A tiny country with a big heart and warm, friendly people aptly describes Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland and sometimes called kaNgwane or Eswatini, is a sovereign state in Southern Africa surrounded – with the exception of Mozambique to its east – by South Africa.
Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, Swaziland more than makes up for its lack of size with a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities. As one of the few remaining Executive Monarchies in Africa, culture and heritage are deeply engrained in all aspects of Swazi life, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit. As well as the rich culture, the overwhelming friendliness of the people makes all visitors feel truly welcome and very safe. The Swazis are a proud and extremely friendly people, they welcome visitors with a beaming smile and take pleasure in showing off their beautiful country. Add to that stunning landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains; plus wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five, and you have an amazing destination awaiting you.
With the exception of desert and sea, every geographical feature of Africa’s terrain is found within Swaziland: magnificent mountain scenery with rivers, waterfalls and gorges; unique rock formations which are among the world’s most ancient; lush and fertile valleys, plus typical African bush. From west to east, Swaziland moves from mountainous Highveld, though Middleveld to Lowveld, and then rises again to the Lubombo mountains. Altitudes vary from 21 to 1800 m (70 to 6000 ft) – yet the country’s east and west borders are less than 200 km (125 miles) apart. Swaziland's rich variety of landscapes and habitats gives it a profusion of fauna and flora, with the sheer number of species being mind-boggling by most European standards. The country is not large enough to offer lots of big game experiences, but it has some 17 protected areas which are home to a very wide range of species, including the sought after ‘Big 5’. Swaziland is also the perfect place to get to grips with many smaller creatures often overlooked on safari elsewhere, and it is a bird-watcher’s paradise.
Swaziland has a remarkably impressive range of traditional arts and crafts with many of its products now found in trendy ethnic boutiques around world. Throughout the country men and women are at work creating the finest handicrafts that are so popular with visitors. Creative basket ware in vibrant clours, wood and stone carvings, glassware, exquisite candles, batik items, jewellery – all uniquely Swazi. In many places that they are on sale, there is also chance to see the craftspeople at work and marvel at their intricate skills. Many are socially responsible outlets which provide both income and empowerment for their craftspeople from poor rural communities.