5 Reasons why you should visit Eswatini in Spring

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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(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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The best fishing spots in Eswatini

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We may be a landlocked country but that hasn’t stopped our rivers from providing the best possible outdoor experiences. Where most are keen on the adrenaline found in white water rafting, feeling the cool foam soaking them in, others find their fun in waiting by the waters edge for a good catch. There are a number of places around Eswatini where the water enthusiasts can get the most out of their stay, from scenic reserves, picturesque lodges and big dams. Indigenous fish, such as bream and barbel can be found in most rivers while stunning species like the magnificent Tiger fish will only make their cameo again when the winter ends. Still, that shouldn’t dissuade one from reeling in some fresh water beauties on their next visit to the country. Here’s a look at three of the best places around Eswatini for your next big catch. Maguga Dam Drive up the MR1, which happens to be one of the most gorgeous highways north of the country and you’ll eventually be led to the Maguga dam; An impressive expanse of blue water fed by the Komati River. The dam was built under a joint South Africa/Swaziland Komati Basin Water Authority venture and it is Swaziland’s largest reservoir. The dam’s wall which stands at an awe-inspiring 115 m high is also the fourth largest in southern Africa. Boating and fishing are both available on the dam, with fully equipped houseboats for hire. The dam also serves as a scenic pit-stop between Mbabane…

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Where to eat in Mbabane

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Mbabane is Eswatini’s capital and the largest city in the country. Although fairly small in comparison to other capitals in Southern Africa, Mbabane is still an awesome place to get lost in. Not only that, but the city is also home to a number of wonderful and spectacular eateries that are a mouthful for foodies or anyone looking to experience a real taste of Eswatini. Here is a list of the six best places to eat at in Mbabane. Ramblas The city’s first choice for good food and a lively vibe is located just by the Mbabane golf course. The restaurant, which is set within a small villa with a lovely terrace, has an interior that holds colorful paintings and grey and red hues that create a sophisticated mood. It also has an impeccable selection of South Africa’s finest wines, serves home baked cakes and desserts and offers an eclectic menu with daily specials, pizzas and salads. Edladleni Flavorsome food served in a peaceful setting alongside stunning views of hills and a river can only be enjoyed at Edladleni. The name of the restaurant can be loosely translated to ‘Kitchen’ in SiSwati. If you’re after an authentic Eswatini experience, this traditional cuisine spot is your best pick. Tuck into traditional specialties just a short distance outside the city at the serene Mvubu Falls lodge. The restaurant is one of the few places in the country where real Swazi food can be indulged in. This eatery gem is owned and run…

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12 Interesting facts about Eswatini

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Eswatini is Africa’s little gem. With a thriving population, varying landscapes and rolling hills. The country is a tourist favorite and amongst one of the most scenic places on the continent. However there are a number of interesting and outrageously wild fun facts about the country which many may or might not be familiar with. Look at our list and let us know which ones you find fascinating. Absolute Monarchy Eswatini is Africa’s last absolute monarchy and one of the few remaining in the world. This form of government gives the head of state supreme authority that supersedes all written laws, legislature or customs. By tradition, the king reigns along with his mother who is known as the Indlovukazi (She-elephant) while the King is reffered to as Ingwenyama (Lion) Swaziland was always Eswatini The year 2018 was a historical one for the Kingdom. The year not only signified a double celebration of 50 years of Independence as well as the 50th birthday of the head of state, but it also marked when the country went from being Swaziland to Eswatini overnight. Literally. However, an interesting fact to note is that the Kingdom was always considered Eswatini by it’s people. The change was only a legal affirmation. Second largest rock found here Sibebe Rock which is located on the outskirts of Mbabane, is the world’s second largest monolith (single piece of rock). It lags a little behind Australia’s Uluru. Best big Five safari experiences It is possible to observe the famous big…

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Where to eat in Eswatini: The Calabash

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Every part of the world has its own food culture- Their own traditions about what they love to indulge in to how they love to prepare it and of course, Eswatini is no different. Although traditionally, our cuisine is influenced by seasonal variations, availability of certain ingredients and staple foods, however when it comes to the restaurant scene, our food culture has evolved through that of others, globalization and the need to bring Eswatini to the world. We have a mix of franchises, cultured restaurants, China town spots and even social markets where street food and barbeques are all the rave. Taking this into account, anyone who visits our neck of the woods will be spoilt for choice. With so many great places to pick from, we thought it best to help narrow down the search for you. Interesting enough, the first restaurant to pop onto our radar just so happens to be a timeless piece of Eswatini heritage. Situated next to Timbali lodge, just behind the Midway galp gas station is a quaint family run restaurant, called The Calabash. Whatever tickles your continental cuisine fancy, best believe you’ll find it Here. This restaurant serves a variety of European cuisine. From traditional French dishes, German delights, to even a bit of Italian food and Swiss meals. The Calabash was originally founded in the late 70’s by Egon Hernler. It was then sold to a new owner some twenty odd years later, only to be rebought a similar number of years…

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