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Explore Eswatini (Swaziland)
TOP ACCOMMODATION GETAWAYS
WHERE TO STAY & HOW TO TRAVEL
BEST ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
TOP ACCOMMODATION GETAWAYS
WHERE TO STAY & HOW TO TRAVEL
BEST ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
Step into the heart of Eswatini, where the fusion of tradition and comfort awaits at Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat. Tucked against the Majestic Makankhutja Mountain, this retreat provides a unique experience for both local and international visitors, offering a glimpse into the vibrant cultural tapestry of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland). At the forefront of this cultural immersion is the renowned Reed Dance, or Umhlanga, pulsating as the rhythmic heartbeat of Swazi heritage.
Explore the splendour of the Umhlanga (Reed Dance) at Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat as you learn about our traditions. The Umhlanga stands as a cultural spectacle embodying the very essence of Swazi tradition. An annual celebration, this ceremony unites thousands of Swazi maidens in a vibrant dance while presenting reeds to the Queen Mother. Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat is strategically positioned a mere 40-minute drive from the heart of the Umhlanga festivities. Here, guests seamlessly blend into the lively atmosphere of the Reed Dance while enjoying the comfort and hospitality offered by Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat.
Where Tradition & Comfort Converge
Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat invites guests to relax in a variety of accommodation that harmoniously fuse homely comforts with traditional Swazi aesthetics. The lodge boasts a variety of rooms, from the spacious Main Lodge to cozy cottages. We’ve got travel to Eswatini covered!
Enriching Cultural Experiences:
Beyond the Reed Dance, Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat extends a tapestry of cultural experiences to enhance your stay. Immerse yourself in traditional dance and music performances, savour authentic Swazi cuisine, and explore local arts and craft markets. We want our guests to leave Eswatini with a deeper understanding of the very special Swazi culture.
Choosing Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat for Your Umhlanga Experience
Immersive Cultural Engagement:
Choosing Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat gives you the opportunity to actively participate in Swazi traditions and customs. The lodge acts as a cultural hub, encouraging an environment of mutual respect and understanding among guests.
Tranquil Sojourn in Eswatini:
After a day of cultural exploration, Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat provides a serene retreat. Whether by the pool, amid lush gardens, or engaging in other cultural or tourist activities arranged by the lodge, guests can unwind in comfort.
More Swazi Culture - The Incwala Ceremony
Another timeless cultural event is the Incwala Ceremony, an annual masterpiece in Eswatini. Taking place during the summer solstice, usually in December, the Incwala Ceremony, also known as the Festival of the First Fruits, symbolizes renewal, unity, and Kingship. Swazi men venture into the wilderness to harvest the season’s first fruits, marking the nation’s prosperity. The ceremony culminates in a grand procession led by the King, featuring traditional dances and rituals that reinforce the monarch’s spiritual and political authority. Immerse yourself in the essence of Swazi heritage and witness the profound significance of the Incwala Ceremony, a testament to the enduring cultural richness of Eswatini.
Eswatini's Natural Wonders:
Our beautiful, peaceful country boasts a wealth of natural wonders. From the rugged peaks of the Malolotja Nature Reserve to the lush valleys of Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, nature enthusiasts will find themselves surrounded by diverse ecosystems. Imagine exploring the awe-inspiring Mantenga Falls or witnessing the vibrant sunset over the Ezulwini Valley. Eswatini's rich biodiversity and scenic beauty will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
Eswatini Landscapes :
Above Left: Malolotja Nature Reserve
Above Right and below :Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Cultural Immersion in Eswatini:
Beyond its natural wonders, Eswatini is a peaceful Kingdom steeped in rich cultural traditions. Learn about the vibrant local culture by attending traditional ceremonies, exploring craft markets for handmade treasures, and savouring authentic Swazi cuisine. Wide Horizons can arrange cultural experiences to ensure you connect with the heart and soul of Eswatini during your stay. We can also help you find other accommodation in Eswatini - like Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Below pic is Mlilwane's beehive village
Travel Tips for Eswatini:
To make the most of your journey, consider these travel tips:
Eswatini's climate varies, so pack accordingly. Summers (November to March) are warm, while winters (May to August) can be cool, especially in the evenings.
The official currency is the Swazi Lilangeni (SZL), but South African Rand is widely accepted. It's a good idea to have some local currency on hand for small purchases.
Language: English and siSwati are the official languages. English is widely spoken, so communication should not be a significant barrier. For more travel advice, click here to go through to our local tourism authority
Public transportation options may be limited, so consider renting a car for more flexibility. Ensure you have reliable navigation tools as some rural areas may not have well-marked roads.
Carry a basic medical kit with essentials like pain relievers, any necessary prescription medications, and items for minor injuries. Be cautious of the sun (especially in summer), use sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
Respect the local culture and environment. Follow Leave No Trace principles, stay on marked trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife. Support local businesses and artisans to contribute positively to the community.
Eswatini has a rich cultural heritage. When visiting local communities or participating in cultural events, be respectful of traditions and ask for permission before taking photographs. Click here for cultural events.
Eswatini is generally safe for tourists, but it's always wise to stay vigilant. Keep your belongings secure, be cautious in unfamiliar areas, and follow local safety advice.
Wi-Fi and Connectivity: Urban areas will have internet access whereas more remote locations may not.
Time Zone: Eswatini is in the South Africa Standard Time (SAST) zone.
Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat offers a very special African experience. Enjoy the Kingdom’s warm, laid back yet inviting vibe as your soul unwinds and finds solace in Eswatini's beautiful countryside
Are you searching for an African destination that combines education, adventure, and unforgettable experiences for your school or university group? Look no further - Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat is nestled in the heart of Eswatini (Southern Africa). Our beautiful Kingdom and friendly people will warmly welcome you. You will wonder why it took so long to discover this gem. Nestled within the stunning Eswatini countryside, Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat offers a unique and enriching escape for students of all ages. Our Adventure Centre can accommodate large Youth Groups (University & School) Below pictures will give you a taste of our authentic accommodation for these groups. Teachers can either book in to stay here too or enjoy a more luxurious stay at the Main Lodge or one of our nearby Cottages. For all of our Accommodation options please Click here
Why Choose Eswatini for Educational Trips?
Eswatini, often referred to as the "Switzerland of Africa," is a captivating destination that boasts a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and abundant wildlife. It's the ideal setting for students to explore and learn in an immersive, real-world environment.
Wide Horizons: Where Education Meets Adventure
Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat has partnered with All Out Africa to create a variety of inspiring programs that blend academic learning with hands-on experiences. Here's why your school or university group should consider us for your next educational adventure:
1. Experiential Learning: We believe that the best way to learn is through experience. Students can engage with the natural world, discovering the local flora and fauna, participating in wildlife monitoring, and gaining a deeper understanding of biodiversity.
2. Cultural Immersion: Eswatini is a land of diverse cultures, and students can interact with local communities, learning about traditional practices, customs, and the challenges they face. This cross-cultural experience fosters empathy and global awareness.
3. Environmental Stewardship: Our retreat promotes environmental conservation. Students can participate in eco-friendly initiatives, such as tree planting and wildlife conservation efforts, gaining an appreciation for the importance of preserving our planet. (Learn more about All Out Africa's Savannah Research Centre in the lowveld of Eswatini, and the Marine Research Centre in Mozambique)
4. Adventure and Team Building: Beyond the classroom, students can partake in various adventure activities. Hiking, team-building exercises, and outdoor challenges encourage leadership, teamwork, and personal growth.
5. Inspiring Setting: Wide Horizons is situated in the picturesque Eswatini countryside. The peaceful and tranquil environment enhances concentration and reflection, providing an ideal atmosphere for learning.
When you choose Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat for your educational escape, you're not just providing students with knowledge; you're giving them the tools to become responsible global citizens. Our programs cater to all educational levels, from primary schools to universities, ensuring that every student leaves with a newfound appreciation for nature, culture, and adventure.
Below : All Out Africa's Marine Research Centre & Savannah Research Centre
Transforming Lives Through Education and Community Engagement
As a group of companies, we believe in the power of education to transform lives, not only for students but also for the communities they touch. Our commitment to meaningful learning extends beyond the classroom. We invite you to explore the educational adventure opportunities in Eswatini - not only to enrich your students' lives but also to make a positive impact on the communities they encounter. Discover the remarkable synergy between our community projects and the benefits they bring, fostering a spirit of learning, empathy, and global citizenship. Join us in making education a force for good in the world.
Plan Your Educational Adventure in Eswatini Today
To learn more about our educational programs or to begin planning your next school or university group adventure at Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat, please do get in touch to find out more by emailing us : email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us help you create an unforgettable and enriching experience that your students will carry with them forever. Eswatini awaits, and we look forward to welcoming you and hosting your group.
#EducationalTripsEswatini, #SchoolGroupAdventures, #UniversityStudentPrograms, EnvironmentalEducationProgram, #CulturalExperiences, #AdventureActivities, #Eco-friendly, #EswatiniBiodiversity #StudentExploration, #Eswatini biodiversity
When it comes to immersive travel experiences in Africa, Eswatini stands out as a hidden gem. Nestled within this enchanting kingdom is Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat, an oasis of peace and tranquility - and natural beauty that promises an unforgettable getaway. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a family in search of quality time, an adventure seeker, or a school/university group looking for a unique educational journey, this is your destination of choice.
Why Choose Eswatini?
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a landlocked kingdom known for its picturesque landscapes, rich culture, and abundant wildlife. It's a destination that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, where the call of the wild takes center stage.
Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat
Your Home in the Wilderness, your country getaway...
Located on a small nature reserve and wildlife estate, Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat is the epitome of serenity. Here are a few compelling reasons to make it your next travel destination:
1. Nature at its Best: Eswatini's natural beauty is on full display at Wide Horizons. Surrounded by lush landscapes and breathtaking views, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the great outdoors.
2. Diverse Activities: From hiking trails which are a birdwatchers paradise, to tranquil dams ideal for sundowners, and exhilarating game walks, there's something for everyone. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy tennis, while those seeking a relaxed pace can engage in lawn games or find solace in the contemplation chapel.
3. Unique Location: While the journey may require navigating gravel roads, the destination is more than worth it. The seclusion of Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat adds to its charm, making it the perfect place to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature.
4. Accommodating All Travelers: Whether you're traveling with your family, as an individual, or part of a school or university group, you'll find accommodations and activities tailored to your needs.
5. Adventure Awaits: If you're an adventure enthusiast, Eswatini has something in store for you. Explore the wilderness, engage with local communities, and experience a side of Africa that's far from the beaten track.
Directions / How to Get Here :
To reach Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat, you'll embark on a scenic journey, navigating gravel roads. The journey itself is an adventure, giving you a taste of what awaits at your destination.
Eswatini is a captivating destination that beckons travellers seeking an authentic African experience. Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat invites you to discover the kingdom's natural wonders and immerse yourself in a peaceful, tranquil setting. It's the ideal choice for families, solo adventurers, school and university groups, and anyone with a love for the great outdoors.
When planning your next journey to Eswatini, remember that the road less travelled leads to the most remarkable adventures. Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat is waiting to provide you with an unforgettable experience in this unspoiled African paradise. Book your stay today and be prepared to fall in love with Eswatini's untamed beauty.
To contact Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat :
Phone : +268 7863 3355 (also on whatsapp)
Whether you're in search of a relaxing escape or a thrilling adventure, Eswatini and Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat have it all. Book your stay now, and let your journey begin ...
I checked into the Lodge and immediately fell in love with the place. Wide Horizons has the most beautiful mountain views that are very hard to match. Upon my arrival in November, I walked the grounds to orientate myself and soak in the peaceful vibe and atmosphere. Beautiful long hikes and green scenery filled the place. Wildlife, indigenous trees and friendly staff are all part of the greater Wide Horizons family.
Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat, reviewed as one of the best outdoor getaways in Eswatini, Southern Africa
First on my agenda was to check the different rooms offered by the beautiful lodge. First was the Main Lodge that has a stunning fitted kitchen with a pantry and state of the art kitchenware.
Main Lodge kitchen for self catering holidays and stays. This is also a great venue for corporate team builds and strategy session
My favorite part of the Main Lodge is definitely the bedrooms that have beautiful mountain views. Many of the rooms offer a different and unique feel, each with their own theme. I absolutely fell in love with the distinctive ‘blue room’ that reminds of my favorite movie ‘the sisterhood of the travelling pants’. It has beautiful creative and artistic glass work, mirrored closets and a large door leading outside to give you an indoor-outdoor feel... and a gorgeous view of the expansive vistas down the valley.
Blue Room is one of the Lodge favourites, offering a memorable stay in Eswatini. Families love to book out the whole Lodge for reunions
The ‘Mountain View Room’ is a large room with a king sized bed facing the most incredible view of the mountain that is to die for. I fell in love with the enormous bathtub that feels like you are in a Jacuzzi. The Manager gave me keys to the other cottages just to admire and to familiarize myself with the environment before I start my duties as the Lodge’s intern.
Mountain View Room in the Main Lodge is upstaires. It displays spectacular views of the Mountain and Valley. Enjoy sunrise here with a cup of coffee!
Mountain View Veranda showing the glorious views over the African bush.
A peaceful, soulful space where memories are made ...
There was the Ligwalagwala Camp, Aloe Camp, Valley View, as well as The Rose cottage which was my favorite of the four. Each Cottage provides its own comfort and convenience for its clients. Beautiful interior design and architectural work fill the spaces. I loved the atmosphere and my excitement to start taking bookings and learning more skyrocketed.
Rose Cottage Accommodation on our Wildlife Estate. Popular choice for friends, families and corporates. A fun getaway ...
A sneak peak inside Rose Cottage (downstaires). A great country holiday
Main Lodge courtyard view from Rose Cottage. Full lodge family bookings can include other cottages too
Rose Cottage and Valley View Private Braai area. The swimming pool and tennis court and hiking trails are close by too ...
Fezile Matsebula :
Feeling energised by the natural spaces, peace and tranquility
My stay here has been incredible so far and I cannot wait to learn more so I can advance in my management career.
Written by Fezile Matsebula
My eyes opened and gold poured in. Then my lungs opened too, and I took in the chill fresh morning air.
For the out door lovers sunrise at Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat is spectacular. A great space to reflect
This was 9th July 1973. Sunrise. My very first visit to Wide Horizons. I kept a diary in those days, so have an accurate contemporaneous record of the fact as well as my enriched memory of the moment.
For every visitor to this hidden jewel in Africa, there will be a special something: a sound, a sight, a smell. It will be for a moment and that special moment will grow. You have to be there to drink in the place with all your senses to sow that memory seed. A lovely website photo will offer only a taste of what awaits you.
Wide Horizons Main Lodge has ample space, perfect to celebrate birthdays, special occasions, corporate events & team builds in Eswatini
The colors of my first visit five decades ago have been enhanced by three more visits, each to celebrate significant birthdays, mine and of my dear lifelong friend, Rose Roques. As well as the celebrations, each has laid down new memories. The night sounds, the smell of abundant flowers and sometimes damp earth, the enticing horizon beneath the big blue skies.
With all this as the canvas, I have painted never to be forgotten experiences: whitewater rafting (a single day, on and often in the river, was vivid enough to last me and my family a lifetime), trips exploring the magical Eswatini using Wide Horizons as a base, walks along the local trails and more.
Martin Farrell at Wide Horizon Mountain Retreat, facilitating an outdoor team build and strategy session for All Out Africa
As a young man I adventured through Africa working and traveling, discovering its ways. Each time I have returned, I have found changes – ATM's, tar roads, telephones. But what draws me back is not only the special nature of Africa, but the vast stillness of this place.
And also I know that every day I wake, wherever I am on earth, that same sun will be rising, waiting to pour gold into the eyes of those who are lucky or wise enough to open their eyes to it.
Written by Martin Farrell
Martin Farrell is a certified professional facilitator, accredited by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Tipping points in life Live Well Die Wise group starting 27th May
If you are looking for a peaceful space with spectacular views, you may want to visit us. Come and see for yourself and decide if you want to bring your team here. Team Builds or out of town business meetings and business strategy sessions must not be overlooked. The outdoors will elevate everyone's mood and help get their creative juices flowing ...
Wide Horizons in 1973 - and its still in the family half a century later. Culture, heritage and history run deep. Click here to view more pics from days gone by
Rose and Giles Roques arrived at Wide Horizons in Swaziland in1973 and in Rose's words this is how it happened:
The winding, rough dirt road from Malkerns eventually led us to an impossibly steep and stony hillside. The track appeared almost suspended between encroaching dongas, which bled deep and red into the verdant valley below.
We stopped for a few minutes to drink in the vista below us. The view spread out from the saddle of the craggy hillside and stretched as far as we could see to the distant hazy blue mountains of Mozambique. Far in the distance we could make out a cluster of thatched buildings nestled into the hillside like an eagle's eyrie. Was that it? The place we were searching for?
We drove on over several more river crossings and reached a faint track leading off to the right up the mountain. A small, faded and crooked wooden board declared "Wide Horizons". It was barely legible. Our hearts leapt as we began the last leg of our long journey between the mealie fields and Swazi kraals with curious children peering at us around bushes and shyly smiling and waving.
Coaxing Rufus (our trusty Land Rover that Giles had driven overland from England to South Africa in 1972) up the steep track that snaked up the steep and boulder strewn hillside, we felt a real flutter of excitement and anticipation. What would we find? How long before had a vehicle braved this almost nonexistent road? Had they had to spend a while digging a way through the bank of the river to make it fordable? Had they one day, locked the door, and driven down the hill, leaving their beloved home, never to return again? Had they glanced backwards with regret?
Giles and Rose Roques in the early days. They absolutely fell in love with Africa, and especially Eswatini, a place they proudly called home
Deserted Wide Horizons - Our Dream House
Driving through the leaning wooden gateposts, the gate hanging off its rusty hinges, we found what seem to be a ghost house. Deserted for more than 8 years we felt a sense of awe and wonder. Built in the shape of a straggling horse shoe, quartz stone rondavels joined together to take advantage of the 360 degree view. The tatty thatched roof, holed in many places by years of rain and neglect, gaped where the shaggy grass allowed the evening to shine through. The garden was bizarre. Neatly laid out and edged paths in patterns led to a terraced stone walled flowerbed with the odd surviving rose bush bravely still flowering. Drunken latticed arches festooned in draping grapevines, an empty lily pond and a small stone statue completed the picture of stumbling into a scene from a book.
Wide Horizons Kitchen 1974. staff hard at work, making it happen
Click Here to View more photos from the good old days ...
Wandering around the outside of the house, we gazed in through the surprisingly unbroken windows at the empty echoing rooms full of unseen ghosts. A mulberry tree stood sentinel in the middle of what had once been a well tended lawn. Hardy geranium bushes with brilliant splashes of pink and scarlet blooms framed the house.
Wide Horizons Hopes and Dreams
That night, as the full moon bathed the ghostly scene in brilliantly shadowed light, we made a small fire outside the kitchen door (firmly locked against intruders like us) lay out our sleeping bags and spent the evening gazing out over the aptly named "Wide Horizons" of farm 375, Manzini. Listening to the nightjars calling from one side of the hill to the other, we chatted long into the night about our plans, projects and dreams and how we could make them happen on this 1500 acres of mountainside paradise bush in the heart of Swaziland.
I felt a thrill of excitement tinged with nervousness at the though. Isolated, far from tar roads, people, civilization so incredibly different from the life I have just left in the middle of the bustling city of Johannesburg. It was daunting to me. But I was soon swept up by Giles' incredible enthusiasm and conviction that this could be our idyllic home and launch site for so many rural schemes that were running through his energetic mind.
Wide Horizons East View in 1974 with Rose Roques and Kim Roques at 1 week old. The family is still passionate about their home and pour time in daily to preserve and protect this beautiful place - and its creatures.
Wide Horizons Farm
For two days we walked the boundaries of the farm. Exploring the mountain sides, dongas, boulder hopping down the cascading stream, which was the central artery and lifeblood of the farm. We discovered deep, cool pools overhung with shady trees. Stripping off our clothes we splashed and cavorted delighting in washing off the dust and stickiness from our long hours of walking through thick bush. We dug soil samples from each arable area and collected different grass species for identification. As we did so, we visualised the open spaces of gently waving grasslands teaming with herds of our own cattle.
At night, as we lay exhausted from all our activities by the dying fireside and listened to the night sounds and watched the moon's shadows eerily moving over the landscape, my thoughts ran back to my past, as I lived the dream I had had for so long of being here in Africa.
Written by Rose Roques
Home away from home is what Wide Horizons Retreat has become for me. I am sure if you ask a dozen people what a home is, you will get different responses. The most common definition is; home is where you and your family live - but I have a different view of a home, it is a secure place, filled with so much love, cheer and respect.
Breathtaking view at Aloe Camp, an all time favorite romantic getaway stay in Eswatini. And below showing the natural gardens and surrounds
Above picture showing the natural gardens and surrounds from the veranda
Aloes of Aloe Camp in full bloom, bringing vibrant colour to winter months
Comparatively, this is Aloe Camp in summer - green and lush
MOVING TO WIDE HORIZONS RETREAT
When I joined Wide Horizons, I was quite nervous and stressed out. Taking on a live-in position as lodge manager in the countryside, an hour away from town was quite a huge change from what I was used to. Setting up my accommodation there as a place to stay was a big step.
To my surprise, the transition was incredible, way better than I had expected. I felt at home instantly, the team was so welcoming. All friendly faces who went the extra mile to make sure I was comfortable enough to make Wide Horizons my home.
Nosipho Thwala, our friendly Lodge Manager
One can honestly never get enough of how hands-on every team member is, all specially handpicked to achieve one goal ‘being the most preferred destination in the Kingdom of Eswatini.’
HOMELY ACCOMMODATION & AWESOME GETAWAY EXPERIENCE
We work together to make Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat your other home. The services and every team member is there to serve you, our honoured guests.
Our charming Rose Cottage - families and friend groups love this cottage. To view availability and book CLICK HERE
Book a gourmet picnic for your group (prior to your arrival). The picnic views are simply breathtaking and the vibe is very relaxing.
I hope you become part of our Wide Horizons Mountain Retreat Family!"
For more info and to view our activities CLICK HERE
NATURE INFUSED GETAWAYS RIGHT HERE ...
Are you dreaming of your next weekend or holiday in beautiful, serene spaces? A retreat where you can ponder the past year, and recalibrate your future ? To plan & brainstorm, to set goals and get fired up about the exciting opportunities and possibilities that could be a single decision away. Or do you desire to simply escape for a bit to share meaningful experiences with the people you truly love and care for the most? Well, dear friends, Eswatini certainly fits that bill - and more. She will not disappoint you! Our Nation is alive with colourful, soulful offerings which we will share with you over the course of our Blogs. For now we will focus on how to get you here safely.
Great to connect! Our Blog & Latest News is crafted by several team members who are passionate about Travel. We love sharing advice on where to go, places to visit & things to do. Adventure activities including hiking & mountain biking are also high on our priority list.
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