Swaziland Nature

Birding Swaziland

At 17 364 square kilometers Swaziland is smaller than South Africa’s Kruger National Park. It’s an absolute monarchy, ruled by King Mswati lll, known as Ngwenyama, or Lion, though he shares power with the Queen Mother, who is known as Ndlovukazi, or the she-Elephant. Despite its small size it’s a fairly diverse country, due to the range of altitudes and varied topography, and it actually has a bird list greater than that of the Kruger National Park. The western half comprises a spine of mountains, rolling hills and rocky outcrops, descending as one travels eastwards, with the eastern margin being distinctly sub-tropical. While Swaziland is not known for its wilderness, as much of it is covered by traditional villages and accompanying subsistence agriculture, it’s an interesting country and certainly worth a night or two as part of an eastern South Africa tour. Of note in birding terms is that Malolotja Nature Reserve, in the western side of the country, is a good place to see the endangered Blue Swallow. Contributor: Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris.

What to See in Swaziland

Notable Birds in Swaziland (click species name to see related articles)

  • Bearded Woodpeckers
  • Bennett’s Woodpeckers
  • Blue Swallow
  • Buff-streaked Chat
  • Denham's Bustard (1)
  • Gorgeous Bush-Shrike
  • Greater Double-collared Sunbird

Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife

  • Blesbok
  • Black Wildebeest
  • Oribi, Grey Rhebok
  • Suni, Blue Duiker
  • Klipspringer
  • Thick-tailed Bushbaby (Greater Galago)
  • White Rhinoceros
  • Black Rhinoceros
  • Yellow Mongoose

Other Attractions

Ngwenya Glass, Swaziland Candle Factory, Ezulwini Valley, Phophonyane Falls, Sibebe Rock, Maguga Dam.

Where and When to Go

Nature & Birding Hotspots in Swaziland

  • Malolotja Nature Reserve
  • Mkhaya Game Reseve
  • Hlane Royal National Park
  • Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Mbuluzi and Mlawula Game Reserves
  • Nisela Game Reserve

Swaziland Ecolodges/Accommodations

  • Reilly’s Rock
  • Mkhaya Stone Camp
  • Forester’s Arms
  • Phophonyane Falls EcoLodge

Best Time to Go

Visit Swaziland


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