The small kingdom of Swaziland (Eswatini) has a
short border with Mozambique in the east and is
otherwise surrounded by South Africa. The country was a
British protectorate until independence in 1968. A power
struggle between the ruling royal family and opposition
parties has been going on for decades. The Kingdom is
essentially an agricultural country, but many Swazis
work in South Africa and send home money.
Brief profiles of Swaziland, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
After independence from Britain, the kingdom
retained the colonial name Swaziland. In 2018, the
country formally changed its name to Eswatini (see fact
box). In the Land Guide we stick to the established name
Geography and climate
Swaziland is about the same size as Värmland.
The country borders the east to Mozambique and is
otherwise surrounded by South Africa.
At the border with Mozambique, the Lebombo mountain
range runs. From there, Swaziland slopes down to a warm
and humid lowland, Låga Velden, which is followed by the
Middle Velden with more pleasant climate and fertile
soil. To the west, the country rises again to a grassy
highland, Höga Velden.
Several rivers flow through Swaziland in the
west-easterly direction, including Komati in the north
and the great Usutu further south.
Heavy utilization of savanna and steppe areas for,
among other things, sugar cane cultivation has depleted
plant and animal life. Only a few specimens of leopard
and impala and stone antelope are left.
Swaziland has a warm, subtropical climate all year
round. The warmest is in the eastern part of the
lowland, Låga Velden. Most rain falls in the west, while
the lowlands in the east get quite a bit of rainfall.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
17 363 km2 (2018)
Swedish +1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
South Africa, Mozambique
Capital with number of inhabitants
Mbabane 66,000 (2014 estimate)
Other major cities
Average Precipitation / year
Average / day
Mbabane 20 °C (Jan), 12 °C (July)
Manifestations for democracy
A great manifestation of democratic reform is being held in Manzini. The day
before, around 50 people were arrested during a similar demonstration.
Police raids against oppositionists
The police carry out raids against opposition groups, trade unions and
voluntary organizations. An unknown number of people are arrested, accused of
terrorism. A number of new blasts have preceded the arrests, but many suspect
that the blast has in fact been planned by the police in order to blame
Opposition leaders call for sanctions
Pudemo's leader Mario Masuko urges the outside world to impose targeted
sanctions on Swaziland. Foreign Minister Lutfo Dlamini describes the statement