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Destination Details

Manzini, Swaziland

In northwest Swaziland, the 18,000-hectare Malolotja Nature Reserve is the largest protected area in the country. The name means "river with many rapids and waterfalls" for the reserve is sliced by the Malolotja River, which forms a series of waterfalls, including the country's highest cascades, the Malolotja Falls. Habitats range from wetlands and grasslands to thick riverine forest, and wildflowers brighten the beautiful landscapes in spring and summer. One of the best features of the reserve for visitors is its network of hiking trails and many backpacker camps allowing multi-day wilderness treks. The fauna is particularly notable for the abundance of reptiles and birds, including breeding groups of endangered species such as blue crane and bald ibis. Resident mammals include rock hydrates, eland, and zebra, among others. A fun way to experience the reserve is by soaring through the forest on the Treetop Canopy Tour zip line.

About a 40-minute drive northeast from here, Phophonyane Falls Eco Lodge and Nature Reserve claims the motto: "Peace, Privacy, and Paradise." The reserve protects an astounding diversity of habitats in a relatively small area with lush forests, rivers, waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails. A visit here offers a tranquil escape into the beautiful Swazi countryside. Guests can choose from safari tents, beehive huts, or self-catering cottages.

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