In the Spotlight – 291: Swaziland

Post 372

Covering an area of only 6,000 square miles, roughly the same size as Wales. The smallest country in Africa. There are no rules on the roads, roads festooned with goats and cows. It is home to one of the world’s oldest mines. White is the most popular colour for a car because white coloured cars are the cheapest. A country rich in wildlife. The King is King. His picture is everywhere. It’s characterized by mountainous plateaus and savannah grasslands. Men tend to grow the fingernail of their little finger really long because, and I quote, ‘it looks nice’. The locals are incredibly friendly. And they’ve never had a professional surfer. Yes, where else but The Kingdom of Swaziland.

Swaziland is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It has a population of nearly two million people and one of the most beautiful and interesting flags around. It stands for battles, peace, stability, and for the resources the land provides. The central shield symbolizes protection and that white and black people can coexist peacefully in the country. The feathers are injobo, tassel-bunches of feathers of the widowbird and the lourie, whilst the spears are assegais, local spears. The countries motto? ‘We are a fortress, we are a mystery and a riddle, we hide ourselves away’. Yes. Well, that sounds badass.

They are famous for their rich culture and heritage. Their festivals are world-renowned and haven’t changed in centuries. The Marula, a festival of fruit celebration. The Bushfire, touted as Swaziland’s answer to Glastonbury. Umhlanga, their largest festival and Incwala, their most important festival. And festivals dedicated to charities are very important to them. They are a happy, active and dancy sort of folk.

Sights include the nature parks, reserves and wildlife sanctuaries of Malolotja, Mlawula, Mlilwane and Mantenga. The game reserves and parks of Mbuluzi, Mkhaya and Hlane Royal National Park. The eclectic market of Manzini. And Sibebe Rock is the destination if you are one of a devil of dare.

Perhaps its greatest wonder is Ngwempisi Gorge. An untouched gem. A rich and ethereal landscape covered in a luscious forest and a sensual calm blue river running through its heart. It is a stunning and wild landscape of supreme grace and elegance. An absolutely majestic treasure of Swaziland.

Swaziland. The country of heritage, festivals and a lack of surfers.

Ciao :)(:

Photos: The Flag of Swaziland and Ngwempisi Gorge

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The Indelible Life of Me
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