eSwatini: Walking, Safari and Culture Grade: Moderate
Discover the beauty and unique atmosphere of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) on this amazing holiday of a lifetime. There are 3 main elements that make this trip to eSwatini so special – the animals, the walking and the people.
eSwatini is one of the few places where walking safaris are encouraged and the close-up nature of this makes for an incredible experience. We will see zebra, hippo, impala and other wildlife in their natural habitat. For the bigger beasts, we will use the more traditional jeep method of transport hoping to spot elephant, rhino, giraffe, lion and more. The area is also host to a huge variety of birds.
Away from the safari, we will walk in the highveld through the most stunning flora and fauna. The walking will include an overnight trek to a camp far away from the usual tourist trails. There are 7 days where the walking is 5+ miles and one day when we will trek through valley and hills for around 11 miles (downhill) after our camping experience.
This holiday allows us the opportunity to meet local people who welcome us in to their places of work and villages. It is a truly important part of our stay to take this chance to see how the people of eSwatini live. It is a welcoming and friendly country and a great place to visit especially if this is your first trip to Africa.
Itinerary (subject to change)
Sat 22 Aug: Overnight flight to Johannesburg
Sun 23 Aug: Arrival and private transfer to eSwatini. Short orientation walk depending on arrival time.
Mon 24 Aug: Walk in the Malolotja Nature Reserve. This protected area has some of the most incredible scenery in Southern Africa – think “Lord of the Rings”!
Tues 25 Aug: Trek through local communities along tracks little used by walkers to arrive at our overnight camp by a picturesque water catchment area.
Wed 26 Aug: Trek down on quiet trails through valleys and hills to reach our huts at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Thurs 27 Aug: Visit a village to find out about life in an eSwatini community. Afternoon walking safari to see many species of wildlife and birds.
Fri 28 Aug: A morning walking safari in a different area of the reserve to see zebra. Free afternoon with optional mountain biking or horse-riding tour. Or simply relax at our base and enjoy watching the wild world go by.
Sat 29 Aug: Drive to Mkhaya Game Reserve. En-route we will visit Gone Rural to find about women’s lives here in eSwatini and then on to see candles being made – time for shopping too. Once at Mkhaya there will be an afternoon game drive to see, among others, elephant and rhino.
Sun 30 Aug: An early morning and a late afternoon game drive in search of more wildlife. In between there is the opportunity to learn how to track wildlife and to visit a local hide to observe animals making use of a nearby watering hole.
Mon 31 Aug: On our way to Hlane, we stop at a local school supported by Sense Africa. There will be time to chat or play with the children before heading off for a sundowner safari to see elephant, rhino and lion.
Tues 1 Sept: Early morning rhino drive by jeep and, if possible, on foot. On to Mbuluzi Game Reserve for a full day’s walking in pristine bush-veld where it is possible to walk with giraffe among other things!
Wed 2 Sept: Walk in Shewula, the first community eco-tourism project in eSwatini. Be guided by the local people as we explore life in this unique place.
Thurs 3 Sept: Sunrise safari to see elephant and lion. Travel from eSwatini to Johannesburg to catch overnight flight
Fri 4 Sept: Arrive home
If you are interested in this holiday, there is a fuller itinerary available on request. Please email us for details.