Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati lll, one of the last remaining ruling monarchs in Africa. This peaceful country has much to offer travelers especially the adventurous.
With a population of under a million, the Kingdom of Swaziland is tucked in between South Africa and Mozambique. Mountains, lush forests and fertile valleys combine to take visitors on a scenic tour of wonder through the Switzerland of Africa”.
Access to Swaziland can be made through any of twelve border posts or the centrally located Matsapha Airport with all four corners of the country accessible by tarred road. The capital Mbabane, legislative capital Lombamba and the industrial hub of Manzini, are sophisticated business centers contrasting sharply with the laid back tranquility of the outlying areas. There are four regions in Swaziland, each with its own beauty,interests and attractions:
The Royal House of Swazi
Swaziland – independent since 1968 – is one of the only three monarchies left in Africa. Led by His Majesty, King Mswati III, the nation is steeped in tradition and committed to safeguarding its culture, social and natural heritage for future generations.
Traditional Ceremonies and Festivals in The Kingdom of Swaziland
Traditional ceremonies are an integral part of Swazi life, despite the advent of modernization. The most important of these is the sacred Ncwala or Festival of the First Fruits. This is essentially a Kingship ceremony, held to renew the strength of the King and the Swazi Nation for the coming year. Ncwala is held in December/January of each year.
Another major ceremony is Umhlanga or the Reed Dance which is held at the end of August or early September. The ceremony is for unmarried maidens to pay homage to the King and Queen Mother. The Maidens set out to collect reeds from selected areas which are then used to repair the Queen Mother’s home.
Recommended places to stay in the Kingdom of Swaziland
Reilly’s Rock Lodge
This historic farmhouse in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary combines colonial elegance, excellent game-viewing (on foot, bicycle, horse or jeep) and a passion for conservation. Enjoy a view of game-studded plains and the Ezulwini and Malkern’s Valleys below.
Activities: horse riding, mountain biking, guided and self-guided walks, white water rafting and sight seeing can be arranged for the adventurous guest. And the food, typically English – apple crumble and roast potatoes are standard fare.
Sondzela is also in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. It has great facilities and activities for backpackers like: game drives, white water rafting, traditional Swazi dancing, a swimming pool, walking trails, main meals all day, a telephone, dorms, twins and camping facilities, a bar and all much more –set in beautiful gardens.
Royal Swazi Spa
The Royal Swazi Spa is an oasis in the Kingdom of Swaziland. A legendary getaway place for the playboys and the pampered it nestles in the Ezulwini Valley and is known as much for its elegant Casino as its Spa and its beautiful golf course. Close to many attractions and facilities.
Tours, travel and adventure in the Kingdom of Swaziland
Specializing in exclusive, interactive tours to all the Kingdom’ s major attractions, Swazi Trails employs experienced local guides. They do a range of tours, the most popular being the Swazi Adventure Trails. White Water Rafting on the Great Usuthu River is Swaziland’s premier adventure sport. They also organize hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, para gliding, 4×4 excursions and more.