Tourism: The making of Africa's Eden
By Tom Nevin.
A few million years ago, the earth's surface suddenly twisted, buckled and cracked. Monstrous fissures, many kilometres long, split the land and lava spewed forth creating rivers of molten rock and flinging blazing comets high into the sky. Towering mountains and deep valleys were created. In time Nature did her work and transformed the seared and blackened landscape into an Eden: forested mountain slopes, clear rivers that crash over waterfalls or flow silently, kaleidoscopic flora and shy fauna, and a climate northerners can only dream about.
Standing at the poolside of the Royal Swazi Sun Hotel and gazing up at the majestic blue-hued mountains on all sides, it's impossible to imagine the conflagration aeons ago that time has translated into the Ezulwini Valley - the tranquil and magnificent setting of the Royal Swazi Sun trio of hotels high in the Lubombo ranges of Swaziland.
The Royal Swazi Sun Valley is home to three of Sun International hotel group's four hotels in Swaziland, the fourth is the Nhlangano Sun in the Southern region of the country. Sun Valley is part of the deeply riven Ezulweni Valley between the capital of Mbabane and the industrial hub of Manzini. Here a remarkable playground has been created: hotels with luxury accommodation of a standard easily equalling anywhere in southern Africa, tournament standard golf courses, casinos and other amenities too numerous to mention.
The hub of the hotel complex is the Spa - a hot water spring of eternally warm and therapeutically bracing mineral waters, a reminder of the region's fiery origins, which flows into a swimming pool romantically known 'the cuddle puddle'.
*The 149-room Royal Swazi Sun is the flagship of the Ezulwini Valley trio. Originally built in 1965, it has been regularly refurbished to maintain right royal style. The combination of luxury accommodation, restaurants, conference centre, country club and golf course, casino and an elegant new Health Spa attract holiday-makers, conference delegates and sportsmen for the pure leisure and fun of it.
* Ezulwini Sun welcomes its guests to a warm Caribbean feeling. All 120 rooms are appointed in a relaxing cabana style with all-round views of the mountains. Horse riding, tennis, swimming and other amenities are available at the hotel, while the country club and casino at the Royal Swazi Sun are on the doorstep.
* Lugogo Sun has 202 rooms and caters for a range of requirements including sports groups, conference delegates and families. Guests have the use of the facilities at Ezulwini Sun and Royal Swazi Sun, including horseriding, go1f, lawn bowls, squash and the Health Spa.
*The 48-room, chalet-style Nhlangano Sun Hotel and Casino overlooks the picturesque Makhosini valley and attracts holiday-makers and conferences to its spacious and serene environment of 45 acres accommodating a golf course and tennis courts, casino, swimming pool and horseriding.
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