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Published on : Monday, March 7, 2016
New to the Kingdom of Swaziland for 2016, the country is one of the first on the African continent to embrace this latest fitness trend. Swaziland is an ideal location for Nordic Walking due to its varied landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains plus stunning wildlife reserves all in a small, compact and safe corner of Africa.
No longer limited to the likes of Norway or Finland, Nordic walking is a technique not to be confused with trekking or hill walking, that can be performed anywhere. This type of walking is a full-body method of walking using poles to propel yourself along. Nordic walkers burn around 50% more calories than their regular walking counterparts.
Swaziland is one of the few places where you can safely walk in wildlife reserves. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, a pioneer conservation area located in Swaziland’s “Valley of Heaven”, is the oldest protected area in the country and gave birth to the concept of nature conservation in the Kingdom. This reserve is ideal for Nordic Walking, because of its main network road though the reserve. There are no big predators here, but visitors will see lot of wildlife around them such as zebra, antelope, wildebeest and hippo.
Mlawula Nature Reserve in the north-eastern part of the country gives another chance for short walks and hiking trails, offering the rare opportunity for visitors to walk self-guided through the bushveld to experience intimate encounters with nature and wildlife. Enjoy a long a day walk in Mbuluzi Game Reserve which is nestled between the Mbuluzi river and the Lubombo mountain range. The views in every direction are breath taking. You can see zebra, kudu, impala, warthog and giraffe as you make your way through riverine forests and rocky cliffs.
In Swaziland visitors can also find ‘Sibebe’ Rock, the largest exposed granite pluton in the world, where they can experience some of the best views in Africa! There are many walking trails to arrive to reach the summit adapted to all fitness levels, so everyone can enjoy the expanse of the African bush from Sibebe summit.
Whilst in Swaziland a visit to Hlane Royal National Park, is not to be missed. Home to the largest herds of game in the kingdom, walking is not permitted here but games drives offer the chance to see some of the kingdoms big five including Elephant, Lion and Rhino and a fantastic variety of birdlife.