Category Archives: Eswatini

01

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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Swazi Flag

Eswatini might just be the 8th wonder of the world

By | Activities, Eswatini, Wildlife | No Comments

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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01

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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Mbali Nxumalo,Founder of FashionDashCouture.

Unpacking the Love Me Better seminar

By | Activities, Eswatini, The Inn | No Comments

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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01

A guide to being a local in Mbabane

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Famed for its forever-on-the-go CBD, vibrant social markets, all assorted restaurants and laidback nightlife, Mbabane is an adventure just waiting to be had. Unlike Eswatini’s hub, Manzini, this quaint city is much smaller in population and less chaotic; making it one of the most ideal parts of Eswatini to enjoy the local lifestyle scene without the hustle and bustle of a typical metropolitan. The best way to enjoy a visit to this beautiful Mbabane is to explore it inside out like a local would. Don’t know how to do that? Here’s a guide to experiencing Mbabane like a local. Use public transport I know what you’re thinking; loud noise, hive of activity, non-personalised travel but truth being told, you won’t feel like a local until you’ve hopped on a Kombie  and mastered using the word Stesh for your drop-off points. Additionally, public travel will offer you a cheap inner city mode of travel, without breaking your bank with taxis, car rentals or guided tours. Our currency is equivalent to South Africa’s rand and their bank notes are acceptable means of payment. Luckily for you and your wallet, the standard fare for inner city is a mere six emalangeni. Move about like a local, I recommend it! Learn the language No, I don’t mean full on speak fluent SiSwati. That will take a lifetime and will require you relocating but learn the simple phrases that will aid in making your transition into Eswatini much easier. Although English is an official language…

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An Eswatini inspired Valentine’s Day

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After the festive season, the second most commercialised time of the year has got to be February; Valentine’s month. Think moonlight strolls in parks, candlelit dinners in the city and all sorts of romantic gestures and activities. Valentine’s Day is a big deal; not just for those who coin big off of it, but for the ones who believe in the holiday and religiously celebrate it every year. However, every now and then you need to switch things up. You know, try something a little different. If you’re looking for new ideas of what to do on Valentine’s Day then you’ve come to the right cyber place. I have put together three of my most recommended must-do activities around Eswatini that will definitely put the spark, fun and thrill into your February 14th. Adventure caving So maybe you’re an adrenaline junkie and not too hung up on the cheesy element of Valentine’s Day; that’s alright. Neither am I, which is why adventure caving is first on my list. This ultimate experience offered by Swazi trails is an adventure worth having from start to finish. It gives you a unique opportunity to explore all sorts of caverns and their hidden wonders in Ghobolo which happens to be a largely unexplored cave network close to the capital city. The adventure caving experience lasts roughly two hours and involves climbing crawling and scrambling through hundreds of caverns beautifully hidden below ground and if you’re reading this and feeling a wee bit concerned about…

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Marula fruit; Image courtesy of blog.xuite.net

The season of Maganu and a celebration of sweet traditions

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Imagine this: The sun is sitting warm and orange across the sky. A stringy swirl of clouds hovers above the trees and a skein of birds shoots through them and flutters out of sight. The air hangs heavy with the sweet smell of ripe fruit. Below, little balls of Marula lie colouring the ground. Waiting for the women and children to collect them in song. Waiting to be found. It is after all only a matter of time before they are loaded into buckets and whisked away into brewing huts. A matter of time before they are stored until their green hue shifts to a mellow yellow and their sour flavour meets the sweetness of sugar. Only a matter of time before the drink is ready. Till the potent mixture bubbles like a creamy float and the whole country unites once again to celebrate a tradition that is as old as the rivers that flow from one town into the next. Now that, is Marula season in a nutshell. It may be the month of love across the world, but to us Eswatini people, February’s arrival signifies much more. It marks the start of a three month long season of merriment, culture and a whole lot of marula drinking. Starting mid-February and lasting up to the end of May, this season signifies the celebration of a fruit that has done more for our people than just provide a beer variant. Marula is highly revered in our society due to its…

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01

A wedding, a stranger and a memorable encounter

By | Eswatini, The Inn | No Comments

Encounters are interesting. Random ones that is. Work in an industry like this and you’re bound to have a lot of them. You meet people; all sorts of strangers with backpacks and suitcases of stories to tell. If you hold the conversation long enough, way past the pleasantries and formalities; you’re likely to unearth a lifetime of memories that leave you feeling somewhat different. Prospectively shifted. I have worked in the hotel industry for almost two years now and let’s just say a receptionist is as good as a bartender; with the right amount of politeness and a smile wide enough to brighten a dimly lit room; anyone can tell you anything. What inspired this blog post you might ask; well, one particular encounter of course. It was a gloomy day. Cold rainy, wet weather that I don’t like. I had barely gotten enough sleep and yet there I was running around sorting out last minute wedding preps and I hadn’t even had a cup of wake-up caffeine yet. Let me bring you up to speed; the Mountain Inn has a sister hotel called the Emafini Country Lodge. That is where the encounter took place. A random day, work as usual. People had already started arriving for the festivities; sound guys moving equipment in, bridesmaids running around in a frenzy. Commotion of all sorts but I sat in the middle of the chaos, oblivious to it all. Or rather purposefully oblivious. Carefully minding my business but lifting my head up…

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01

Hikes and summits: A Sibebe experience

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I’ve climbed Sibebe before. And yeah I may have contemplated my life choices while hiking and wandered off the trail a few times till I got lost, but I’ve climbed Sibebe before. Hold on to that; its important information. It’s a victory. I honestly don’t think you can be from this country and not have at least one experience of seeing the view from the summit. And I say at least because you can’t possibly hike this monolith once. Okay, maybe that might be a dramatic stretch, but at least step onto the trail and quit halfway if you must. So, I have climbed Sibebe before and I’m proud of that. It’s gruelling, challenging, exhausting but the feeling you get when you’re standing at the top looking down at the valley below; priceless. It was second year when I hiked it. Might be a while ago and no I won’t expose my age, but just stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this. Second year. My design lecturer gave us the intriguing assignment of conceptualising an eco-tourism resort for Sibebe; you know, the world’s second largest exposed granite dome Sibebe. Gruelling Sibebe. Challenging Sibebe. Pretty psychic right? Not. It was only really a matter of time before a resort actually was created for the iconic landmark. It was only fitting. As per project outline, we had to visit the rock in order to get our creative (as well as logical) juices flowing. I recall how I didn’t even have the…

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01

The Eswatini bucket list you cannot end your summer without

By | Activities, Eswatini, The Inn | No Comments

What an interesting December it has been, with weather that’s been a tropical somersault, adventures that have been exhilarating and experiences that are totally worth writing home about. If you visited Eswatini this festive season, we have absolutely enjoyed hosting you in our pristine little country and although the post-Christmas days mark a looming end to your holiday, let me reassure you that the fun isn’t entirely over yet. Summer is only in its prime and because we understand how much you enjoy creating memories for your hearts and socials too; we have put together a list of six must see places you cannot end your holidays without. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary I am super outdoorsy and a self-proclaimed nature freak too so there was no way I could have a list that didn’t have a nature reserve in it. Just think horse riding through rugged bush, hiking up scenic trails, cycling through the veld, visiting watering holes or simply enjoying a sunset game drive; That’s Mlilwane for you. Take a short right off the MR103 just before the Mahlanya Market and open yourself up to one of the country’s most beloved reserves. Although you won’t spot the big five there, as they only have small game, you will still undeniably find a tranquillity that is indescribably unmatched. Malolotja Tree top canopy Look, I’m no adrenaline junkie or anything like that, but I know a good thrill when I see it and the canopy tour might as well be considered synonymous….

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