Swaziland's Ezulwini Valley is the hub of Swazi crafts and culture. Here you will find crafts ranging from the only jewellery designers and manufacturers in Swaziland to Candle manufacturers, Game Lodges to back-packers. Ezulwini is the Zulu word for heavenly, and this valley truly is a little corner of Heaven. Surrounded on all four sides by magnificent mountains and decorated with fields of sugar cane, the Ezulwini Valley is an absolute must for every visitor to Swaziland. It is no wonder that the valley has been chosen by all of Swaziland's major hotels as the place to build. It is in this valley that King Mswati III lives in a grand residence and rules the Kingdom with his Queen Mother or Ndlovukazi (She-Elephant).
Visitors to Ezulwini can get some of the finest nature experiences around! The brilliant scenery, diverse bird life and Big Five will prove to be a true wildlife experience. The Hlane Royal National Park has large numbers of Lion, Elephant and White Rhino, and an amazingly diverse bird life, while the Mkhaya Game Reserve has endangered species such as Black Rhino, Roan & Sable. Golf fans can enjoy the 18-hole championship golf course, while horse-riding and hiking are also popular outdoor activities.
Ezulwini is surrounded on the north, south and west by the Mlilwane wildlife sanctuary, which was established in the 1960's by Ted Reilly and his wife Elizabeth, with the assistance of KIng Sobhuza II. The sanctuary consists of an area of scrub and grassland which is surrounded by the Nyonyanw Mountains. Initially animals had to be brought in from far afield , and special plants needed to bo grown for the wildlife to graze on. The sanctuary has grown since its early days to its current area of four thousand five hundred hectares as a result of land donations. The Mlilwane sanctuary is a bird wathing paradise with four hundred and seventy various species being found there. A variety of indigenous mammals also can be found in the sanctuary including zebra, rhino, giraffe, hippo and various antelope.
Another place of interest is the Mantenga Cultural village. The cultural village is a living museum which showcases all aspects of traditional Swazi culture, and represents a classical Swazi lifestyle during the mid eighteen hundreds. The building materials used in the construction of the village are all strictly traditional and consist of poles, grass, reeds, leather strips, earth and dried cow dung. The Mantenga Village consists of sixteen huts, each with its own specific purpose, kraals or byres for cattle and goats, reed fences that serve as windbreaks, and various other structures. With the traditional artefacts on display, the village illustrates many facets of the ancient Swazi way of life which include social, economic and religious.
Other attractions include:
- The Jewellery Studio
- Guava Gallery
- Mantenga Craft Centre
- Mantenga Falls
- King Sobhuza II Memorial Park
- Rock paintings at Sheba's Breasts