Swaziland is great way to break up the drive from Kruger National Park to Kaw-Zulu Natal. This little Kingdom is easily driven through in a day, however, we stopped over for a night in order to spend a bit more time here. The Oshoek Border Post was pretty straight forward, just make sure you have your car insurance papers handy. We were staying at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary which is only about an hour from the border. So we took our time on the drive over to take in the scenery, which is mainly rural. There are also a lot of people selling various crafts on the side of the road which was fun to stop at occasionally.
As we drove into Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary we were blown away by the beauty of the place. We timed it well as it was late afternoon and heading towards dusk, so many animals that had taken shelter from the heat of the day were coming out into the open to graze. We saw many species of antelope, zebra, hippos and even a warthog being followed by her babies.
We stayed at Sondzela Backpackers which was brilliant. It only cost us NZ$20 each a night for a dorm bed, but now it is a bit more expensive, you’re looking at approximately NZ$30 per night. The facilities are fantastic and the location is stunning. The next morning we got up early to take advantage of the lack of heat to view some animals before they hid away. Once again we were lucky and saw a lot, as well as some incredible early morning scenery.
It was then time to drive another 2 hours to hit the border post with Kwa-Zulu Natal. Once again the drive through Swaziland was interesting and rural, with a lot to look at along the way. The roads are not fantastic so take caution as we saw a few accidents along the way. While I wouldn’t have thought to specifically go to Swaziland on holiday, it was a great place to tack onto our trip to South Africa and to spend a night. Cost wise, Swaziland is really reasonable, so you’re looking at approximately NZ$60 (US$40) per day.
Editor’s Note: Visited Swaziland in 2010, updated in 2017.