A Traveller's Guide to Swaziland
Excerpts from "A Traveller's Guide to Swaziland" by Bob Forrester.















Medium to High rates. The Swazi Sun Complex: The Royal Swazi Sun Hotel is a large, ritzy hotel and casino in resort surroundings. Mirrors, marble floors and reproduction Georgian furniture give an English country house atmosphere, slightly frayed at the edges. The hotel is styled in the grand colonial manner, which never historically existed in Swaziland. Along with Summerfields, these are the places to see and be seen in the country, if that is your pleasure. The hotel is set in impeccable, park-like grounds, with its own world-championship standard golf course. Food in the restaurants is expensive, well presented and very bland. Excellent facilities. High rates. www.suninternational.com swazisun@sunint.co.za

The Ezulwini Sun and the Lugogo Sun are part of the Swazi Sun complex. The Ezulwini and the Lugogo are cheaper and more family oriented with good quality bedrooms, however the Lugogo has only two small arthritic lifts servicing 250 or so rooms, so get your luggage down in plenty of time if you have a tight schedule. Both have attractive outside pool areas, the Ezulwini has pleasant views across the valley to the Mdzimba mountains opposite. The Ezulwini has reproduction Victorian fretwork, art nouveau wooden pineapple panels and garden trellises in the interior.

Neither of the restaurants in these hotels are recommended, the buffets are okay, for a la carte you are better off eating somewhere else. The buffet breakfasts are good. Former Holiday Inns, half the rooms have a mountain view, the other half look out over the parking lot. Residents at the Ezulwini and Lugogo share sporting and gambling amenities with the Royal Swazi Sun. Cheaper than the main hotel - medium to high rates. Royal Swazi Sun, Ezulwini, telephone 416 5000. Lugogo Sun, telephone: 416 4000. Ezulwini Sun, telephone: 416 6000. www.suninternational.com . swazisun@sunint.co.za

Mantenga Lodge is a small hotel in Lobamba/Ezulwini, with very pleasant gardens and pool area. Some rooms (built on platforms) are light and airy, but suffer from tiny bathrooms. Medium rates. Better food than most hotels. Telephone: 416 1049 / 416 2168 reservations@mantengalodge.com

The Royal Villas were built to house visiting heads of state, when they are not being used for this purpose you can stay there, they are in Lobamba, near Ezulwini. There are fourteen detached villas, each fitted out in an ultra luxurious style. The Sultan Suite for instance has a private dining room, two lounges, a spacious bedroom with vast bed with silk sheets, bar, steam room, jacuzzi, a study (if you are so inclined) and its own landscaped garden. An interesting example of how political elites house themselves. Have a look at their website for some interior shots. Princely rates. Phone 416 7035. www.royalvillasswaziland.com reservations@royalvillas.sz

Lidwala Lodge is conveniently located on the old main road in Ezulwini, set back from the main road in very attractive gardens. They have a range of tents and rooms at good rates. The best balance of attraction, value for money and convenient location backpackers in the country. They have a very pleasant wide verandah to relax on and the tents are spacious and have privacy. Very convenient if you are traveling with All Out Africa. Phone 550 4951. info@lidwala.co.sz or phone Roland at 602 3694. Highly recommended.

Old Buhleni Farm Chalets are in Ezulwini opposite the Gables Shopping Complex. The self contained two bedroom chalets are built from thin wooden walls which are not well insulated, but the interiors are pleasantly furnished and they are set in a large area of fenced forest and gardens. Phone 416 3505, www.buhlenifarm.co.sz . Good location.

Timbali Lodge is set in pleasant treed landscape in Ezulwini. The rooms are spacious and very well furnished, given that this is a medium priced establishment you get good value for money. All rooms have bathrooms en suite and have DSTV, internet, minibars, room service, ceiling fans and airconditioning. The Boma Restaurant is a part of Timbali. See the restaurants entry. Recommended. Phone 416 1156 timbali@realnet.co.sz www.timbalilodge.co.sz