"Isihlahla satiwa ngetithelo taso.
A tree is known by its fruit. "Swazi Proverb

Swaziland, alternatively Ngwane, is one of only three remaining monarchies in Africa, with the Swazi king wielding executive chief. Swaziland is the smallest country on the African continent. It is landlocked, being enclosed by South Africa (on the north, west and south) and by Mozambique on the east). It lies between South Africa’s Drakensberg range and the Lebombo Mountains that demarcate the Mozambique border. The national capital, Mbabane, is located on the Drakensberg slopes, near the South African border to the west. The largest town is Manzini some 40 km to the east of Mbabane, more or less in the middle of the country.

Indigenous people of Swaziland, the Swazi, are a sub-group of the Nguni Bantu-speaking peoples living in the eastern parts of South Africa. There are many Swazis in the far south of Mozambique and in South Africa’s Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces as well. Siswati is the official language besides English. Unlike many other modern African states, Swaziland comprises of one ethnic group or nationality, sharing a common historical tradition, speaking the same language and practising one set of cultures. About 80% of the people are Christians, the majority belonging to the African Independent Churches. Although the towns are relatively small, the rate of urbanisation is high and at present about a third of the total population resides in towns and urban settlements.

The Swazi are experiencing a shortage of arable land as only 60% of the land area is in their hands; this is communal land, use for subsistence farming based on maize planting and cattle herding. The remainder is freehold land of which large areas are under irrigation that is use for cash crop cultivation or commercial agriculture. Producing mainly export, commercial farming is the backbone of the economy. The main agricultural export is sugar produced on irrigated sugar-cane fields in the eastern lowveld area. Other important crops are cotton, maize, citrus fruits, pineapples and vegetables.

Serene and beautiful, Swaziland is renowned for its beauty and peaceful environment. Travellers are drawn to the land for many reasons: Its natural diversity, its breathtaking vistas, and its famously friendly locals. King Mswati III presides over the land, which is imbued with a strong African identity and informed by traditional values. Exploring the country reveals a juxtaposition of game-rich expanses and bustling villages. The former provides excellent wildlife and photographic opportunities for visitors, while the latter, arts and crafts, fresh vegetable markets and traditional medicine are defining features. Natural attractions in Swaziland include its waterfalls and lush, forested ravines. The country is also well-known for its hand-crafted candles and Ngwenya glass sculptures.
Swaziland has a fascinating history and landscape. Please be sure to check this site http://www.welcometoswaziland.com/twpub/pag.cgi?m=home if you’re a visitor to the country, you may be keen to know more about the Kingdom. You can learn more here http://www.places.co.za/swaziland/


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