Swaziland is a beautiful country with fantastic wildlife. With immense natural diversity, visitors are guaranteed to have an experience of a lifetime. The best time to visit is during the dry season which lasts from April to September. Temperatures can go as high as 36 degrees Celsius in the day and 24 degrees at night.
At night, all the animals come out from hiding, from the trees and from the waterholes to feed on grasses.
The best time to see them is at dawn. During the dry season the herds of elephants and antelopes move towards waterholes where they can find enough fresh-water to sustain them for a full day’s grazing. They will then return during the cool of the evening to shelter in trees or caves before going into deep sleep.
This is the most spectacular time of day for game viewing. Visitors are told not to use lights at night as they will scare the animals away. So, they have to sit quietly in darkness, with all their senses alert for any sign of movement or sounds. A torch-light beam will give their position away and they will be greeted by sounds of wild animals charging at them.
For the majority of visitors to Swaziland, a safari is a must. The country is home to some of the most diverse and abundant game parks in Africa, making it an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts. One of the best places to spot some thrilling game drives is Hlane Royal National Park, which harbours elephants, lions and many other African animals including antelope and rhinos. Visitors are also guaranteed to see the rare black-billed hornbill, which is said to be the Swazi national bird.
Hlane Royal National Park
The total area of the national park is 2,215 square kilometers with an average annual rainfall of 766mm. There are five main water points in the park. The climate is generally dry with hot summers and cold winters. The park is open for day and night game drives, Hlane covers an area of 5,382 hectares. The park is said to be one of the most scenic spots in the country. Many hotels in Swaziland, such as Ezulwini and Mbuluzi River Lodge, arrange bush camping and bush picnics for their guests. These activities are ideal for tourists who want to get a taste of bush life in Swaziland.
Hlane park is located in a subtropical climate, with an average annual rainfall of 766mm. Temperatures ranges from 24.4 to 36.3 degrees Celsius and the weather is pleasant throughout the year. In Winter, when the temperature hovers around 2 degrees Celsius, this park becomes a paradise for birds and other animals.
It important to note that Hlane is home to a large elephant population. The park is famous for elephant watching as the elephants here easily spot cars moving on bumpy roads. Many other animal species such as kudu, impala, dik dik antelope also live in Hlane Royal National Park including black-billed hornbill. There are also ten black Rhinoceros in Hlane.
Most Safaris in Swaziland organizes various activities for visitors to enjoy their stay in the country. These activities include bush camping, bush picnics and nature walks. The Ezulwini game lodge is situated close to the Mbuluzi River and has a traditional structure built by King Sobhuza II of Swaziland in 1963. The magnificent lodge overlooks waterholes and natural environment such as the Ezulwini forest. The nature walk takes tourists through the hills of the forest, which is home to rare birds and animals such as baboons, genets, bush buck and birds of prey.
Hlane Royal National Park contains six species of antelope species namely kudu, red duiker, steenbok, impala, bushbuck and mountain reedbuck. The park is also home to warthog, bush pig, hippopotamus, crocodile and jackal. There are four major game trails at the park from which most visitors enjoy their game drives. The most common sightings include elephant, impala, kudu and bushbuck. At the park there are three main water points namely Mfalame River, Sini River and Mavuso River.