Hiking in Eswatini (Swaziland)

Eswatini is located in the southern part of the African continent and it is known as the country that is covered in hills, Mountains and rocks making it a good destination for the hikers. Most of the hiking trails in Eswatini are found in the various nature reserves that are found in the different parts of the country. Most of the hiking expeditions are done with a tour guide but if you are up against a challenge, you can get a god map and GPS and be headed on some of the best hikes in Eswatini.

Hiking can be an awesome or terrible experience depending on what you pack and if you want to get some of the best experiences some of the things that you should pack include bottled water since the tap water in the country is not safe for drinking, good strong hiking boots, pants to keep tree scratches from your body and some light clothes and all the other things that your tour guide will tell you to go with. Some of the most visited hiking destinations include:

Hiking in Malolotja Nature reserve

Malolotja Nature reserve is the definite destination for all hikers in Eswatini. Its location near Mbabane the capital city of Eswatini makes it easy for tourists to get there and with some of the best hike routes below is a list of some of the trails in Malolotja that you should try out.

The upper Malolotja hike trail

The upper Malolotja hike trail is found in the Malolotja nature reserve and is graded o be a difficult trail although not like the rest of hike trails. It is 6.5kilometers long and it takes three hours before it is complete. It is an excellent route for tourists who are interested in game viewing and the game that you should look out for includes elands, zebras, warthogs, reedbucks and red hartebeest among others. The trail is filled with rocky hills, a slope that leads to the River in the valley.

The Silotfwane Mountain trail

The Silotfwane hike trail is an extremely difficult one and no one should attempt to hike this route unless if they are fit with no health complications. The hike route up the Mountain is 17 kilometers long and it takes roughly 7 to 10 hours before it is completed. You will need the whole day in order to be able to complete this hike trail and once you get to the top of the Mountain, you will have clear views of the neighboring countries that is South Africa and Mozambique.

Some of the beautiful scenery that you will come across includes animals like the grey rhebok, baboons, zebras, the vegetation which is full of Riverine forests and montane grasslands and the different bird species that habitate within the vegetation. The hike route is filled with iron sandstones and quartzite therefore you will need to have strong hiking boots so that you avoid sliding.

The Malolotja falls hike trail

Also found within the Malolotja nature reserve, the Malolotja falls hike trail is an 8 hour trail which runs for about 11 kilometers and it is considered to be one of the most difficult trails in the Park. The trail will take you past the Malolotja waterfalls, the animals and birds that habitate around the falls, into the valley and up a steep hill before taking you back to the main campsite. While on this trail you will also have a great view of the Silotfwane Mountain and due to its difficult nature, children and all those that have health issues are not allowed to participate in hiking this trail.

The upper Malolotja falls trail

The upper Malolotja falls trail is a 5 hour hike trail that is 8 kilometers long and it is found in the Malolotja Nature reserve. This hike trail will take you up to the Malolotja valley past animals like the red hartebeest, the Zebras and the Highveld vegetation that is found in the area. When it comes to grading the upper Malolotja falls hike trail is a little bit easy as compared to the rest of the trails.

The Mbulukudvu trail

The Mbulukudvu hike trail is another trail that you should try out while in the country and it will take you around the Mbulukudvu camp, the valley and the River which is found in the north western part of the trail before you get to the beautiful gorge in the area. The trail is a little bit difficult with about 10 kilometers on it and it will take you roughly around 7 hours of your time. Some of the things that you will get to enjoy while you are on this hike trail includes animals like the zebras, Narina Trogon, the red hartebeest all surrounded by a rich vegetation that is worth exploring.

The Silotfwane view point hike trail

The Silotfwane view point trail is found in the Malolotja valley and one of the difficult routes to take a hike on. The hike will take you roughly 4 fours to complete and it is a 6 kilometer rote. Some of the animals that you will find along the way include warthogs, the red hartebeest, the Oribi and the black backed jackal. Although the hike provides some of the good scenes within the Malolotja valley, it is advisable that you don’t take your children along on this route as it is all filled with quartzite stones that are extremely sharp.

The Maphandakazi hike trail

This trail can take you the whole day before it is completed. It is not a very hard hike to take but with the 13 kilometers of the trail, it can take one about 10 hours due to the quartzite stones that are found along the route from the time you start the hike till it is finished. The route is surrounded by riverine forest, rocky slopes and some animals that include the reedbuck, the black backed jackal, baboons in the trees and warthogs.

Hiking up the Sibebe

Sibebe is the largest granite rock in the country and a favorite hiking destination in Eswatini. Although the hike up the rock is roughly about an hour of half an hour depending on the pace that you are using, it is still fun especially when you get to the top of the rock and have a great view of the city below.

The Ngwempisi wilderness hike trail

Ngwempisi wilderness is a definite hike destination in Eswatini with a trail that is almost 20 kilometers long. The hike trail runs through the Ngwempisi River to the Nfungulu hills past a gorge before taking you back to the kopho lodge which is in the area. The trail is considered to be a hard one and therefore you should be extremely ready for it but the rewards from the River and the surrounding vegetation as you hike will make up for it. Just to remember to carry lots of water before you begin your hike.

Hiking in the Shewula Nature Reserve

The Shewula nature reserve is another hiking destination that you should get to while in Eswatini. The hike routes that are found in the nature reserve are better explored when you have a tour guide otherwise you might get lost within. Grab a bag and head out to Shewula to get the hiking experience on the many hike trails in the country.

Hiking in the Gap

The Gap also known as the Nkomati is located in the Hhohho region is another hiking destination in Eswatini. It has different hike routes that are scattered all over ranging from the easy ones to the more difficult hike routes. The main attraction in the Gap is the Nkomati River from where it gets its name. The river flows wide and can be seen however it reaches a point and vanishes and the only time you get to see it again is when it flows into the channel below and that is why it is called the Gap. Some of the hike routes that are worth trying out in the Gap include:

The Lower Mahulungwane falls trail

The lower Mahulungwane falls trail is also found in the … and starts from the Nkomati view point before taking you around the rocky hike route around the Mahulungwane falls. The hike route is 9 kilometers long and it can take about 5 to 8 hours depending on the pace that you use during the hiking expedition.

The Nkomati River Trail

The Nkomati River trail starts from the granite rocks before it takes you on a steep slope to the camp, then it continues to the Mahulungwane falls trail where you can join other hikers who had taken a different route before you continue to the highest point known as the Nkomati view point where you will have a chance to see perfectly all the surrounding areas. The hike route is an 8 hours trail with 8 kilometers to it.

The upper Mahulungwane falls trail

The upper Mahulungwane falls trail is a five hours hike trail which is 7 kilometers long. It is surrounded with grasslands and the animals that you will be able to see while hiking include warthogs and the black backed jackal among others. 

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