Places to Visit in Swaziland

Saturday, October 14, 2017

So you think about traveling in Africa but don’t know what places to visit in Swaziland?

Swaziland is a small landlocked African country lying on the southern side of the continent. It has extreme weathers where temperatures can rise up unmanageable levels with crazy humidity. One distinctive thing about this country is the leadership which has been a monarch and the current under King Mswati who has 15 wives, that is what you call a handful! But no worries we are here to explore places to visit in Swaziland and have chosen a few that will make your visit worthwhile.

Mkhaya Game Reserve

Mkhaya Game Reserve in Swaziland, Africa
Mkhaya Game Reserve in Swaziland, Africa

This reserve was first opened to save the Nguni cattle from going into extinction. Nguni cattle named after a particular tribe of the people of that region were dwindling due to environmental effects, and the government took the cause to save them which is good for the tourist listing it as one of the places to visit in Swaziland.

But over the years other endangered animals have been part of the reserve, like the elephants, buffaloes, leopard, white rhinos, black rhinos, hippopotamus antelopes among others. The trails either by overland vehicles or on road offer magnificent views as you try and discover a lot of other smaller wildlife.

This reserve is named after the Knobthorn tree as it is called in the Swati dialect. This tree is known to be resistant to drought and perfect to grow in such areas, make a point of finding at least a tree or two during your excursion here.

Maguga Rock Art

Maguga rock arts

In the Maguga Dam area, these painted rocks with incredible art are for sure a hidden gem, yes really hidden it is actually not easy to find them in the expansive landscape. One of the rocks called the Nsangwini Rock really dates back 4000 years. It is such a nice experience to discover how artistic the inhabitants were those many years ago.

Getting down the caves is an exciting hiking experience. A lot of touristic activities are offered around the dam like fishing, picnic area, and cycling bicycles. A cultural tour to one of the Swazi homesteads can be arranged too and this enables you to see how the local people live. The locals will give you a tour of the whole area and what a better way to promote them. Retire to one of the lodges for a relaxing evening or one of the designated campsites.

Sibebe Rock

Granite rock is the second largest in the world but first in terms of granite batholith. Known as a haven for hikers you have to be relatively fit as it is very steep and some of the trails slippery. They have marked the trails clearly but you are best guided by a local guide.

The scenery is breathtaking and though there is not so much wildlife you will be able to spot a different kind of birdlife. Birdwatchers will be able to see the endangered blue swallow and ground woodpecker among others. Known for its major event the Sibebe Survivor which is organized yearly by one of the Rotary Club groups with over 5000 participants and growing each year, all proceeds go towards local charity needs.

There is even a local beer called Sibebe Premium named after the rock, now that is a cool way to relax after a long day and maybe a motivation to get you exploring the places to visit in Swaziland. Cheers!

Malolotja Canopy Tour

Adrian from a Sabbatical with his new German friends near Maseru the capital of Swaziland
Adrian from a Sabbatical with his new German friends near Maseru the capital of Swaziland

In the great wilderness of the Malolotja Nature Reserve, this is a once in a lifetime fun yet daring tour. It will entail gliding through different canopies in the forest as you get a glimpse of the area from different angles. If you are up to this thrill you will enjoy about 3 hours of your guide giving you briefs of what is in your surroundings, be it wildlife, plants or just the thick vegetation and of course the fauna and flora.

As expected some wildlife is to be seen such as wildebeests, zebra, butterflies, moths, lizards, dragonflies and many more. There about ten pit spots and the canopies are well built with up to standard fittings and persons are zipped safely to the lines so don’t worry about anything happening to you.

The highlight is the suspension bridge over the Majolomba River for the more daring lot. It is okay if you don’t want to go to zip line, you can do the 4 x 4 drives to the accessible places and by foot along the trails that are marked footpaths with readily available guides. If you are staying over for the night the chalets would be a good choice and are self-contained.

Great places to visit in Swaziland

Even though this is the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, you can see there is a lot of nature and heritage to experience. The Swazi people are known to be very welcoming to their beautiful country. Despite the shocking home affairs of the president, a visit to this nation is the only way to talk about your experiences of places to visit in Swaziland.