The present-day Swaziland is one of the few regions of the world which have been inhabited since the Stone Age. It's surprising though, that most of the people outside the African continent are oblivious about the existence of this landlocked nation in southern Africa. This nation is neither a driving constituent of the world economy, nor is it in the news for political tussle, and that explains why the facts about it―in spite of being quite interesting―don't find takers globally.
Facts about Swaziland
If you try to locate Swaziland on the map of Africa, you will see this roughly oval-shaped nation in southern Africa, surrounded by South Africa on three sides and Mozambique on the fourth. While the official name for Swaziland is the 'Kingdom of Swaziland', it is sometimes also known as Ngwane or Swatini. Given below are more of such interesting facts, which will introduce you to the amazing nation that Swaziland is.
- A native of Swaziland is known as a Swazi. The people of this country speak English and the local language, siSwati.
- The African nation has a total land area of 6,704 sq mi, which puts it at 157th position in the list of countries in terms of size.
- The physical features of Swaziland are typically characterized by mountainous plateaus and Savanna grasslands, while the climate ranges between near temperate to tropical.
- Even though it is a small nation, it is well off in terms of water resources as compared to other African nations.
- Swaziland got independence from the United Kingdom on September 6, 1968, and became the 42nd independent nation of Africa.
- It became a member of the United Nations on September 24, 1968.
- It just has 4 districts: Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, and Shiselweni.
- While Lobamba is the royal capital of Swaziland, Mbabane is considered the administrative capital.
- This African nation follows an absolute monarchical form of government, with King Mswati III being the head of the state and the prime minister, Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini being the head of the administration.
- As per Swazi traditions, the new king of the nation is selected by the Queen Mother.
- It has a population of 1,185,000 as per 2009 estimates, which makes it the world's 154th most populous country. It has a density of 176.8 people per sq mi, which is quite low in terms of land area of this nation.
- The currency of Swaziland is called the Swazi lilangeni. It is closely related to the Rand―the currency of its neighbor and trading partner, South Africa.
- As per the 2009 estimates, the GDP of Swaziland was $5.858 billion, while its per capita income was $5,708.
- The judicial system that is practiced in statutory courts is based on South African Roman-Dutch law. However, the traditional courts in this region continue to follow the Swazi traditional law.
- This African nation is home to several species of animals and exotic birds, which makes it one of the most biodiverse nations in the world and one of the must-visit places on the continent of Africa.
- The first wildlife sanctuary to be opened in Swaziland was the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary founded by Ted Reilly in 1960s.
- As a part of wildlife resurrection programs several endangered animals, including the likes of black rhino, have been introduced in protected areas of this country.
- Some of the places worth seeing in Swaziland include Mlawula Nature Reserve, Mkhaya Game Reserve, Ezulwini Valley, Piggs Peak, etc.
- Shockingly, the average lifespan of people in this country is mere 45 years, which is by and large attributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS in this country.
Of late this country has been seriously threatened by HIV/AIDS, which has reached epidemic proportions. The infection rate of HIV/AIDS in this country is highest in the world, with approximately 26 percent of adult population being infected by it. To put it in the words of the United Nations Development Program, long term existence of Swaziland as a country is seriously threatened by this disastrous disease.