Experiencing the Natural Wonders of Swaziland
A small landlocked monarchy in Southern Africa, Swaziland is a country that is full of natural and beautiful wonders crafted and designed by nature itself. The climate is generally warm year-round, but between October and March, it is rainy season. Also called Ngwane or Swatini, the Kingdom of Swaziland is tucked in-between South Africa and Mozambique. The country gained its independence in 1968 and has quite a number of notable annual celebrations such as the Swaziland Festival of the Arts, Harvest Festival, Festival of the First Fruits, and the Festival of the Reed Dance which celebrates traditional Swazi culture. Just in case you ever want to visit Swaziland, here are quite some wonderful natural wonders that you’d want to check out.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Swaziland’s first conservation area, Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary originally belonged to the Reilly family who witnessed the gradual reduction of its wildlife. Although it only consisted of 450 hectares, the Reilly family created wetlands, planted trees, and added several animals. The conservation area was then donated to Milwane and the developments continued. Currently, ten times the size of the original with a large number of wildlife and other living species, different trails for biking, horse riding, biking, off-road adventures and camping are available for tourists and guests.
Sibebe Hiking Trails
Sibebe Hiking Trails passes through a private agricultural area about four kilometres away from Sibebe Rock. Passing through old rural villages, streams, caves and waterfalls, Sibebe Hiking Trails has a main entrance near Mbabane. At Mbabane, guests and tourists are asked to pay an entrance fee. However, vehicles can be left at the entrance and maps gotten for the Trails. Highly accessible and breathtaking, Sibebe Hiking Trails is duly appreciated by mountaineers and hikers.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is home to a large wildlife, trees and plants including spiders, monkeys, zebras, red bush-willow, magic guarri, storks, martial eagles, herons, antelopes, lions, fever trees, water lilies, and palm trees among others. Kruger National Park makes for a genuine safari experience as the area is rich with wildlife. Perfect for families, couples, backpackers, and tourists, Kruger National Park is the ultimate place for bird watching, taking pictures, trekking, and viewing sunrises and sunsets.
Mkhaya Game Reserve
Founded in 1979 to save the Nguni cattle from extinction. Mkhaya Game Reserve is located in the central part of Swaziland. Covered in acacia and broadleaf, the Turaco, Kingfisher, Trogon, and Bush-shrikes are some bird species that can be found in the reserve. Safari walks give tourists a closer view of the wildlife such as antelopes, black and white rhinoceros, elephants, hippos, as well as buffaloes. The best times to visit Mkhaya Game Reserve is between the summer time months of September to April.
Malolotja Nature Reserve
Malolotja Nature Reserve, which means “river with many waterfalls and rapids”, covers an area of 18,000 hectares with forests, mountains and deserts. Diverse flora and fauna with different birds, reptile, and plants species, the Falls are known for Ngwenya, the world’s oldest mine. Also known for possessing the world’s oldest rock compositions, Malolotja Nature Reserve is composed of Malolotja Falls at 90 meters and the Ngwenya Mountain at 1,829 meters. The Nature Reserve also has hiking trails, a bird sanctuary, as well as mine exhibits which can be seen at the museum.
Hlane Royal National Park
Hlane Royal National Park is a protected area of 22,000 hectares in northeastern Swaziland. ‘Hlane’ means ‘wilderness’ in Swati and has two rest camps – Ndlovu and Bhubesi. Traversed by the Umbuluzana River, the park is filled with rivers and trails that offer views of wildlife such as leopards, giraffes, lions, white rhinos, hippos, white-backed vultures, marabou storks and raptors which nest in the ancient hardwood trees. Tourists can take advantage of the wide range of activities offered at the camps such as open land rover game drives, lion or rhino tours, bird watching walks, among many others. Hlane is a perfect African example of nature.
Swaziland is one of many showcases of the gloriousness and magnificence of Africa. So, it is not too late or even too early to celebrate that which is Africa’s.
July 12, 2018