The Best of Swaziland — Hiking Highlights in the Beautiful kingdom…
Swaziland is a little known African country that deserves a closer look. From tall mountains to deep bush — this little country has it all. On this tour we explore the large variety of reserves the country has to offer. We trek in the lowland and explore the wilderness that the wild animals of Africa call home – following in their footsteps we hope to catch glimpses of some of the iconic creatures of Africa. From the lowland we head up to the mountains, where we are met with a spectacle of views en masse.
Swaziland’s vibrant and traditional culture is also worth a closer look. We visit urban and rural villages alike accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide.
Click on each day of the itinerary below to read much more!
Discover the little-known kingdom of Swaziland, where traditional culture is still vibrant and visible
Enjoy a fabulous mix of nature, culture and history in Swaziland
Hike in tall misty mountains, on top of rock plateaus, over great plains, and in the wilderness
Take a walk on the wild side in Mkhaya Game Reserv
Sleep among the wildlife at night and discover the vast wilderness during the day.
Visit remote a remote community on the border to Mozambique
This is one of the most comprehensive tours of Swaziland — Visit the kingdom on FOOT
Duration: 9 days (8 nights)
Cost: € 2530,- (per person sharing)
Accommodation: Lodges, Exclusive Cave, Exclusive Wilderness Camp
Meals: All inclusive
Activities: All included
Not included: Flights, insurance, single supplement, pocket money
Visit 8 different nature reserves and natural areas in Swaziland.
We take you on hikes in the highveld, lowveld, and in between.
Discover little known areas, as we visit remote communities and hike through the wilderness.
Get up close and personal with big game, such as elephants and rhinos.
Cultural experiences in Lobamba village and Shewula community.
Sleep in a cave with views stretching far over the Valley of Heaven.
Nov 18 | Dec 9 | Dec 24
Arrive at Johannesburg’s international OR Tambo airport (JHB)
Your guide will meet you at the airport no later than 10 AM. Hereafter you drive to Swaziland, where we will enjoy lunch on the way. After lunch we drive a beautiful trip north to a hidden nature reserve in the mountains, where we will spend the first night.
Hike: None — We will rest our legs and be ready to start the hikes tomorrow
Meals: Lunch and dinner
Accommodation: The beautiful Phophonyane Eco-Lodge. The lodge has stunning views over the highveld of Swaziland and you are free to explore the beautiful property in the afternoon.
Today we venture into the mountainous highveld nature reserve of Malolotja. This nature reserve is known for its rolling hills and rugged mountains on the border with South Africa. We drive deep into the park and start the day with some adrenalin-fuelling fun; Zip-lining over a deep gorge.
After the zip-line we hike to a couple of viewpoints — one overlooking waterfalls, and one overlooking the park itself. The hike follows small paths through the reserve, and we might be lucky to spot some of the rare game in the area; the white-tailed gnu and the huge eland among others.
After a well-deserved lunch we leave Malolotja and continue past the great Maguga Dam — the main water reservoir for the highveld. Past Maguga Dam, hidden on a mountain slope, we make our way to see the ancient rock art painted by the bushmen, who inhabited the area thousands of years ago. The intricate figures on the rocks tell stories of an era long gone by.
The last leg of today’s journey goes through gravel roads in the rural Swazi highveld, before we arrive at our lodge in Pine Valley.
Hike: Approx. 6-8 km in steep terrain.
Accommodation: Silverstone Falls Lodge. Here you will be spoilt with luxury and a fabulous view over the waterfall below the lodge.
Swaziland’s largest coherent rock is called Sibebe Rock. Some argue that is the second largest freestanding rock in the world. Sibebe is said to contain mystical powers, and whoever lives near it or on it will go crazy. However, we will defy the rumours and venture onto this impressive rock. The plateau on the top offers leisurely walks and great views over Pine Valley and towards the peaks of the East.
Along the paths we hike past boulders the size of houses, caves, and streams of fresh water, while cows, wild horses, and other livestock roam along side us. Towards the end of the hike we walk through one of the many communities found in remote parts of Swaziland. After the community there is only one last little climb, before we will be rewarded with lunch in a beautiful setting.
After lunch we drive through the capital city of Swaziland, Mbabane, before heading down into the Ezulwini Valley on the other side. Here we find our very special accommodation for the night.
Hike: Approx. 14 km in mixed terrain (there are a few very steep parts, but most of the hike is easy going)
Accommodation: Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge — A wonderful historical building set in the midst of the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
During the day we climb the Rock of Execution — a distinct peak in the area with a gruesome history.
Hike: Approx. 12 km in hills (partly challenging).
Accommodation: Cave in Mlilwane overlooking the Ezulwini Valley. A blazing fire and comfortable bedding will ensure you a great nights sleep out
After the village tour we take off towards the lowveld of Swaziland. We drive through the second largest city in Swaziland, Manzini. Here we stop to check out the local market place, where anything from traditional medicine, to fabrics, to vegetables, and tractor tyres are sold.
We arrive at Mkhaya Game Reserve in the afternoon and join one of their games drives to look for elephants, buffalos or even the rhinos.
Hike: Approx. 5 km in flat terrain.
Accommodation: Stone Camp at Mkhaya Game Reserve.
We spend the day at Mkhaya Game Reserve, where we will walk through the park to a secret spot, where we will spend the night under the stars. Mkhaya hosts many interesting species of animals (elephants, rhinos, antelopes, and many more), and we hope to find some of them on foot today. When there are no animals to spot the guides point out birds, spoor (tracks from the animals), as well as interesting trees and plants.
Dinner is cooked on the fire, and along with drinks and a long days’ many impressions, we relax in the bush camp.
Hike: Approx. 10 km in flat terrain.
Accommodation: Bushcamp at Mkhaya Game Reserve. (No electricity)
After a hearty breakfast we head to a stunning and little known lowveld nature reserve called Mlawula. Here trails criss-cross the reserve and showcase some of the bestkept secrets of this beautiful place. We hike through the reserve and take many breaks to enjoy the views and the nature around us. We finish the hike at a cave overlooking the central Siphiso Valley. We enjoy a picnic lunch before we are picked up by a game drive vehicle that will take us to a lodge overlooking the lowveld, where we will enjoy drinks and dinner, before taking a night-drive back through the reserve to our comfortable tented camp.
Hike: Approx. 12 km in mixed terrain (some parts are a bit steep)
Accommodation: Luxury tented camp with a view over the river and the lowveld.
After a leisurely breakfast we head up into the Lubombo mountains for the morning. The Lubombo mountains form the boundary with Mozambique, and on a clear day you are able to see the capital Maputo, as well as the sea from the top. On top of the Lubombos we find the charming rural community of Shewula. A local guide will take us on a tour of the community. Often we are invited into homesteads, where the local women brew beer, which we get to taste. Sometimes we meet the old medicine woman, a loo knowns as Sangomas, who uses herbs, potions, and powers to cure any kinds of ailments. Sometimes we meet the old warrior, who enjoys showing us all his traditional regalia. Other times we meet the schoolkids playing or the women fetching water from the common well. There is never a dull moment at Shewula. As we return to our starting point the ladies of Shewula Camp has prepared a lovely local lunch for us.
After visiting Shewula we drive to Hlane Royal National Park, where we will go on a game drive to try to spot elephants, rhinos, and much more, before having dinner by the central waterhole. Look out for elephants and rhinos or listen to the roaring lions, before heading to bed.
Hike: Approx. 5 km in flat terrain.
Accommodation: Huts at Hlane Royal National Park (No electricity).
We arrive in Johannesburg in the afternoon and you will be dropped off at the OR Tambo International Airport. With pockets filled to the brim with great memories, we say our goodbyes and thank you for travelling with Dust and Boots.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: None, the tour ends at OR Tambo airport this afternoon.
NB — There’s an international airport close to Hlane, and should you wish to fly to Johannesburg instead of driving this is also an option (at your own expense). The airport is called King Mswati III’s airport (or Sikhupe), and has daily flights between Swaziland and Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo Airport.
9 days Hiking Adventure in Swaziland
(All prices are per person sharing)
- All meals
- All accommodation, as described or of similar standard
- All activities, as described
- Personal and knowledgeable guide (Native Danish and English speaker)
- Transport between destinations in comfortable van
- Some alcoholic drinks
- Hiking equipment
- Single Supplement (€ 292,-)
- Pocket money
Departure Dates 2017
Nov 18 | Dec 9 | Dec 24
OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa
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