Your Adventure Starts Here!
Swazi Trails - Culture Wildlife & Adventure Tours - Kingdom of Swaziland.
Umhlanga Tours (Pty)Ltd was established in 1987 and is the Kingdom’s original and longest-operating tour business. In 1996 the company was re-branded as Swazi Trails after it’s purchase by local white-water rafting operator Darron Raw and partners. Raw had pioneered white-water rafting on the Great Usutu River in 1991 and with his drive to grow adventure tourism in Swaziland the company expanded rapidly. From three employees and two beat-up VW kombi’s to fully functional destination management and multi-discipline adventure company, Swazi Trails now has twenty full-time staff and a number of sub-contracted operations.
We offer tours to teams, corporates, groups, and individuals.
Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
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White water rafting, otherwise known as ‘river-rafting’ has been considered Swaziland’s #1 adventure activity for over 25 years. Trips depart on a daily basis throughout the year, with various formats such as Half-day White Water Rafting, Full-day White water Rafting, and a Rafting-Abseiling-Tubing Combos.
Swazi Trails is the sole operator of this adventure activity in Swaziland. The same pioneering team responsible for its launch in 1991, is still at the helm to ensure safe and fun excursions. Raft trips are run on on both of Swaziland’s largest rivers. Our route on the Great Usutu River is roughly between the towns of Sidvokodvo and Siphofaneni in central Swaziland. On the Komati River, we raft downstream of Maguga Dam, which is considered northern Swaziland. There are seasonal variations in terms of the distance covered and rapids run, but regardless of the time of year, we always have fun! Our white water rafting departure point in the Ezulwini Valley is roughly halfway between the two rivers, giving us the flexibility to go wherever the river conditions are best on a daily basis.
White water rafting trips in Swaziland are run predominantly in two-man inflatable rafts, although for high-water conditions we do have the option to use 8-man inflatable rafts. Trained river guides accompany all trips. Departures are guaranteed for a low minimum of only 2 persons.
How to book white water rafting in Swaziland
To book your Swaziland white water rafting trip online, follow these links:
Book Half-day whitewater rafting – 08h30 to 14h00 (generally available Dec-Apr)
Book Full-day whitewater rafting – 08h30 to 17h00 (generally available Dec-Apr)
Book Full day rafting-abseiling or tubing combo – 08h30-17h00 (throughout the year)
Note: seasons may vary due to changing river conditions from year to year. Seek clarification on trips available at the time of booking. Our daily logistics are subject to change at short notice as we seek out the best conditions available.
More information on white water rafting in Swaziland
For more information on white water rafting in Swaziland go to:
Detailed Information on Rafting Options – detailed info on what the various white water rafting trips include and the variations in format
Our responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on river rafting in Swaziland
Swaziland 2-night Rafting + Accommodation packages – best price rafting deals
A video of whitewater rafting in Swaziland
Our Swazi Trails Flickr page – regular images from daily white water rafting excursions are posted here. Pick an album from the month of the year in which you will be visiting to get an idea of expected river conditions. At last count we had over 89,000 images online – so there is no shortage of material to look through. We hope to see your happy face here one day too!
Adventure Caving is another of Swaziland’s top adventure activities. In fact, Swazi Trails, are the originators of the concept of “Adventure Caving” globally, having been the first to coin the phrase back in 1999, when this activity was initially launched in Swaziland’s Gobholo Cave.
What is Adventure Caving? This activity fits somewhere between a cave tour, the type you pay an entry fee at the door for and then follow the cement steps onwards, and a speleological club expedition, which is only really accessible to trained and experienced members. Guided Adventure Caving trips make use of specific gear and equipment and require plenty of physical effort, but it doesn’t require prior experience or special skills. There aren’t any railing, steps, or emergency lighting – this is the REAL thing, it’s NOT “soft adventure” – this is about as close to the edge as commercial activities can go.
Our trips are run twice daily – morning and evening, with variations possible by prior request. Trips take approximately 4-5 hours, whilst our evening departure includes dinner and a swim in a hot natural spring.
To book your Swaziland Adventure Caving tour online, follow these links:
Book Adventure Caving morning departure – 09h00 to 13h00
Book Adventure Caving evening departure – 16h30 to 21h30, including dinner & hot spring swim
For more information on Adventure Caving in Swaziland go to:
Adventure Caving Information – detailed info on what the different Swazi Trails Adventure Caving trips include
Our responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on Adventure Caving in Swaziland
A video of Caving in Swaziland
Our Swazi Trails Flickr page – regular images from daily caving excursions are posted here
Swaziland 2-night Caving + Accommodation packages – best price deals
Swazi Trails are the main operators of quad bike trails in Swaziland. Our quad trail operation is situated in the central Ezulwini Valley area, close to most major hotels and lodges.
The trail was purpose-designed purely for quad-biking and has been described as one of the most interesting all-terrain vehicle or ATV tracks in Southern Africa. Known as the Devil’s Cauldron, the area was once an active tin mine in the early 1900s, which is now re-forested. All that remains of the mine workings are deep gulleys, or as they are known locally dongas, which make for a challenging environment for quad-biking.
There is hardly 20m of straight track, with twists, turns, and corners being the order of the day. This is not a high-speed trail and most rides engage only 2nd and 3rd gear.
Swazi Trails provide one of the most popular quad bikes for commercial operations, the Suzuki Ozark LTF250. This powerful bike, with a semi-automatic clutch system, is ideal for beginners, but also fun for more experienced quad riders.
We have an age limit of 16 years and above. Lifting or riding two-up on a quad bike is also considered unsafe and not permitted on this trail.
Trails are adjusted to suit the ability of riders. After an initial quick introduction to the quads and a few laps in the parking lot, the guide will determine which route to follow. For less-experienced riders, the option exists to go out onto the wide open grass fields in central Ezulwini. This area, with fewer trees and gullies to avoid, is ideal for beginners.
A typical trail takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete and rides are limited to 5 riders and a guide. For larger conference and incentive groups, multiple departures can be arranged with the interval between rides reduced to one hour.
Experience this breath-taking Swaziland Canopy Tour at Malolotja Nature Reserve. Canopy Tour Swaziland is available on a daily basis. This 3-4 hour adventure activity is suitable for both young and old and is available daily throughout the year. The Canopy Tour Swaziland is bookable online via our e-tourism website. Tree-top canopy tours provide an opportunity to combine adrenaline with an appreciation of the natural environment. It is a great family group activity.
Zipping between platforms near the tops of trees and crisscrossing a gorge from cliff-face to cliff-face, is an experience that cannot be achieved in any way other than on a canopy tour. Known otherwise as zip lines, cable-ways, treetop tours or cable tours, a canopy tour involves using a harness system to attach yourself to a tightly stretched cable that links numerous wooden platforms.
Under the careful guidance of canopy tour guides, you glide effortlessly from platform to platform. The entire procedure is very well controlled and at no time are you exposed to any danger or unnecessary risk. Participants are clipped into safety lines at all times, and although braking (to reduce speed) is done manually by the individual, back-up safety systems are in place to slow down those who may need assistance.
Mountain Biking Culture Safari Combo
Duration: 8 hours – Location: Ezulwini Valley
Swaziland-based tour and adventure operators Swazi Trails offer two standard half-day bicycle trails – the Mountain-bike Safari and the Mountain-bike Culture Trail. This particular Mountain Biking Culture Safari Combo simply combines these two popular outings into a one-day adventure that is worth every minute… particularly as it comes at a discounted rate.
Your local Swazi guide will take you on a relaxed, meandering trail through the Ezulwini Valley, Lobamba, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mantenga Nature Reserve areas. Spares, pumps and a first aid kit are carried and cycling helmets are provided. Our bikes are 21-speed MTB’s, with the available gears being useful to cover the undulating route.
Swaziland is well known for its vibrant and interesting culture. The best way to appreciate this is through undertaking guided cultural tours that reveal all its subtleties. Cultural tours are available on a daily basis from Swazi Trails, whose guides are all local Swazi nationals and whose understanding and appreciation of Swazi culture is ingrained.
Swazi Trails cultural tours depart from the Ezulwini Valley, with options of vehicle pick-ups at lodges and hotels in the Mbabane-Ezulwini-Manzini corridor. These explorations of Swazi culture can be undertaken as either a half-day, full-day or overnight experience. There is even an option to undertake cultural tours by bicycle.
Our little corner of Africa boasts having unique traditions, rituals and a variety of awe-inspiring dances- the most widely known being the sibhaca dance. This nation’s culture is still an integral part of society and you’ll find it’s people are ever eager to share it with you.
Swazi Trails offers you the chance to experience Swaziland as it was when our people were still roaming the lands in animal skins called emajobo and emahiya, which are the large, brightly-colored pieces of fabric typically worn by both Swazi men and women. Our guided tours allow you to immerse yourself in the complex dynamic of the traditional and modern world of Swaziland, with its many juxtapositions and contrasts.
Our local tour guides have in-depth knowledge of Swazi culture and it’s origins as they have been raised in the rural areas where culture practice is at its strongest. To the visitor, it will soon become apparent that Swazi people are very proud of their heritage and ever eager to share it with you. Bring a camera… and don’t be shy to use it!
Swaziland is a very special place when it comes to wildlife safaris. Africa has many safari destinations, but few that offer the intimacy of game-viewing as in Swaziland. Having escaped the hype of destinations like Kenya and Tanzania, and not subscribing to the upmarket pretentiousness of South African and Botswana safari camps, Swaziland is only under-rated by those that haven’t been here to experience what insiders have known for years: Swaziland is an African safari gem.
There 5 major parks in Swaziland and a host of smaller ones. Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve are the BIG 5, big game highlights. Both parks are managed by the Big Game Parks of Swaziland organization, a private-public partnership that has delivered an outstanding wildlife conservation record over the past almost 50 years.
Swazi Trails offers both a full and half-day safari to Hlane Royal National Park and a full day tour to Mkhaya Game Reserve – bookable online here:
Hlane Royal National Park Safari – full day
Hlane Royal National Park safari – half-day
Safari – Mkhaya Game Reserve – full day
These outings include a private return transfer from the Mbabane-Ezulwini-Manzini area. Game-viewing in the reserves is undertaken in specialized game-viewing vehicles provided by the parks authorities.
Another option is our outing to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary – which is a very different type of safari altogether. Mlilwane is situated just south of the fast-developing Ezulwini Valley area and is a vast green lung just off the pulsating peri-urban area nearby. The park is dominated by non-dangerous species (if you consider hippo, crocodile, and ostrich non-dangerous!) and allows activity-based exploration of the park. This includes walking, bicycle and horseback trails in addition to the more conventional open-vehicle game-viewing. Our Swazi Trails safari to Mlilwane includes a return transfer, plus a choice of one of these adventurous activities. Families or groups may even split up between activities – so ensuring that your experience is a very personally satisfying one.
Swazi Trails provide various options for tourists requiring transport in Swaziland. These include vehicle rental and chauffeur-driven transfers. Our services include both local and regional transfers to and from South Africa and Mozambique. We provide exclusive airport transfers for discerning clients to and from the new King Mswati III International Airport at Sikhuphe.
We offer transport and transfers for individual travelers, as well as to tour groups and corporate conference and incentives events.
As a “wheels operator”, ground-handler and tour operator in Swaziland, with a proud history of reliable transfer and transport provision dating back to 1987, you can trust us to provide you with the best available tourist transport solutions. We are founder members of the Swaziland Tourist Transport Association (TTO), a sub-committee of the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Swaziland (HOTAS).
Swazi Trails executive vehicle transfers. Our vehicle fleet includes executive quality vehicles such as the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×4 and the Hyundai H1, which are available for rental and chauffeur-driven services. Our satisfied clients in the past have included visiting members of royalty, billionaire investors, government ministers, multi-national CEO’s and international celebrities and we do not pale at the opportunity to make visits to Swaziland a first-world experience. Our executive vehicles are insured for passenger liability insurance at or above the legislated local levels and monitored via Netstar vehicle tracking.
As a corporate account partner of Europcar, we are further able to custom-package multi-day accommodation, transport and touring itineraries at the best available rates, utilizing any of the vehicles advertised as available on the Europcar South Africa website.
Exclusive tourist transport for large group transfers up to 300 persons or more at a time, we have developed a reliable system of sub-contracting suitable vehicles from other public transport operators in Swaziland. This has been necessitated by the fact that infrequent demand means that no large fleets of tourist coaches or mini-coaches permanently based in Swaziland. We, therefore, make use of good quality commuter-standard transport for large events. Through our relationships and experience built up over many years, we have pioneered cost-effective, reliable and professionally managed services in this sphere, inclusive of baggage handling, custom-branding of vehicles, refreshments and meet-and-greet services.
For regional transfers, our vehicles are licensed to do cross-border transport to Swaziland and Mozambique. We regularly transfer travelers to and from Johannesburg, Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park, Maputo Mozambique and the KwaZulu-Natal region, including Durban and the Drakensberg region. Our clientele includes many highly reputable South African and international tour operators and we are happy to provide references.
For international school and student groups, volunteer and voluntourism groups, as well as missionaries, we provide cost-effective transport options for multi-day itineraries that include customized combinations of chauffeur-drive and self-drive components, as well as special services such as 4×4 vehicles, bakkies, and trucks when needed for project work in rural community areas.
Our drivers and staff have experience in ground-handling for visiting film crews, including aspects of location management such as securing filming permits for Swaziland, arranging interviews and securing access to game parks and cultural events.
Swazi Trails is a regular supplier of rescue transfers for South African transport operators traversing Swaziland and we provide a quick and reliable payment gateway for accessing a variety of transport services in Swaziland, including coaches, mini-coaches and luggage trailers from our list of transport partners.
As a locally-based destination management company, we have build up years of experience in managing group itineraries in Swaziland. Whether you are a corporate group, an incentive group, a study group, a school group, a volunteer group, a missionary group, a choir group, a sporting group, or just straight leisure group travelers, talk to us, let us help you make the most out of your time in Swaziland.
Group travel is a little bit different and a lot more complex than individual travel, as aspects such as time management, capacities of venues and activities to deal with numbers, risk management, poor weather Plan B’s and alternative activities or menus for individuals with special needs, all need to be accommodated.
Swazi Trails has been operating in Swaziland since 1987. We’ve been under the same management since 1996. In this time we’ve seen a lot of water flow under the bridge, and we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. We look forward to being able to share this view from high up the learning curve with you. We can’t claim to be at the top, but we’d like you to join us on the climb!