Hlane Royal National Park (H.R.N.P) is a beautiful, diverse, and affordable wildlife park that offers incredible safari experiences. It preserves the wild heart of Swaziland that has existed throughout the country’s history. My visit provided me with amazing photos, close wildlife encounters and a relaxing environment. Watch the video below and read my review to find out more about this destination!
The Game Drive
H.R.N.P has a large range of species to photograph and encounter, and oftentimes you’ll get up close and personal! On our safari, the guide took us very close to a pride of lions. It was an exhilarating experience as there is no feeling quite like being almost eye-level with a wild big cat. During that same safari we were able to see two young elephant bulls put on a show for a female, they roughhoused for about 15 minutes right in front of us!
On our morning drive we pulled over and had some coffee. Bush coffee breaks are always such a peaceful experience, allowing us to take a moment to reflect on our recent sightings and listen to birds singing while we drinking coffee. Each of our game drives lasted a good amount of time (about 3 hours) and did not feel rushed. Our guides were extremely kind and stopped to let us take photos of anything we found interesting, large or small.
The park is smaller than some other reserves I’ve been to, however I enjoyed that trait since it allowed us to get good predator sightings in a smaller length of time. When I stayed in Kruger National Park it took us 3 weeks to find lions. The hunt to find them was fun but it kept me very worried that I wouldn’t be able to see my favorite animal before I left. In Hlane Royal National Park we ran into them on every safari and we were able to find them relatively quickly. It was very different experience… I would recommend it for travelers who don’t have an extended period of time to stay but still want to see lions. The only downside here is that there are some areas where you will see the fence line and it can make getting photos difficult in those areas. This may be problematic for anyone who would be put off by seeing fences in a wildlife area. You’ll see what I mean if you watch the video at the top of this post.
Camp was comfortable and simple but still had the trademark African bush feel to it. Near the camp there is a little area where hippos hang out and they have chairs so you can watch them (from a safe distance). I found that to be a very cool little touch where tourists can watch wildlife even while not on safari.
If you’re anything like me, this section is very important. Let me tell you… the food is AMAZING.For every meal they prepared a large spread to fit the needs of everyone. I can honestly say there was nothing I did not like! The cooks are amazing.
Should you visit?
Hlane Royal National Park is a great destination for a traveler who wants a short-term safari to see wildlife up close without having to spend days looking for them. It’s a comfortable and relaxing environment with a good diversity of wildlife that is sure to not disappoint! I would absolutely go back.
Visit their website here to find out more about them!
Let me know what you think by commenting below! Would you visit, and if so, who do you want to bring with you?
**Note: I visited Hlane Royal National Park in 2017. I wanted to make this post as it is a reserve that has a special place in my heart, however I needed to clarify and make this announcement as the photos in the video are from a few years ago and my photography style has changed quite a bit since then.