Small country, big heart: by Kombi into Swaziland

17th October 2013 - South Africa / travel | voyages

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Read in full at TheSouthAfrican.com:

“The five of us were entirely surprised that a week isn’t enough to explore tiny Swaziland. The reed dance, the decadent king, the corruption of courtiers and royals: all this is true. But Swaziland, beyond the headlines and the waterfalls and the game, is memorable for its safety, its outstanding arts and crafting industry, and the warmth of Swazi people.

I have never known what to do with Swaziland or Lesotho. These two monarchies blessedly escaped Apartheid through some astute 19th-century diplomacy by old king Moshoeshoe and Ngwane V.

But what to make of them now? Lesotho has some magic scenery, but the facilities are so much grander on the South African side of the Drakensbergthat I had always thought of the Mountain Kingdom as more of a rite of passage for suburban 4×4 owners than an important destination for the curious Southern African traveller. Now that I know how wrong I have been about Swaziland, Lesotho is probably something I should investigate as a matter of urgency because our eastern semi-enclave is a world apart.

Our hosts in Swaziland were hippies who left the Republic for the Kingdom in the 1970s to flee conscription into the Total Onslaught. They found a warm welcome and a natural habitat for blissed-out countercultural living in Swaziland’s gentle hilly, slightly tropical waterfall country and its rolling Lowveld.”

 

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