A Hipster's Adventures in Swaziland

Driving in Swaziland

25 Nov 2009

I've coined a new phrase (although I’m probably not the first to make this observation): If you can drive in ... read more

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Stories

SwazilandSwaziland

HOW TO: Bribe A Swazi Police Officer

You’re driving down the road, when suddenly you see a familiar scene: blue and white police cars with pulsating blue lights, and a haphazard line of orange traffic cones ... read more

26 May 2009
 

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I Finally Met A Swazi Guy Who Didn't Hit On Me

 “Are you married?” the police officer asks, hiking up his trousers over his bulging gut. I don’t see how this question applies to the situation at hand. It’s ... read more

18 Aug 2009
 

Insider Tips

Getting Around

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Flap your arm to get a ride

The public transportation system in Swaziland is relatively reliable if slightly intimidating. A network of privately owned minibuses run along set routes throughout the country. In the main cities they ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Books

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Check out Swazana in the library

It is not easy to find books about Swaziland. Even Lonely Planet only includes Swaziland as a side note to South Africa. However, the national Library in Mbabane and the ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Festivals & Events

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Bare-breasted maidens

By far the most well-known and significant festival in Swaziland is the Umhlanga, or Reed Dance. Occurring every year at the end of August or beginning of September, the dance ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Culture Shock

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What's shocking is that you might not be shocked

There really is no culture shock in Swaziland, particularly if you’ve traveled anywhere in Africa before. The roads are in good condition and expansive, the cities are safe, and ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Must Do

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Rhinos, up close and personal

Swaziland, thanks to the dedication of the Reilly family, is a global example of conservation success in its ability to bring back white rhinos from the brink of extinction. In ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Etiquette

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Shake it like a Swazi

The Swazi handshake is an everyday way to show respect. Swazis shake with their right hands. To show respect, which you must do whenever greeting someone older than you, a ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Food

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How to make pap

The staple food in Swaziland, and most of southern Africa, is pap. Called papa, ugali, and nshima in various neighboring countries, this stiff porridge is made thusly: First, corn is ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Film

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"Without the King" (Watch it before you come!)

One of the few movies about Swaziland is a documentary called "Without the King." You won’t be able to find the film in Swaziland, though, as it is critical ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Packing

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Brrrrrrrrr!

Swaziland is a mountainous kingdom and in the winter (June to August), it gets cold. Especially in places like Piggs Peak and the capital of Mbabane, a proper coat is ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Religion

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Prepare for bible quotes, missionaries, and mega churches

Christianity is definitely the biggest (and practically the only) religion in Swaziland. On Sundays you’ll see baakies (pick-up trucks) full of worshipers dressed in their church uniform, which varies ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Politics

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The lion and the she-elephant

Politics in Swaziland are a bit complicated as the governing body is a mixture of traditional and Western forms of government. Swaziland is ruled by a king called Ngwenyama, or ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Music

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The house is on fire

The Bush Fire Music Festival is a big deal in Swaziland. The three-day participatory music festival takes place every year at the end of July. Artists from across Africa come ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Sports

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Soccer is where it's at

The big sport in Swaziland is soccer and the best thing to do on a weekend is to head to Somhlahlo National Stadium in Lobamba is to watch a Swazi ... read more

17 Jun 2009
TV

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South African news and scintillating late-night commercials

Swazi TV is a dream for anyone who loves those late-night, locally produced commercials. Some great cheesy local programs in siSwati are sprinkled in with English Premiere League Soccer games ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Fashion

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Shop at Mr. Price

There really are no fashion trends in Swaziland. For going out, anything tight, cheap, and slutty will usually do. Anything from the local “trendsetting” store, Mr. Price, is considered cool. read more

17 Jun 2009
Dating

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Beware of women, and women beware

As a foreign male, you will be approached by many local women who are looking for a Sugar Daddy. Even if you are sincerely courting a Swazi woman, expect to ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Health

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As long as you wear a condom...

Aside from having the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world, Swaziland is a good deal healthier than most of its Southern African neighbors. There’s little to no ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Slang

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Shame or sharp

Although one of Swaziland’s official languages is English, Swaziland version of English is sometimes hard to follow but when in doubt one of these two words will always work ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Being an American

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Will you fit in my suitcase?

Swazis like Americans and will usually want to talk to you about the United States. Often they’ll want to befriend you because it is a common idea that you ... read more

17 Jun 2009
Nightlife

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TInkers, the (in)famous nightclub

The nightlife options in Swaziland are pretty limited. However, the industrial center of Manzini does offer a few dark, dirty, and sometimes rough nightclubs -- the most (in)famous of which ... read more

17 Jun 2009
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