eSwatini

Formerly known as Swaziland, eSwatini offers a fascinating cultural & wildlife experience. Buy basketware, colourful fabrics and carvings in friendly markets. Enjoy game-viewing in the scenic Mlilwane or Hlane game reserves or some adventure activities such as white water rafting, rhino tracking on foot or horse-riding.

Overview

The Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, lies almost surrounded by South Africa. If you are taking a tour from the Kruger to KwaZulu Natal, you may well travel through this mountainous country. Enjoy its gentle undulating landscape dotted with Swazi villages. And take in some game viewing at the scenic Mkhaya and Mlilwane game reserves. It also provides a fascinating cultural and wildlife experience.

Though it is a small country, eSwatini has several ecological zones. From rain forest in the northwest to savanna grassland in the dry eastern parts. The western edge of the kingdom is heavily forested with deep gorges, lush valleys, and fast flowing rivers and waterfalls. But from Mbabane, you descend to the grassland plateau containing many tropical fruit farms. Here is where the majority of people live.

The Swazis have a well-developed sense of their own culture. And they are open-minded and friendly in their outlook. They are renowned craftsmen and women. You can buy their basket ware, colourful fabrics, carvings, and Mother of Pearl in friendly markets and roadside stalls.

Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, eSwatini (Swaziland) more than makes up for this with a diverse range of attractions and activities. White-water rafting is on offer for the adventurous. Whilst others can enjoy a laid-back round of golf, mountain biking, game-viewing or a gentle horse ride through the Mlilwane Game Reserve.

We recommend a two night stay in eSwatini. A one night stay is functional but doesn’t give you much time to relax. Plus the driving is fairly slow. (There are many villages to drive through with pedestrians walking by the road.) We recommend one of the lodges in the Ezulwini valley. One of the best is the time-warped Reilly’s Rock Lodge, with its sense of history and tranquil ambience.

staff image

Madelyn Nieuwoudt

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Several ecological zones
  • The country lies almost surrounded by South Africa.
  • Diverse range of attractions on offer.
  • White-water rafting is on offer for the adventurous.
  • Enjoy a mellow round of golf, mountain biking, game-viewing or a gentle horse ride through the Mlilwane Game Reserve.
  • Remarkable diversity of landscapes, climates and ecological zones for a country this size.
  • eSwatini's varied terrain supports abundant birdlife, including the blue crane, ground woodpecker and lappet-faced vulture.
  • Visit the famous glass-blowing factory at Ngwenya Glass, a popular tourist stop near the Ngwenya border post.

Explore the eSwatini map

Start planning your dream trip

Find me the best in for

Need a little help? View our Safari Guide to help you get started

Did you know
  • SizeSmallest country in Africa, at 17,364 km²
  • GovernmentAfrica's last absolute monarchy, one of the few remaining in the world.