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Travel back in time, to a world where time stands still and enjoy the scenery, wildlife and culture of one of Africa’s last Kingdoms on horseback.

Eswatini offers horse enthusiasts the opportunity to discover this beautiful country along several horse-riding trails, from 3 to 9 nights, depending on experience and ability. The forests, mountains and grasslands provide long and rewarding hours in the saddle with fast canters and slow descents, giving riders time to take in the breathtaking scenery.

From the moment you enter the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), there is no mistaking why the Swazi King fought so hard to gain independence of these pristine mountains, rainforests and valleys. Eswatini is like an island without a coast: it’s surrounded by South Africa on three sides (north, south and west) and Mozambique to the east. This tiny landlocked country is known for its wilderness reserves and colourful Swazi culture. The diverse landscape and plentiful wildlife have resulted in this unique country becoming an increasingly popular horseback safari destination.

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For More Info About Horse Riding in Eswatini (Swaziland)

EXPLORE HORSE SAFARIS IN ESWATINI (SWAZILAND)

Horse riders in Swaziland mountains

7 nights: From GBP £1065 per person sharing

Trail Riding in the Kingdom of Eswatini

  • 7 / 9 Nights
  • Eswatini (Swaziland)
  • Wildlife & Scenery Focused Safari
Discover one of Africa's last kingdoms on this scenic trail ride, an unforgettable adventure back in time.
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OVERVIEW OF HORSE SAFARIS IN ESWATINI (SWAZILAND)

As rides are not in areas with big game, these rides can be tailored for intermediate and experienced riders, with horses of different breeds and sizes. For longer trail rides, more experience is needed as you navigate technical terrain where you will cross rivers on horseback and may have to dismount and lead your horse over tricky paths.

Ride through Eswatini’s pioneer conservation area, a beautiful, secluded sanctuary in Swaziland’s ‘Valley of Heaven’. Mlilwane is a hub of activity for local birds and wildlife, and visitors can enjoy the beauty of the surroundings and the abundant wildlife that grace the plains by foot, vehicle, mountain bike or on horseback, all led by Swazi guides who are experts in their field.

Ride Locations

MILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

All rides begin from the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across a transition zone between the grassland savannah and high mountains, providing an ever-changing landscape for you and your horse to explore. Along the rivers, you may see crocodile, fish eagle, and many water birds. Originally a commercial farm and tin mine, Mlilwane was the first conservation area in Eswatini and has many intriguing historical points of interest. Across the plains, you’ll get close to wildebeest, zebra, nyala, roan antelope, blesbuck, and impala as well as the ever-entertaining warthogs. From horseback, you can appreciate how nature has reclaimed the land once utilised by humans
Horse riding with zebra
Ride with wildlife in the Milwane Widlife Sanctuary

HLANE ROYAL NATIONAL PARK

From Mliwane, you can visit Hlane Royal National Park, with the highest density of tree-nesting vultures ever recorded. Here you embark on game drive vehicles to search for elephants, white and black rhino, lion, and giraffe. If you stay for 9 nights, you will also visit Mkhaya Game Reserve – Eswatini’s Refuge for Endangered Species where you may be lucky enough to spot white and black rhino, giraffe, tsessebe, sable antelope, and buffalo
Horse riding through Africa farmland
Ride through the incredible landscapes of Eswatini

Safari Highlights

RIDING WITH WILDLIFE
Eswatini provides diverse riding experiences amidst abundant wildlife, including antelope, zebras, and giraffes. You might have the chance for exhilarating canters alongside herds of zebras or wildebeest. Eland, the largest antelope species are also commonly seen on horse safari. You might even see pods of hippos or Nile Crocodiles as you ride along the edge of the dams and rivers along the trails.


OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Very few places on earth feel quite the same as Eswatini. Not only is it far beyond where most people think of travelling, it also feels like you’ve taken a step back in time. Life really slows down and you get a unique sense of freedom living simply in this beautiful landscape.


UNFORGETTABLE SCENERY
Eswatini is renowned for its expansive and unique open landscapes. You’ll have the opportunity to journey through rugged terrain that winds through extensive mountain ranges, enabling you to immerse yourself in the surrounding scenery fully. The trail encompasses the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, commercial forests, rural community areas, and untamed mountains, providing an authentic African trail ride experience through a constantly evolving backdrop.


VIEWS
Revel in panoramic views from elevated trails, providing stunning vistas of Eswatini’s landscapes and a sense of awe-inspiring freedom as you ride.


CULTURAL IMMERSION
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Swazi culture as you explore the picturesque landscapes on horseback, interacting with local communities and experiencing their traditions firsthand. This destination is suitable for visiting year-round, and if you opt for an August visit, you might have the chance to witness the captivating Umhlanga (reed) festival.


SWAZI HOSPITALITY
Experience warm Swazi hospitality at equestrian lodges and camps, where you can relax in comfort after a day of riding, surrounded by the tranquility of the African wilderness.

Horse safari with wildebeest, antelope and zebra
Ride alongside Africa's wildlife
Horse riders in Swaziland mountains
Breathtaking views that change constantly
Horse riding sunset silhouette
Unforgettable sunsets from horseback

Activities

CATTLE HERDING
Bring out your inner cowgirl as you join the local community to herd their cattle. It’s the chance to not only give back to the community hosting you but also provide insights into their way of life and how they co-exist with wildlife.


PICNICS
One of the highlights of being out on a horse safari is stopping for picnic lunches or bush breakfasts overlooking the plains below. Your guides can share the history of this unique area as you gaze out at the incredible scenery.


CULTURAL EXPEREINCES
Eswatini is known for its rich cultural heritage. You can visit traditional Swazi villages, witness vibrant dance performances, and attend cultural festivals, such as the annual Umhlanga Reed Dance. Visit local markets to purchase handmade items such as woven baskets, beadwork, and traditional textiles.


GUIDED GAME DRIVES
Explore the sanctuary’s diverse landscapes and encounter a variety of wildlife, including antelopes, zebras, and bird species, on a guided game drive. In Hlane you might even see rhinos or big cats.


HIKING TRAILS
Mlilwane has scenic hiking trails suitable for different fitness levels. Trails take you through picturesque landscapes, providing opportunities to observe flora and fauna up close.


MOUNTAIN BIKING
The sanctuary offers mountain biking trails for those seeking an active adventure. Bikes can often be rented on-site.

Game drives in Mlilwane
Game drives in Mlilwane
Cycling in Eswatini
Mountain biking in Mlilwane

Accommodation

During your Eswatini (Swaziland) horse safari, you’ll have the privilege of being hosted by a dedicated family-run team of horse enthusiasts and conservationists. Accommodation options are incredibly diverse, catering to various preferences and allowing you to tailor your stay. Generally, the accommodation is fairly rustic, but in keeping with the incredible landscape and culture that makes Eswatini so unique.

On extended trails, you can expect a diverse array of lodging options, including en-suite traditional huts, canvas tents, charming country hotels, and rustic bush lodges that offer breathtaking vistas of the Eswatini landscape. It’s worth noting that in some areas, you may encounter intermittent cell phone reception and limited electricity, providing the perfect setting for a digital detox experience.

Accommodation in Eswatini on horse safari
Accommodation in Milwane

Swazi Culture

As one of the few remaining monarchies in Africa, culture and heritage are deeply engrained in all aspects of Swazi life. Unlike most parts of the world, Eswatini has managed to hold on to that special slow-down-this-is-Africa feeling. Cantering through the farmlands in Swaziland, you are likely to come across men carrying knobkerries (traditional club) and women wearing colourful traditional dresses. Between the wilderness areas, you’ll ride through a patchwork of rich farmlands dotted with mud huts. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to experience one of the Swazi’s traditional ceremonies. Music is also very important to the Swazi’s and you may hear snatches of song as you ride through the villages.

Swazi dancers
Immerse yourself in Swazi culture

ESWATINI (SWAZILAND) SAFARI FAQs

How do I get to Eswatini?

The easiest way to get to Eswatini is by renting a car and driving – giving you more freedom to explore further afield. However, there are numerous transfer services that run from OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport and we book these for our guests.

Where can I see rhino in Eswatini (Swaziland)?

Hlane Royal National Park, once a hunting ground for Swazi royalty, is now Eswatini’s biggest and most diverse and abundant park. This is where you’ll have the best chance to see these chubby unicorns. Mkhaya Game Reserve, Eswatini’s Refuge for Endangered Species is also home to both white and black rhino.

Can I combine a trip to Eswatini (Swaziland) and Kruger National Park?

Just 2 hours away from Kruger National Park, one can easily combine these two destinations in one trip. Being with a cultural and scenic ride through Eswatini, then venture into South Africa’s premium wildlife area for some close encounters with some of Africa’s iconic animals.

Is Eswatini a wildlife-focused horse safari?

While Eswatini offers some incredible game viewing, it is more well-known for its incredible scenery and diverse culture. It offers some technical riding over ever-changing terrain and a glimpse into African culture rarely seen. Riding in Mlilwane allows you some relaxed and close encounters with plains game and game drives and walks in Hlane and Mkhaya give you the big-game experience.

Why is it called the Kingdom of Eswatini?

One of Africa’s last monarchies, it was known as Swaziland for decades. In 2018, King Mswati III announced that he would rename the country the “Kingdom of Eswatini”, meaning the “Place of the Swazi” to celebrate their freedom and heritage.

RECENT ESWATINI REVIEWS

It was fantasic!
We had a WONDERFUL safari in Mlilwane Eswatini! We are so happy and felt that we had great value for money. We experienced so much and was sometimes beyond/outside our confort zone, but that made us grow as riders. The horses were GREAT – I especially fell in love with Tsawo, the Frieser I rode. Our guide that rode with us for four days, Natty – was absolutely fantastic. Eswatini is a new experience for us and we fell in love with the small, beautiful country. It's much more ”African” than South Africa, more traditional, safe and clean and people are very friendly. It's also one of the most beautiful countries I have visited.

Malin AbramsonThe Kingdom of Eswatini - Eswatini

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