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eSwatini has a Uniquely Well-preserved Cultural Heritage

Landlocked eSwatini (known until 2018 as Swaziland) has all the animal allure you’d expect from a wild tract of southern Africa and August is the height of the dry season. There are 17 game-packed protected areas spread across this pocket-sized nation’s bushveld, highveld and subtropical forests – ranger-led walks in Hlane Royal National Park are a particular thrill. But arguably it’s the human interactions here that’ll leave the greatest impression. Ruled by one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchs, eSwatini has a uniquely well-preserved cultural heritage, displayed in most dazzling fashion in late August or early September at the Umhlanga Reed Dance (this year’s falls on September 4, so extend your trip until then). This huge-scale event at Ludzidzini sees up to 40,000 exuberant, brightly dressed girls dance before the king and the queen mother.