Ezulwini is located in the northwest of Swaziland and is also known as “The Valley of Heaven”. The Ezulwini Valley is the Kingdom’s main tourist area offering a wealth of attractions.
Ezulwini means ‘place of heaven’, and the valley that bears this name certainly has its share of hedonistic delights. This is where tourism in Swaziland began, and today its attractions include hotels, restaurants, hot springs, casinos, craft markets, art galleries, riding stables, a nature reserve, a golf course and a cultural village. Most visitors pass this way, and those who spend just one night in the kingdom will probably spend it here.
The valley lasts for about 30 kilometres, and is bounded to the east by the Mdzimba hills. Despite the urban developments in the valley, the landscape still has some “soft green hills and plains-game grazing in the lush lands below. Ezulwini valley is also known as the Royal Valley, a place of many legends of Swazi history.
Ezulwini contains a number of notable wildlife sanctuaries and features. The valley is undergoing significant development with the growth of Tourism in Swaziland, with the building of casinos, bars, hotels, shops such as the Gables Shopping Centre and many stores selling artefacts and handicrafts. Of major note is the Ezulwini Handicrafts Centre, the Gone Rural exhibition store/centre. House on Fire is another beautiful tourist attraction, plus the world famous Swazi Candles Factory. Summerfield Botanical Gardens is a major attraction that does not get much exposure but is a definite must see. The gardens are scattered with stone carved wildlife one has to see to believe are not the real stuff.
Food and Drinks in Ezulwini
If self-catering, local markets and stores in shopping centres are your best bet to pick up cheap good quality food as well as tasting local delicacies and dishes. African staples such as stew and pap (a traditional porridge made from ground maize) are great things to try. Other popular foods include pumpkin, beans and rice. Some Western and Mediterranean cuisine such as Portuguese cuisine which is influenced by the neighbouring Mozambique, including seafood are available in some restaurants. Most hotels, restaurants and bars offer a good selection of spirits, beers and wines. The traditional Swazi beer available mostly in the rural areas is a must but is reputed to have a strong kick!