Post-Indaba Tour Operator Educational, hosted by Eswatini Tourism Authority
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, and offers a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities. As one of the few remaining monarchies in Africa, culture and heritage are deeply engrained in all aspects of Swazi life, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit.
See stunning landscapes, mountains and valleys, forests and plains, plus wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five.
Visit the Ezulwini Valley in the central region, which is the country’s Royal heartland and tourism hub. From here you have easy access to wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves.
The northwest region offers outstanding natural beauty, where guests have a choice of exploring nature reserves, see ancient rock art, and flying through the trees on an exhilarating zip-wire canopy tour. The Lowveld region in the south east is home to Eswatini’s primary game reserve, where rhino experiences rival any in Africa.
Enjoy magnificent highveld scenery of rolling hills and grasslands with rivers that have created impressive valleys and gorges. Great hiking on offer through little-visited wilderness. Home to the country’s first church and first ceremonial capital.
Read more about what this wonderful country has to offer: www.thekingdomofeswatini.com
Black Rhino Moved from South Africa to Eswatini! July 2019
Following 11 months of preparation and planning, 16 critically endangered Black rhinos were successfully captured, translocated, dehorned and released into the Kingdom of Eswatini. An entire founder breeding group of Black rhinos was acquired during 2018 by Big Game Parks, the National Wildlife Authority for the Kingdom of Eswatini. This demographically complete group consisted of adult breeding bulls and cows, sub adults and small calves. Read further…http://www.thekingdomofeswatini.com/news-blogs/black-rhino-moved-from-sa-to-eswatini/
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Day 1: We entered Eswatini through the Lavumisa Border Post, a well-run office with smooth entry. We stayed at the Happy Valley Casino
Day 2: With an early start, we headed off to the Hlane Royal National Park, home to Swaziland’s largest herds of game. The park conserves vast natural resources and holds deep royal and cultural significance. Guided game drives, game walks and self-drive options with affordable accommodation, makes this park well worth a visit. We enjoyed lunch at Ndlovu Camp, overlooking the waterhole within the National Park.
We visited Mkhaya Game Reserve, situated in the central Swaziland lowveld. It offers accommodation in a marvelous bush camp lodge, tucked away in a rich riverine forest alive with birds and wildlife. Species like black rhino, white rhino, elephant, buffalo, hippo, tsessebe and sable antelope can be seen here on an open land rover game drive.
Private vehicles are unable to reach the lodge, but safe parking is provided either at the main road turn-off or within the reserve at the main ranger base station. A land rover shuttle is provided to the lodge which is approximately 30min away deep in the bush.
All twelve units are laid out individually linked by river sand pathways and lit at night by paraffin lanterns as the camp has no electricity.
Each unit is totally private due to the thick vegetation, though some units are close enough together for use as an extended family unit.
The entire cottage is open to the external bush, which gives visitors a totally unique, true bush experience. Wow what an experience to almost sleep under the stars!
Day 3: We visited Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary that offers an array of activities and adventures in the picturesque Ezulwini Valley (Valley of Heaven). Activities such as walking trails, horse riding, mountain biking and much more, depart from the Reception, with detailed maps on sale. We enjoyed a superb lunch at The Hippo Haunt Restaurant.
The Rest Camp offers a range of affordable accommodation with self-catering and catered options available. Here you can experience a night or two in a traditional Beehive hut.
The afternoon was spent at the Mantenga Swazi Cultural Village, a living museum of old traditions and represents a classic Swazi lifestyle during the 1850’s. A typical visit includes a 30-minute guided tour and a 45-minute dramatic dancing display. This is truly a must do!
We checked in at the Summerfield Luxury Botanical Gardens Resort Hotel, which you must experience to believe it. An exclusive, award-winning luxury boutique hotel located in the picturesque and tranquil area of Matsapha. It is close to the main tourism attractions, shopping and business centres, making this undoubtedly the finest accommodation option in the country.
Day 4: Our day started with an exhilarating Tree Top Canopy Tour, highly recommended! In the Malolotja Nature Reserve, one of the very best highland reserves in southern Africa. Its 18,000ha wilderness of high rolling hills and deep forested river gorges offering a genuine wilderness in which hikers can lose themselves for days.
The rocks beneath Malolotja are among the oldest in the world – some, known as the Swaziland Supergroup, having been laid down as ocean sediment over 3.5 billion years ago, before metamorphosing under heat and pressure into the shales and quartzites we see today. The reserve entrance is just a 30-minute drive from Mbabane.
The afternoon followed by a boat ride on the Maguga Dam with lunch at the lodge. Boating and fishing are both available on the dam, with fully equipped houseboats for hire. You might even glimpse one of the hippos that sometimes make their way here along the Nkomati.
Our next stop was Phophonyane Falls and Eco Lodge, this is a surreal lodge located in the Swazi highlands and overlooking a dramatic valley. Within this exquisite and peaceful ambience are waterfalls, small animals and unique birdlife. A true gem, not to be overlooked!
We overnight at Piggs Peak Hotel & Casino.
Day 5: The morning was dedicated to a speed networking session where we met with industry who presented their products. This was a wonderful experience through which we learnt a lot more about what Eswatini offers visitors.
We enjoyed the afternoon at the Malandelas in the Malkerns Valley, a mandatory stop for every souvenir hunter. Here you can see how the famous Swazi candles are made, shop for woven baskets, batik and loads more local arts & crafts.
We overnight at Foresters Arms Hotel in Mhlambanyatsi. This charming property is located to the west of Eswatini, in the middle of one of the largest man-made forests in the world, close to Mbabane. Dating from colonial times, this country hotel is a traditional haven of comfort and a place of great character and charm and offers exceptional accommodation, excellent food (6 course dinners!) and a genuine caring, friendly service.
Day 6: We started the day with a visit to the famous Ngwenya Glass factory to witness first-hand, the magical and ancient art of glass blowing from an overhead balcony-each piece handmade from 100% recycled glass, another premier tourist attraction in Eswatini. We exited Eswatini with ease at the Oshoek border post, en-route from one of the best Swaziland tours back to Johannesburg.