A very scenic road leads north from Mbabane through what is called Pine Valley along the Black Umbeluzi (Umbhuluzi Lomnyama) river. Mission Falls (named after the Umbeluzi Mission near here) is a beauty spot with Bald Rock behind it. The road continues through typical rural scenery, passes through the Malandela Hills with traditional homesteads like Maphalaleni and curves around towards Luve, north of Manzini.
Typical of Swaziland are the beehive shaped grass huts known as "gucqasithandaze", meaning "kneel and pray", an indication of their shape: a person kneeling with their head to the ground.
Closer to Mbabane is Dlangeni, an area with traditional homesteads and a small lake: Mantjolo lake holds special significance for the Swazi people. It is forbidden to throw stones in the lake as it would disturb the spirits there. There are many narrow gravel roads around here, leading to places like Mpolonjeni to the north west of the capital and Kopola just to the south east. A road to the south west crosses the Lufushwana (Little Usutu) River, passing small village homesteads like Tonkwane, Emvakwelitshe and Sipocosini, with good views of the river, on its way to the Usutu Forest and the small town of Mhlambanyatsi in Manzini District.
The Ezulwini Valley (meaning the valley of Heaven) is indeed a beautiful part of Swaziland. From Mbabane the main road goes down Malegwane Hill and a panorama opens up towards the valley and a string of mountains, dominated by two pointed peaks known as "Sheba's breasts". The road leads past the Swazi Health and Beauty Studio and the Casino and nearby is Mantenga Falls on the Lufushwana (Little Usutu) River, a popular tourist spot.
A side road, known as the "Tea Road" leads to tea plantations that were started in the early seventies. There are, as everywhere in the country, small traditional homesteads, houses built of earth and with grass roofs, where maize and other crops are grown and young boys look after their father's cattle. Near Dlangeni is a small, peaceful lake.
Close to Mantenga Falls is the small Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, where, on a leisurely drive, you easily encounter many impalas and zebras, but also the rare white rhinoceros and a pair of giraffes. In the early seventies one of those giraffes was killed when it walked into a power line; a replacement was donated by South Africa. And a popular feature in those days was a large hog, nicknamed "Lady Jane", who lazed around the small visitor centre of the reserve.