South Africa - Swaziland
The Kingdom of Swaziland may be the smallest in the southern hemisphere, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of Africa’s biggest adventures.
On four wheels is the best way to discover the beauty of Swaziland. North of Mbabane, the road to Luve is known as Pine Valley. From a distance, the granite heights of ‘Bald Rock’ dominate the landscape and the green vale, while up-close the Black Umbeluzi River shows itself with dramatic waterfalls.
Antelopes and zebras run among the rugged rolling hills of the Malolotja Nature Reserve, so whether you choose a walking safari, tree top canopy tour or mountain bike to see the splendour, it remains one of the few remaining places on earth to catch sight of the endangered black rhino in the wild.
The Malolotja Falls are here too. The 89-metre spectacle is the largest waterfall in Swaziland and a must see while visiting the park. For visitors after even more water-based excitement, there is the chance to tame the wild white rapids of the Great Usutu River with a raft.
Tradition is still a prominent feature of this proud nation. In the Royal Valley at Lobamba, witness the Umhlanga dance, where 40,000 girls cut reeds in offering to the queen mother. The celebration - high in energy, loud in voice and bright in colour - lasts for eight days and is the cultural event of the year.
Those after a memento will be well served with vibrant, handmade arts and crafts, which are on sale at the country’s local markets. For visitors wishing to unwind, the Kingdom boasts a little luxury too. First-class spa resorts offer massages, treatments and thermal springs, while 18-hole championship golf courses and even casinos mean that you’re never short of adventure in the Royal Valley.