Constitutional monarchy since 1973. Gained independence from the UK in 1968.
Head of state:
King Mswati III since 1986.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Themba Dlamini since 2003.
220/30 volts AC, 50Hz; South African/Indian-style plugs with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin are in use.
Snuggled between Mozambique and South Africa, tiny Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is also one of its gems. Largely free of the racial tensions of its large neighbour, and ingrained with a strong sense of national pride, the country is emblazoned with a rich cultural heritage.
If you're here during the Incwala or Umhlanga festivals this will probably be the highlight of your trip to Africa. The friendly, laid-back people are perhaps the country's greatest draw, and despite their own hardships take pride in their hospitality.
The country's protected nature reserves and parks are characterised by some of the most beautiful landscapes in southern Africa. There are myriad opportunities for wildlife watching and the experience is far more low-key than in the large parks of nearby South Africa. It's also one of the best places in southern Africa to spot the elusive and near-extinct black rhino in the wild.