Kingdom of Swaziland
17,200 sq km
Swazi, Zulu, Shangaan-Tsonga and European
King Mswati III
Black and white rhino, elephant, and more recently, lion, have been reintroduced
into the collection of national parks and game reserves.
You can trek, horse ride, raft on wild rivers or cycle through many of the parks and get surprisingly close to a huge variety of wildlife.
Some of the more important festivals turn the Ezulwini ('Heaven') Valley into a brilliant spectacle of dancing and singing a couple of times a year, as tribes people decked out in flamboyant costumes reaffirm their belief in the monarchy and their culture
Swaziland is a little, landlocked kingdom, bounded on all sides by South Africa except for roughly 100 km of border with Mozambique in the east. Roughly rectangular, Swaziland is a little bigger than Connecticut but not as large as the diminutive nation states of Israel or El Salvador.
The country supports a surprisingly wide range of ecological zones, from savannah scrub in the east to rainforest in the north-west, with patches of fynbos, the 'fine bush' so renowned in South Africa.
If time is on your side, the best way to see Swaziland is by trekking, and
several of the national parks offer excellent trails that are often generations
Horse riding is another way to explore inaccessible parts of the country, and at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, not far from Mbabane, you can watch wildlife from the back of a horse. White-water rafting, mountain bike riding and abseiling are growing in the popularity stakes.