Category Archives: Eswatini

12 Interesting facts about Eswatini

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Eswatini is Africa’s little gem. With a thriving population, varying landscapes and rolling hills. The country is a tourist favorite and amongst one of the most scenic places on the continent. However there are a number of interesting and outrageously wild fun facts about the country which many may or might not be familiar with. Look at our list and let us know which ones you find fascinating. Absolute Monarchy Eswatini is Africa’s last absolute monarchy and one of the few remaining in the world. This form of government gives the head of state supreme authority that supersedes all written laws, legislature or customs. By tradition, the king reigns along with his mother who is known as the Indlovukazi (She-elephant) while the King is reffered to as Ingwenyama (Lion) Swaziland was always Eswatini The year 2018 was a historical one for the Kingdom. The year not only signified a double celebration of 50 years of Independence as well as the 50th birthday of the head of state, but it also marked when the country went from being Swaziland to Eswatini overnight. Literally. However, an interesting fact to note is that the Kingdom was always considered Eswatini by it’s people. The change was only a legal affirmation. Second largest rock found here Sibebe Rock which is located on the outskirts of Mbabane, is the world’s second largest monolith (single piece of rock). It lags a little behind Australia’s Uluru. Best big Five safari experiences It is possible to observe the famous big…

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Where to eat in Eswatini: The Calabash

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Every part of the world has its own food culture- Their own traditions about what they love to indulge in to how they love to prepare it and of course, Eswatini is no different. Although traditionally, our cuisine is influenced by seasonal variations, availability of certain ingredients and staple foods, however when it comes to the restaurant scene, our food culture has evolved through that of others, globalization and the need to bring Eswatini to the world. We have a mix of franchises, cultured restaurants, China town spots and even social markets where street food and barbeques are all the rave. Taking this into account, anyone who visits our neck of the woods will be spoilt for choice. With so many great places to pick from, we thought it best to help narrow down the search for you. Interesting enough, the first restaurant to pop onto our radar just so happens to be a timeless piece of Eswatini heritage. Situated next to Timbali lodge, just behind the Midway galp gas station is a quaint family run restaurant, called The Calabash. Whatever tickles your continental cuisine fancy, best believe you’ll find it Here. This restaurant serves a variety of European cuisine. From traditional French dishes, German delights, to even a bit of Italian food and Swiss meals. The Calabash was originally founded in the late 70’s by Egon Hernler. It was then sold to a new owner some twenty odd years later, only to be rebought a similar number of years…

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Best hiking places in Eswatini

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We’re almost at that time of the year where we’re ready to pack away our sandals and sarongs and trade them in for some boots and fleece sweaters. Autumn is drawing to a close and leaving with it are the warm days where we could be caught reclining by the poolside or binge drinking on Mojitos but, that’s okay. As dreary and gloomy as winter can get, it’s still a season that can be packed with all sorts of fun and engaging activities to do, one of which is Hiking. There is nothing as rewarding as a trek through bush and woodland on a cool day. Although the slopes can get wet from time to time, it’s still almost perfect weather because it eliminates the discomfort of sweating your way up a hill. Eswatini is a rich landscape of different hiking experiences that can be a thrill for anyone who dares to reach a summit. From green hilled Sibebe down by Mbuluzi just past Pine valley, to woodlands in the Mlawula reserve and even our ghastly Execution rock that holds a dark history in the constitutional pages of Eswatini. You can rest easy in knowing that a day of bootlegging through our veld and mountains can make for memories worth keeping, sharing or even instagramming. Here’s a list of the 4 best places to catch some views in the kingdom. Take a drive through the valley, past Lobamba and make a short right just after Ludzidzini Royal Residence because Mlilwane…

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The top 5 Instagram-worthy places in Mbabane

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Let’s face it; we all live on social media. We share, react, like and hashtag almost anything and EVERYTHING. The gram, like its devotees like to call it, is the ultimate visual haven as far as social media is concerned. It’s a place where one can go from regular Joe to uber creative with a click of a filter. We are constantly snapping and posting up on the go. Always on the lookout for the best location or views to share with our followers. I guess you could go as far as calling it a thrill seeking game of creating images that are worth a thousand words. One of the best parts about travel is the memories you get to collect and there has never been a greater way of documenting them than through the gram. We love our city. As quaint and business casual as it can get, it’s still one of the most vibrant and intriguing places in the country. Exploring Mbabane can be quite the adventure. From immersing yourself in down-town galleries to hitting hole in ones in suburban golf courses and even chugging down draughts in millennial loved pubs, the city is one helluva urban experience. Here’s a look at the top 5 Instagram worthy places in the city that are also quite deserving of your time too. The market place is the city’s urban culture epicentre. This intersecting of souvenirs, thrift shopping stalls, crafts, fruit and veg cubicles and even traditional food is an experience…

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72Hours in Eswatini

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Easter is upon us and while some look forward to a long weekend of rest, no work and refueling for the rest of the year ahead, many others are looking for something more. Easter weekend is a great time to do some exploring. To finally take that trip you’ve been putting off and to discover new places on your map. We will be bold and make a very confident claim; Eswatini is the ultimate Easter weekend destination and if everything you’ve read already about our beautiful kingdom isn’t enough to convince you, we hope this blog will. Here’s a guide to spending 72-hours in Africa’s Eswatini. Day 1 Start your first leg of your Eswatini tour with something light and fun by visiting a cultural village. We recommend the tourist favorite, Mantenga cultural village, which showcases typical Swazi life, food and traditions. The cultural village hosts a dance twice a day. If you miss the 11 am one, be sure to catch the next one at 3pm. The cultural village also has trails, a stunning waterfall and craft stalls to shop from for Eswatini souvenirs. Maybe after leaving the village, take a drive down the Gables shopping center which houses numerous stores and a movie theater to meet your hearts delight then end your first day with a delicious dinner at the calabash restaurant which serves continental cuisine in with some Eswatini charm. Day 2 Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the valley, why not visit the Mlilwane Wildlife sanctuary….

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What to pack for your trip to Mbabane

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Mbabane is quite the interesting city and that isn’t only in reference to its growing street fashion culture, lively shisanyama’s or its buzzing night-life. Mbabane is interesting in every sense. From its humorous people, to its quaint coffee shops. Its multi-cultural cuisine spots to its four seasons in one day weather habits. If you’re planning a trip to this micro-capital city of Eswatini here’s a quick guide of what to pack in order to get the most out of your trip; especially at this time of the year. Good Hiking shoes It is no secret that our terrain makes for the most fun outdoorsy excursions. Pack a good pair of hiking boots for all those trails and hikes you can explore while in the country. We recommend taking a short drive out of town, down into Pine Valley to experience our mighty Sibebe. Or even take a walk through Emafini’s scenic trails that lead all the way to a stunning waterfall. Whatever you choose to do though, just pack the hiking shoes. Camera Why visit one of the most gorgeous countries in Southern Africa and NOT carry a camera to capture the memories with. Smart phone may have made our lives easier now, but nothing beats a good long range lens camera to capture all those safari images or the orange rays of a sunset dipping behind the valley. If I may add, the city sits in a gorgeous panoramic view from the hill above our hotel in the evening….

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Why we love local Eswatini art

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Art is deeply embedded in the history of Eswatini. From the rock paintings at Nsangwini heritage site, to the beadwork geometry in our jewellery. Art is everywhere and because our culture is synonymous with it, the arts community in Eswatini continues to steadily grow. A new artist emerges onto the scene almost every year and mediums of expression have moved from traditional art to photography and most recently, digital media and film. More and more locals are tapping into their creativity and finding different ways to communicate and express themselves. Creating conversations through their works and giving everyone a glimpse into the heart of this country. One artist who does this so well is Lucky Motsa, a local contemporary artist whose entire story hangs on Mountain inn’s walls. Lucky is a breath of fresh air. His art is authentic, raw and expressive. His paintings offer insight into real Eswatini. They document stories of real life from an ordinary day to day perspective. If anything, Lucky paints what we all see, but can’t quite capture nor even describe. His ability to captivate and draw people in is what makes his art so incredible. His style is so easy to recognise due to how his paintings are often a synopsis; one story spread out over various canvases. Painting after painting, you are brought into Lucky’s world. A world in which the bus crosses the bridge while the children play under the trees. A world in which the old village grocery takes central…

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Eswatini might just be the 8th wonder of the world

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One thing we hear a lot of in our hotel is how Eswatini is a beautiful place. We hear it so many times in a day that we have grown accustomed to this compliment. Nodding and smiling dutifully, and that isn’t because we have become pompous or indifferent of this compliment, but because we also wholeheartedly agree. In fact, Eswatini isn’t just beautiful, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Micro in size, grand in culture and colourful in traditions, Eswatini is one of Africa’s gems. It’s straight out of a postcard, boasting of blue mountains and green hills. Its rivers flow from one city to another, village to village. Which almost abstractly describes the linkage of Eswatini’s people- small in number, huge in unity. Our rivers are full of fresh water life and the forest are home to a Zambezia of birdlife- colourful and diverse like the beaded networks in our traditional regalia. Eswatini is breath taking; an experience to be had and quite frankly a memory to keep. I suppose that’s why it’s so easy to ponder if is this small little state off the corner of Africa’s south side, could quite possibly be the 8th wonder of the world. Landscape and climate The landscape in Eswatini is a variation of tall trees in the Highveld; where the forestry industry thrives, to grasslands in the Low veld and thorny bushes and shrubs. The middle veld is a cross breed of both, and so is its climate. Warm in the summer and brutally…

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The ultimate gig guide for March

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Whether you’re into sundowners with friends on a Friday evening, listening to the soulful sounds of Jazz music at your favorite pub or wilding out all weekend long, best believe the month of March has something to tickle everyone’s fancy. We did some digging and found so many cool events happening throughout the month that we couldn’t possibly blog about them all. The solution? WE picked our best five and these five are what we consider to be the icing on the cake for your March adventures. Here’s our Top 5 must attend affairs for this month. Our ultimate social calendar of what to get up to in and around our city. Rhymes and Laughter MTN’s legendary Rhymes and Laughter show touches down at the Happy Valley casino and resort. Merging hip-hop and comedy, the show is a local favorite. This edition is set to honor the greatest musicians to have ever hit the scene and will be headlined by a few locally renowned artists. Show starts at 7Pm on March 8th. Don’t be late. Alliance Française Lunch Concert: Women’s day Edition The seventh edition of Alliance Française de Mbabane’s lunch concerts is all about celebrating women. Perfectly set up between 1pm and 2pm, there’s no excuse to miss it. Happening on the 8th of March, the concert promises nothing but great sounds with performances by female artists, good vibes and delicious French Cuisine. Entrance is free and a little birdy happened to let us know that the concert will…

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Unpacking the Love Me Better seminar

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March is looking like quite the socially busy month, with a number of local events set up to keep us all very entertained. One interesting event of note is the Love me better seminar that will be taking place here at the Mountain inn this weekend. Not sure what it’s all about? We got Mbali Nxumalo, founder of FashionDashCouture and co-host of the seminar to unpack the event and give us the low-down of how they plan on merging fashion and self-love on March 2nd. Who Is Mbali? Mbali Nxumalo is a Fashion Entrepreneur who holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Accounting Major, but has a passion for fashion hence starting the clothing brand called FashionDashCouture. I was born and bred in the Kingdom of Eswatini and spent my adulthood in the capital, Mbabane. FashionDashCouture is a clothing brand which provides beautiful Ready-To-Wear pieces for the modern sophisticated woman. Fashiondashcouture the Brand The brand is a passion business, inspired by my love for beautiful and unique pieces. The idea behind it was to be able to express my personal sense of style while incorporating the modern everyday woman. As cliché as it sounds, but when a person looks good, then they feel good, and at FDC we aim to be a part of those special moments every other day. The brand has an online store www.fashiondashcouture.com  from which people from all over the world can shop. FDC Style Inspiration Our garments are mainly inspired by what we feel women want…

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