"ATLC's Swaziland Page" Swaziland by ATLC

Swaziland Travel Guide: 267 reviews and 685 photos

Nice people

We came through Swaziland on our tour of eastern South Africa and stayed at a bungalow hotel called Forresters Arms.

I still have to put up a few tips and photo's.

Swaziland is a kingdom and the previous king used to be the longest reigning monarch in the world.

Each year there is a huge festival in September when the king receives all the maidens of the country. Then he chooses a fiancée (not every year, but even so... quite often!), who he will wed the following year. It is of course, a great honour for the girl.
Hundreds of Swahili girls dance for the king. Unmarried maidens do not cover their upper body but decorate themselves with colourful bead jewelry. You can see pictures of that on my South Africa page.

A very foreign concept to us Europeans.

The festival is exclusively for the Swahili. Foreigners are not allowed to attend. Or very rarely so.

We found the Swazi women that worked at our hotel to be more independent and self-assured than the South African women. Maybe this has to do with the fact that Swaziland was not a colony, nor was there apartheid.

I didn't think the people were much poorer compared to South
Africa. Besides, "poor" is a relative concept and of course many of the African problems (HIV/AIDS and malnourishment) exist in Swaziland also.

I did not feel unsafe there and there were nice routes to be driven by car. And lots and lots of souvenirs!

Internet café

Pity I didn't know about VT then!
This was in a little village with lots of local craft.

We found a Dutch lady who ran a batik (cloth dying) shop and who taught the local women to dye the cloth in African patterns.

Unfortunately the land is deforested quite a lot. It was sad to see those bare hills where on the map it showed to be thickly covered with trees.

For the moment it seems I cannot upload any pictures, but will add a few more later, including the address of Forrester's Arms which was a super place to stay and had the best food I ate during this trip (better even than in Sun City).

  • Last visit to Swaziland: Sep 2000
  • Intro Written Sep 11, 2002
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Reviews (8)

Comments (23)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    Your tips bring back nice memories of my visit to Swaziland in 2001. We went there for a long weekend while visiting my daughter in Maputo. (Thanks for finding me on Facebook, by the way.)

  • Doctor38's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2007 at 5:33 AM

    that was very educational page. thanks for sharing these tips. Discovery channel should hire U

  • May 21, 2005 at 12:34 AM

    excellent page!

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2004 at 10:35 PM

    It was nice that you found the women of Swaziland self-assured. I enjoyed reading your local customs section, and was also surprised to hear that the bread and cakes were so wonderful. This is something that I have not heard associated with Africa before.

  • BerniShand's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2004 at 12:54 AM

    couch~v~travel ? no contest ! the very name Swaziland conjures up thoughts of Africa for me - lovely page, thank you

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2004 at 9:11 AM

    How wonderful to watch Zulu dancing with your own eyes instead of on TV! I love your story about the couch cushions - I would always choose travel over a new couch, too! : )

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2004 at 2:11 PM

    Lovely page on very exotic destination. Is there anything "natural" there, I mean authenthic, more than shows for tourists there?

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2003 at 7:53 PM

    What exotic places you have been to. Swaziland. The place that cost us a couch.

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2003 at 5:29 AM

    Lovely page of this lovely small country. We really enjoyed our short stay.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2003 at 2:53 AM

    A very informative page! Now that you mention it, the hills did look a bit bare in places!


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