Swaziland


One of the most cherished hobbies by many is travelling. Africa in this case has been the most visited continent by foreigners worldwide and here, we will see how to get around Swaziland. It is bordered to the north, west, south, and southeast of South Africa and to the northeast of Mozambique. The primary ethnicity is Swazi and they speak the si Swazi language. However, some people in the urban areas are learned and they can speak English. When you get in Swaziland, you might not want to relive yourself in the streets because it’s only 20cents for a public toilet.. There are a number of public toilets built in towns that will be easily accessible as you travel. If you are travelling alone or with your family, you might want to get a drink for relaxation when you get there. Just know that the minimum drinking age is 18 years and at least let the young adults carry some ids.

Major Attractions

Hlane Game Sanctuary

The term Hlane’ means Wilderness in siSwazi. This game sanctuary that is actually the largest in the country (almost 30,000ha) belongs to the king and he hunts there once every year. However, you still get to visit the other areas that are a paradise for the lovers of nature that has nice bush vegetation and a huge number of animals. The common animals there are water buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, zebra, and the crocodiles.

Phophonyane Falls

These falls are located 13km northeast of Pigg’s Peak that is super imposing. The place is beautiful and has flourishing vegetation and stuffed bird life and it has been used as the setting of many films. These falls can also be explored on a set of hiking trails on the sides. Just a small distant from the falls is the Phophonyane Lodge that can accommodate visitors in the cottages available as well as tents on the outside. The lodge also organizes tours of the area that surrounds.

Mkhaya Nature Reserve

This place is around 6,250ha and it is owned by Ted Reilly, which can only be visited through appointment. Accommodation for visitors is available in a tented camp in the reserve. The main animals you may see here are rhinos and elephants.

The Lubombos

When you the east of the country, you will see these line of volcanic hills that escalate hastily from the low-veld to around 600m above. The range stretches out beyond Swaziland extending to the Mozambique border north passing via the Kruger National park and to the south entering KwaZulu-Natal. They may look as a single line from below but the hills have a number of corresponding ridges that are broken by gorges that have been carved by the Ngavuma, Usutu, and Mbuluzi rivers.

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

The sanctuary surrounds Ezulwini on the north, south, and west of Mlilwane that was started by ted and Elizabeth Reilly and it is approximately 4,500ha. The sanctuary is an area of scrub and grassland that is enclosed by the Nyonyane Mountains, which means “A Place of The Little Bird”. The sanctuary is a home to more than 400 species of birds, zebras, rhinoceros, giraffes, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, antelopes among others. There are conducted tours on horseback or even by car. This is a place you wouldn’t want to miss.

Ezulwinj Valley

This place is a home for the majority of Swaziland’s heavily irrigated sugar estates that are impressive in their own nature and it averagely 21m above sea level. The weather here is quite hot and you might want to carry light clothes when you visit it. There are also many game reserves here.

Where to Eat

Great Sunday Buffet ( Foresters Arms)

It is located on the nice mountainside countryside and it’s just 27km from the Capital of Swaziland (Mbabane). There are colorful gardens that will even make you have a greater appetite. There are also lush lawns that sweep down to the swimming pool that welcomes you. Besides the wide-range of hot and cold buffet and various fresh home baked bread, there is also braai or barbeque stir-fry and tasty desserts.

The Simunye Country Club

This is a private country club that principally caters to the managers and proprietors of the largest sugar plantation and mill in Swaziland that is located around the area. Though the place is a private club, it is open to the foreigners. You could be driving all day and be very hungry and the place to go is this club where you will be served with a buffet-style lunch, carved meat and other dishes.

Hippo Haunt Restaurant – the Barbeque at night

The place is at a campfire near the Main Camp in the reserve and the meals to be served are rice, milo, assorted salads, sauce, meat, and some nice pudding for dessert. The meal is served in a tranquil area outside the restaurant.

The Calabash

It is a chain of the country’s most common restaurants that require reservations to eat. The restaurants are owned by a pair of Germans and they offer an array of Austrian, German, French and Swiss dishes. The local dishes are the local Swazi beer and sibebe.

The Swazi River Café

It is in the capital city, Mbabane and there are assorted food offered which include: Ostrich, Kudu, Impala and also crocodile. Food is also served in buffet and the lunch will cost E40 per individual. On Sundays, the cost goes to E55 per person and you will be able to eat fresh crab from Maputo.

The Edladeni Swazi Restaurant

This place is awesomely breath taking and the setting is great too. Here is the place where you can never fail to find the real Swazi food. The food that many people prefer eating here is the peanut chicken that will get you licking your fingers.

Shopping

Likweti Craft

Here you will be able to shop for some array art goods. Adding to the scenery, the Piggs Peak is renowned for the handicrafts. This is a place that is a branch of the Tintsaba Crafts that sells sisal baskets, assorted Swazi crafts, and jewelleries.

African Fantasy

This place offers a number of locally made cards and T-shirts and it has branches at Mantenga craft center and the Gables Shopping Center. You can get yourself one of the local work that you will keep remembering wherever you go.

Spar

These are a line of stores throughout the country and wherever you go, you will get a branch of SPAR supermarket that will carter for all your shopping needs, be it toiletries, or any other quick need item that you might need instantly. You can get it in any of the stores in most of the towns and cities.

Mall Pick N Pay

This is also a supermarket chain that is situated in Hhohho in Mbabane and it will offer you a variety of gifts that will solve your needs whether you ran out of toothpaste or some snacks… Mall pick n pay will sort you.

Amarasti – Beads and Embroidery

The Amarasti will offer you with a wide range of African items like the fashion bags , shawls, throws, mats, cell phone bags, tablecloths, and throws. Besides the items to buy, you will get a chance to meet the locals including the grannies or “gogos” as the Swazis call them.

Ezulwini Craft Market

Do not let this opportunity to pass you by. This is a well-stocked market that was formerly located from the roadside of the M103 and the Mpumalanga Loop road. The market has stalls that sell a wide number of local carvings, handicrafts, and weavings.

Where to Have Fun

The Annual Red Dance

Now this is an Event you will most definitely want to be in. it is well known as the Umhlanga or simply Reed Dance. The event takes place for 8 days where young girls cut reeds and present them to the Queen Mother then they dance for her. It takes place Annually between August and early September and only unmarried girls without kids can participate.

Royal Sun Valley

This is a casino and hotel place that will go in well for the casino lovers. You might want to be lucky in a foreign land and playing in the casino may get you more lucky and happy. There is also a golf course in the place and surprisingly, Tiger Woods have played there too.

House on Fire( The Fantastical)

There is no word that can describe this awesome architectural place that is well known for its eclectic style and the astistic excellence. The place is a great venue where wedding parties are help, live entertainment and you can dress however, you like. The experience is just breath taking.

Milwane ( dancers in the night)

This place is located in the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary that will serve you at night. If you are a fun of dancing, this is the ideal place to be. There are local dancers available and some singers perform as well. You can try the traditional dancing you will actually love it.

Adventure Caving

This is an activity that will keep you enjoying as you explore the Swazi Trails, there are also some local people who come along, besides the tour guides. You will therefore not be bored at all.

How to Get Around

Getting around Swaziland is not that difficult as such. You can get around via local means, like taking bus or Kombi(taxi). There are various ways including:

Car

The great way to do this is start by looking online for the best deal before proceeding to hire one. There are variety of cars depending on your distance, these include; 4WD, or the normal saloon car.

Bus

Buses may be overcrowded and unreliable, therefore it is advisable to try avoiding the buses since some are less secure and they tend to take much time on roads, which may affect your schedule. Basically, the normal way to get around town is via foot since the place is somewhat overcrowded and a car wouldn’t be handy.

Travel to Swaziland and experience the African spirit in the hospitality you will get and the top quality services you will be offered. Book your tickets now and fly to the land of many histories.

Jason Peterson

My name is Jason Peterson and I caught the travel bug during my time traveling the world in the Navy. I am super fortunate that my wife and I can now travel together and share our knowledge, hacks and tips with our friends and readers. Never hesitate to reach out with suggestions or questions. jason@howtotravel.info

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