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Exploring Tourism in Swaziland
Swaziland
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Swaziland Popular Places to Visit

Mbabane

Mbabane (pronounced Um-ba-ba-neh) is Swaziland’s capital city and has a magnificent setting, ringed by the craggy backdrop of the Dlangeni Hills. With an average height of 1243m, it sits firmly in the highveld, its temperate climate offering some relief during the hot season. 

Today this area forms the heart of town, and houses banks, shops, internet cafés, tourist information and most modern visitor amenities. Hotels and guesthouses are located mostly in the surrounding residential suburbs and hills, while an abundance of places to eat ranges from restaurants serving international cuisine to coffee shops and fast-food joints. 

Mbabane, Swaziland

Piggs Peak

Piggs Peak is a popular resort located in the Hhohho Province of Swaziland, founded around gold prospecting in 1884. Situated near magnificent mountains and raging gorges, this area is considered to be the most scenic of the highveld attractions. Located nearby in some of the nature reserves are scenes containing the following – low shrubland, dense bush, majestic mountains and raging waterfalls.

The activities and attractions in and around Piggs Peak are endless! There is something to do for every member of the family.

Eswatini, Swaziland

Royal Swazi Spa

Set in the natural tranquility of the Ezulwini Valley, the Royal Swazi Spa Valley resort beckons guests from all corners of the world. The resort is made up of the elegant Royal Swazi Spa hotel and Lugogo Sun. The two hotels are a minute's drive apart when travelling by courtesy bus, which makes it the ideal venue for a host of special events, including large conferences, banquets and international golf championships.

Ezulwini Valley,, Swaziland

Ngwenya Glass

Ngwenya Glass is regarded as Africa’s most prestigious glass factory. Ngwenya pieces can be found in art galleries and airport shops around the world, and while in Swaziland you could score some of their signature works at wholesale prices. The factory uses age-old glass blowing techniques that have been passed onto local Swazi craftsmen since the opening in August 1987. Pieces range from decorative animals bowls, to everyday items such as wine glasses and wine stoppers, to unique chess sets and corporate gifts.

Visitors can also watch the glass blowing process safely from a viewing platform above the workshop. International shipping is available. 

Eswatini, Swaziland

Great Usutu River

There is no shortage of thrilling activities in Swaziland, and for adventure lovers there’s no greater rush than an exhilarating white water rafting trip down Swaziland’s Great Usutu River. This excursion is the only one of its kind in the country, and is  available only through one tour operator, Swazi Trails. Half and full-day packages are available. Trained river guides accompany you the entire time. No prior experience is needed.

Eswatini, Swaziland

Shewula Nature Reserve

Shewula Nature Reserve covers 2650ha of land put aside by the local community for conservation. It is part of the Lubombo Conservancy and is home to the very popular Shewula Mountain Camp, which enjoys a spectacular location on top of the Lubombo Mountains. On a clear day you can see down to the Indian Ocean to the east and across Eswatini (Swaziland) to the mountains of Malolotja to the west. 

Activities include guided nature walks down to the Mbuluzi Gorge, through beautiful scenery in search of crocodiles, birds and other wildlife, and mountain bike (or donkey cart!) rides around the plateau. The highlight is probably the village walk, taking you round the community; a chance to meet local people, visit a school and share some stories over a local beer, even visit the local sangoma (traditional healer). These walks do not feel contrived; the village simply gets on with life while you join in with as much or as little as you like.

The sunsets are spectacular, and after dark you can enjoy the communal Swazi meals and watch the sibhaca dance displays.

Eswatini, Swaziland

Ezulwini Valley

Ezulwini Valley is a valley of northwest Eswatini. Also known as "The Valley of Heaven", the valley lasts for about 30 kilometres, and is bounded to the east by the Mdzimba hills. In the Ezulwini Valley between breath-taking mountains and rolling plains, the Royal Swazi Sun Casino is your first stop to discover the history, tradition, culture and friendliness of the Swazi people, while enjoying excellent dining and entertainment options.

Ezulwini Valley,, Swaziland

Veki’s Village

Veki’s Village is a self-catering establishment in Mbabane, Swaziland, with beautiful sunsets, surrounded by nature, indigenous plants, wildlife, and amazing birds. It is located off Mountain Drive, 4 km from the centre of town, on 4.78 hectares of land.

Mbabane, Swaziland

Mantenga Reserve

In the picturesque Ezulwini Valley, Mantenga Nature Reserve offers a fun taste of Swazi nature and culture. This compact 725-hectare reserve is home to the Mantenga Cultural Village, a recreation of Swazi life in the 1850s. Here, visitors can take guided tours to learn about Swazi culture and customs, participate in activities such as plaiting mountain grass and grinding grains, and watch impressive performances of traditional song and dance.

A highlight of the reserve is the stunning Mantenga Falls, Swaziland's most famous falls with the biggest volume of water. The reserve also protects wildlife such as baboons, vervet monkeys, bush babies, porcupines, rock hyraxes, servals, leopards, and various species of antelope, as well as an abundance of birds. Visitors can explore the reserve on foot, in their own vehicles, or on mountain bike. 

Ezulwini Valley,, Swaziland

Manzini, The Capital City

The region’s capital city, also called Manzini and known as The Hub of Swaziland, was previously named Bremersdorp after the entrepreneur Albert Bremer, who arrived there in the 1880s during the concessions period. Because he operated his farm and trading store near the river, the Swazis, with typical humour, dubbed his place kaManzini (at the water).

Bremersdorp was the country’s capital under the Transvaal administration, which was superseded by British rule in 1903 at the end of the Boer War, when capital was moved to Mbabane. The reason given is the preferred cooler climate – and probably the fact that Bremersdorp had, in any case, been looted and burned to the ground! The name Manzini was officially adopted during the 1960s. Coupled with the nearby industrial area of Matsapha, this city comprises the country’s largest urban population. Modern day Manzini serves as a dormitory for Mataspha and is characterized by both formal and informal trade. This bustling cosmopolitan centre is described by historian and writer James hall as:

“….a city, but with a languorous small town feel. A brisk walk from one end of downtown to the other, from the traffic circle opposite the golf course to the bridges spanning the river, takes all of fifteen minutes. The walk is interrupted by only four traffic lights. The city’s first traffic light at Ngwane and Sandlane Streets was not even there until 1983. Sidewalk vendors, whose proliferation was a phenomenon of the 1990s, sell fruits and vegetables. Boys blare announcements of sales through loud speaks before chain stores. People congregate in pair or small groups, passing the time of day in a city that appears to be in no hurry to get to where it is going. At the library silence is observed among serious students in school uniforms filling tables before long, brown-tinted windows whose 360-degress second story view shows that the principal feature of Manzini is still its tress. Each season brings a new blossoming of colour-coordinated flowers along the paths of Jubilee Park and the knoll of grass beside City Council Chambers. Prominent marriages and funerals are held in the cathedral where the red flowers of coral trees in December contrast with the lavender profusion of the street’ jacarandas in October.

70, 000 residents now call Manzini home, a number greater than the entire population of Swaziland a hundred years before. Despite some ungainly development and a host of new social challenges the city captures the essence of Swazi life in its casual pace and informal, friendly attitude. And in this way the years of change have not altered (it) at all: it is still a place, as it was in the beginning, where everybody knows your name”

Manzini is home to the Mavuso trade Centre, where the annual International Trade Fair and other major promotional events and exhibitions take place. Adjacent to this are a sports arena and football stadium. The city provides excellent shopping in three large malls, the newest of which, Riverstone, opened in 2011. There is a wide choice of hotels and restaurants, including The George Hotel near the city centre, which offers excellent facilities, for both business and pleasure. Global village is a luxurious guest house set in the tranquil suburb of Madonsa near the Manzini golf course.

Manzini, Swaziland