Big Bend Flights:

Flights to Big Bend

image of Big BendBig Bend is in eastern Swaziland, near the borders with Mozambique and South Africa. The main industry in the area is sugar and it’s not really a major tourist destination, however you will find that several great nature parks are within a very short drive of Big Bend so you can see the wildlife and countryside of Swaziland.

Big Bend doesn’t have an airport of its own, though flights to Big Bend can arrive at the Matsapha Airport (airport code: MTS) just outside of Manzini, which is only 70km away. Though relatively close, you will only be able to get a flight to Big Bend with South African Airways. That will be a non-stop flight that takes less than an hour. About 120km away is the Maputo International Airport (code: MPM), and that airport is served by both South African Airways and Linhas Aereas de Mocambique, and an alternative option.

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The Tourist Attractions of Big Bend:

Mhlosinga Nature Reserve
The small Mhlosinga Nature Reserve is just on the north-western outskirts of town so it is the easiest park to get to when you are in Big Bend. Most of its area is open grassland and scrub forest, though it gets a little more lush along the river that flows through. For animals, you would expect to see giraffes, large antelopes and sometimes zebras. Hendrick Van Eck Lake is at the end of the park near the city which is a popular place for boating and fishing.

Mkhaya Game Reserve
The next nearest park to Big Bend is the Mkhaya Game Reserve, which is about 20km past the Mhlosinga Park. You will be able to see several endangered species in this open grassland park. Elephant, both black and white rhinos, many kinds of antelope and dozens of bird species are all found within the park. All tours must be booked in advance and are with a staff guide. There are many vehicle trails through the park so you can be sure to find some wildlife while you visit.

Nisela Nature Reserve
Nisela Nature Reserve isn’t an open game park but a private reserve so you will only have access to the grounds if you are a guest. They have accommodations that vary in style from rough camping to luxury lodges, so even someone on a budget can stay. Common animals through the park include giraffe, antelope and zebra.

Hlane National Park
This last park in the vicinity of Big Bend is the Hlane National Park and it’s to the north of the city. It’s the largest park in the country, and should be visited even if you do not have time for the others. There are elephants, lions, zebras, antelope, rhinos, and more to be found. Large birds such as local species of eagle, vulture and storks make for some interesting bird watching too. There are game trails through the park as well as simple accommodations if you wish to stay over night.

When Should You Visit?:

The best time to come to Big Bend would be in June, July or August when the temperature is at its lowest. It will be around 25C (77F) at that time and cool enough for a jacket at nights. The spring months will be a little warmer and then it usually is above 30C (86F) during the rest of the year. Nights will still be cool, but not as cool as during June and July.

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