Attractions

Landscape/Scenic

With the exception of desert and sea, every geographical feature of Africa’s terrain is found within Swaziland: magnificent mountain scenery with rivers, waterfalls and gorges; unique rock formations which are among the world’s most ancient; lush and fertile valleys, plus typical African bush. From west to east, Swaziland moves from mountainous Highveld, though Middleveld to Lowveld, and then rises again to the Lubombo mountains. Altitudes vary from 21 to 1800 m (70 to 6000 ft) – yet the country’s east and west borders are less than 200 km (125 miles) apart.

The highveld is a land of hills, waterfalls and great buttresses of ancient rock - providing the country's most dramatic and impressive landscapes. A temperate climate means some rainfall all year round and regular mists in summer, so the scenery is generally reasonably lush. While timber plantations have replaced much of the natural montane grassland habitat, Swaziland’s most impressive nature reserve, Malolotja, protects a large area of what remains.

The middleveld is generally less striking - an area of undulating bush and moist savanna lying at an average 700m above sea level. It is home to the bulk of Swaziland’s population and the tourist hub of the Ezulwini Valley. The lowveld is hot, bush country sitting as low as 21m above sea level. Although much drier than the other areas, it is home to vast, heavily irrigated sugar estates which are impressive in their own right. The remaining tracks of wild bush here harbour Swaziland's major game reserves and offer easy access to areas of genuine wilderness.

Reaching the east of the country, the Lubombos are a line of rugged volcanic hills which rise abruptly from the lowveld to some 600m. This range extends beyond Swaziland, following the Mozambique border north through the Kruger National Park and south into KwaZulu-Natal. Although from below it appears as a single line, the hills comprise a number of parallel ridges broken by deep gorges carved by the Usutu, Ngwavuma and Mbuluzi rivers. In many respects, the Lubombo region is an elevated extension of the lowveld. However, these wild and beautiful hills harbour some unusual habitats, with flora and fauna found nowhere else in the country - and the views from the top are stunning.