Travel To The Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) – Southern Africa
In April of 2018, the current King of eSwatini, King Mswati III, officially changed the country’s name from Kingdom of Swaziland back to its original name, Kingdom of eSwatini. The tiny landlocked nation in southern Africa gained full independence in 1968, after being a British protectorate since the early 1900s. But unlike some countries, it did not change its name back to its original name with independence. Meaning “place of the Swazi”, eSwatini is the Swazi language name for the country. The name Swaziland angers some citizens as it is a mix of Swazi and English.
The Kingdom of eSwatini is a monarchy. King Mswati III, on the throne since 1986, is upholding the tradition of his father, King Sobhuza II, who reigned for almost 61 years. Sobhuza scrapped the constitution in 1973 and banned political parties.
eSwatini is virtually homogenous, most of the population being of the same tribe. Economically, the country is heavily dependent on South Africa, which receives almost half of Swazi exports and supplies nine-tenths of its imports.
Mbabane is the capital city of eSwatini.
The official languages are Siswati and English.
Four climates: Warm and wet summers with temperatures up to 33° C, dry winters that can reach a low of –4.5° C, Spring and Autumn
Natural resources: Sugar, mining (coal and asbestos), wood pulp, agriculture, soft drink concentrates Agriculture: corn, wheat, sugarcane, hay, citrus fruits, grapes, potatoes, poultry, eggs, cattle, and sheep
The majority of the population is Christian, while some others practice indigenous beliefs.
MBABANE: The main attractions in town are the Malls. Just to the west of the town center is Swazi Plaza, a large, modern shopping complex. Also, the Mbabane Market has authentic crafts.
LOBAMBA: South of Mbabane by road, Lobamba is the heart of the Ezulwini Valley, eSwatini’s royal valley. It is home to the royals’ Embo State Palace. The traditional Incwala ceremony and Uhmlanga dance takes place at the Royal Kraal in Lobamba, where the National Museum is housed. This museum displays eSwatini culture and has a traditional beehive village beside it.
Next to the museum is the parliament, which is sometimes open to the public, and across the road from the museum is the King Sobhuza II Memorial, the most revered (and arguably the most prolific breeder) of the eSwatini kings. The Mantenga Falls are worth seeing, although you need to ask for local advice because there have been muggings and other nasty incidents there. Nearby is the eSwatini Cultural Village with more authentic beehive huts and cultural displays.
eSwatini is also the Mlinwane Wildlife Sanctuary where zebras, giraffes, white rhinos, hippos and crocodiles, the only predators reside, among over 200 species of birds.
MANZINI: Manzini is the industrial center of eSwatini which is 30 km south-east of Mbabane.
The infamous Mkhaya Game Reserve boasts wild black rhinos, giraffes, elephants, white rhinos, and roan and sable antelopes, among other wildlife species. Tourists can take wildlife-viewing drives and guided walking safaris.
eSwatini is an enclave of South Africa, located within Southern Africa, with Mozambique bordering its east. Click here to see a map of eSwatini.
The Lilangeni is the currency in eSwatini, whereas one US Dollar equals approximately 8 Lilangeni. For actual conversion rates, visit Oanda.com and perform a conversion for ‘eSwatini Lilangeni.’
Passport is required.