Rolling hills and pretty landscapes make eSwatini, formerly Swaziland, a hidden little gem in Africa.
1. As indicated above it has two capitals.
2. Blessed with incredible wildlife as well as flora and fauna, Eswatini has 132 species of mammals, 500 of bird and about 3,500 indigenous species of plants. Speaking of which, you should also know that it is one of those rare regions where both black and white rhinos can be found!
3. The only country in the world which is still an absolute monarchy.
4. That too with the longest-reigning monarch! How long you ask? 82 years! Though ironically, he was the youngest monarch to ascend the throne when he was actually crowned.
5. Annual Reed Dance is a cultural event celebrating virginity and chastity.
6. The monarch can have multiple partners. While the present one has 15, selected at the above dance mainly, his predecessor has 125 wives!
7. Africa’s largest population of nesting vultures are found here.
8. It is home to the world’s second biggest rock – Sibebe Rock!
9. It is also home to the oldest mine in the world.
10. Game rangers are permitted under law to not merely catch poachers but also to kill them. Yikes! That is one logic of deterrence, indeed.
1. Never been white water rafting? Or been but can’t get enough (I feel you!). Go rafting in the great Usutu River.
2. This is one of the few countries where you can take a big 5 safari, i.e., a safari that allows you to spot a lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, and buffalo. You could even see zebras! While the spotting is luck-based, you are sure to see some amazing wildlife so head for a safari experience! Mkhaya Game Reserve, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, and Hlane National Park are all highly recommended for this. You could even do some camping here. Break this out into different days and different parks because wildlife is truly the very best that this country has to offer.
3. Visit Malolotja Native Reserve to see mountains that date back to 3.6 billion years ago! You could take some fun hikes here. You can also experience a canopy tour here which basically involves taking a zip line through the forest’s canopy!
4. For a cultural taste head on over to Lobamba with its jute huts, government buildings, museums and much more.
5. The MTN Bush Fest is an annual musical festival held here recognized as one of the best in Africa. If you’re looking to indulge in the local music and culture, for something off beat, then plan a trip to experience this!
How to reach:
First fly down to Maputo with a layover. Then from Maputo drive down to Vuvulane in Eswatini.