Eswatini is a small monarchy country that is located in the southern part of the African continent and despite its small nature it is a home to some of Africa’s most wanted animal species and that includes the big five. Wildlife safaris in Eswatini can be done in places like the Hlane Roya National Park is the largest in the country and this is the only place where you will find lions in the country, the Mlilwane game reserve, the Mkhaya game reserve which is a home to the almost extinct black rhino and many more other reserves.
All this makes Eswatini the perfect place for all those that love game drives and birding. Some of the animals that you should look out for during your wildlife safari in Eswatini include leopards, lions, duikers, roan antelopes, zebras, black and white rhinos, wildebeests, elephants, hyenas, warthogs, giraffes, sable antelopes and the eland among others.
It is also a home to over 520 bird species which can be viewed in the different National Parks and game reserves and some of the bird species that you should look out for include Chorister robin chat, the Brown scrub robin, the Buff streaked chat, the Rudd’s Apalis, the pink throated twinspot and the martial eagle among others.
The wildlife of Eswatini is spread in the different game parks and game reserves and below is a list of the top most destinations that tourists should go to for a wildlife safari in Eswatini.
The Hlane Royal National Park is the largest in the whole country and one of the best destinations for all those that want to go for a wild life safari in Swaziland. It is a home to one of the largest herds of African Rhinos in Swaziland as well as other wild animals that will capture your attention once you get there. Some of the animals that you get to see while in the Hlane royal National park include lions which are kept in a different compartment from the rest, duikers, bush bucks, elephants, the blue wildebeest, warthogs, zebras, kudus, hippos, white rhinos and many more other animals.
The Mlawula Nature reserve is one of the many places where you can go and enjoy a wildlife safari while in Eswatini. Located next to the famous Hlane royal National Park, it has animal species that you can get to see when you get there although they are not as many as those found in the neighboring park. Poaching has been a problem here and it has led to the reduction in wild life and although the government is doing all it can to stop the poaching, it is still happening although at a smaller rate.
The wild life that you should expect to see in the Mlawula nature reserve include Impalas, wildebeests, the kudus, zebras, spotted hyenas although these are rare and the hippos among others. It is also a home to over
The best time for tourists to visit the Mlawula Nature reserve for a game drive is between the months of June to September which is the dry season. This period will enable you to clearly see the animals due to the scarcity of vegetation and water which sees most of them heading to the water holes and the best time to go for bird watching is from November to April during the wet summer months.
The Mkhaya game reserve which is found in the south eastern part of Eswatini is best known for the large number of black rhinos that it harbors. The Mkhaya game reserve can be visited all throughout the year although the best time for one to visit is during the dry season which starts in June till September. The animals in the Mkhaya reserve are kept in enclosures which makes spotting them much easier and during the dry season you will find most of these scattered around the waterholes due to scarcity of water.
The reserve has a total number of over 140 bird species and these are best seen from November to April and it is famously known for being a home to the almost extinct black rhino. Other animals besides the black rhino that you should look out for while on a safari here include the different species of antelopes that is the Tsessebe antelope, the sable antelope, the eland antelope and the roan antelope, giraffes, elephants, hippos and zebras and many more others.
The Mbuluzi Game drive is located near the Mlawula game reserve and it is privately owned. Previously there was a lot of poaching which had led to the reduction of the animals found in the reserve but at the moment it has been contained and the number of animals in the game reserve are on the rise. Most of the wild safaris carried out here can be done on a self-drive and this is because the game drive does not have predatory animals making it a perfect place for tourists to either drive themselves or walk through the Park.
The Mbuluzi Game reserve is surrounded by the Mbuluzi River and the Lubombo Mountain which create a beautiful scenery around the reserve. Some of the animals that you will see on your wildlife safari in Mbuluzi include hippos which are rarely seen, giraffes, warthogs, hyenas and leopards but these are seen during the night drives, crocodiles, zebras, duikers and many more other animals.
Although small in nature, this is one of the most visited wildlife destinations in Eswatini. It can easily be reached from the Ezulwini valley and some of the animals that you should look out for while here include the impalas, the Zebras, kudus, hippos, warthogs, Nyala, the blue wildebeest, bushbucks, porcupines and many more other species. The wildlife sanctuary is not a home to any of the big five due to its small nature but you will not be disappointed with whatever you will find in the sanctuary.
Although the Malolotja Nature reserve is not primarily a wildlife safari destination due to the less number of animal species that are found here but it should be on your list of wildlife safari destinations while in Eswatini. The nature reserve is best known for having the best hike routes around and this is also one of the many ways that you can view the animals here some of which include wildebeests, antelopes, zebras, leopards although these are rarely seen and the Klipspringers among others.
The best time to go for a wildlife safari in Eswatini is during the dry season that runs from the months of June to September. During this period, the vegetation is scarce making it easy for you to spot the animals as they keep on gathering around the different waterholes to cool off due to the heat. This however does not rule out the fact that you will be able to see the animals in the remaining months it is just that it will be hard to spot most of them.