Why Visit Swaziland?
Swaziland is an extremely unique destination with regards to wildlife safaris. The african continent has several safari places, however few that provide the intimacy of wildlife viewing as Swaziland. Having runaway from the hype of places like Kenya or Tanzania, and not signing up for the expensive pretentiousness of some safari camps in South African plus Botswana , Swaziland is just under-rated by people that have not been here to try out what insiders have well known for a long time: Swaziland is an African safari treasure.
Presently there Five main parks inside Swaziland and a number of smaller ones. Mkhaya Game Reserve together with Hlane Royal National Park are the BIG Five, wildlife highlights. These two parks are controlled by the Big Game Parks of the Swaziland organization, which is a private-public partnership that has well delivered and exceptional wildlife conservation track record in nearly the last Fifty years.
Why take a safari in Swaziland?
The many Game Parks and Nature Reserves across Swaziland protect a vast variety of animals. From the magnificent ‘Big Five’ to warthogs, antelope and reptiles, Swaziland is home to numerous of Africa’s wild animal species. The emphasis in Swaziland is to provide visitors with a more intimate wildlife experience in areas of natural beauty, and to allow them a certain amount of freedom to explore on their own terms. This is no place for mass tourism and convoys of vehicles but instead, walks to learn about the bush and track rare species like black and white rhino. As well as traditional 4x4 and walking safaris, some of Swaziland’s reserves can also be explored by mountain bike and on horseback. In a number of the reserves visitors are free to move around independently, without the need for a guide or ranger. There are even self catering options amongst the accomodation that allolw you to be in charge of your own ‘safari lodge’ in the bush. There aren’t many places in the world where you can head off for your own bike ride and encounter zebra and bushbuck along the way, or take a stoll to see the giraffe before settling down to your own bush barbeque.
What to see on a safari in Swaziland ?
In case you wish to see several big game, Hlane Royal National Park is the most recommended place to visit. Hlane is the most wildlife rich reserve in Swaziland, and features white rhinos, elephants, and the rarely seen lions. It covers a total land mass of 22,000 hectares of the Swazi - land. Hlane has a number of accommodations including a restcamp and a variety of cottages, and these are fenced off from the wild animals.
A lot more than Three hundred species of birds have been documented in Swaziland’s wildlife reserve. There are many low-level stream crossings which as well offer excellent birding, plus trails going through the riparian forests and over the rugged ridges offering birders enough time to observe the various bird species. Among the most prominent species are the African Fin-foot, Crested Guineafowl, Heron, Yellow-Spotted Nicator and White-backed Hight.
The kind people with an amazing culture; meet the warm and friendly people of Swaziland - a nation that is among the few surviving Executive Monarchies on the African continent and embraces as well as upholds its unique and very old traditions. The people actively keep and uphold an exceptional cultural heritage which is perhaps unparalleled any place in Africa.
The renowned Umhlanga - Reed Dance together with Incwala are some traditional ceremonies which involve thousand of Swaziland people, and draws in visitors from across the planet.
These offer a different point of view on the wildlife. It is not actually similar to an escorted game drive trip, you are on foot and this offers you more closure to Mother Nature’s wonders. You will be able to see some smaller animals, birds plus butterflies as you explore the wild. This is a very unique and rare experience on an African Safari.
Which Safari Company or Tour Operator?
You'll find a a lot of safari operators in addition to safari companies within Swaziland, and among the best proposed. Most of these companies arrange safaris to varied parts of Swaziland and offer holidaymakers the chance to check out the diverse attractions in Swaziland. At the same time, it’s vital that you be sure that the company you decide on is listed with some of the country's approved Tourism association
Where to Stay on a Swaziland Safari?
Swaziland features a selection of accommodation establishments around the country including safari lodges, safari camps, regular guest houses, plus the luxurious resorts. There are actually budget lodgings, mid-range plus the magnificent 5 star accommodation; as a result it will all go with your safari budget.
For example: Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge, Piggs Peak Hotel and Casino, Nyanza Guest Cottages, The Place, Simunye Country Club, Mapelepele Cottage, Siphiso Campsite, Singwe Lodge, Tamboti Tented Lodge, Willows Lodge, Umdoni, Brookside Lodge, Foresters Arms Hotel, The George Hotel
When to Go on a Safari in Swaziland?
Like all Southern Hemisphere nations, seasons are reverse to those of most of Europe plus North America found in the Northern Hemisphere. In general, it rains mainly in the summer months, usually in the form of severe storms characteristic of tropical environments, however Swaziland may differ from tropical to temperate.
The winter / dry season lasts starts in mid-April to mid-October, having average temperatures of 20°C (the days are sunny while the nights are cold). The rainy period starts at the finish of October, enduring to the end of March. Throughout the dry seasons the days are very hot as soon as the sun is out, however temperatures may drop rapidly during the night with extra bedding required throughout the year.
Differences in temperature are as well influenced by the elevation of the various regions with the temperatures of as high as 40 degree being recorded in a number of places.
How much does a Swaziland Safari cost?
A 6 days budget safari that starts in Johannesburg, finishes in Durban takes you to the top game parks -including Kruger Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Explore Swaziland plus South Africa on this cost-effective wildlife adventure. Accommodation is in budget facilities and costs R13950 per person
Are the people of Swaziland Friendly?
Yes the people of Swaziland are very friendly and welcoming as well. A small country with a large heart with warm and friendly people appropriately describes Swaziland - a nation that is among the few surviving Executive Monarchies on the African continent and embraces as well as upholds its unique and very old traditions. The monarchy together with Swaziland people actively keep and uphold a exceptional cultural heritage which is perhaps unparalleled any place in Africa. Guests can get an even better perception of traditional African culture in this country than virtually elsewhere on the continent, and what is observed, including impressive festivals, hasn't merely been resuscitated for the need of the tourist dollar but is the real thing. The renowned Umhlanga - Reed Dance together with Incwala are some traditional ceremonies which involve thousand of Swaziland people, and draws in visitors from across the planet. However traditional attire, dancing plus ceremonies can be observed all over the country all year round.
What is the Weather like in Swaziland?
Swaziland’s weather conditions are much like those of the northeastern part of South Africa, however remarkably diverse for such a small land. The mountainous Highveld areas experience much cooler temperatures, a lot more mist, plus cloudier conditions compared to the lowland areas having more subtropical climates. The temperatures in the lowland Swaziland can rise up to a sizzling 108°F in the peak of summer that endures from October to March.
Summer is the rainiest season of Swaziland, whereas winter is usually drier. The Eastern part of Swaziland typically experiences less rain compared to the western half of the country. Although the winters of Swaziland are hardly ever irritatingly cold, frost is an infrequent sight within the warmer Highveld. The climate is compared to that of Middle Atlantic - United States, however with drier climate conditions as well as reversed seasons. The temperatures in Mbabane vary slightly all year round, from an average 68°F during summer to a low 55°F during winter.
Attractions in Swaziland
Swaziland’s tourist attractions are majorly focused on craft related and cultural variety. Touring through this beautiful country will give you a feel of the traditional lives of the people of Swaziland, their traditions and norms. The list below clearly details some of the tourist attractions in Swaziland worth visiting.
These are the major tourist attractions in the country. Visitors who go to this factory watch the candle making process and also marvel at the various candle shapes that are all well displayed. The shapes vary like the aardvark shapes resembling the desert cacti, and several traditional candles. Furthermore children are given a chance to make their candle shapes. Other than candles, other items on sale in this place include: soya lights, bee balms, and handmade soups. The factory is opened daily from 9am to 5pm and entrance is at no charge.
Ngwenya Glass Village
At the foothill of Ngwenya Mountain are several craft activities among which are the Glass Village which was established in the 1970’s. In this village visitor will be able to watch various decorative items being handmade from recycled glass which is usually gathered by school going children. You can also visit the local show room where you will find various designs of beautiful glasses, jugs vases, table ware, ornaments and other gifts. This village can be visited on any day at no fee.
Somhlolo National Stadium
The Somhlolo National Stadium found in Lombaba was established in the late 1960’s and today serves as a multipurpose place. The stadium was named after the great king Somhlolo who is today widely considered as Swaziland’s Father. Other than hosting football matches, Somhlolo hosts national events and various concerts like coronations. The place is opened basing on the time of the event with no charge at the entrance.
Matenga Craft Centre
Within Ezulwini valley lays one of the most ancient markets which was opened in the mid seventies primarily to promote the handicrafts in the region. The center has numerous craft shops, an information center and tea garden for its visitors. It is a very perfect place to pick a souvenir of excellent quality such as bags, woven mats, house ware, jewellery and glass. The center is openeds daily from 8am to 5pm at no entrance charge.
Mantenga Swazi Cultural Village
This cultural village is also known as the Ligugu Lemaswati and it is usually regarded as a living museum. The Cultural village is an imitation of a true Swaziland village as they used to exist during the mid nineteenth century. It has sixteen huts and a number of artifacts that portray the lifestyle of the Swazi people during that era. The huts were constructed using leather, wooden posts and reeds, plus a mixture of dried cow dung plus soil which were used as rural cement. The village offers guided tours and entertainment with traditional dances. The village can be accessed daily from 8am to 5pm at an affordable charge.