It comprises 16 huts, kraals and byres for cattle and goats, reed fences and other structures. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the people in the village and can do so by grinding maize, plaiting mountain grass or joining in the Swazi song and dance.
Mantenga Cultural Village – 8am – 10pm.
Restaurant – every day,.
Traditional dances – 11:15am and 15h30 every day.
Day visits – 8am – 5pm everyday.
6. Buy a memento or two at Swazi Candles Centre. Located near Malkerns, this is one of Swaziland biggest tourist attractions. It’s an amazing place to wander around in; watching artisans making products, shopping for the best handcraft and designs. The centre is open seven days a week from 8 am to 5pm.
7. For a history lesson head to the Swaziland National Musuem. The museum has a natural science exhibitions, art projects and displays going from the early history of humankind and the world to the pre-independence days. The Museum is the only one in the country and it’s based in the Lobamba region.
8. Reflect at the King Sobhuza II Memorial Site. The memorial serves as a tribute to the memory of the Nation’s beloved King Sobhuza who led Swaziland to independence in 1968. The a garden around it offers a suitable tranquility.
This heritage site and is situated adjacent to the houses of parliament and the National Museum, and there are certain places where photos aren’t allowed.
Musuem and King Sobhuza Park Package Prices:
Adults (International): E120
Adults (Local): E30
Students (International): E40
Students (Local): E25
9. The luxurious Summerfield Luxury Resort & Botanical Garden is the perfect luncheon spot. This exclusive and award-winning luxury boutique hotel is located in the picturesque and tranquil area of Matsapha.
10. Enjoy live music at the amazing House on Fire performance arena and art gallery. Famous for being the home of the Bush Fire Festival, travelers can pop in for a meal or night out. For the event calender visit www.house-on-fire.com
Useful Information when planning your trip to Swaziland:
• Swaziland is accessible by air or road through 13 boarder posts: two in Mozambique and 11 in South Africa.
• It’s a visa-free destination for South Africans but obviously you need your passport.
• Currency: The Emalangeni is 1:1 with the South African Rand.
• Languages: English and SeSwati
• You’ll need at least three full days and I recommend that you drive from Johannesburg as it’s only 5 hours away or pick up a rental car on arrival at the airport or hire a guide to drive you around to allow enough freedom and flexibility. If you need a guide with a car you can mail me and I will send you his contact details.
• The country is quite small making it easy to navigate either with a printed map, or with your phone’s google maps or GPS.
• My recommendation is that you divide the attractions into three sections. One day exploring the city, another day visiting the national parks and the other day visiting the outskirts.
• As for accommodation, Simunye Country Club in Lubombo, close to the Mozambique border is one of my favourites. The rooms are large, the food was delicious and the service was warm and friendly. They also have excellent unlimited free WiFi.
I was a guest of Swaziland Tourism Authority, for more information or suggestions of things to do visit their website www.thekingdomofswaziland.com