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Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : Swaziland
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<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center; border-bottom: 1px solid #C9AFFF; background-color: #ddddff">Flag</td></tr>
 
<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center; padding: 2px">[[Image:wz-flag.png]]</td></tr>
 
<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center; border-bottom: 1px solid #C9AFFF; border-top: 1px solid #C9AFFF; background-color: #ddddff">Quick Facts</td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Capital'''</td><td>Mbabane; note - Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital</td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Government'''</td><td>monarchy; independent member of Commonwealth<br/></td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Currency'''</td><td>lilangeni (SZL)</td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Area'''</td><td>''total:'' 17,363 sq km <br>''water:'' 160 sq km <br>''land:'' 17,203 sq km</td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Population'''</td><td>1,123,605 <br>''note:'' estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)</td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Language'''</td><td>English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)</td></tr>
 
<tr><td valign="top" style="padding-left: 2px">'''Religion'''</td><td>Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship) 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish and other 30%</td></tr>
 
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[[Image:wz-map.png|frame|Map of Swaziland]]
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{{quickbar
Swaziland's monarchy, one of the oldest in Africa, is gradually allowing more democratic reforms. The scourge of the AIDS virus is particularly prevalent in this country.
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| image=Hippo Swaziland.jpg
 
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| caption=A hippo in Milwane Game Reserve
==Regions==
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| location=Swaziland in its region.svg
 
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| flag=Flag of Swaziland.svg
==Cities==
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| capital=[[Mbabane]]; note - [[Lobamba]] is the royal and legislative capital
*[[Mbabane]] - capital
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| government=Commonwealth monarchy
*[[Lobamba]] - royal and legislative capital
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| currency=Lilangeni (SZL), plural Emalangeni
 
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| area=17,363km²<br />water: 160km²<br />land: 17,203km²
==Other destinations==
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| population=1,123,605
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| language=English & siSwati (official)
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| religion=Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship) 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, Tradional beliefs 15%, Bahai 5%, Muslim 2%, Hindu 0.2%, and other 17%
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| electricity=230V, 50Hz ([[Electrical_systems#Plugs_and_adapters|type M plug]])
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| callingcode=+268
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| tld=.sz
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| timezone=UTC +2
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}}
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[http://www.welcometoswaziland.com/ '''Swaziland'''] is an absolute monarchy in [[Southern Africa]], landlocked by [[South Africa]] in its west and [[Mozambique]] in the east.
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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Swaziland, one of the last absolute monarchies (''Umbuso weSwatini'') in the world, is one of the smallest countries in [[Africa]] and has a well-earned reputation for friendliness in [[Southern Africa]]. It also contains several large game parks and reserves, which are sponsored by the government and are popular tourist destinations.
  
==Get in==
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Compared to other countries in the region, Swaziland is known for its civility and peacefulness, despite similar problems with poverty and one of the world's worst AIDS crises. As of November 2008 the total reported percentage of those with HIV was listed as 30%; this, of course, does not include those who have not yet been tested. The AIDS epidemic has broken up the traditional extended family unit, leaving many young children orphaned and fighting for survival.
  
===By bus===
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Swaziland is divided into four administrative districts: Hhohho (northwest),
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Lubombo (east), Manzini (central-west), and Shiselweni (south).
  
Most bus services arrive in Mbabane or Mlilwane. Larger buses generally provide service to Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town in South Africa as well as Maputo in Mozambique.  
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===History===
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Artifacts indicating human activity dating back to the early Stone Age 200,000 years ago have been found in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Prehistoric rock art paintings date from c. 25,000&nbsp;BC. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by the Bantu tribes during Bantu migrations who hailed from the Great Lakes regions of Eastern Africa.  
  
Smaller bus lines, or minibuses usually stop at border crossings, where passengers must connect with an onward journey.
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The autonomy of the Swaziland Nation was dictated by British rule of southern Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1881 the British government signed a convention recognizing Swazi independence. At the start of the Anglo Boer war, Britain placed Swaziland under its direct jurisdiction as a Protectorate. The Swaziland independence Constitution was promulgated by Britain in November 1963 in terms of which a legislative Council and an Executive Council were established.  The first Legislative Council of Swaziland was constituted on 9 September 1964. Changes to the original constitution proposed by the Legislative Council were accepted by Britain and a new Constitution providing for a House of Assembly and Senate was drawn up. Elections under this Constitution were held in 1967. Since 1973, Swaziland has seen a rather quiet struggle between pro-multiparty activists and the monarchy. It gained independence from the UK in 1968.
  
The independent Baz Bus, a South African line somewhat popular among backpackers, also makes regular stops via South Africa to various hostels and hotels in Swaziland.
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===Climate===
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Generally speaking, rain falls mostly during the summer months, often in the form of thunderstorms. Winter is the dry season. Annual rainfall is highest on the High Veld in the west, between 1000 and 2000mm depending on the year. The further east, the less rain, with the Low Veld recording 500 to 900mm per annum. Variations in temperature are also related to the altitude of the different regions. The Highveld temperature is temperate and, seldom, uncomfortably hot while the Low Veld may record temperatures around 40 degrees in summer.
  
==Get Around==
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[[Image:Swaziland Regions map.png|thumb|upright=2|Map of Swaziland]]
  
Most travel in Swaziland is by either car or minibus.
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==Cities==
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*[[Mbabane]] - capital
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*[[Lobamba]] - royal and legislative capital
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*[[Manzini]] - major business centre
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*[[Big Bend (Swaziland)| Big Bend]]
  
Minibuses are prevalent, but can be confusing. Like similar modes of travel around the world, these are small vans that accumulate as many travellers as possible while making their way along a general direction. These vans are often driven by very young men, and most have assistants who estimate and collect fares, ask your destination, and make change.
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==Other destinations==
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*[[Mkhaya Game Reserve]]
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*[[Hlane Royal National Park]]
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*[[Malolotja Nature Reserve]]
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*[[Mlawula Nature Reserve]]
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*[[Mantenga Nature Reserve]]
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*[[Siteki]]
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*[[Mlilwane Game Reserve]]
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*[[Maguga dam]]
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Phophonyane Falls Eco Lodge and Nature Reserve
  
Be prepared for crowded seats, loud radios, and sometimes reckless driving.
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==Get in==
  
Minibuses can usually be flagged down along main roads. Larger towns usually serve as minibus hubs or connections. Finding the correct bus can be tricky, so discreetly ask if you can't figure it out. You will be advised to watch your belongings, as such places, like all bus terminals worldwide, have disproportionally higher crime rates.
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===Entry requirements===
  
==Talk==
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Nationals of all [[European Union]] member states, [[Andorra]], [[Antigua and Barbuda]], [[Argentina]], [[Australia]], [[Bahamas]], [[Barbados]], [[Belize]], [[Bosnia and Herzegovina]], [[Botswana]], [[Brazil]], [[Brunei]], [[Canada]], [[Chile]], [[China]] (PRC), [[Dominica]], [[East Timor]], the [[Gambia]], [[Ghana]], [[Grenada]], [[Guyana]], [[Israel]], [[Jamaica]], [[Japan]], [[Kenya]], [[Kuwait]], [[Lesotho]], [[Madagascar]], [[Malawi]], [[Malaysia]], [[Maldives]], [[Mauritius]], [[Monaco]], [[Montenegro]], [[Mozambique]], [[Namibia]], [[Nauru]], [[New Zealand]], [[Norway]], [[Palestine]], [[Papua New Guinea]], [[Qatar]], [[Russia]], [[Saint Lucia]], [[Samoa]], [[San Marino]], [[Serbia]], [[Seychelles]], [[Sierra Leone]], [[Singapore]], [[Solomon Islands]], [[South Africa]], [[South Korea]], [[Switzerland]], [[Taiwan]], [[Tanzania]], [[Tonga]], [[Trinidad and Tobago]], [[Turkey]], [[Tuvalu]], [[Uganda]], [[Ukraine]], [[United Arab Emirates]], [[United States]], [[Uruguay]], [[Vanuatu]], [[Rome/Vatican|Vatican City]], [[Zambia]] and [[Zimbabwe]] may enter Swaziland visa-free for up to 30 days.
English is the official language of business, however the local language SiSwati (also known as Swazi) will be useful talking to some locals.
 
  
==Buy==
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If you require a visa to enter Swaziland, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission or consulate in the country where you legally reside if there is no Swaziland diplomatic post. For example, the British embassies in Al Khobar[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/saudiarabia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Amman[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/jordan/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Belgrade[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/serbia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Budapest[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/hungary/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Cairo[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/egypt/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Damascus[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/syria/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Guatemala City[http://ukinguatemala.fco.gov.uk/en/visiting-uk/visas/countries-issue], Helsinki[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/finland/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Jeddah[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/saudiarabia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Prague[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/czech-republic/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Pristina[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/kosovo/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Rabat[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/morocco/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Riga[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/latvia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Riyadh[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/saudiarabia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Rome[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/italy/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Sofia[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/bulgaria/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Tallinn[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/estonia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Vienna[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/austria/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null], Warsaw[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/poland/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null] and Zagreb[http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/croatia/commonwealth-bots/?langname=null] accept Swaziland visa applications (this list is '''not''' exhaustive). British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Swaziland visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in Swaziland require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in Swaziland can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.
  
==Eat==
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===By plane===
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The only International airport of Swaziland is the new  King Mswati III International.  http://www.swacaa.co.sz/airports/kingmswatiIII/ Transfers to Mbabane, Matsapha/Manzini and the Ezulwini Valley area are made by dedicated bus.
  
==Drink==
 
  
==Sleep==
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Airlink Swaziland provides flights from [[Johannesburg]] ([[South Africa]]).
  
==Learn==
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===By bus===
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Most public transport bus services arrive in [[Mbabane]] or [[Manzini]]. Smaller bus lines, or minibuses  generally provide service to [[Johannesburg]], [[Durban]] or [[Cape Town]] in [[South Africa]] as well as [[Maputo]] in [[Mozambique]].
  
==Work==
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Larger buses usually travel within the country and some stop at border crossings, where passengers must connect with an onward journey, unless a specific group booking is done to hire a big bus.
  
==Stay safe==
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For scheduled road transport there is the Swaziland based [http://www.goswaziland.co.sz/ siyeSwatini TransMagnific], which provides transport to and from Swaziland daily. Stops include the Johannesburg airport (twice daily) and Nelspruit and Kruger International Airport (both near Kruger in South Africa) on the weekends. The TransMagnific mini-buses are customised for added comfort and safety, unlike the public transport. However, they require that bookings and payments be done at least a day prior to travel so that your meal can be ordered and the selection for the movie can be determined for the +-4hour trip.  The Mbabane TransMagnific office is located on the back side of the Cooper Center (one building left of the NW corner of Sozisa & Dr Sishayi).  Telephone: +268 7605 9977.
  
==Stay healthy==
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The South African Baz Bus [http://www.bazbus.co.za/], an independent line targetting backpackers, also makes regular stops via [[South Africa]] to various hostels and hotels in Swaziland. When travelling into and out of South Africa to and from Swaziland, this is the safest option. All mini-buses into South Africa go directly to Johannesburg bus stations, which can be dangerous.
  
==Respect==
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Khombi taxis leave Johannesburg's Park Station when full, average one every 30 minutes or so up to around 4pm. As of July 2016 they are 220rand per person, and take about 4 1/2 hours to Mbabane.
  
==Contact==
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===By car===
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Depending on season, the border crossings from South Africa to Swaziland can be crowded. The Ngwenya/Oshoek Border Post (on the N17/MR3 from Ermelo to Mbabane) tends to be full with people around long weekends and holidays, since it is the most popular border post. Other border posts, such as the one near Amsterdam (Nerston) and Jeppes Reef are a good alternative and easily reachable with normal sedans.
  
==External links==
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Coming from South Africa, check the Department of Home Affairs [[http://www.dha.gov.za/land_border_posts.asp] for border crossings] to verify opening times.
  
{{stub}}
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==Get around==
     
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Most travel in Swaziland is by either car or minibus. Navigation can be challenging due to lack of common street address use or street signage.
''This article is an [[Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import|import]] from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a '''real''' Wikitravel country article according to our [[Wikitravel:country article template|country article template]]. Please [[Wikitravel:plunge forward|plunge forward]] and edit it.''
 
  
Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted 1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s have pressured the monarchy (one of the oldest on the continent) to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy.
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Europcar offers rentals in Mbabane. Booking options online (like $0 excess and unlimited mileage) are not available at the office so if you want these things, you should book online.  The office is located at the Engen Plaza downtown on Sozisa Rd. across the street from Galp and kitty corner from the Taj Sizzler in Google Maps.  
[[WikiPedia:{{PAGENAME}}]]
 
  
==Geography==
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Minibuses, called Kombis, are prevalent, but can be confusing. Like similar modes of travel around the world such as the Jitney, Matatu or Dolmus, these are small vans that accumulate as many travellers as possible while making their way along a general direction. In Swaziland, these vans are often driven by very young men, and most have assistants who estimate and collect fares, ask your destination, and make change.
  
; '''Location''' : Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
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As of Jan 2008, fares typically range from R5 for trips around 5min to R10 for around 3 min to R30 for longer trips. It is very very unlikely to be over-charged.
  
; '''Geographic coordinates''' : 26 30 S, 31 30 E
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Be prepared for crowded seats, loud radios, and sometimes reckless driving. The larger Sprinter vans are a safer and faster choice if available.
  
; '''Map references''' : Africa
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Minibuses can usually be flagged down along main roads. Larger towns usually serve as minibus hubs or connections. Major hubs include Manzini, Mbabane, Pigg's Peak, Nhlangano, Siteki, and Big Bend. Finding the correct bus can be tricky, so discreetly ask if you can't figure it out. The kombis typically have destinations written on the front bumpers. At a bus station (or bus rank), young men will yell out the destinations and are helpful in guiding you to the correct kombi, however, always double check with the passengers. You will be advised to watch your belongings, as such places, like all bus terminals worldwide, have disproportionally higher crime rates. Stay away from these bus ranks at night.
  
; '''Area''' : ''total:'' 17,363 sq km <br>''water:'' 160 sq km <br>''land:'' 17,203 sq km
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Travel is very difficult after dark. The only option is by taxi. If staying around Mbabane or Manzini, keep a couple cab driver's phone numbers on hand. Taxi drivers may overcharge.
  
; '''Area - comparative''' : slightly smaller than New Jersey
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==Talk==
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The Commonwealth version of English is the official language of business. It is advisable that travellers learn a little of the local language, [[Swazi phrasebook|Swazi]] (also known as SiSwati) which, in rural areas, is spoken almost exclusively.
  
; '''Land boundaries''' : ''total:'' 535 km <br>''border countries:'' Mozambique 105 km, South Africa 430 km
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==See==
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Most of the tourists who visit Swaziland arrive by road from South Africa. Swaziland's tourism industry  developed during the apartheid era in South Africa and this shaped many of its distinctive attractions. Since the end of apartheid, Swaziland has emphasized its traditional culture as tourist attractions.
  
; '''Coastline''' : 0 km (landlocked)
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* '''Hlane Royal National Park''' - Hlane meaning "wilderness" in the Swazi language is the largest national park in Swaziland. It has a variety of wildlife including the lion, white rhino, zebra, elephant and a variety of mammals. Hlane is also blessed with abundant and diverse bird life.
  
; '''Maritime claims''' : none (landlocked)
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==Do==
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* '''Incwala Kingship''' meaning 'Festival of the First Fruits,' is an important Swazi religious ritual that takes place in the latter half of December, and continues into January of the successive year. It is an annual ceremony lasting eight weeks that unites the inhabitants of Swaziland in order to gain blessings from ancestors.
  
; '''Climate''' : varies from tropical to near temperate
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* '''Bonding with nature''' is one of the primary pleasures of visiting Swaziland.  Its varied landscape, many mountains and rivers, make it an ideal place for hikers and those who simply wish to escape urbanization and relax.  '''Pine Valley''' as well as '''Malolotja Falls''' are but two examples of scenic spots where visitors can bathe in splendor.
  
; '''Terrain''' : mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains
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==Buy==
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[[Image:Swaziland-Money01.jpg|thumb|upright=1.3|Money]]
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The currency of Swaziland, the ''lilangeni'' (plural: "emalangeni"), is tied to the South African rand at 1:1. Shops in Swaziland often accept and make change for both currencies indiscriminately. This is not the case in [[South Africa]], however, so if you are planning to visit South Africa also, you may prefer to request rand in exchange for emalangeni at banks in Mbabane or Manzini: proof of identity is required. It is impossible to exchange your emalangeni at Johannesburg Airport, as well as in the UK. All Swazi vendors will take Rand, but no South African vendors will take emalangeni.
  
; '''Elevation extremes''' : ''lowest point:'' Great Usutu River 21 m <br>''highest point:'' Emlembe 1,862 m
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Note that when travelling on the kombis in Swaziland, the operators will NOT take Rand coins.
  
; '''Natural resources''' : asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc
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For souvenirs, one must not miss these highlights:
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* '''Swazi Candles''' [http://www.swazicandles.com/], located in Ezulwini Valley where you can buy beautifully waxed colorful animal figures in all sizes.
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* '''Ngwenya Glass''' [http://www.ngwenyaglass.co.sz/], located just next to the Ngwenya Border Post on the MR3. Here you can find lots of glass works made on location. Animals, Plates, Glasses, etc. are all to be found here, and they are cheaper here than in other places. One can also visit the factory and see the glass blowers at work.
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* '''Gone Rural''' [http://www.goneruralswazi.com/], located in Ezulwini Valley next to the House on Fire concert stage. Here you can find various woven baskets, placemats etc. for very cheap prices.
  
; '''Land use''' : ''arable land:'' 9.77% <br>''permanent crops:'' 0.7% <br>''other:'' 89.53% (1998 est.)
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Next to these highlights there are also smaller stores, where you can buy everything from Swazi Foods to Swazi wooden sculptures and handmade bags.
  
; '''Irrigated land''' : 690 sq km (1998 est.)
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==Eat==
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Many Western foods are available in Swazi grocery stores, but traditional foods are still common, as is modern convenient food based on traditional ingredients.
  
; '''Natural hazards''' : drought
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Maize-based dishes are popular, and mealie or pap (similar to porridge) is a staple. Beans, groundnuts, pumpkin, avocado and sour milk are also common ingredients. Dried and cooked local meats, such as antelope (often called 'wild meat' by locals), are widely available at tourist restaurants.
  
; '''Environment - current issues''' : limited supplies of potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion
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"Chicken dust" is a cheap local bbq meal; basically chicken grilled in the open served with a salad and mealie. It is popular both with locals and absolutely delicious. Of course, take appropriate precautions as it is a street vendor food.
  
; '''Environment - international agreements''' : ''party to:'' Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection <br>''signed, but not ratified:'' Desertification, Law of the Sea
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Sweet breads, vegetables and fruits are often available from roadside merchants. If you're craving pasta, imported olive oil, Nestle chocolate, Herbal Essences and Carlsberg, head over to the Hub, at Manzini: a huge Spar with everything you could need (at an appropriately inflated price). There are several coffee-shops and restaurants around the Hub, also: be aware that the lavatories are located separately, down the stairs, and you have to pay to use them. Manzini's bustling markets and local shops yield all kinds of interesting foodstuffs, along with the ubiquitous KFC.
  
; '''Geography - note''' : landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa
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There are some superb restaurants in Swaziland; many are be found in Ezulwini:
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*<eat name="eDladleni Restaurant" alt="" address="" directions="Upper end of Ezulwini Valley" phone="+268 404 5743" url="http://edladleni.100webspace.net/" hours="11.00-23.00" price="" lat="" long="">Traditional Swazi food - one of Swazilands only restaurants serving traditional food</eat>
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*<eat name="The Calabash Continental Restaurant" alt="" address="" directions="Upper end of Ezulwini Valley" phone="(+268) 416 1187" url="http://www.swaziplace.com/calabash/" hours="11.00-23.00" price="" lat="" long="">Excellent German and Swiss cuisine. They do wonderful things with fish!</eat>
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*<eat name="The Boma Restaurant" alt="" address="Timbali Lodge" directions="Upper Ezulwini Valley" phone="+268 416 1156" url="http://www.timbalilodge.co.sz/boma.htm" hours="11.00-23.00" price="" lat="" long="">New, popular, 'Africa-Chic' destination.</eat>
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*<eat name="The Great Taipei" alt="" address="Gables Shopping Centre, Ezulwini" directions="" phone="(+268) 416 2300" url="" hours="12.00-23.00" price="Reasonably priced" lat="" long="">Swaziland's favourite Chinese restaurant.</eat>'''The Driftwood Resetaurant at Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge and Nature Reserve [[http://www.phophonyane.co.sz]]'''
  
==People==
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==Drink==
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Marula is locally brewed during the marula season. It may be difficult to find; ask locals as it is home-brewed.
  
; '''Population''' : 1,123,605 <br>''note:'' estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
+
There is a vibrant nightlife in Swaziland ranging from traditional dances to bars and nightclubs. If you're staying in Ezulwini, there are four bars at the Royal Swazi hotel; why not check out the Why Not nightclub too? If you're in the Malkerns area, the House on Fire is extremely popular: local art, local and national DJs, an open-air setting and live acts.
 +
*<drink name="Maguga Lodge" alt="" address="Maguga Dam, Piggs Peak" directions="" phone="" url="www.magugalodge.com" hours="" price="" lat="26 4' 47 S " long="E 31 15' 6 ">Dining at Maguga Lodge is an epicurean delight. The restaurant offers excellent food with an interesting, diverse menu.
  
; '''Age structure''' : ''0-14 years:'' 45.5% (male 254,573; female 256,677) <br>''15-64 years:'' 51.9% (male 281,645; female 301,071) <br>''65 years and over:'' 2.6% (male 12,027; female 17,612) (2002 est.)
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The striking Lapa Restaurant is a piece of art in itself. The soaring ceilings provide the ambience of space while vibrant wall murals (created by a local artist) light up the interior.
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The restaurant offers a delicious À la carte menu during the week and on Sundays the atmospheric restaurant comes alive with a delectable buffet lunch.
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The restaurant is open daily from 7am - 1030pm.
  
; '''Population growth rate''' : 1.63% (2002 est.)
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Bar & Restaurant Viewing Deck
 +
A wooden deck enveloping the front of the restaurant is the perfect place to relax. With comfortable cushioned loungers, a stunning view of the dam wall and a comprehensive cocktail menu, the deck offers just the right mixes to watch the sunset and unwind!
  
; '''Birth rate''' : 39.59 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
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For sports lovers, there is DSTV in the bar to catch your favorite game!
  
; '''Death rate''' : 23.26 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
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Please ask you server for our selection of board games available for guests.
  
; '''Net migration rate''' : 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
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Pool & Lapa
 +
Open to guests as well as day visitors, our pool and lapa area can also be booked for private events.
  
; '''Sex ratio''' : ''at birth:'' 1.03 male(s)/female <br>''under 15 years:'' 0.99 male(s)/female <br>''15-64 years:'' 0.94 male(s)/female <br>''65 years and over:'' 0.68 male(s)/female <br>''total population:'' 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
+
A dart board and Ping Pong table are there for fun & games!
  
; '''Infant mortality rate''' : 109.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
+
A delightful place to have a spit braaii with full bar service available.</drink>
  
; '''Life expectancy at birth''' : ''total population:'' 37 years <br>''female:'' 37.66 years (2002 est.) <br>''male:'' 36.35 years
 
  
; '''Total fertility rate''' : 5.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)
+
==Sleep==
 +
Swaziland is a small country and it is easy to go anywhere in the country during one day.
  
; '''HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate''' : 35.6% (2002 est.)
+
If you're watching the pennies, head to Veki's Guesthouse or Grifter's Backpackers in Mbabane, which costs around 120R per night for a bunk. If you want to push the boat out, book a room at the Mountain Inn which has outstanding accommodation, facilities and leisure opportunities.
  
; '''HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS''' : 212,000 (2002 est.)
+
The most sought-after hotels in Swaziland tend to be located in Ezulwini Valley between the two major cities, Mbabane and Manzini. (Don't forget to pick up beautiful local crafts from the roadside stalls on the way.) With four bars, a restaurant, a casino, golf, swimming, tennis and 411 rooms and suites, the Royal Sun Swazi epitomises luxury. The Royal Villas, also found in Ezulwini, spread 56 rooms across 14 villas and are extremely luxurious, offering excellent food, atmosphere and leisure facilities. The Ezulwini sun offers excellent facilities, also, at mid-range prices.
  
; '''HIV/AIDS - deaths''' : 7,100 (1999 est.)
+
And, if you're heading down towards the Mozambique border, you'll find comfortable, well-appointed country clubs at Manananga, Mhlume and Simunye.
  
; '''Nationality''' : ''noun:'' Swazi(s) <br>''adjective:'' Swazi
+
Again, out in the country, a wonderful place to stay one or more nights is '''Phophonyane Falls''' [http://www.phophonyane.co.sz]. It is situated in the north-east, next to the Phophonyane waterfalls and offers great hiking trails. Best is to sleep in comfortable tents, next to the river.
 +
[[The Shewula Mountain Camp]], Swaziland's first community-owned camp, is perched high in the Lobombo mountains with stunning views across game reserves; on clear days the Mozambique capital, [[Maputo]] is clearly visible. Guests stay in traditional [[rondavels]], round thatched huts. The Camp is an eco-tourism initiative designed to help the local community and the wider environment.
 +
*<sleep name="Maguga Lodge" alt="" address="Maguga Dam, Piggs Peak, Kingdom of Swaziland" directions="GPS Coordinates: 26 4' 47 S 31 15' 6 E" phone="(00268) 2437 3975/6" url="www.magugalodge.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Maguga Lodge sits in the heart of the Hhohho Region in Swaziland on the edge of the spectacular Maguga Dam. With stunning accommodation, breathtaking views and warm welcoming staff, Maguga is the perfect place for a time out to experience Swaziland's Highveld Magic!
  
; '''Ethnic groups''' : African 97%, European 3%
+
Renowned for it's fabulous fishing and breathtaking mountains, the area has much to offer for exploration. The famous and fascinating Ngwenya Glass, Nsangwini Bushman Paintings, Tintsaba Craft and Pigg’s Peak Casino are all within close proximity. Local providers can supply adrenaline junkies with an assortment of thrills from caving and whitewater rafting to quad biking and horse riding!
  
; '''Religions''' : Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship) 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish and other 30%
+
Our beautiful conference and entertainment facilities (with WI_FI of course) are perfect for either business or personal entertaining.
  
; '''Languages''' : English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)
+
Just a short drive from Kruger Park, Mpumalanga and Mozambique, Maguga Lodge is an ideal stop on an itinerary for those wishing to explore the region.</sleep>
 +
*<sleep name="Mantenga Lodge" alt="" address="2 Mantenga Falls road, Ezulwini" directions="" phone="+268 2416 1049" url="www.mantengalodge.com" checkin="10:00" checkout="12:00" price="R605.00-R1035.00" lat="26' 26’ 28.86” S" long="31' 10’ 53.40”E">The lodge is in the Ezulwini Valley situated among natural surroundings at the foot of Sheba’s Breasts Mountains (immortalized by Rider Haggards' “King Solomon’s Mines”) overlooking the legendary “Execution Rock”. The 38 Rooms are tastefully furnished each with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, DSTV, telephone as well as tea and coffee making facilities. Wireless Internet is also available.
  
; '''Literacy''' : ''definition:'' age 15 and over can read and write <br>''total population:'' 78.3% <br>''male:'' 78% <br>''female:'' 78.4% (1999 est.)
+
We have a choice of rooms, all of which include a full breakfast, at competitive rates to suit your budget. Mantenga Lodge is centrally situated and provides an ideal base from which to explore Swaziland. Whether you stay for business or pleasure, you can relax at the swimming pool or enjoy the view on our deck while having sundowners or a delicious meal from our restaurant.</sleep>
  
==Government==
+
==Learn==
 +
Swaziland is named for Mswati II, who became king in 1839. The royal lineage can be traced back to the Dlamini clan. The population is divided roughly between Nguni, Sotho and Tsonga, the remainder being 3% white. The current king is Mswati III, son of Sobuza II who had about seventy wives. He rules jointly with Indlovukazi, the Queen Mother. The primary symbol of Swaziland is not what the West would typically associate with nationhood - flags or monuments - but the king himself. The relationship between king and people is demonstrated through the incwala, a ceremony lasting several weeks which focuses on traditional rule, unity of the state, primacy of agriculture, sacredness of land, fertility and potency. Mswati's relationship with his people has been made even more unique through the introduction of chastity decrees for the under-18s to combat the rise of AIDS. However, Mswati III broke the rule when he married a 17-year-old girl, his thirteenth wife, in 2005. Mswati III has come under further criticism for attempting to purchase a private plane during a period of persistent drought and famine. Dissent grew so vociferous that the media was banned from making disparaging remarks about the monarchy, and the plane in particular. In the third year of drought, further plans to build luxury palaces for his wives whilst his people starved led to mass criticism. In 2005, Mswati III signed the country's first constitution though, in effect, nothing has changed: opposition parties remain banned, and the King remains absolute monarch.
  
; '''Country name''' : ''conventional long form:'' Kingdom of Swaziland <br>''conventional short form:'' Swaziland
+
Swaziland's main exports are sugar, grown on plantations throughout Swaziland, soft drink concentrates, cotton, maize, tobacco, rice and wood pulp. Demand for asbestos, once a major export, has fallen greatly due to health risks associated with the product. The land is badly overgrazed and over-farmed. This is particularly problematic as Swaziland suffers from persistent droughts. Unemployment hovers at around 25%. This figure is contributed to by inability to work as a result of AIDS.
  
; '''Government type''' : monarchy; independent member of Commonwealth
+
Swazis build their huts depending on whether they are descended from Nguni or Sotho: Nguni huts are beehive in shape; Sotho huts have window frames and full doorways. Living space is roughly divided into three parts: living accommodation, animal housing and the 'great' hut, reserved for the spirits of the patrilineal ancestors. Each chief's wife has her own hut. Land is owned by local chiefs or the Crown; much land has been bought back for the nation and unclaimed spaces are used for grazing and collection of firewood. There is a growing class system due to the expansion of the middle classes. Social rank can be determined through the individual's relation to the head of their clan or to the royal family. In urban areas, fluency and proficiency in English is the main social delineator.
  
; '''Capital''' : Mbabane; note - Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital
+
There are festivals and ceremonies throughout the year, the most notable being the King's Birthday on April 19 which is celebrated with a national 'day off' and local festivities, and the Reed (Umhlanga) Dance, a three day ceremony which takes place around August when thousands of maidens (virgins) congregate from all over Swaziland. The King is permitted to pick a new bride from their number.
  
; '''Administrative divisions''' : 4 districts; Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni
+
==Work==
 +
[[Image:Matjana preschool swaziland.jpg|thumb|upright=1.3|Matjana preschool]]
  
; '''Independence''' : 6 September 1968 (from UK)
+
===Volunteer===
 +
Volunteer for a day at Matjana Preschool, a not-for-profit pre-primary school in Kaphunga, Rural Swaziland. For more details and to contact us at Matjana [https://sites.google.com/a/matjanapreschool.org/www/home]. Matjana Preschool was established by a group of volunteers without any organizational assistance and opened in 2007, the first preschool in the area. Since then with the support of International donors it has grown from strength to strength. In 2007, 19 children attended Matjana Preschool and one local woman was employed as the preschool teacher (working with an Australian volunteer teacher). In 2008 newly purchased furniture has allowed the organization to increase the class size; they now have a class of 22 students and enough funds to pay a second local teacher. They hope to build a new classroom at some point in the future (depending on donations) so that they can accept up to thirty students per year and continue employing two local women.
  
; '''National holiday''' : Independence Day, 6 September (1968)
+
==Stay safe==
 +
{{warningbox|Under no circumstances, insult King Mswati III or the royal family of Swaziland. Activism is brutally dispersed and people are reported to be shot and to be brutally injured from doing this! Do not attend ANY of the political demonstrations that happen occasionally.}}
 +
Swaziland has a much lower crime rate than other countries in the region.
  
; '''Constitution''' : none; constitution of 6 September 1968 was suspended 12 April 1973; a new constitution was promulgated 13 October 1978, but was not formally presented to the people; since then a few more outlines for a constitution have been compiled under the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), but so far none have been accepted
+
[[African_flora_and_fauna#Hippopotamus|Hippopotamuses]] are found (rarely) in the country's rivers, and are one of the more dangerous animals you are likely to come across. They are actually quite fast animals, as well as being extremely strong and with large, powerful jaws. They often stay submerged in shallow water during the day, but come out at night to graze. They can be unpredictable, territorial and very protective of their young. Do not stand between a hippo and the water. 
  
; '''Legal system''' : based on South African Roman-Dutch law in statutory courts and Swazi traditional law and custom in traditional courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
+
Crocodiles are a more common danger when swimming in rivers.
  
; '''Suffrage''' : 18 years of age
+
Swaziland also has one of the highest numbers of people struck by '''lightning''' per capita in the whole world and it is common to know (or know of) somebody who has been struck by lightning
  
; '''Executive branch''' : ''chief of state:'' King MSWATI III (since 25 April 1986) <br>''head of government:'' Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas DLAMINI (since 9 August 1996) <br>''cabinet:'' Cabinet recommended by the prime minister and confirmed by the monarch <br>''elections:'' none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
+
Be careful when crossing any of Swaziland's nineteen border gates. It is forbidden to take meat into certain areas, and the soldiers have the right to search both you and your vehicle extensively. It is extremely inadvisable to stray into 'No-Man's Land', a 5km stretch of territory between Mozambique and Swaziland; several locals have been shot by soldiers guarding the edges of the respective territories.
  
; '''Legislative branch''' : bicameral Parliament or Libandla, an advisory body, consists of the Senate (30 seats - 10 appointed by the House of Assembly and 20 appointed by the monarch; members serve five-year terms) and the House of Assembly (65 seats - 10 appointed by the monarch and 55 elected by popular vote; members serve five-year terms) <br>''elections:'' House of Assembly - last held 16 and 24 October 1998 (next to be held NA 2003) <br>''election results:'' House of Assembly - balloting is done on a nonparty basis; candidates for election are nominated by the local council of each constituency and for each constituency the three candidates with the most votes in the first round of voting are narrowed to a single winner by a second round
+
Whilst physical violence is not prevalent (save on weekends when many may imbibe copious quantities of brandy or marula, a highly intoxicating alcoholic beverage), wandering around alone after dark is not advisable, particularly outside Mbabane and Manzini where there is little or no street lighting. Keep your money hidden and, if you are working or travelling in impoverished rural areas, do not eat expensive foods in front of the locals, particularly the children, who, especially if they are AIDS orphans and fed as part of the Sebenta school programme, do not get to experience luxury items.
  
; '''Judicial branch''' : High Court; Court of Appeal; judges for both courts are appointed by the monarch
+
While Swazi main roads are in good repair, a four wheel drive is essential to see much of the interior, unless you wish to be stranded miles from anywhere, with a patchy telephone signal as mobile telephone masts are few and far between. Other drivers, particularly HGVs, often overtake without warning and without checking for oncoming traffic. 'Kombis', local minibuses which function as taxis, drive at a neck-or-nothing rate with more than a full quota of passengers.
  
; '''Political parties and leaders''' : political parties are banned by the constitution - the following are considered political associations - Imbokodvo National Movement or INM [leader NA]; Ngwane National Libertatory Congress or NNLC [Obed DLAMINI, president]; People's United Democratic Movement or PUDEMO [Mario MASUKU, president]; Swaziland National Front or SWANAFRO [Elmond SHONGWE, president]
+
==Stay healthy==
 +
Swaziland has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world; nearly 1 in 3 adults are infected. '''Never have unprotected sexual intercourse.''' If you happen to find romance in Swaziland, insist on an HIV test before taking things further.
  
; '''Political pressure groups and leaders''' : NA
+
There are risks for [[Tropical diseases|bilharzia]] if you frequent infected streams, as well as seasonal risks for [[malaria]] in the North-East parts of Swaziland near Mozambique. Be sure to use mosquito nets and repellent where necessary.
  
; '''International organization participation''' : ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
+
==Respect==
 +
Swaziland is predominantly Christian, and modesty in dress is encouraged.
  
; '''Diplomatic representation in the US''' : ''chief of mission:'' Ambassador Mary Madzandza KANYA <br>''FAX:'' [1] (202) 244-8059 <br>''telephone:'' [1] (202) 362-6683 <br>''chancery:'' 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
+
Swazis adhere strongly to their historical traditions, which are widely practised today. Many who are suffering from an illness will consult a sangoma to determine its cause and an inyanga to prescribe a treatment. It is the height of disrespect to be disparaging towards these individuals or to refer to them as witch doctors.
  
; '''Diplomatic representation from the US''' : ''chief of mission:'' Ambassador James D. McGEE <br>''embassy:'' Central Bank Building, Warner Street, Mbabane <br>''mailing address:'' P. O. Box 199, Mbabane <br>''telephone:'' [268] 404-6441 through 404-6445 <br>''FAX:'' [268] 404-5959
+
==Contact==
 +
Cellphone coverage is similar to South Africa, even in most nature reserves there is coverage (although it might be weak). There is only one wireless operator in Swaziland, namely MTN-Swazi. SIM cards from South Africa do not work here, unless it's MTN and roaming has been enabled. It's easy to buy a starter pack with a MTN-Swazi sim card pretty much at every gas station or grocery store. You do not need proof of residence or ID to get a pack.
  
; '''Flag description''' : three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (triple width), and blue; the red band is edged in yellow; centered in the red band is a large black and white shield covering two spears and a staff decorated with feather tassels, all placed horizontally
+
Although there is coverage, the phone service itself is bad with many calls not connecting (or connecting to the wrong phone number), texts not arriving and international calling being more expensive than in South Africa.
  
==Economy==
+
Note that "Starter Pack" SIM cards expire within 30 days if not used, and that they cannot be used in South Africa.
  
; '''Economy - overview''' : In this small landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 80% of the population. Manufacturing features a number of agroprocessing factories. Mining has declined in importance in recent years: diamond mines have shut down because of the depletion of easily accessible reserves; high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978; and health concerns have cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar, and wood pulp are the main earners of hard currency. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives nine-tenths of its imports and to which it sends more than two-thirds of its exports. Remittances from the Southern African Customs Union and Swazi workers in South African mines substantially supplement domestically earned income. The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for the future. Prospects for 2002 are strengthened by the country's status as a beneficiary of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act initiative.
+
{{outline}}
 +
{{isPartOf|Southern_Africa}}
 +
{{Wikipedia|Swaziland}}
 +
{{Countryguide}}
  
; '''GDP''' : purchasing power parity - $4.6 billion (2001 est.)
 
  
; '''GDP - real growth rate''' : 2.5% (2001 est.)
+
[[de:Swasiland]]
 
+
[[eo:Svazilando]]
; '''GDP - per capita''' : purchasing power parity - $4,200 (2001 est.)
+
[[es:Suazilandia]]
 
+
[[fi:Swazimaa]]
; '''GDP - composition by sector''' : ''agriculture:'' 10% <br>''industry:'' 43% <br>''services:'' 47% (1999 est.)
+
[[fr:Swaziland]]
 
+
[[hu:Szváziföld]]
; '''Population below poverty line''' : NA%
+
[[it:Swaziland]]
 
+
[[ja:スワジランド]]
; '''Household income or consumption by percentage share''' : ''lowest 10%:'' NA% <br>''highest 10%:'' NA%
+
[[nl:Swaziland]]
 
+
[[pl:Suazi]]
; '''Inflation rate (consumer prices)''' : 7.5% (2001 est.)
+
[[pt:Suazilândia]]
 
+
[[ro:Swaziland]]
; '''Labor force''' : NA
+
[[ru:Свазиленд]]
 
+
[[sv:Swaziland]]
; '''Labor force - by occupation''' : NA
+
[[zh:斯威士兰]]
 
+
[[wts:Category:Swaziland]]
; '''Unemployment rate''' : 34% (2000 est.)
 
  
; '''Budget''' : ''revenues:'' $448 million <br>''expenditures:'' $506.9 million, including capital expenditures of $147 million (FY01/02 )
+
[[WikiPedia:Swaziland]]
 +
[[Dmoz:Africa/Swaziland/]]
 +
[[World66:africa/swaziland]]
  
; '''Industries''' : mining (coal), wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textile and apparel
+
{{related|African_National_Parks}}
 
+
{{related|African_flora_and_fauna}}
; '''Industrial production growth rate''' : 3.7% (FY95/96)
+
{{related|Discount_airlines_in_Africa}}
 
 
; '''Electricity - production''' : 362 million kWh (2000)
 
 
 
; '''Electricity - production by source''' : ''fossil fuel:'' 56% <br>''other:'' 0% (2000) <br>''hydro:'' 44% <br>''nuclear:'' 0%
 
 
 
; '''Electricity - consumption''' : 900.66 million kWh (2000)
 
 
 
; '''Electricity - exports''' : 0 kWh (2000)
 
 
 
; '''Electricity - imports''' : 564 million kWh <br>''note:'' supplied by South Africa (2000)
 
 
 
; '''Agriculture - products''' : sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts; cattle, goats, sheep
 
 
 
; '''Exports''' : $702 million f.o.b. (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Exports - commodities''' : soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit
 
 
 
; '''Exports - partners''' : South Africa 72%, EU 12%, UK 6%, Mozambique 4%, US 4% (1999)
 
 
 
; '''Imports''' : $850 million f.o.b. (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Imports - commodities''' : motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, chemicals
 
 
 
; '''Imports - partners''' : South Africa 89%, EU 5%, Japan 2%, Singapore 2% (2000)
 
 
 
; '''Debt - external''' : $336 million (2001 est.)
 
 
 
; '''Economic aid - recipient''' : $104 million (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Currency''' : lilangeni (SZL)
 
 
 
; '''Currency code''' : SZL
 
 
 
; '''Exchange rates''' : emalangeni per US dollar - 11.5808 (January 2002), 8.4933 (2001), 6.9056 (2000), 6.1087 (1999), 5.4807 (1998), 4.6032 (1997); note - the Swazi lilangeni is at par with the South African rand; emalangeni is the plural form of lilangeni
 
 
 
; '''Fiscal year''' : 1 April - 31 March
 
 
 
==Communications==
 
 
 
; '''Telephones - main lines in use''' : 38,500 (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Telephones - mobile cellular''' : 45,000 (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Telephone system''' : ''general assessment:'' a somewhat modern but not an advanced system <br>''domestic:'' system consists of carrier-equipped, open-wire lines and low-capacity, microwave radio relay <br>''international:'' satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
 
 
 
; '''Radio broadcast stations''' : AM 3, FM 2 plus 4 repeaters, shortwave 3 (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Radios''' : 170,000 (1999)
 
 
 
; '''Television broadcast stations''' : 5 plus 7 relay stations (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Televisions''' : 23,000 (2000)
 
 
 
; '''Internet country code''' : .sz
 
 
 
; '''Internet Service Providers (ISPs)''' : 6 (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Internet users''' : 14,000 (2002)
 
 
 
==Transportation==
 
 
 
; '''Railways''' : ''total:'' 297 km <br>''narrow gauge:'' 297 km 1.067-m gauge <br>''note:'' includes 71 km which are not in use (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Highways''' : ''total:'' 3,800 km <br>''paved:'' 1,064 km <br>''unpaved:'' 2,736 km (2002)
 
 
 
; '''Waterways''' : none
 
 
 
; '''Ports and harbors''' : none
 
 
 
; '''Airports''' : 18 (2001)
 
 
 
; '''Airports - with paved runways''' : ''total:'' 1 <br>''2,438 to 3,047 m:'' 1 (2002)
 
 
 
See also: [http://www.people.freenet.de/copilot/Matsapha-eng.htm Matsapha Airport near Manzini]
 
 
 
; '''Airports - with unpaved runways''' : ''total:'' 17 <br>''914 to 1,523 m:'' 7 <br>''under 914 m:'' 10 (2002)
 
 
 
==Military==
 
 
 
; '''Military branches''' : Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (Army), Royal Swaziland Police Force
 
 
 
; '''Military manpower - availability''' : ''males age 15-49:'' 253,510 (2002 est.)
 
 
 
; '''Military manpower - fit for military service''' : ''males age 15-49:'' 146,805 (2002 est.)
 
 
 
; '''Military expenditures - dollar figure''' : $20 million (FY01/02)
 
 
 
; '''Military expenditures - percent of GDP''' : 4.75% (FY00/01)
 
 
 
==Transnational Issues==
 
 
 
; '''Disputes - international''' : Swaziland continues to press South Africa into ceding ethnic Swazi lands in Kangwane region of KwaZulu-Natal province that were long ago part of the Swazi Kingdom
 
 
 
[[de:Swasiland]]
 
[[fr:Swaziland]]
 

Revision as of 20:50, 12 July 2017

A hippo in Milwane Game Reserve
Location
Swaziland in its region.svg
Flag
Flag of Swaziland.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Mbabane; note - Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital
Government Commonwealth monarchy
Currency Lilangeni (SZL), plural Emalangeni
Area 17,363km²
water: 160km²
land: 17,203km²
Population 1,123,605
Language English & siSwati (official)
Religion Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship) 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, Tradional beliefs 15%, Bahai 5%, Muslim 2%, Hindu 0.2%, and other 17%
Electricity 230V, 50Hz (type M plug)
Country code +268
Internet TLD .sz
Time Zone UTC +2

Swaziland is an absolute monarchy in Southern Africa, landlocked by South Africa in its west and Mozambique in the east.

Understand

Swaziland, one of the last absolute monarchies (Umbuso weSwatini) in the world, is one of the smallest countries in Africa and has a well-earned reputation for friendliness in Southern Africa. It also contains several large game parks and reserves, which are sponsored by the government and are popular tourist destinations.

Compared to other countries in the region, Swaziland is known for its civility and peacefulness, despite similar problems with poverty and one of the world's worst AIDS crises. As of November 2008 the total reported percentage of those with HIV was listed as 30%; this, of course, does not include those who have not yet been tested. The AIDS epidemic has broken up the traditional extended family unit, leaving many young children orphaned and fighting for survival.

Swaziland is divided into four administrative districts: Hhohho (northwest), Lubombo (east), Manzini (central-west), and Shiselweni (south).

History

Artifacts indicating human activity dating back to the early Stone Age 200,000 years ago have been found in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Prehistoric rock art paintings date from c. 25,000 BC. The earliest inhabitants of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by the Bantu tribes during Bantu migrations who hailed from the Great Lakes regions of Eastern Africa.

The autonomy of the Swaziland Nation was dictated by British rule of southern Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1881 the British government signed a convention recognizing Swazi independence. At the start of the Anglo Boer war, Britain placed Swaziland under its direct jurisdiction as a Protectorate. The Swaziland independence Constitution was promulgated by Britain in November 1963 in terms of which a legislative Council and an Executive Council were established. The first Legislative Council of Swaziland was constituted on 9 September 1964. Changes to the original constitution proposed by the Legislative Council were accepted by Britain and a new Constitution providing for a House of Assembly and Senate was drawn up. Elections under this Constitution were held in 1967. Since 1973, Swaziland has seen a rather quiet struggle between pro-multiparty activists and the monarchy. It gained independence from the UK in 1968.

Climate

Generally speaking, rain falls mostly during the summer months, often in the form of thunderstorms. Winter is the dry season. Annual rainfall is highest on the High Veld in the west, between 1000 and 2000mm depending on the year. The further east, the less rain, with the Low Veld recording 500 to 900mm per annum. Variations in temperature are also related to the altitude of the different regions. The Highveld temperature is temperate and, seldom, uncomfortably hot while the Low Veld may record temperatures around 40 degrees in summer.

Map of Swaziland

Cities

Other destinations

Phophonyane Falls Eco Lodge and Nature Reserve

Get in

Entry requirements

Nationals of all European Union member states, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China (PRC), Dominica, East Timor, the Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Zambia and Zimbabwe may enter Swaziland visa-free for up to 30 days.

If you require a visa to enter Swaziland, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission or consulate in the country where you legally reside if there is no Swaziland diplomatic post. For example, the British embassies in Al Khobar[7], Amman[8], Belgrade[9], Budapest[10], Cairo[11], Damascus[12], Guatemala City[13], Helsinki[14], Jeddah[15], Prague[16], Pristina[17], Rabat[18], Riga[19], Riyadh[20], Rome[21], Sofia[22], Tallinn[23], Vienna[24], Warsaw[25] and Zagreb[26] accept Swaziland visa applications (this list is not exhaustive). British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Swaziland visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in Swaziland require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in Swaziland can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.

By plane

The only International airport of Swaziland is the new King Mswati III International. http://www.swacaa.co.sz/airports/kingmswatiIII/ Transfers to Mbabane, Matsapha/Manzini and the Ezulwini Valley area are made by dedicated bus.


Airlink Swaziland provides flights from Johannesburg (South Africa).

By bus

Most public transport bus services arrive in Mbabane or Manzini. Smaller bus lines, or minibuses generally provide service to Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town in South Africa as well as Maputo in Mozambique.

Larger buses usually travel within the country and some stop at border crossings, where passengers must connect with an onward journey, unless a specific group booking is done to hire a big bus.

For scheduled road transport there is the Swaziland based siyeSwatini TransMagnific, which provides transport to and from Swaziland daily. Stops include the Johannesburg airport (twice daily) and Nelspruit and Kruger International Airport (both near Kruger in South Africa) on the weekends. The TransMagnific mini-buses are customised for added comfort and safety, unlike the public transport. However, they require that bookings and payments be done at least a day prior to travel so that your meal can be ordered and the selection for the movie can be determined for the +-4hour trip. The Mbabane TransMagnific office is located on the back side of the Cooper Center (one building left of the NW corner of Sozisa & Dr Sishayi). Telephone: +268 7605 9977.

The South African Baz Bus [27], an independent line targetting backpackers, also makes regular stops via South Africa to various hostels and hotels in Swaziland. When travelling into and out of South Africa to and from Swaziland, this is the safest option. All mini-buses into South Africa go directly to Johannesburg bus stations, which can be dangerous.

Khombi taxis leave Johannesburg's Park Station when full, average one every 30 minutes or so up to around 4pm. As of July 2016 they are 220rand per person, and take about 4 1/2 hours to Mbabane.

By car

Depending on season, the border crossings from South Africa to Swaziland can be crowded. The Ngwenya/Oshoek Border Post (on the N17/MR3 from Ermelo to Mbabane) tends to be full with people around long weekends and holidays, since it is the most popular border post. Other border posts, such as the one near Amsterdam (Nerston) and Jeppes Reef are a good alternative and easily reachable with normal sedans.

Coming from South Africa, check the Department of Home Affairs [[28] for border crossings] to verify opening times.

Get around

Most travel in Swaziland is by either car or minibus. Navigation can be challenging due to lack of common street address use or street signage.

Europcar offers rentals in Mbabane. Booking options online (like $0 excess and unlimited mileage) are not available at the office so if you want these things, you should book online. The office is located at the Engen Plaza downtown on Sozisa Rd. across the street from Galp and kitty corner from the Taj Sizzler in Google Maps.

Minibuses, called Kombis, are prevalent, but can be confusing. Like similar modes of travel around the world such as the Jitney, Matatu or Dolmus, these are small vans that accumulate as many travellers as possible while making their way along a general direction. In Swaziland, these vans are often driven by very young men, and most have assistants who estimate and collect fares, ask your destination, and make change.

As of Jan 2008, fares typically range from R5 for trips around 5min to R10 for around 3 min to R30 for longer trips. It is very very unlikely to be over-charged.

Be prepared for crowded seats, loud radios, and sometimes reckless driving. The larger Sprinter vans are a safer and faster choice if available.

Minibuses can usually be flagged down along main roads. Larger towns usually serve as minibus hubs or connections. Major hubs include Manzini, Mbabane, Pigg's Peak, Nhlangano, Siteki, and Big Bend. Finding the correct bus can be tricky, so discreetly ask if you can't figure it out. The kombis typically have destinations written on the front bumpers. At a bus station (or bus rank), young men will yell out the destinations and are helpful in guiding you to the correct kombi, however, always double check with the passengers. You will be advised to watch your belongings, as such places, like all bus terminals worldwide, have disproportionally higher crime rates. Stay away from these bus ranks at night.

Travel is very difficult after dark. The only option is by taxi. If staying around Mbabane or Manzini, keep a couple cab driver's phone numbers on hand. Taxi drivers may overcharge.

Talk

The Commonwealth version of English is the official language of business. It is advisable that travellers learn a little of the local language, Swazi (also known as SiSwati) which, in rural areas, is spoken almost exclusively.

See

Most of the tourists who visit Swaziland arrive by road from South Africa. Swaziland's tourism industry developed during the apartheid era in South Africa and this shaped many of its distinctive attractions. Since the end of apartheid, Swaziland has emphasized its traditional culture as tourist attractions.

  • Hlane Royal National Park - Hlane meaning "wilderness" in the Swazi language is the largest national park in Swaziland. It has a variety of wildlife including the lion, white rhino, zebra, elephant and a variety of mammals. Hlane is also blessed with abundant and diverse bird life.

Do

  • Incwala Kingship meaning 'Festival of the First Fruits,' is an important Swazi religious ritual that takes place in the latter half of December, and continues into January of the successive year. It is an annual ceremony lasting eight weeks that unites the inhabitants of Swaziland in order to gain blessings from ancestors.
  • Bonding with nature is one of the primary pleasures of visiting Swaziland. Its varied landscape, many mountains and rivers, make it an ideal place for hikers and those who simply wish to escape urbanization and relax. Pine Valley as well as Malolotja Falls are but two examples of scenic spots where visitors can bathe in splendor.

Buy

Money

The currency of Swaziland, the lilangeni (plural: "emalangeni"), is tied to the South African rand at 1:1. Shops in Swaziland often accept and make change for both currencies indiscriminately. This is not the case in South Africa, however, so if you are planning to visit South Africa also, you may prefer to request rand in exchange for emalangeni at banks in Mbabane or Manzini: proof of identity is required. It is impossible to exchange your emalangeni at Johannesburg Airport, as well as in the UK. All Swazi vendors will take Rand, but no South African vendors will take emalangeni.

Note that when travelling on the kombis in Swaziland, the operators will NOT take Rand coins.

For souvenirs, one must not miss these highlights:

  • Swazi Candles [29], located in Ezulwini Valley where you can buy beautifully waxed colorful animal figures in all sizes.
  • Ngwenya Glass [30], located just next to the Ngwenya Border Post on the MR3. Here you can find lots of glass works made on location. Animals, Plates, Glasses, etc. are all to be found here, and they are cheaper here than in other places. One can also visit the factory and see the glass blowers at work.
  • Gone Rural [31], located in Ezulwini Valley next to the House on Fire concert stage. Here you can find various woven baskets, placemats etc. for very cheap prices.

Next to these highlights there are also smaller stores, where you can buy everything from Swazi Foods to Swazi wooden sculptures and handmade bags.

Eat

Many Western foods are available in Swazi grocery stores, but traditional foods are still common, as is modern convenient food based on traditional ingredients.

Maize-based dishes are popular, and mealie or pap (similar to porridge) is a staple. Beans, groundnuts, pumpkin, avocado and sour milk are also common ingredients. Dried and cooked local meats, such as antelope (often called 'wild meat' by locals), are widely available at tourist restaurants.

"Chicken dust" is a cheap local bbq meal; basically chicken grilled in the open served with a salad and mealie. It is popular both with locals and absolutely delicious. Of course, take appropriate precautions as it is a street vendor food.

Sweet breads, vegetables and fruits are often available from roadside merchants. If you're craving pasta, imported olive oil, Nestle chocolate, Herbal Essences and Carlsberg, head over to the Hub, at Manzini: a huge Spar with everything you could need (at an appropriately inflated price). There are several coffee-shops and restaurants around the Hub, also: be aware that the lavatories are located separately, down the stairs, and you have to pay to use them. Manzini's bustling markets and local shops yield all kinds of interesting foodstuffs, along with the ubiquitous KFC.

There are some superb restaurants in Swaziland; many are be found in Ezulwini:

  • eDladleni Restaurant, (Upper end of Ezulwini Valley), +268 404 5743, [1]. 11.00-23.00. Traditional Swazi food - one of Swazilands only restaurants serving traditional food
  • The Calabash Continental Restaurant, (Upper end of Ezulwini Valley), (+268) 416 1187, [2]. 11.00-23.00. Excellent German and Swiss cuisine. They do wonderful things with fish!
  • The Boma Restaurant, Timbali Lodge (Upper Ezulwini Valley), +268 416 1156, [3]. 11.00-23.00. New, popular, 'Africa-Chic' destination.
  • The Great Taipei, Gables Shopping Centre, Ezulwini, (+268) 416 2300. 12.00-23.00. Swaziland's favourite Chinese restaurant. Reasonably priced. The Driftwood Resetaurant at Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge and Nature Reserve [[32]]

Drink

Marula is locally brewed during the marula season. It may be difficult to find; ask locals as it is home-brewed.

There is a vibrant nightlife in Swaziland ranging from traditional dances to bars and nightclubs. If you're staying in Ezulwini, there are four bars at the Royal Swazi hotel; why not check out the Why Not nightclub too? If you're in the Malkerns area, the House on Fire is extremely popular: local art, local and national DJs, an open-air setting and live acts.

  • Maguga Lodge, Maguga Dam, Piggs Peak, [4]. Dining at Maguga Lodge is an epicurean delight. The restaurant offers excellent food with an interesting, diverse menu. The striking Lapa Restaurant is a piece of art in itself. The soaring ceilings provide the ambience of space while vibrant wall murals (created by a local artist) light up the interior. The restaurant offers a delicious À la carte menu during the week and on Sundays the atmospheric restaurant comes alive with a delectable buffet lunch. The restaurant is open daily from 7am - 1030pm. Bar & Restaurant Viewing Deck A wooden deck enveloping the front of the restaurant is the perfect place to relax. With comfortable cushioned loungers, a stunning view of the dam wall and a comprehensive cocktail menu, the deck offers just the right mixes to watch the sunset and unwind! For sports lovers, there is DSTV in the bar to catch your favorite game! Please ask you server for our selection of board games available for guests. Pool & Lapa Open to guests as well as day visitors, our pool and lapa area can also be booked for private events. A dart board and Ping Pong table are there for fun & games! A delightful place to have a spit braaii with full bar service available. (26 4' 47 S,E 31 15' 6)


Sleep

Swaziland is a small country and it is easy to go anywhere in the country during one day.

If you're watching the pennies, head to Veki's Guesthouse or Grifter's Backpackers in Mbabane, which costs around 120R per night for a bunk. If you want to push the boat out, book a room at the Mountain Inn which has outstanding accommodation, facilities and leisure opportunities.

The most sought-after hotels in Swaziland tend to be located in Ezulwini Valley between the two major cities, Mbabane and Manzini. (Don't forget to pick up beautiful local crafts from the roadside stalls on the way.) With four bars, a restaurant, a casino, golf, swimming, tennis and 411 rooms and suites, the Royal Sun Swazi epitomises luxury. The Royal Villas, also found in Ezulwini, spread 56 rooms across 14 villas and are extremely luxurious, offering excellent food, atmosphere and leisure facilities. The Ezulwini sun offers excellent facilities, also, at mid-range prices.

And, if you're heading down towards the Mozambique border, you'll find comfortable, well-appointed country clubs at Manananga, Mhlume and Simunye.

Again, out in the country, a wonderful place to stay one or more nights is Phophonyane Falls [33]. It is situated in the north-east, next to the Phophonyane waterfalls and offers great hiking trails. Best is to sleep in comfortable tents, next to the river. The Shewula Mountain Camp, Swaziland's first community-owned camp, is perched high in the Lobombo mountains with stunning views across game reserves; on clear days the Mozambique capital, Maputo is clearly visible. Guests stay in traditional rondavels, round thatched huts. The Camp is an eco-tourism initiative designed to help the local community and the wider environment.

  • Maguga Lodge, Maguga Dam, Piggs Peak, Kingdom of Swaziland (GPS Coordinates: 26 4' 47 S 31 15' 6 E), (00268) 2437 3975/6, [5]. Maguga Lodge sits in the heart of the Hhohho Region in Swaziland on the edge of the spectacular Maguga Dam. With stunning accommodation, breathtaking views and warm welcoming staff, Maguga is the perfect place for a time out to experience Swaziland's Highveld Magic! Renowned for it's fabulous fishing and breathtaking mountains, the area has much to offer for exploration. The famous and fascinating Ngwenya Glass, Nsangwini Bushman Paintings, Tintsaba Craft and Pigg’s Peak Casino are all within close proximity. Local providers can supply adrenaline junkies with an assortment of thrills from caving and whitewater rafting to quad biking and horse riding! Our beautiful conference and entertainment facilities (with WI_FI of course) are perfect for either business or personal entertaining. Just a short drive from Kruger Park, Mpumalanga and Mozambique, Maguga Lodge is an ideal stop on an itinerary for those wishing to explore the region.
  • Mantenga Lodge, 2 Mantenga Falls road, Ezulwini, +268 2416 1049, [6]. checkin: 10:00; checkout: 12:00. The lodge is in the Ezulwini Valley situated among natural surroundings at the foot of Sheba’s Breasts Mountains (immortalized by Rider Haggards' “King Solomon’s Mines”) overlooking the legendary “Execution Rock”. The 38 Rooms are tastefully furnished each with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, DSTV, telephone as well as tea and coffee making facilities. Wireless Internet is also available. We have a choice of rooms, all of which include a full breakfast, at competitive rates to suit your budget. Mantenga Lodge is centrally situated and provides an ideal base from which to explore Swaziland. Whether you stay for business or pleasure, you can relax at the swimming pool or enjoy the view on our deck while having sundowners or a delicious meal from our restaurant. R605.00-R1035.00. (26' 26’ 28.86” S,31' 10’ 53.40”E)

Learn

Swaziland is named for Mswati II, who became king in 1839. The royal lineage can be traced back to the Dlamini clan. The population is divided roughly between Nguni, Sotho and Tsonga, the remainder being 3% white. The current king is Mswati III, son of Sobuza II who had about seventy wives. He rules jointly with Indlovukazi, the Queen Mother. The primary symbol of Swaziland is not what the West would typically associate with nationhood - flags or monuments - but the king himself. The relationship between king and people is demonstrated through the incwala, a ceremony lasting several weeks which focuses on traditional rule, unity of the state, primacy of agriculture, sacredness of land, fertility and potency. Mswati's relationship with his people has been made even more unique through the introduction of chastity decrees for the under-18s to combat the rise of AIDS. However, Mswati III broke the rule when he married a 17-year-old girl, his thirteenth wife, in 2005. Mswati III has come under further criticism for attempting to purchase a private plane during a period of persistent drought and famine. Dissent grew so vociferous that the media was banned from making disparaging remarks about the monarchy, and the plane in particular. In the third year of drought, further plans to build luxury palaces for his wives whilst his people starved led to mass criticism. In 2005, Mswati III signed the country's first constitution though, in effect, nothing has changed: opposition parties remain banned, and the King remains absolute monarch.

Swaziland's main exports are sugar, grown on plantations throughout Swaziland, soft drink concentrates, cotton, maize, tobacco, rice and wood pulp. Demand for asbestos, once a major export, has fallen greatly due to health risks associated with the product. The land is badly overgrazed and over-farmed. This is particularly problematic as Swaziland suffers from persistent droughts. Unemployment hovers at around 25%. This figure is contributed to by inability to work as a result of AIDS.

Swazis build their huts depending on whether they are descended from Nguni or Sotho: Nguni huts are beehive in shape; Sotho huts have window frames and full doorways. Living space is roughly divided into three parts: living accommodation, animal housing and the 'great' hut, reserved for the spirits of the patrilineal ancestors. Each chief's wife has her own hut. Land is owned by local chiefs or the Crown; much land has been bought back for the nation and unclaimed spaces are used for grazing and collection of firewood. There is a growing class system due to the expansion of the middle classes. Social rank can be determined through the individual's relation to the head of their clan or to the royal family. In urban areas, fluency and proficiency in English is the main social delineator.

There are festivals and ceremonies throughout the year, the most notable being the King's Birthday on April 19 which is celebrated with a national 'day off' and local festivities, and the Reed (Umhlanga) Dance, a three day ceremony which takes place around August when thousands of maidens (virgins) congregate from all over Swaziland. The King is permitted to pick a new bride from their number.

Work

Matjana preschool

Volunteer

Volunteer for a day at Matjana Preschool, a not-for-profit pre-primary school in Kaphunga, Rural Swaziland. For more details and to contact us at Matjana [34]. Matjana Preschool was established by a group of volunteers without any organizational assistance and opened in 2007, the first preschool in the area. Since then with the support of International donors it has grown from strength to strength. In 2007, 19 children attended Matjana Preschool and one local woman was employed as the preschool teacher (working with an Australian volunteer teacher). In 2008 newly purchased furniture has allowed the organization to increase the class size; they now have a class of 22 students and enough funds to pay a second local teacher. They hope to build a new classroom at some point in the future (depending on donations) so that they can accept up to thirty students per year and continue employing two local women.

Stay safe

Travel Warning WARNING: Under no circumstances, insult King Mswati III or the royal family of Swaziland. Activism is brutally dispersed and people are reported to be shot and to be brutally injured from doing this! Do not attend ANY of the political demonstrations that happen occasionally.

Swaziland has a much lower crime rate than other countries in the region.

Hippopotamuses are found (rarely) in the country's rivers, and are one of the more dangerous animals you are likely to come across. They are actually quite fast animals, as well as being extremely strong and with large, powerful jaws. They often stay submerged in shallow water during the day, but come out at night to graze. They can be unpredictable, territorial and very protective of their young. Do not stand between a hippo and the water.

Crocodiles are a more common danger when swimming in rivers.

Swaziland also has one of the highest numbers of people struck by lightning per capita in the whole world and it is common to know (or know of) somebody who has been struck by lightning

Be careful when crossing any of Swaziland's nineteen border gates. It is forbidden to take meat into certain areas, and the soldiers have the right to search both you and your vehicle extensively. It is extremely inadvisable to stray into 'No-Man's Land', a 5km stretch of territory between Mozambique and Swaziland; several locals have been shot by soldiers guarding the edges of the respective territories.

Whilst physical violence is not prevalent (save on weekends when many may imbibe copious quantities of brandy or marula, a highly intoxicating alcoholic beverage), wandering around alone after dark is not advisable, particularly outside Mbabane and Manzini where there is little or no street lighting. Keep your money hidden and, if you are working or travelling in impoverished rural areas, do not eat expensive foods in front of the locals, particularly the children, who, especially if they are AIDS orphans and fed as part of the Sebenta school programme, do not get to experience luxury items.

While Swazi main roads are in good repair, a four wheel drive is essential to see much of the interior, unless you wish to be stranded miles from anywhere, with a patchy telephone signal as mobile telephone masts are few and far between. Other drivers, particularly HGVs, often overtake without warning and without checking for oncoming traffic. 'Kombis', local minibuses which function as taxis, drive at a neck-or-nothing rate with more than a full quota of passengers.

Stay healthy

Swaziland has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world; nearly 1 in 3 adults are infected. Never have unprotected sexual intercourse. If you happen to find romance in Swaziland, insist on an HIV test before taking things further.

There are risks for bilharzia if you frequent infected streams, as well as seasonal risks for malaria in the North-East parts of Swaziland near Mozambique. Be sure to use mosquito nets and repellent where necessary.

Respect

Swaziland is predominantly Christian, and modesty in dress is encouraged.

Swazis adhere strongly to their historical traditions, which are widely practised today. Many who are suffering from an illness will consult a sangoma to determine its cause and an inyanga to prescribe a treatment. It is the height of disrespect to be disparaging towards these individuals or to refer to them as witch doctors.

Contact

Cellphone coverage is similar to South Africa, even in most nature reserves there is coverage (although it might be weak). There is only one wireless operator in Swaziland, namely MTN-Swazi. SIM cards from South Africa do not work here, unless it's MTN and roaming has been enabled. It's easy to buy a starter pack with a MTN-Swazi sim card pretty much at every gas station or grocery store. You do not need proof of residence or ID to get a pack.

Although there is coverage, the phone service itself is bad with many calls not connecting (or connecting to the wrong phone number), texts not arriving and international calling being more expensive than in South Africa.

Note that "Starter Pack" SIM cards expire within 30 days if not used, and that they cannot be used in South Africa.

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This article contains content from Wikipedia's Swaziland article. View that page's revision history for the list of authors.