China; 404 4740/1
Cyprus Consulate; 40402650
Danish/Norwegian; 404 3547
Finnish Consulate; 416 2912
Freanch Consulate; 404 3667
German Liason Office; 404 3174
Italian Consulate; 404 4371
Mozambique; 404 3700
Portugal Consulate; 404 6780
Singapore High Commission; 404 2661
South Africa; 404 4651
USA; 404 6441
At the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary Main Camp we saw how the craftsmen made a new roof of natural materials on one of the cottages.
We liked to look at the skills of the men and the methods they used.
But more I should like to see how they make the traditional beehives once.
Wherever you go in Swaziland you will find pictures of him, statues, memorials, stories and legend about him. The wealthier the man and the higher his status, the more wives he usually has. King Sobhuza II had over 100 wives and 600 children. Sobhuza believed in peace, he was against violence, he believed in Unity and in education...
During his rule, he had to negotiate Swaziland’s independence from Britan. He managed to do that without bloodshed and Swaziland became independent in 1968. He worked hard to make a non-racial society and made Swaziland a member of the United Nations.
He died in 1982 when he was 82 years old (the longest reigning monarch in the world). He is now an ancestor, and thus, he is adored and is believed to guard the country from the Mbilaneni mountains with the other kingdoms of the past.
Crossing the border into the kingdom of Swaziland too quite a long time. Extensive checks at the border and multiple stamps in passport. Which I thought was really cool.
The customs guy saw me wear a red Aids ribbon, made of Swahili beads and promptly shoved a paper under my nose. I was supposed to give a donation for the fight against Aids and put my name on the list.
I did both...
Fondest memory: For all the exotic days I spent in this part of the world, I liked the freshly baked breads and cakes at breakfast best.
It was also very enjoyable to talk with the local people which was very easy to do.
Favorite thing: Have a look around the country, especially out of Mbabane. We enjoyed stopping in smaller centres along the highway where the atmosphere seemed more relaxed. Many places have great carvings for sale, such as these giraffes. Be prepared to bargain for a good price as it is customary - in this case I could not fit it into my suitcase so left empty-handed.
The Kingdom has got its own currency - the Swazi Emalangeni. The currency is en-par with the South African Rand, which is also accepted everywhere in the country.
Be reminded that if you do get your hands on local currency, try and spend it in the country, since you will battle to exchange it back into anything else later; even in South Africa!!
Favorite thing: There is a decent tourist information office right in Mbabane, the 2nd largest city in Swaziland. There's a good chance you may be entering Swaziland here, so if you do, it's a good place to stop. Mbabane has about 50,000 inhabitants but is a fairly easy city to manage. You can also change money there at the Barclays bank, make international phone calls (from the post office), and pick up guide books at the bookstore called Websters.
Favorite thing: October can be unbearable hot and so I don't think this is the best ime to come. Temperatures are often over 40 C, so it is too hot to enjoy and also the animals are difficult to see as they are hiding in the shade. Rainy season is in summer between December and May, and when it rains, it pours!!!! In June and July, it can be VERY cold...so think carefully about the time of year you'll be going! We went in April, and it was perfect weather!!!!
Driving along Swaziland you will encounter large truck loaded with sugarcane. As they are not closed truck, now and then the sugarcane fall of the truck. Beside the road you can often see when you come near a sugarmill. This trucks are waiting at a sugarmill to get unloaded.
The first thing I noticed when I sat in the minibus from Mocambique to Swasiland was the local people beside me. They were going back from Maputo to Manzini, the largest city in Swasiland. The passengers were talking and laughing all the time. It was really fun to be with them.
I noticed a quite difference between the more modest Mocambiqan people and the people from Swasiland.
The Mhlumeni border post, between Mocambique and Swasiland is easy to pass.
All passengers had to get of the minibuss and walk into the Mocambique border office to get a stamp in the passport for leaving the country. Then walk 100 meters over to the Swasiland border office to get an entry stamp in the passport. There is no arrival card to fill and no money to pay. The minibuss passed the border, and was waiting for us just outside the building.
Favorite thing: Swaziland uses the Lilangeni. This is pegged to the South African Rand. You can use Rand notes here, but make sure you have changed all Emalangeni back into Rand before you leave Swaziland, as you cannot change this local currency once outside the country.
The mobile phone works great in the cities in Swasiland (October 2008). The connection is good. But the roaming price for a foreign SIM card is expensive.
You can purchase a MTN starter pack for your cell phone for around E60. This sim card can generally go into most cell phones. From there you can purchase airtime as needed. You can text back to some countries using this sim card. The country code is +268.
Good Shepherd Missionary Hospital
This information has been gleaned, its not from my own experience :-) thank you
The official language is Siswati but you will find that many people also speak English.
How are you?--Kuanjami
I am well/fine---Nikona, Sikona (pleural)
Good Bye---salani Gatle
Good Shepherd Hospital is situated in the Lubombo mountains in a beautiful location.
You will find that it is cooler in the mountainous regions than in the cities. Although the name changed many years ago, most people still call the town 'Stegi'.
The hospital functions as the Regional Hospital.
There are 115 beds but the census is always 150-200% of that, the overflow being accommodated by mats which are located in the hallways.
A verandah that previously served at the children's play ward was converted into an overflow area for the female wards.
The hospital is seriously understaffed with a limited number of RNs and Physicians.
The hospital is located an hour from Manzini and two hours from the capital city of Mbabane.
There is a small town nearby that has several grocery stores, a couple of banks, and variety of clothing and drug stores.
There is an open air market where you can buy a variety of produce. You will be able to purchase all the supplies that you will need in town although selection and prices tend to be better in the larger cities.
The currency in Swaziland is the Emalageni which is equivalent to the South African Rand.
When changing money, request Rands as you can use Rands in both countries. Coins are only accepted in their respective countries.
The hospital was started in 1949 by the Mantellata Sisters and called the Catholic Clinic.
This developed into a hospital over the subsequent years. In 1952, the first part of the hospital was completed. As the demand for services grew, the hospital expanded.
The Medical Mission Sisters assumed hospital operations in 1970. The hospital was upgraded in 1978 to its current facility.
The hospital is owned by the Roman Catholic Church but does not receive financial support from the Church.
The Swaziland Government provides the funding for the hospital but is not reliable for timely payments, leaving the hospital in a financial bind and often unable to make payroll or pay suppliers.
Other sources of income include donations and patient fees.
The hospital has the following departments:
and operating theatre.
There are also private ward, maternity ward, male ward, female and child ward, and the Mental Ward.
There is a strong emphasis on breast feeding education. AIDS counseling and education is present but with limited resources.
The patients fees are quite low and are E 2.50 for a clinic visit, E10 for xray, and E7 for inpatient days.
Laboratory testing is variable in price, but each test is generally about E3.
Medication is free at this time but this situation is being reevaluated due to the tight financial situation.
The hospital oversees the running of 20 rural clinics. The doctors staff regular clinical hours at some of them, but they are primarily staffed by nurses.
There are limited resources and the patients are referred to Good Shepherd Hospital if they need any labs or tests.
Fondest memory: I have been to Swaziland for the first time in 1990, attending a rock concert by Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading on the anniversary of King Mswati III inauguration. It was held in the Ezulwini Valley in the Somholo Stadium under a full African moon. What an African experience!