Published: May 12th 2012May 12th 2012
Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in the world and it seems that it is belonging to ‘real’ Africa. For first time during our Africa journey we crossed the border in our own car and we were met by dirty and almost 4x4 roads. On these small forest roads our small car left just a ball of dust behind and surprised local eyes. The kids were running after our car, people walking and starring on the roads – welcome back to Africa. The real Africa was here once again and reminded us about our challenging time around Africa which we have forgotten a little bit and seem it was ages ago. South Africa is so far away from the other African nations that we visited or perhaps that it is quite comfortable now. In fact Swaziland is trying to become closer to South Africn standards and the big cities like Mbabane and Manzini are quite developed.
We stayed just few days in Swaziland as it is a tiny country but has some fantastic places around the country. Actually it is a one-two day drive around the country if you would wish it. We quickly passed the ‘big’ cities and
just had a stopover for shopping as the prices are much lower there compared to South Africa. It was the national parks on our itinerary and we visit Hlane Royal National Park and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary as we enjoy wildlife and nature so much.
Well we don’t know why Hlane Royal National Park got this fancy name but it is a tiny and bushy national park (4kmx5km maybe), and it isn’t hard to spot the animals. We drove around the park a few times in 2-3 hours so it is a day trip and good opportunities to camp. We have faced big rhinos, elephant and other animals which is usually hard to come close to. We believe that we have been lucky to see all these animals as many tourists whom we have met were saying that they didn’t see a lot at all.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is an amazing place to chill out and take a fresh breath. In this park you’ll be able to spot all kind off not dangerous animals and it is a great hike treks around the place. If you’ll be (un)lucky so you’ll meet a leopard by foot as they believe that
they have a home in this park but it is a little strange that they are letting people walk freely around.
We noticed that the road rules are quite strange in Swaziland as you allow driving 60km/h in a highway and if you’ll get in to the traffic police for 5km/h speeding so a small advice – never argue or complain. The corruption is a big problem over whole Africa and it is better to do what they want as it will be less problems. It is has been a short visit in this country but we took quite a lot of knowledge with us.
There are more photos below