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The hottest attractions in Eswatini this summer

By Activities, Eswatini, Wildlife

In case you haven’t heard, Lonely Planet has ranked our beautiful Kingdom fifth amongst the best in travel 2020 and we can’t stop patting ourselves on the back. It’s about time the world took notice of how stunning of a country the Tini is. From cruising past mountains that will command your attention to summiting Iconic boulders that will cause you to lose your breath. All the way to spectacular safari adventures that await right down to all the coffee shops and bistros in between. Eswatini is a gem waiting to be discovered and if we at the Mountain Inn have anything to do with it, you’ll be penning down this great little Kingdom on your festive agenda this summer. Starting with these four must-visit attractions. Ngwenya Glass Maybe it’s the photo booth of the same title as this blog post that has every tourist feeling the FOMO or maybe it’s the exclusive glassblowing experience or even the coffee shop that makes a great quick stop as you move into the heart of the country. Whatever it is, we appreciate it and totally recommend a shot’left. The complex is located in an awe-evoking indigenous garden and offers an unforgettable tour of the factory, gin tasting and an opportunity to shop one of a kind handmade and 100% recycled glassware. https://ngwenyaglass.co.sz Malolotja Canopy Tour Dubbed as a once in a lifetime experience, the Malolotja capoy tour is what euphoria is made of. Unleash your inner adrenaline junkie with an exciting tour…

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Exploring Mantenga Craft & Lifestyle Centre

By Activities, Eswatini

Driving into the centre closely resembles an Indiana Jones moment of passing through groves of trees and into a jungle. This feeling doesn’t last long as the gravel driveway turns into a lot that sits across a wall with boldly painted text on it. This lot is a small dusty bay of stones and wilting jacaranda blossoms. The last traces of spring. The car crunches to a halt and all hands reach over to push doors open, stepping out into a cool summer night. Soft tunes from the outdoor eatery section as a guitarist sways mimicking Bholoja’s sound. The place is a perfect of three major restaurants, with Smoked meat from the smoke n grill, a taste of Italy from Pizza Vessuvio and the familiar clinking of glass against wine bottles as reds and sweet whites spill out from the wine boutique. Ferry lights and odd puppets hang from the big ol’ tree that towers over the courtyard. It’s a hubbub haven as chatty conversation and occasional laughs can be heard through the sizzling of a grill and the crackling of a stone oven. As shoes tread over rocks and old leaves, an eager waitress signals to an empty table and a menu from one of the restaurants is placed on the table. Its nights like this that make this centre one of the most refreshing summer hangout spots. Legends backpackers is only but a stone throw away and sits as a reminder of the towns inaugural green life festival…

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Fantastic safari beasts and where to find them: Rhinos in Eswatini

By Wildlife

Imagine this. The year is 2092. The world that was once a lush green planet, roaring with magnificent rivers and an oceans spilling over with marine life is now a dead zone. A concrete and iron dessert that only has skyscrapers for canopies and museums to view rare species of trees. Most of the endangered species we fought so hard to preserve in the early 21st century have all been inevitably wiped out, one decreasing population and destroyed habitat at a time. Are you imagining this? Now picture yourself standing on what used to be an African jungle, taking a tour through what the wild and outback of Eswatini was. The acacia trees have silently uprooted themselves from the soil and much to their tragedy the last of the unicorns are gone. The Rhinos. The beautiful beasts we dehorned and tried to preserve. All Gone. And as you stand there, taking it all in, this big mess of human doing,  it finally dawns on you that this is all that man will be remembered for. Now, rewind to present day Eswatini. The last of the unicorns are still here (Thank Heavens) and if we continue to protect them, hypothetical 2092 might play out much differently for the Kingdom. The land is still a gorgeous piece of unmatched bio-heritage and our reserves are still brimming with species of birds, full rivers and thick forests. The country’s rich biodiversity and inarguably gorgeous landscape is what makes it one of the most pristine…

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Unleashing your inner adrenaline junkie: Top 3 Adventure Activities in Eswatini

By Activities

It’s a nice cool day. There’s a breeze that occasionally sweeps across your face and then disappears behind the trees. The Sun is out, but not in the high intensity that can be expected with the summer, but rather, a soft warmth that gracefully reminds you that the long and dreary winter is finally over. Gloriously even, because it’s quite hard to find the inspiration to leave your snuggly hotel room and brave the cold even when the adventurer in you is begging to. With Spring being in her highest element and the weather finding balance between rainy nights and warm days, now is the perfect time to explore all that there is to see and do outdoors. If you cannot imagine anything that would get your heart pumping in exhilarating excitement than swinging off tree tops or having white foamy waters wet your hair, then you’ve clicked onto the right blog. Here’s a look at three of the best places to unleash your inner adrenaline junkie in Eswatini. Oh and don’t worry, on behalf of your next trip, you’re welcome. Malolotja Treetop canopy Dubbed as a once in a lifetime experience, the Malolotja canopy tour offers a monkey meets bird’s eye view of one of the most spectaculars stretches of forest in all of the Kingdom. Situated deep within the pristine reserve of the same name, the tour glides through captivating scenery, towering boulders and over a lush forest canopy that stands beautifully against a backdrop of rugged cliffs….

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5 Reasons why you should visit Eswatini in Spring

By Activities, Eswatini

Forget Summer, spring is the new cool. Take a look at these five great reasons that will make you want to book the next shuttle or flight out to Eswatini. Lovely weather Winter can get very gloomy and nothing can be more unexciting than weather that makes you just want to stay in all day. The arrival of the new season offers a much warmer relief from the long and dreary winter; in turn inspiring much outdoorsy adventures. Eswatini looks lovely in the spring season and it might just be the perfect time to get out and about before the scorching summer heat kicks in. Reed dance Spring time also welcomes in the country’s second most iconic traditional festival; the Umhlanga reed dance which is a spectacular event of song, dance and upheld heritage. The reed dance is a must-see for anyone visiting the kingdom and this year’s festival main day will be on the 2nd of September. See Swazi maidens clad in beautiful colors and celebrating their culture. Hiking Now that the sun is up and the mornings aren’t too ridiculously cold for us to struggle out of bed, hiking is high up on the Spring activity agenda. Trek through gorgeous scenery with new wildflowers in bloom and the green returning to the grass. Pick between a number of great places too, from the ancient Emlembe peak, to Execution rock and even the legendary Sibebe. Go off road and discover Eswatini. Create new memories. Picnics Does it get any…

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How to plan a great bleisure trip

By Eswatini, The Inn

All work and no play are sure to make anyone feel dull. However, if the growing trend of bleisure trips is anything to go by, we can safely say that the no go area of mixing business with pleasure is soon becoming a thing of the past. Bleisure trips are the new norm for corporates and can be very well viewed as the best example of making the most of anything. What are these much talked about bleisure trips you might ask? Simply the activity of combining business travel with leisure time. The term was first published in 2009 by the Future Laboratory as part of their biannual trend briefing and originally coined by writer, Jacob Strand. Spending a week or more in a foreign city or new place can get a bit lonely at times and a little mundane too. The solution? Finding a way to turn that work trip into a bleisure adventure.  If this sounds like something right up your alley, take a look at these five basic tips and tricks for planning your first ever bleisure trip to Eswatini. Always plan ahead It’s important to first start by researching if your company has a policy regarding combining work with play time. Run it past your management ahead of time and get their approval. Research your destination Before getting on the road or booking that flight, make sure you have thoroughly done your research on Eswatini. Our blog offers a number of interesting facts and fun things…

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Where to bird watch in Eswatini

By Activities, Eswatini, Wildlife

Winter is over and Spring in all her colors is waltzing right in, welcoming the last third of the year as the perfect time to view Eswatini’s vast and diverse bird life. The small kingdom is home to one of the world’s largest bird populations with over 500 different species and it is the climate, the diversity of vegetation as well as its wide altitudinal range that makes it one of the best places on the continent for a variety of birds to thrive. Here’s a look at five of the best places in Eswatini to do bird-watching. Malolotja Game reserve Malolotja Nature Reserve is one of southern Africa’s important bird areas due to the reserve supporting a significant number of globally threatened and near threatened species as well as a significant number of restricted-range species. More than 280 species of birds have been recorded at the reserve and the birdlife haven is an ideal breeding spot favorite for many endangered birds including the blue swallow, blue crane and Stanley’s bustard. The reserve also excitingly contains rare species such as striped flufftails and black-rumped buttonquails. Hlane Royal National Park Hlane Royal National Park is the country’s largest park and a definite bird watcher’s paradise. It lies northeast of Manzini in the Lowveld area of Eswatini. The park is considered one of the true bird parks of the world. Raptors are of wide variety and stunning martial eagles, bateleurs, and Long-crested Eagles can be spotted here. Hlane is also home to…

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All you need to know about Luju and its return to African Future

By Activities

If the idea of wining and dining across Malandelas lawn while jazz notes and Afrocentric music plays in the background tickles your fancy, then you definitely don’t want to miss the country’s second largest lifestyle event. Luju festival is a food and lifestyle shindig that won the hearts of the masses last year during its inaugural showcase. The festival is now in its second year and it promises an experience twice as spectacular as its first. Brought to you by the same team that coordinated the internationally lauded MTN Bushfire Festival – House on Fire and backed by Standard Bank, festival guests can be assured of top-notch production, a spectacular line up, and an experience of a lifetime. This year’s theme is a return to African future, which through the fest’s signature vintage theme can be interpreted as an opportunity to pay homage to the unique African style through our sense, both past and present and celebrating the beauty of what it means to be a creative in modern Africa. As soon as the theme was announced, social media became abuzz with fashion houses and corporate brands predicting a Luju 2019 look book. The music line-up soon also became the talk of the town, with a stage set to be adorned by the likes of Industry veterans Bongo Maffin, local musical export Amanda Mo, afro-jazz sensation Siphokazi and the muses just to name a few, an all-female band that fuses classical music with pop sounds. Luju lovers will also be…

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When the wanderlust bug bites.

By Eswatini

We never really know when it happens, this wanderlust thing. One moment you’re going about your life in your own little section of the world then the next you’re fighting off this insatiable hunger to explore. Constantly curious about other countries and perpetually obsessed with getting there. I may have been about 6 when it happened. I think that’s when the travel bug bit. My lanky little body with hands glued to the window watching as we cruised past meadows of wildflowers and cane fields. I’m sure that’s when it happened. Passports sitting on the dash and my sister fast asleep beside me. I’m certain that’s when the bug bit. Its deadly venom started treking through my veins and nothing was ever the same again. I was born into what you could call a very nomadic family. We moved around a lot and travelled twice as much too. The childhood is foggy here and there, but the cross-border memories remain clear as day. I retrieve them sometimes, just to remind myself that there’s still a scrapbook full of places where my feet haven’t yet touched, and I’m sure most people can relate to. There’s something in all of us. Something that drives us toward discovery and feeds our sense of wonder. Its as if we’re born with an inner compass in our souls that gravitates us towards new places. I’m sure there are days when we all at one point or another wish we could jump onto buses with unknown…

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Art by JohnTheCyclist

A guide to cycling season in Eswatini

By Activities, Eswatini

(Header Image Art by JohnTheCyclist) It’s June; winter is officially in full swing and so is the second half of the year which, luckily for the outdoor tribe brings with it the much-anticipated cycling season. For the casual tourist, there are many places all over the country where one can get lost in the safari or explore the multiple landscapes on bike all year round. Many of the game and nature reserves offer safari experiences of that nature, which are fun and come highly recommended. However, for the adrenaline junkie or competitive cycler, there is a number of different events and competitions set out between now and the later part of the year. Starting with the Dups Mafutseni cycle challenge happening on the 2nd of June all the way to the MTN khemani race on the 8th of September.  Our cycling calendar is so exciting and full that we chose four of the most interesting upcoming mountain bike races to profile for our readers: the annual Imvelo classic, Ngwenya glass MTB challenge, Inyatsi Nkonyeni G2g MTB classic and the popularly acclaimed Inyatsi Swazi frontier. This surely should get the attention of avid cyclists, whether amateur or pro. Imvelo classic The IMVELO Classic is the country’s biggest and most popular biking event. Held annually each June at the beloved Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. The event is made up of a series of races over different distances. The longest is a staggering 68km and there’s also a 22km family friendly route mapped out as…

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