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The Kingdom of Eswatini

Umhlanga Reed Dance hitting the headlines

As the second of Eswatini’s traditional festivals, the Incwala, is in full swing at the moment, the Kingdom’s other famous event from earlier in the year, the Umhlanga Reed Dance is currently basking in the global spotlight!

After numerous international travel writers from around the world were hosted by the Eswatini Tourism Authority for this year’s Umhlanga Reed Dance, their articles covering this historic event are now being published.

Writing about ‘The Magic of Eswatini’s Umhlanga Reed Dance Ceremony’ on Antimusic, American journalist Kevin Wierzbicki hails it as “a spectacle like no other; a magical and mesmerizing display that once witnessed will never be forgotten”, stating that “There is nothing else like it on the face of the earth”

Fellow United States resident and travel agent & blogger Lisa-Gaye Shakespeare wrote about the varied attractions of the country in her article entitled Eswatini – Celebrating the Last African Kingdom’, giving special attention to the Reed Dance and encouraging her readers to join her in a return to the Kingdom next year: “Eswatini is a beautiful country with more highlights than I can count. With culture, scenery, and experiences that will take your breath away, this incredible African kingdom is well worth a visit. If you would like to join me on a group trip next year to visit Eswatini and experience the Umhlanga Reed Dance Festival, DM me so I can add you to the priority list!”

On the other side of the world, Olga Rastegaeva’s article in the Russian edition of Discovery Magazine gives a detailed description of the event, concluding that “The multi-hour performance leaves a stunning impression on every viewer …. dozens of participants in a single impulse sing loudly, sway to the beat, march, rattle their bracelets and raise their swords, turning the action into a noisy African living kaleidoscope.”

Meanwhile, Dutch photographer and writer, Kim Paffen can’t seem to get enough of Eswatini, returning for her third visit to the Kingdom, specially to witness the Umhlanga Reed Dance. Kim has written two really comprehensive articles focussed on the event itself: “Umhlanga Reed Dance Eswatini: 26 Things to Know” and “8-day Umhlanga Reed Dance: a day-to-day overview of Eswatini’s largest cultural event” and clearly valued her opportunity to experience this unique festival, summarising perfectly: “The Umhlanga Reed Dance Festival in Eswatini is not merely a spectacle; it is a journey through the heart and soul of a nation. As the kingdom continues to evolve, this annual celebration proves the enduring strength of tradition and the importance of cultural unity. For those fortunate enough to witness its magic, the Umhlanga Reed Dance Festival is an experience that transcends time, leaving an everlasting imprint on the hearts of all who embrace its cultural embrace.”

Kim also added a few new entries to her highly ranked ‘Best Things to Do in Eswatini’ article, including the Umhlanga Reed Dance; and to the ‘Best Places to See in Eswatini’ piece on TravelTomTom. And as an award winning photographer, all her articles are always beautifully illustrated!