The Kingdom of Swaziland, although smaller than Wales, is not short on wildlife or picturesque scenery. This landlocked country is tiny in comparison to neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique, but still has many game reserves and national parks that are home to over 100 mammal species and over 500 different birds.
The terrain in Swaziland ranges from mountain peaks to rushing rivers and verdant rainforests to open savannah. Most people live in the Ezulwini Valley, which means that much of the rest of the country remains largely untouched and has allowed the wildlife to thrive.
Walking safaris with expert game trackers are popular and it’s possible to view the Big Five, including both black and white rhinos, as well as many other species.
Mantenga Nature Reserve is home to Swaziland’s best known waterfall, Mantenga Falls. In this small protected area you can spot vervet monkeys, baboons, porcupines, bush babies, kudu, duiker and the endangered bald ibis.
The most visited game reserve in the country is Mkhaya Game Reserve, where the highlights include buffalo and black rhino. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is the oldest game park in Swaziland, dating back to 1964. In Mlilwane you’ll find blue wildebeests, hippos, Nile Crocodiles, aardvarks, honey badgers, wild cats and more.
For such a tiny country the amount of wildlife and game watching possibilities are surprisingly abundant. It’s an ideal place to escape mass tourism and enjoy safaris on foot.