Swaziland is known, not only for its picturesque landscapes but also for having a rich and deeply rooted culture which emanates from years of ideas and customs, dating as far back as the fifteenth century. To this day, Swaziland is recognised as one of the few Executive Monarchies in Africa and remains one of the most sought after travel destinations in Africa.
Those who are fascinated by the notion of culture and are constantly in pursuit of new culturally rich travel experiences will be pleased to know that the Kingdom of Swaziland more than caters to their yearning for cultural exploration. To uncover the intrinsic beauty of the effervescent Swazi culture, a trip to the Swaziland National Museum and to Mantenga Cultural Village is in order.
The National Museum of Swaziland set in Lobamba, the spiritual and centre city of the Kingdom has been put in place as a means of preserving both the culture and traditions of the Swazi people. The museum is divided in two wings; the ethnography wing and the national history wing, both of which strategically document Swaziland’s history. The ethnography wing contains cultural recordings and analysis through the use of artefacts, Swazi and other Bantu groupings. The Natural history wing on the other hand, focuses on the interrelationship between nature and Swazi culture.
Following your visit to the National Museum of Swaziland, stopover at Mantenga Cultural Village which is also known as the living museum to acquire some practical Swazi knowledge. From the point of entry you find yourself immersed in 1850’s classical Swazi lifestyle as you are invited in with a warm greeting from the village people, charmingly wrapped in traditional attire.
The Mantenga Cultural Village is a mini hut complex predominantly built from traditional material. Each of these huts is impeccably designed, has a specific purpose and is assigned to members of the family according to roles and responsibilities.
Accompanied by your guide, you will learn about all things traditional and have the opportunity to interact in Siswati and participate in song and dance. With its own fully-fledged permanent troupe and activities such as birding and hiking, the cultural village is inarguably one of Swaziland’s highlights.
To extend your stay and be further wooed by this exuberant nation, check into one of the fully equipped 26 chalets at Mantenga Cultural Village and spend a spectacular evening in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) was established by an act of parliament, the Tourism Authority, Act of 2001. It was established as a public enterprise. In terms of the Act the following objectives have been determined for STA;
Develop the tourism sector as a national priority in an environmentally sustainable and culturally acceptable manner,
Coordinate and facilitate the implementation of government policies and strategies on tourism,
Market Swaziland as a tourism destination through the provision of a platform for industry stakeholders,
Encourage, facilitate and promote local and foreign investment in the tourism industry, and
Ensure the contribution of tourism to the socio-economic development and continued improvement of quality of life in the Kingdom of Swaziland