Overview – Eswatini (Swaziland)
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) is easily incorporated in a South African holiday. It offers some outstanding wildlife viewing in low-key parks, stunning scenery and traditional cultures. Mkhaya Game Reserve and Hlane Royal National Park are excellent places to see many flagship animals.
Pros & Cons
Eswatini has a good variety of wildlife with all of the Big Five present. The parks are quite small but well managed. Some animals are kept in large drive-through enclosures which makes viewing easy. Lion, white rhino and elephant are all easily seen in Hlane. A good variety of antelope species can be seen in different environments, including tsessebe, eland and sable.
Weather & Climate
Eswatini has a distinct summer and winter but at opposite times as in Europe and North America. Summer, from October to April, corresponds with the Wet season and winter, from May to September, corresponds with the Dry season. The summer rains usually manifest in the form of afternoon storms and rarely interfere with daily activities. Summer tends to be quite hot with temperatures up to 32°C/90°F and high humidity.
Best Time to Visit
Eswatini can be visited throughout the year. Wildlife viewing tends to be a bit better during the Dry winter months when vegetation is thin and animals come to drink at predictable sources. However, the parks are quite small and many animals are kept in large enclosures which makes viewing easy at any time. April to May and September to October are transition months and offer lovely weather conditions with mild temperatures but little rain.
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
A scenic country of emerald peaks, valleys and waterfalls and easy wildlife reserves to visit
Covering just over 17,000-sq-km (smaller than Kruger National Park), Eswatini is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere, and Africa’s last absolute monarchy. King Mswati III recently renamed Swaziland the Kingdom of Eswatini...
Latest User Review
I spent four nights in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in January 2020, staying in Mbabane, the small capital. The country is roughly the same size as Wales. The roads are not as good as those in neighbouring South Africa: there are many...