Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, Swaziland makes up in culture what it lacks in size. As Africa’s last remaining monarchy, culture and heritage run deep in all aspects of Swazi life – from the diverse attractions dotting the region to the warm hospitality of the people.

Passengers aboard Rovos Rail’s African rail tour will find Swaziland to be a tiny country with a big heart. As one which embraces and upholds unique and ancient traditions, both the monarchy and the people of Swaziland actively maintain their remarkable cultural heritage, giving visitors a glimpse into the practice of traditional African culture.  

The kingdom of Swaziland is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies, with the king ruling by decree over his subjects. King Mswati III has occupied the throne since 1986 and upholds the tradition of his father, King Sobhuza II, who reigned for almost 61 years and had scores of wives. The title of the king is Ngwenyama which means ‘king’ or ‘lion’ and represents the ferocity of thunder. The Ngwenyama is a hereditary leader and rules the country with the assistance of a council of ministers and a national legislature. The Ndlovukat is the Swazi title for the female head of state who is preferentially the queen-mother (mother of the king). She holds significant power and is both a regent and in charge of national rituals.  

Passengers aboard the luxury train journey will see a rich variety of landscapes and habitats that adorn Swaziland with a plethora of fauna and flora. While the country itself isn’t large enough to house a range of big game experiences, Swaziland is home to 17 protected areas which teem with a myriad of birds and animals, including the ‘Big Five’.     

Visitors looking to immerse themselves in authentic African tradition will find Swaziland to be an unrivalled treasure trove of vibrant African culture. Spectacular traditional festivals like the famous Umhlanga (Reed Dance) and Incwala as well as energetic dances are commonplace and not simply resuscitated for the tourist dollar.  

In addition to the rich culture, the warm natures of the Swaziland locals make visitors feel truly welcome. Add to that the incredible landscape of imposing mountains, vast valleys, forests and plains and you have a truly memorable African experience.