The 10 most special must do Swaziland adventures
“Swaziland adventures with its mountains, valleys, rivers and other natural wonders make it the ideal choice for those seeking adrenaline activities. It has built reputation for a variety of thrilling adventure activities that once again belies its small size.” ~ Kingdom of Swaziland
Top 10 Swaziland adventures:
Mantenga Nature Reserve
Situated in the Ezulwini Valley, which directly translated from iSiswati means Valley of Heaven, is a must-see during a visit to the Kingdom of Swaziland. Stay at Mantega Lodge where you can admire the reserve’s exquisite surroundings such as the majestic Mantenga Waterfall. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to partake in some of Swaziland’s key cultural activities. Take a visit to Mantenga Cultural Village where you can learn to dance like a local and explore a traditional Swaziland village.
Canopy Tours, Malalotja Nature Reserve
Malolotaja Nature Reserve is home to Swaziland’s first and only Tree Top Canopy Tour. This is located in the Sihlotswane Gorge, where one 50m suspension bridge and 11 wooden platforms have been ingeniously affixed to the steep sides. Participants descend the gorge by ziplining down on a steel cable from platform to platform high above over the forest canopy and Majolomba River. Some lines are more than 300m long.
White River Rafting, Swazi Trails
Trips are run by Swazi Trails on the Bulungapoort section of the Usutu River, between Sidvokodvo and Siphofaneni, in the centre of Swaziland. This is a remote and inspiring stretch of river. Its brown waters thunder through clefts and gorges, alternating with calmer stretches of bush and grazing land. You can expect fine views of rural Swaziland, with imposing rock formations, riverbank community life and a fair amount of wildlife.
Exquisitely crafted candles come from the Swazi Candle Factory, near Malkerns where craftsmen work their magic with coloured wax. This craft market is not only the location for Swazi Candles but also features a number of other arts and crafts shops like Baobab Batik (where wax is used to make patterns on fabrics used for clothing and other items), Rosecraft (hand-woven mohair items are for sale), Kwazi Swazi (various memorabilia and books are for sale) and Amarasti and Swazi Creations where locally produced bags, baskets and pillowcases are sold.
Sunday Lunch at Foresters Arms
Cosy up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate at Foresters Arms Luxury Country Lodge, situated a short distance from Swaziland’s Capital, Mbabane. Idyllically set, this lodge has all the warmth and charm of a European inspired getaway and is centrally located for all of the Kingdom’s top activities and adventures. Enjoy their infamous Sunday feast with a plethora of locals, South Africans on a day trip and international guest
Hiking/Caving & 4×4 Trails
What better way to explore Swaziland’s many and varied highlands, forests, and reserves than on foot. There are paths and trails in many locations across the country allowing for hikes from a couple of hours to many days in duration, and give access to places and views that are inaccessible by vehicle.
Those who want to get beneath the surface of Swaziland – literally – could try Caving, run by Swazi Trails. It explores a unique cave system formed by the Kophola River that flows underground between Msunduza and Kophola Mountains, just off the Malagwane Hill between Mbabane and theEzulwini Valley.
Whenever a lodge or hotel in Swaziland offers a tour of a more rural area, or reserve, it will be by 4×4 due to the nature of the roads and tracks. For dedicated off-road enthusiasts, there are also several unofficial 4×4 routes around Swaziland that give wonderful opportunities to see the less accessible parts of the country. All off-road driving must follow standard environmental guidelines.
The camp has been in operation since 2000 and is ideal for cultural tourists, families, nature lovers, backpackers and those simply looking for a getaway from the bustle of city life. While at the camp, guests will be enamored with the cultural music and dance, dazzled by the gorgeous sunsets, relaxed by the spectacular nature walks, and challenged by a mountain bike trip around the plateau.
Nsangwini Rock Art and Maguga Dam for lunch
The Nsangwini Rock Shelter is the largest example of San art in the country and is said to provide the most comprehensive display in Swaziland. 4000 years ago, the San people used this Highveld area for spiritual rituals and for recording iconic moments in their lives through etchings on the ancient rocks. The paintings are remarkably clear and informative interpretations are given by members of the Nsangwini community, who manage and maintain the site.
+ Suggested Swaziland Adventure Itinerary
- Day 1
- Arrive into the country through the Ngwenya Border Post. Unwind from the trip by visiting Ngwenya Glass. Watch glass blowers at work. There is also a cluster of handcraft stalls and shops around. Drive to Hawane Resort and check in. Do a site inspection. Refresh, have dinner and spend the night.
- Day 2
- Start the morning off with breakfast and then do horse riding for an hour. Check out and drive to Malolotja Nature Reserve for the Tree Top Canopy Tour and marvel at the amazing scenery. Have lunch at their restaurant and then drive to Piggs peak. Check in at Maguga Lodge. Relax from the long day by doing the Phontoon Ride / Boat ride on the Maguga Dam (Drinks inclusive) and enjoy the view there. Have Dinner and spend the night
- Day 3
- Have breakfast and checkout Go to Nsangwini Rock Art. See bushman paintings dating back to 450 AD. These paintings are unique to this part of Swaziland in all of Africa. Then go to the Gap and be amazed at the view and the potholes! Drive to Mbabane through the Pigg’s Peak-Jubukweni scenic route. Stop over at Sibebe Rock. This is arguably the largest outcrop granite dome in the world. Drive to Ramblas Restaurant where you will have lunch and meet with STA staff and the media. Drive via the Mbabane Market and buy a memento or two. Then drive to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, where you will have dinner and spend the night in the bee-hive huts. This will be quite an experie
- Day 4
- Have Breakfast and do mountain biking at the Sanctuary before checking out. Then drive to the Ezulwini Valley and visit Mantenga Cultural Village where you will experience Swaziland’s rich culture and strong traditions at 11a.m. Have lunch at the Mantenga Cultural Village. Then visit the National Museum and King Sobhuza II Memorial Park where you will learn about the rich history of Swaziland. Drive to Swazi Candles and be amazed as workers mould molten wax into different shapes and sizes. Buy a memento or two. Drive to Summerfield Botanical Gardens, check in and do site inspection. Refresh, have dinner and spend the night.
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Tracy Burrows142 Posts
If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is the more I see, the more there is to see! My name is Tracy Burrows and I am the managing editor of Out There Global, a community driven travel platform for both cost effective and luxury travel ideas around the world. From Jan 2014 - Dec 2016 I managed the LatestSightings.com blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). I was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and contributor at Sawubona. Prior to my career I obtained a tourism marketing degree, and graduated from a 2 year 'Hospitality Management in Development Program' in California. Following this I acquired a journalism diploma and since it's been all about travel and writing! And my nourishment from all those who have impacted me: family; friends; and strangers alike. Thank you for joining our journey!