At Encompass Africa we love sharing our favourite things to see and do in the countries we specialise in. So here’s our eSwatini favourites.
Phophonyane Falls Nature Reserve
Situated in the north-west of Swaziland, this 600-hectare nature reserve has used ingenious landscaping in order to make the most of the natural setting. Here, you can explore refreshing natural rock pools, a stunning hilltop pool with views and the 80-metre-high Phophonyane Falls.
House on Fire
The website says this is “one of the most eclectic entertainment venues in the world” – and who are we to disagree? House on Fire is a unique performing arts venue built around a Shakespearian Globe-style theatre. Every May, it hosts Bushfire, a cutting edge music festival that’s touted as Eswatini’s answer to Glastonbury.
Nsangwini cave shelter rock paintings
It takes about 20-30 minutes to hike to this site, located in the Nkomati Valley. Here, you’ll find the finest example of San rock art in the country; painted on the interior cave walls in ochre and animal blood. The artists, ancient San bushmen, were nomadic hunter-gatherers. There are examples of other paintings like this across Southern Africa, but this is one of the best examples you’ll see.
Swazi Candles Complex
Located in the Malkerns Valley, about 20 minutes from Mbabane or Manzini, there are loads of stalls and boutiques at this community-led craft centre, selling everything from carvings to batik and, of course, candles. They come in just about every shape and size you can imagine – the animal candles make for particularly good souvenirs and gifts. There’s a candle workshop where you can watch the artists create these wax lovelies, or have a go at making a candle for yourself.
This historic town is located in the northern part of the country. Once upon a time it used to house a thriving mine, but these days you can still check out colourful but abandoned homes, Art Déco buildings and ancient mountains.
Ngwenya Glass Factory and mine
There’s a mountain on eSwatini’s western border, inside Malolotja Nature Reserve, that resembles a basking crocodile. At its summit is the world’s oldest iron ore mine, dating back 43,000 years, while at its foot is the remote village of Ngwenya (meaning “crocodile”). Here, in the Ngwenya Glass Factory, you can watch the magical art of glassblowing, as a small group of Swazi craftsmen and women shape and mould glass into charming local animal species – the perfect memento of your trip.
If this has got you thinking about seriously travelling to eSwatini, take a look at the Kingdom of eSwatini’s official tourism website by clicking the button below. We’re here when you want to start planning your eSwatini holiday.
Visit the eSwatini tourism website