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Thursday 22nd March
Swaziland Information - Page 1
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is mostly surrounded by South Africa and has a short border with Mozambique.

Mbabane is the administrative capital and Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital. Other cities include Manzini and Siteki.

Swaziland is mountainous and hilly with some sloping plains. Rivers include the Komati, the Mbuluzi, the Ngwavuma and the Usutu.

The climate varies according to altitude (the Highveld average altitude is 1200 m; the Middleveld's average altitude is around 700 m and the Lowveld, 250 m).

The Swaziland National Trust Commission is responsible for legislation, such as the Game Act, the Flora Protection Act and the Wild Birds Preservation Act.

Big Game Parks are Hlane Royal National Park, Mkhaya Game Reserve and Mlilwane Game Reserve. Other protected areas include Hawane Nature Reserve, Malolotja Nature Reserve, Mantenga Nature Reserve and Mlawula Nature Reserve.

Environmental projects have been implemented to improve distribution of water and irrigation in the country.

The architecture of Swaziland ranges from the traditional round "beehive" hut, thatched with dry grass and surrounded by reed fences, to the modern buildings of the administrative capital.

Most of the people live in farming communities but there has been growth in suburban areas.

The population of Swaziland was estimated at 1,128,814 in 2008.

English and siSwati are both the official languages of Swaziland.

A significant percentage of the people in Swaziland belong to the Zionist Church which practises a combination of Christianity and the traditional respect for ancestors. Others are Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Muslim, Bahai, Mormon and Jewish.

Maize is a staple food for the Swazi. It is eaten boiled, roasted as corn on the cob, and crushed and ground and made into porridge.

Samp (crushed corn) is sometimes eaten with meat, and maize or rice is served with meat stew.

Sorghum, beans, pumpkin and ground nuts are also made into porridge. Other vegetables include cabbage and sweet potatoes. Bananas and mangoes are grown.

Soft drinks and beer are produced locally. During the marula harvest, a strong alcoholic drink is made from marula fruit.

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