Although it's the smallest country in the southern hemisphere, Swaziland is big on experiences. Landlocked on all sides by South Africa and Mozambique, its 17,364 square kilometres provide a level of intimacy with wildlife that is unparalleled; it's a real safari treasure and is far from the mass tourism of neighbouring safari destinations.
There are five main parks and a number of smaller reserves, but if it's the Big Five you're after Mkhaya Game Reserve (renowned for its Rhino Safaris) and Hlane Royal National Park are the destinations for you. But what makes Swaziland different from other safari destinations is the chance to explore beautiful parks and wild places at completely your own pace and on your own terms.
There are plenty of parks where you don't need a guide and you can explore at your own leisure. But the best way to safari here is to self-drive (although local transport is also good and plentiful). For untamed wilderness and the chance to explore the bush on foot or on bicycle visit Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mbuluzi Wildlife Reserve.
The other benefit of a safari in Swaziland is that there is lots of budget self catering accommodation and camping options at most parks and reserves and the conservation fees (park fees) are staggeringly under £3 a day making it affordable for everyone from families to students.
The emphasis in Swaziland is to provide visitors with a wildlife experience in areas of natural beauty, and to allow them a certain amount of freedom to explore on their own terms and to their own budgets. This is no place for mass tourism and convoys of vehicles; instead you get a intimate view and gain a better understanding of the bush and experience the thrill of tracking some of Africa's big mammals.