Swaziland, officially the Kingdom of Swaziland, and sometimes called Ngwane or Swatini, is a landlocked country in southern Africa, bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa, and to the east by Mozambique.
Currency: Swazi lilangeni
Government: Unitary state, Constitutional monarchy, Absolute monarchy, Monarchy, Diarchy, Parliamentary system
Official language: English Language, Swati Language
Welcome to the Kingdom of Swaziland!
On September 6, 1968, the country - one of the most ethnically homogeneous republics on the Planet-- proclaimed its national independence as the Kingdom of Swaziland within the Commonwealth. It thus became the forty-second independent country in Africa. Since that time, it has become one of the few monarchies in the Third World. For almost 70 years, prior to 1968, the United Kingdom had ruled the country as a British High Commission Territory. In fact, Swaziland was one of Britain's last colonies on the African mainland.
The modern country of Swaziland lies in southern Africa and is completely surrounded by formerly white-ruled South Africa and Mozambique (ex Portuguese colony).It covers about 6,704 square miles ( 17,363 km). The African monarchy--about the size of New Jersey--is the world's 158th largest nation in area. What is more, it is one of the smallest countries by area among the former British colonies in Africa, along with Lesotho, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Gambia. This tiny kingdom enjoys a favorable climate. Most of the nation is covered with mountains (up to 4,500 feet), rainforests, and valleys.
In 1968, the kingdom was one of the new nations of the world, but it did not become an Olympic country until 1972.
The Kingdom of Swaziland, once an anti-Communist nation, maintains close diplomatic and economic ties with South Africa, and Japan, as well as South Korea and the United States of America. Since then, it is known for its strong ties with London. In the meantime, since its independence (1968), Swaziland is one of the few African states in the world that has not had diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.
Despite the country's size -one of the smallest nations on Earth- the Kingdom of Swaziland is one of sub-Saharan Africa's well-watered areas. Like Suriname, Solomon Islands, and Norway, it is home to a number of rivers. Major rivers include: the Ingwavuna river in the south, the Makondo river in the southwest, the Usutu and Ngwempisi rivers in the west, and Lomti and Black Umbeluzi rivers in the north.
Over one million people living in the nation,the great majority Swazi-speaking blacks. Moreover, there are a number of citizens of Swaziland employed in South Africa and other countries.
Major International Organizations
The nation became a member of the United Nations on September 24, 1968. At the same time, it became the twenty-eighth member of the British Commonwealth.
Power & Women
By the early 1980s, this landlocked country made the world headlines when it had two Queens. Following the death of King Sobhuza II, the Queen regent Dzeliwe Shongwe ruled the tiny kingdom, between 1982 and 1983, and months later Ntombi Twala became the country's second female Head of State since 1968. According to Swazi traditions, the new king is elected by the Queen Mother (Ndlovukazi or She-Elephant). In 1921, Sobhuza II, who was one of the world's oldest reigning monarchs, had been hand-picked by the She-Elephant.
This monarchy is a country with two official languages, English and siSwati.
Despite its tiny size, this land is famous for its vast variety of wild animals, such as elephants, lions, rhinoceros, and leopards. Otherwise, it also is well-known for its birdlife. In Lubombo, for example, there are over 350 species of exotic birds. In recent years, the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary has become one of the country's most visited spots.
The tiny kingdom is home to one of the world's oldest mines. It was discovered in Ngwenya, district of Hohho, in 1970.This new wonder is one of Swaziland's top tourist attractions.
Unlike a number of states in the world, this English-speaking nation has two capitals. Mbabane is the administrative capital, meanwhile Lobamba is the traditional capital. Mbabane -lies in Swaziland's western highlands-- is the largest city and was set up in the early 1900s. With a population of 100,000 people, Mbabane is home a number of traditional markets, excellent restaurants, stunning gardens, and amazing hotels. In the 2oth century, this Swazi place became one of the most peaceful cities in southern Africa. In the meantime, Lobamba has interesting places, such as the King Sobhuza II Memorial Park and the National Museum.
This African monarchy is blessed with abundant water and some minerals, such as iron ore, asbestos, tin, kaolin, coal, gold, barite, and diamonds. On the other hand, from 1984 to 1994, the Kingdom of Swaziland boasted one of the world's fastest-growing economies (6.5%), ahead of several Asian countries.
Pope John Paul II came to the country in 1988.
Alejandro Guevara Onofre: Freelance writer. Alejandro is author of a host of articles/essays about over 220 countries and dependencies (and American States as well), from ecology, history, tourism and national heroes to Olympic sports, foreign relations, and wildlife. In addition, he has published some books on women's rights, among them "History of the Women in America" and "Famous Americans".