Swaziland is a small country about the size of Wales sharing a 267
mile border with South Africa to the north, south and west and a
65 mile border with Mozambique to the east.
It has a sub-tropical
climate with about 75% of total rainfall occurring from October to
March. The country 's topography is mainly mountains and hills,
with some moderately sloping plains.
Its lowest point is
the Great Usutu river at 69ft and its highest point is Emlembe,
part of the Drakensberg mountain range at 6018ft.
Swaziland is made up of four
areas representing all of the terrain if Africa except for desert. Highveld to
the west has mountains, rivers, waterfalls and gorges with a generally temperate
climate of warm, wet summers and dry winters when the temperature can rise
sharply during the day, but with cold nights. Next to Highveld is Middleveld,
slightly lower with fertile valleys and a warm climate that makes it ideal for
farming and is the main crop growing area of Swaziland.
As you proceed east, you
enter into the sub-tropical Lowveld where sugar and citrus are cultivated for
export and cattle are reared. The smallest area of Swaziland is Lubombo which shares the country's border with
Mozambique. Lubombo, again, has an abundance of mountains and supports mixed
Although the majority of its
citizens live in rural communities, only around 10% of its land is actually
arable and declining harvests over the past few years as a result of droughts
has led to many migrating to more urban areas or changing their farming
practices from growing maize to eat to growing crops that can be sold for cash
such as cotton. Despite its small size, Swaziland
has eighteen airports, over 2000 miles of highways but just 187 miles of
railway. With both English and siSwati as its official languages, its population
is 97% African and 3% European with 40% being Zionist, 20% Roman Catholic and
just 10% Muslim with other religions such as Methodists, Anglicans, Mormons and
Jews comprising the remaining 30%.
Most people visit Swaziland for the
amazing images of its countryside however it has many other attractions for the
tourist from the Malkerns Valley with its arts and crafts; the Ngwenya Glass
Village close to the border with South Africa in the north west and the Mlilwane
Game Park, Swaziland's main nature reserve.
Those with an interest in history
will enjoy ancient bushmen paintings at Nsangwini in the northern Hhohho region
as well as others at Sandlane and Dlangeni. This video provides some stunning images of
After you've watched it why not take a virtual tour of the country
using our satellite map here and zoom in on other images of interest.