Flights to Mbabane
Mbabane is in north-western Swaziland, not far from the border with South Africa. There are several excellent national parks and wilderness areas near the city that offer a wide variety of natural sights during your stay. The city itself is very pleasant, though not remarkable as a tourist destination in itself.
Swaziland’s main Matsapha Airport (airport code: MTS) is about 30 kilometres away from Mbabane in the city of Manzini, and this is the closest airport for flights to Mbabane. Though this is the main airport for the country flights are limited; in fact, the only airline that has flights to Mbabane from Johannesburg is South African Airways and they have a non-stop route that takes under an hour.
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The Tourist Attractions of Mbabane:
Malolotja National Park
The Malolotja National Park is a park of forested mountains, and it’s the largest protected space in Swaziland. The highest point is the peak of Ngwenya Mountain (just over 1800m altitude) but some regions of the park are lower river valleys as well. The Malolotja Falls are a particularly impressive sight within the park, but you can also see large numbers of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and possibly an occasional leopard.
Mantenga Nature Reserve
South of Mbabane is the Mantenga Nature Reserve and cultural village. The village portion is made up of several traditional village huts, reed fencing for livestock and many other features of rural Swazi life. Within the rest of the park, you can see green rolling hills and some more mountainous areas and waterfalls. Several species of monkey live in this region as well as many species of birds. There are picnic areas and a small restaurant so you can easily spend the entire day here. The park continues farther south, and becomes the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Ngwempisi Wilderness Area
A little farther away from Mbabane to the south is the Ngwempisi Wilderness Area, where a hiking trail has been established for anyone who wants to explore this more remote area for themselves. The total trail is 35km (22 miles) in length and will take you through the Nffungula Hills and along the deep Ngwempisi Gorge.
One more natural attraction near Mbabane is the Sibebe Rock; a huge granite dome that is just outside the city limits to the north-east. It is a strenuous climb to get to the top but you do not need to be a rock-climber to do it. The view is spectacular and you can usually arrange a guided tour up to the top and of the surrounding caves.
When Should You Visit?:
The best time to plan a trip to Mbabane is in the winter months of June and July. This is the coolest and driest time of the year that makes for the best sight-seeing. These months are around 21C (70F) with much cooler evenings and virtually no rain. During the summer months, from December until late March, it will be closer to 27C (81F) in the daytime and the rains usually come in around this time as well.