Swaziland and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - Self drive tour in South Africa

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We drive to the gate Malelana where our car is checked. After they see that there are two large backpacks in the trunk, we are allowed to leave Kruger National Park. We not only leave Kruger National Park, but we leave South Africa for a day. Our destination is Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland.

Swaziland is located west of South Africa also borders Mozambique. Swaziland is a kingdom, and the spoken languages are English and siSwati. The country is approximately 17,360 km2 and has a population of about 1.1 million people. King Mswati II is the King of Swaziland. In Swaziland is also paid with the Rand, but this is the Swaziland Rand. He has the same value as the South African Rand, but it's a different currency.

We go to the Jeppe's Reef border of South Africa and Swaziland. The agency warned us that the border waiting time can be very long. So we make sure we arrive around 10 in the morning at the border. There are at least had no long queues. In half hour we crossed the border, but we can imagine that in high season it can last much longer. In the time we get a stamp in our passports there is already a queue of about 20 people. We have the exit stamp of South Africa and Swaziland for get an entry stamp. Also our rental car is allowed to enter Swaziland and we drive to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

We were surprised by the nature in northern Swaziland. Swaziland's mountainous north, rich in forestry is incredibly beautiful. There is a big difference between northern and southern Swaziland. The south is much less green. You see much more slums than in northern Swaziland. Northern Swaziland extremely surprised us.

Our destination is Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary just south of the capital, Mbabane. We arrive at the gate and pay the entrance fee. We drive 7 km on a dirt road to the rest camp. We are early in the park, but because the next day we drive on, we want to spend the afternoon to walk in the park.

Because there are no leopards, lions or elephants in the park it is possible to walk freely through the park. We require a self-guided track and go on the road. We choose a round walk of about 7 km long. The path a little bumps up and down with the occasional difference in height of 30 meters. We start in the rest-camp and take the left path down. Soon we see from very close to a couple of zebras. They seem a curious but decide to continue eating. During the walk we follow yellow footsteps on the stone walkway. We walk along a stream and get a good picture of the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. We follow the path and are quite surprised about the nature in the first game reserve in Swaziland. We overlook the Ezilwini Valley and pass a large lake. After two and half hours we are back to the main camp. Today we eat in the restaurant of the Park and overlooking a bird paradise.

If you are only a short time in the park, a walk is definitely recommended. During the walk you'll get a good impression of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and the Ezulwini Valley.

Lenght: 7 km
Height difference: 50 m up and down

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