We’re almost at that time of the year where we’re ready to pack away our sandals and sarongs and trade them in for some boots and fleece sweaters. Autumn is drawing to a close and leaving with it are the warm days where we could be caught reclining by the poolside or binge drinking on Mojitos but, that’s okay. As dreary and gloomy as winter can get, it’s still a season that can be packed with all sorts of fun and engaging activities to do, one of which is Hiking.
There is nothing as rewarding as a trek through bush and woodland on a cool day. Although the slopes can get wet from time to time, it’s still almost perfect weather because it eliminates the discomfort of sweating your way up a hill. Eswatini is a rich landscape of different hiking experiences that can be a thrill for anyone who dares to reach a summit. From green hilled Sibebe down by Mbuluzi just past Pine valley, to woodlands in the Mlawula reserve and even our ghastly Execution rock that holds a dark history in the constitutional pages of Eswatini. You can rest easy in knowing that a day of bootlegging through our veld and mountains can make for memories worth keeping, sharing or even instagramming. Here’s a list of the 4 best places to catch some views in the kingdom.
Take a drive through the valley, past Lobamba and make a short right just after Ludzidzini Royal Residence because Mlilwane awaits. This sanctuary is a gorgeous reserve under Big game parks and offers hiking trails that allow expedition folk to walk freely through the park. There are nine different trails to pick from and if you rise very early, you can catch the amazing dawn light over the hills and share your walk with Wildebeest, zebra, kudu and other antelope.
Sibebe is a large granite rock that rests 10Km outside of the city. It rises 350m high and is an adrenaline pumping hike. The trail is a 2 hour climb that winds around homesteads and rocky terrain. Make it all the way to the top and the stunning view will be your prize.
The drive up Eswatini’s most scenic MR1 road leads to Malolotja, a pristine reserve that is prime walking territory. The reserve has over 200km of mapped trails and routes range through different landscapes of tree-shaded valley to croc-free rivers. Hike through this area and you are sure to meet a zebra, blesbok or eland or two along the way
Of all the Hiking adventures to partake in while visiting Eswatini, why would you miss the opportunity to hike the country’s highest mountain. This beauty rises above Highveld forests and is a half day climb from the historical mining Bulembu town. Take a walk through woodland, up pasturelands and all the way up to the 1,843m peak. You’re most likely to come across Vervet monkeys along the way, but what’s most important is to remember to stop every now and then to enjoy the breath-taking views.