Known as the Kingdom of Swaziland after the great 19th century king; King Mswati II, Swaziland is a landlocked country in southern Africa and is bordered by South Africa to the north, west and south and by Mozambique to the east. Stretching just 200km long and 130km wide, Swaziland is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere and is home to just over 1 million people most of whom are ethnic Swazis; descendants of the southern Basotho people.

Swaziland's climate is the reverse to that of the northern hemisphere, with summer months occurring between November - March when the temperature can reach to around 40˚C in the eastern regions, and winter occurring around June-July. Summer brings rain in the form of sudden dense thunderstorms with rainfall being the highest in the western regions of the country, where the rainforests begin and stretch northwest.

Despite its small size, Swaziland has a wide range of activities on offer to entice the eager traveller. Spending time exploring one of the game reserves such as the Hlane Royal National Park, or the Mkhaya Game Reserve will provide visitors with wonderful sightings of game such as lions, rhino and many antelope. Another major attraction is the glitzy casino at the Royal Swazi Spa Hotel. While outdoor lovers can enjoy beautiful scenic drives through the many striking mountain passes - the drive to Piggs Peak being the most scenic of all. Swaziland is also famous for its handmade arts and crafts and one should not miss a visit to the beautiful Ngwenya glass factory.

Mark Page