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The Kingdom of Eswatini

Village & Homestead Visits

The Homestead is the basic building block of Swazi society. Traditionally this comprises a number of huts, each built for a particular purpose – sleeping, food storage, brewing, etc. At the centre of a homestead is a circular enclosure, the sibaya, fenced with solid logs and branches, where the cattle are housed each night. This has symbolic importance as a store of wealth and prestige. Opposite it is the great hut, indlukulu, occupied by the mother of the headman and used as the family shrine. The huts in such homesteads would once have been ‘beehive’ huts. Today most rural homesteads are a mixture of traditional huts and more modern, brick-built dwellings. Either way, you can visit and enter homesteads when exploring rural Eswatini, and will receive a warm welcome, providing you show suitable respect and follow correct protocol. Most lodges and hotels can arrange a visit to a local homestead for their guests. There are a few places where communities are more accustomed to such visits, and where visitors will therefore be given a more comprehensive tour and explanation of traditions and daily life in rural Eswatini. These are still very much genuine, real homesteads, not tourist creations. Shewula Mountain Camp, Myxo’s Waza Nowe Cultural Tours, and Umphakatsi Cultural Experience are probably the best places to get a genuine and comprehensive local homestead visit. Alternatively, the Mantenga Cultural Village is a re-created homestead from around 1850 that is easy to visit to learn quickly about daily life.

Places offering Village & Homestead Visits
Stunning scenery surrounds this settlement with a royal past, holding a special meet between King Sobhuza II and King George VI.
An untouched wilderness ready to be explored, along with community run accommodation.
One of Swaziland’s earliest colonial settlements, and today offers a handful of accommodation options for travellers.
Set at the top of the Lubambos, this reserve is home to the Shewula Mountain Camp.
A wild and beautiful landscape, with rare flora and fauna found nowhere else in Eswatini.
This project is made up of 4 of Eswatini's nature reserves teeming with flora and fauna.
A town set among the Usuthu forestry plantations with beautiful scenery.
Best known nature reserve and Eswatini's birthplace of conservation.
Unspoilt woodlands with a traditional cultural village experience
The spiritual, cultural and political heart of Eswatini.
Large settlement in the North West with Swaziland's most scenic handicraft outlet.
Nestled at the foot of a mountain. A rejuvenated mining town.
Other Cultural Activities
Eswatini's thriving culture dates back centuries, with plenty of historic places to visit on your travels.
A number of ritual ceremonies and modern day concerts take place in Eswatini.
See artisans in action, have a go yourself or simply shop for top quality Arts & Crafts.
Eswatini has everything from wooden carvings and beadwork, to jewellery and traditional garments.
Casinos, cabaret nights and live performances take place after dark.