In Swaziland, you might just find yourself bumping into the near-extinct black rhino (Mkhaya Game Reserve), spotting a bride smeared with red ochre, soaking your weary bones in hot mineral springs (Ezulwini Valley), or wandering into thousands of unmarried Swazi women dancing with reeds, which is bound to be a highlight of your trip to the country if it happens to coincide with the Umhlanga festival. Sandwiched between Mozambique and South Africa, Swaziland may be one of the tiniest countries on the continent, but it certainly boasts a stunning array of things to do, and you will end up having a hard time trying to catch your breath between one awesome adventure and another.
As one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, Swaziland brims with royal and religious ceremonies that harken back to the beginning of things, but they are only part of the irresistible appeal you're going to fall for immediately. Traversed by rivers and streams, dotted with wildlife reserves and entwined with scenic hiking trails, Swaziland will take you from thrilling white-water rides down Bulungu Gorge and picnics among antelopes (Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary ) to camping in the heart of wilderness (Hlane Royal National Park) and strenuous treks rewarded with the superb scenery of archetypally African life.
Free from racial tensions and with the reputation as the land of the friendly, Swaziland extends a warm welcome to those who have a penchant for real Africa in a miniature edition, as arresting and wild as you imagine it to be, but abridged to a safer and approachable version.