Year Visited: 2018 – Mar
I visited eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) as a part of 21 days South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) overland tour. In the morning we started our journey from Kruger Nation Park, our truck offered an excellent platform for game viewing as we made our way south. We exited the southern end of the park and travel towards Jeppe’s Reef / Matsamo border,
eSwatini, one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Our tight schedule didn’t allow us to spend any time in local villages and experience local culture. For that, I would like to revisit this country during the nation’s most important events; Umhlanga, the reed dance festival, and Incwala, the kingship dance festival.
Once in eSwatini, we stopped at Matsamo Cultural Village, one of the touristic shopping center, for a while and drove straight to our destination Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is eSwatini’s oldest protected area and the most visited reserve. It is located in the picturesque Ezulwini Valley, known as the ‘Valley of Heaven’. Its grassy southern plains are home to animals such as antelopes and zebras. A self-guided exploration within the sanctuary is possible due to absence of any dangerous game.
Photos below are from the eSwatini (Swaziland):
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is most wonderful place, human and animals living in harmony. The sanctuary offers a stay in iQhugwane, a traditional Swazi Beehive hut. Deers hangout around the huts all the time.
A self-guided exploration within the sanctuary is possible due to absence of any dangerous game. Many times native birds or animals will guide you and show you their homeland.
Few photos of the animals in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nyala antelope, they had been extinct in eSwatini since the 1950s, now reintroduced to few Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Many Zebra roaming around Mlilwane, few pregnant female Zebras too.
The blue wildebeests, they are always alert, watching your every move.
Beautiful lake has few resident crocodiles.
After two nights in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, we said good-bye to eSwatini, and re-enter South Africa, continuing south towards St Lucia, into the reaches of Zululand, once the realm of the mighty King Shaka who united the Zulu clans.