Swaziland might be small but it boasts giant scenery and massive adventures. Whether you are seeking adventure or breath-taking scenery in this small, but majestic country or planning on travelling to Swaziland for a well-deserved break, we’ve got you covered! For those who are looking for a holiday getaway, here are our top 10 things to do in Swaziland:
Ngwenya Glass is situated in the region of Mbabane and is known for giving back to the community of Swaziland by encouraging everyone to send their recycled glass to Ngwenya who then pay the community for their recycled glass. The factory is operated by locals who create beautiful glass sculptures made in all shapes and sizes. Visitors can enjoy a tour, where they can view the glass sculpture being made. All artifacts can be purchased, from small animal sculptures to wine glasses and jugs.
Just a few kilometers from Ngwenya Glass is Ngwenya Old Mine, one of the oldest mines in the world and located in Mbabane. Assisted by a tour guide up to Lion Cavern you will find yourself taking in the history of the mine as well as luscious views of what was once an iron mine – active over 43 000 years ago.
The National Museum is a great place to visit if it is your first time in Swaziland and if you are looking to find out more about the history of the Swazi culture. Find out what tools they used, what they wore and what they used to eat. It is a wonderful way to soak up the local culture. The museum also shows you a short video of a traditional wedding and is situated in Lombamba, Ezulwini.
KingSobhuza 11 Memorial Park which is also in the region of Lombamba, Ezulwini offers you the opportunity to learn more about the King’s life. Find out how he received his name and how he stood up against his tribe to ensure that he got the best education possible to make himself a better king.
Mantenga Cultural Village is another great visit for those looking for the rich traditions of the Swaziland culture and is situated in the region of Ezulwini. It all starts off with traditional signing followed by traditional dances from both men and women in traditional outfits. After the dances the youth are taken on a different tour to adults, both taken around the village to view traditional huts and Swazi traditions. Questions are welcomed and this gives all visitors a great understanding of the beautiful Swazi culture.
House on Fire, although an unusual name, captures the local arts and culture of Swaziland and is situated in Malkerns, Manzini. Famous for the annual MTN Bushfire which is a music and arts festival, visitors will find themselves enjoying unique arts & crafts and taste the heavenly cuisine at the restaurant.
Next year’s date for the festival has already been set for May 26th – 28th 2017.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is situated amongst lush vegetation and high mountains of Ezulwini Valley, where wildlife roam free. Find yourself appreciating nature by mountain biking, cycling, walking, game driving or horse riding amongst buck, wildebeest and zebra. Enjoy a relaxing lunch overlooking a scenic dam with buck roaming amongst you. The accommodation offers family, standard and bee hive rooms to escape your busy lifestyle.
Sibebe Rock is one of the largest granite rocks in the world located just 10km outside of Mbabane. Looking up to this exposed granite rock it looks like it is never ending. If you are adventurous enough, there are hikes up to the top of this majestic rock. The hike is not for the faint-hearted and is a full day excursion, so don’t forget your water bottle, sun screen and hat. When you reach the top though, you will find yourself speechless, overlooking the beauty that Swaziland has to offer.
Malolotja Nature Reserve is surrounded by untouched mountains of Hhohho Mbabane, where you can find gorgeous species of birds. This reserve offers bird watching, hikes, mountain biking, fishing and the very sought after canopy tour. The canopy tour consists of 12 slides through the lush mountains and is perfect for team building or family activities.
Hlane Royal National Park is the place to go if you are looking for one of the big five. Find yourself on a game drive on the lookout for elephants, rhino, lion, giraffe and many other species. Hlane also offers self-catering rondavels for those looking for a family getaway.
No matter what you are looking for in your African adventure, Swaziland will be sure to have it covered, plus more!
The Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) was established by an act of parliament, the Tourism Authority, Act of 2001. It was established as a public enterprise. In terms of the Act the following objectives have been determined for STA;
Develop the tourism sector as a national priority in an environmentally sustainable and culturally acceptable manner,
Coordinate and facilitate the implementation of government policies and strategies on tourism,
Market Swaziland as a tourism destination through the provision of a platform for industry stakeholders,
Encourage, facilitate and promote local and foreign investment in the tourism industry, and
Ensure the contribution of tourism to the socio-economic development and continued improvement of quality of life in the Kingdom of Swaziland
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.