During the exciting and colourful 50/50 celebrations in Swaziland last month, King Mswati III made an historic announcement that the country’s name would change to ‘The Kingdom of Eswatini’. Meaning â€œplace of the Swati peopleâ€, Eswatini reverts to the siSwati language name for the Kingdom.
In his speech, the King said, â€œAs we are aware, the name Swaziland was inherited from the British. If we are to give true meaning to our independence, time has come to give our country a name of its people. It must be said that this process is long overdueâ€¦. Therefore, I have the pleasure to present to you, on this historic day, a new name for the kingdom. Our country will now be called Kingdom of Eswatiniâ€.
Most former colonies in Africa changed their names immediately on gaining Independence – The Gold Coast became Ghana, Basutoland became Lesotho and Nyasaland became Malawi. Although the Kingdom has made this change in 2018, 50 years after its independence, it is no less important, and marks a significant moment in the countryâ€™s history.
Those of us responsible for promoting the countryâ€™s tourism will be adopting Eswatini from now on, though it will take time for those changes to be implemented across all platforms, so please bear with us while that happens. In the coming months, a brand new, mobile-friendly website will be launched on www.thekingdomofeswatini.com and new Eswatini promotional literature will replace existing stocks as they are used up.
Described by Selling Travel Magazine this month as â€˜a microcosm of the best Africa has to offerâ€™, this fascinating and exciting Kingdom has been emerging strongly in recent years as a stand-alone destination that, despite its size, packs in an extraordinary variety of riches. According to Lonely Planet: â€œIn short: big things come in small packages. The intriguing Kingdom is diminutive but boasts a huge checklist for any visitor. Rewarding wildlife-watching? Tick. Adrenaline-boosting activities such as rafting and mountain biking? Tick. Lively and colourful local culture, with celebrations and ceremonies still common practice? Tick. Plus there are superb walking trails, stunning mountain and flatland scenery, varied accommodation options and excellent, high-quality handicrafts. Unlike South Africa, it has managed to hold on to that slow-down-this-is-Africa feeling, and thatâ€™s why itâ€™s gaining in popularity. Everything remains small and personable, and the atmosphere is remarkably relaxed.â€
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