Attractions
Lodges in or near Ezulwini Valley
Activities available in Ezulwini Valley

Region: Hhohho
Attraction Type: Culture/People, Arts & Crafts

 

Ezulwini Valley

The Ezulwini Valley is the Kingdom’s main tourist area offering a wealth of attractions. Ezulwini means ‘place of heaven’, and the valley that bears this name certainly has its share of hedonistic delights. This is where tourism in Swaziland began, and today its attractions include hotels, restaurants, hot springs, casinos, a cinema, craft markets, art galleries, riding stables, a nature reserve, a golf course and a cultural village. Most visitors pass this way, and those who spend just one night in the kingdom will probably spend it here.

The valley has no convenient road signs to demarcate where it begins and ends. It is generally understood to extend from the bottom of the Malagwane Hill southeast along the MR103 as far as the Lusushwana River, where the latter crosses the road just west of Lobamba, and is bordered by the Luphohlo/Lugogo Mountains to the west and the Mdzimba Mountains to the east. Some extend this definition to encompass Lobamba, Mlilwane and indeed the entire length of the MR103 as far as Matsapha. But these areas lie beyond the embrace of the two lines of hills and outside the administrative boundary of the Ezulwini area. They constitute attractions in their own right.

The MR103 was formerly the main road from Mbabane to Manzini. Thus for decades Ezulwini’s key attractions lined up along the country’s busiest thoroughfare. The upgrading of the MR3 in the late 1990s, however, created a new highway to the east, which halved the journey time between the two cities and diverted the flow of through traffic. The valley road quickly became a quieter tributary, used more by locals and visitors than truck drivers and commuters. This was good news for tourists, who can now explore it in a more leisurely fashion.