Located in southern Africa, Swaziland is the smallest country in the Southern Hemisphere. But what the country lacks in size it makes up for its deeply rooted cultural heritage. The country is one of the last remaining Executive Monarchies in Africa and thus has a vibrant and rich culture that reflects through the friendly natives and majestic festivities. The country is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique on all 4 sides and is around 1,100 meters above sea level. Hence the climate in Swaziland remains moderate during most times of the year and ranges between temperate and tropical. Winters is considered the driest season due to it falling between the months of June and August. For tourists, Swaziland is one of the best places to experience one of the most vibrant African cultures and several nature and wildlife reserves. Let us take a look at some interesting things you can do in Swaziland.
1. Malolotja Nature Reserve
The nature reserve is located at the northwestern border of Swaziland, sharing its boundaries with the Republic of South Africa and has more than 4,447 acres of mountain wilderness. Most of the area was used for grazing and was owned by private holders till it was deemed as an ecologically important region before 1970. Zebra, Wildebeests, Leopard, Blesbok, Reedbuck, Bushpig, Jackal, Aardwolf and the Red Hartebeest etc. are some of the animals species found in the Malolotja Wilderness.
2. Swazi Candles
Not just its nature reserves and its mild climate, Swaziland is known for its decorative handmade candles that use an age old candle making technique known as the ‘millefiore’. The word millefiore translates to ‘a thousand flowers’ and was originated in Italy as a glassmaking technique. However, this technique was later used for making decorative candles that became a signature of the country and the Swazi candles remain as one of the top exports of the country due to high demand in Europe and the Americas.
3. Incwala Kingship
The Incwala Kingship is a nation even that is organized each year during the summer months of December and January, according to the phases of the moon. The main person to host the ceremony is the King of Swaziland himself and features several celebrations, festivities, and celebrations that last at least for 2 months. Bemanti, Little Incawala, Lusekwane and Big Incwala etc. are the various rituals that happen during the Incwala festival.
4. White Water Rafting
White Water Rafting is one of the major adventure sport offered in Swaziland and is a highly recommended tourist activity when you visit. The Usutu River is one of the major rivers that flows through Swaziland and offers the best rapids in Africa second only to the Zambezi River which flows from Zambia into the Indian Ocean. White-water rafting is a highly popular sport in Swaziland and is tried by people from almost all age groups.
5. Ngwenya Glass
Another major export of the Monarchic republic of Swaziland, the Ngwenya glass is manufactured since the past 23 years in the country. The glass is manually blown into shapes and articles by some of the most traditional glass makers and is made with 100% recycled glass. The glass items are usually displayed in various showrooms and stores which are scattered throughout the country and can also be seen at the craft centre with several shops that feature items made with the traditional ways of the Ngwenya glass factory.
6. Gil Vicente Restaurant
If you need to relax yourself and want a place to cool your heels off, then Manzini is the place you want to be at. The town is relatively urban and has several eateries, café and restaurants that are crowded with tourists. Gil Vincente Restaurant is an elegantly located eatery which serves a great mix of Italian recipes. It is located in the Mkhaya convenience center, shop number 13.
7. Mkhaya Game Reserve
Located towards the southeastern region in Swaziland, the Mkhaya Game reserve was established as a protected wildlife reserve in 1979. The reserve is maintained and staffed by the Swazi locals and is totally self-financed from the revenues from the high number of visitors that it attracts. It was established as a breeding ground for the endangered Nguni Cattle, but also houses other rare animal species such as the Black Rhinoceros, White Rhinoceros, African Elephants, Stable antelope, roan antelope and several other African wildlife species.
Unlike the other African countries, Swaziland is known for its peaceful surroundings and the nature reserves. The people in Swaziland are also very friendly and the mild climate and the vibrant culture of the inhabitants make the country a major tourist attraction.
Rohit likes to experience that various vibrant cultures across the world. Being an Indian, he is fond of colorful festivities and delicious cuisines. He also shares his travel experiences at TransIndiaTravels.com which is a great place to know about the various places of tourist interest in India.