Do not be deceived by the small size of eSwatini land which is modern-day Swaziland because even with its small stature as a kingdom in the South, it has riveting experiences in the wild.
eSwatini land is culturally traditional and lions are greatly adored as they are protected. They have a special place in the eSwatini culture; They are a symbol of the bravery that the land stands for, something that is well projected in its national coat of arms.
Due to its small size, Hlane Royal National Park takes the glory of being one of the few sanctuaries in Swaziland that boasts of housing the Big Five, with lions in abundance. The park has protected the Swati King culture which is synonymous with a lion.
Being an emblem of the Eswatini King that holds together the people, lions live in a secluded area within the park that is fenced but can be seen during a game drive. Big Game Parks is tasked with managing Hlane on behalf of the king. This tells you this is a real royal park and its wild escapades serve your expectations with the exact royalty.
At the Ndlovu watering hole, elephants, white rhinos, leopards and lions make a grand entry as they quench their thirst. This is where the game drive gets even better as all these animals, known to rule the jungle come together and you can’t help but notice how peacefully they co-exist.
Besides the Big Five, Hlane also boasts of an abundance of hyenas, kudu, impala, waterbucks, giraffes, zebras, white antelopes, and hippos among other small mammals but it is always the roaring of lions, especially at night, that makes you feel that you are truly in eSwatini land.
With a rich network of tracks within the park for a fabulous game drive – self or with a ranger – Hlane features an extensive picnic site for walks while game-viewing along the Mahlindza Dam which abounds with wild animals is a sight to behold. The walks give you a fair chance to watch over 350 species of birds the most fascinating being a large breeding colony of white-backed vultures.
Mountain-biking and night bush trails are on offer too. They are pretty exciting.
For accommodation, the Buhubesi camp makes your evenings coupled by sounds of bushbabies and nightjars filling the night.