Activities

Activities

Swaziland’s mountains, valleys, rivers and other natural wonders make it the ideal choice for those seeking adventure, and even high adrenaline experiences. In addition, the rich culture allows for less adrenaline-fueled activities.

To read a blog all about the top ten activities to do in Swaziland, please click here.

All activities in Swaziland are available year-round, but for some suggestions of what to try when, have a look at our Swaziland Calendar, and don't forget all the Events that go in in Swaziland each year.

Cultural Activities

With Swaziland’s rich culture and strong traditions, this is a wonderful country to partake in some fascinating cultural activities. The monarchy and the people of Swaziland actively maintain and preserve a remarkable cultural heritage, allowing visitors to get a better idea of traditional African culture here than pretty much anywhere else in the region. What is seen, including spectacular festivals, has not simply been resuscitated for the tourist dollar but is the real deal.

Events

If there is one thing that Swaziland is known for around the world it is the magnificent traditional festivals that the country hosts- particularly the Umhlanga (Reed Dance) and Incwala ceremonies. Both are living cultural events that, bar the odd wristwatch and mobile phone, have hardly changed in two hundred years. Visitors are allowed to watch, but neither ceremony makes any concession to tourism; even the precise dates are not published in advance, being dependent on the vagaries of ancestral astrology. The main events happen at the royal parade grounds at Ludzidzini but the mood of celebration sweeps the nation, and visitros to the country around the time of the events will doubtless see wandering bands of warriors or maidens decked out in full regalia as they head to or from the festivities.

The modern event that has gained an international reputation in far fewer years is the Bushfire Festival – a performing arts festival held every May.

Swaziland’s annual calendar is a mix of traditional and modern events

Safaris

The many Game Parks and Nature Reserves across Swaziland protect a vast variety of animals. From the magnificent ‘Big Five’ to warthogs, antelope and reptiles, Swaziland is home to numerous of Afica’s wild animal species. The emphasis in Swaziland is to provide visitors with a more intimate wildlife experience in areas of natural beauty, and to allow them a certain amount of freedom to explore on their own terms. This is no place for mass tourism and convoys of vehicles but instead, walks to learn about the bush and track rare species like black and white rhino. As well as traditional 4x4 and walking safaris, some of Swaziland’s reserves can also be explored by mountain bike and on horseback. In a number of the reserves visitors are free to move around independently, without the need for a guide or ranger. There are even self catering options amongst the accommodation that allow you to be in charge of your own ‘safari lodge’ in the bush. There aren’t many places in the world where you can head off for your own bike ride and encounter zebra and bushbuck along the way, or take a stroll to see the giraffe before settling down to your own bush barbeque.

Birdwatching

Some 500 species of bird have been recorded in Swaziland. This puts it roughly on a par with France (517) or, more locally, the Kruger National Park (505), and is a remarkable tally for such a tiny, landlocked country. This comes from its diversity of habitats, with several very different bird communities occurring side-by-side.

Outdoor Activities

With the massive variety of Swaziland’s natural landscapes, it’s no surprise that there is a wealth of outdoor activities available in this small, beautiful country. The scenery can be explored on foot, by bike, on horseback and even by quad bike. And there are a even a few rivers and dams/reservoirs allowing for boat trips.

Adventure Activities

Swaziland’s mountains, valleys, rivers and other natural wonders make it the ideal choice for those seeking adrenaline activities. It has built reputation for a variety of thrilling adventure activities that once again belies its small size. These include Caving, Canopy Tours, Climbing, Abseiling, Tubing and White Water Rafting.

Sports

There is no shortage of ways to keep fit and active in Swaziland. As well as the Outdoor Activities and Adventure Activities covered elsewhere, there are a number of sports on offer, including Fishing, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Squash. Gyms, spas, yoga and team building are also covered here.  The best places to find most sporting facilities are Swaziland’s various Country and Golf Clubs – legacies of the country’s colonial past.

Water Sports

As a land-locked country, Swaziland has no coastline that would allow for the variety of beach activities and watersports found in neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique. It does have a number of dams/reservoirs, and some magnificent rivers, that provide the opportunity for a few water-based activities, but these are covered elsewhere.

Boat Trips can be found under Outdoor Activities
Swimming and Fishing can be found under Sports
White Water Rafting can be found under Adventure Activities

Shopping

In today's retail society, shopping is an ever more popular 'activity'. Swaziland has a handful of modern malls, but the country's best shopping experiences come from the traditional handicrafts on offer. Swaziland has a remarkably impressive range of traditional arts and crafts with many of its products now found in trendy ethnic boutiques around world. Throughout the country men and women are at work creating and selling the finest handicrafts that are so popular with visitors.