Swaziland

Welcome to Swaziland!

That’s not really a fair start. Swaziland is an incredible place.

It’s beautiful and it’s totally chill. Like a chill version of South Africa. Swaziland has always fascinated me. It’s poorer than South Africa, yet crime is lower and people generally seem more content. It’s essentially an absolute monarchy. And the history of the Swazi economy is whack.

During apartheid Swaziland carved out a fascinating economic niche, specializing in two things that were VERY illegal in South Africa: gambling and socializing with people of a different race. Swaziland had casinos, and you could party with people who weren’t the same color as you. There was major cross-border tourism, with South Africans of all sorts coming to Swaziland to experience their basic human rights of slot machines and interracial partying.

When apartheid ended, the drop in tourism had an effect on the Swazi economy.

But I digress. Our stay in Swaziland was sadly brief, and we did not gamble. Instead, we hit up the National Museum. It is filled with priceless artifacts.

Robert shows off his soothing island rhythms:

In the museum, we opted for the value package which included a trip to the King Sobhuza II memorial.

We hung out with the late king’s office furniture:

And scoped out his awesome old school car collection:

We learned about pivotal moments in Swazi history:

For those who think I’m being sarcastic with my use of “pivotal” to describe a Holiday Inn opening, please see my earlier paragraph where I discuss the role of tourism in the recent history of Swaziland.

There’s a sweet statue:

Which was a gift from…

There’s also an eternal flame, which is lit sometimes:

On our way out of Swaziland, we stopped at the chill Phophonyane Falls:

So chill!