I traveled to Swaziland from South Africa in August of 2010. Swaziland is quite beautiful, mountainous, and green. During our day in this small country we visited a glass factory an old iron mine, Piggs Peak, and an area with cave paintings from some of the original bantu settlers, over 4000 years old. The Swazi people were quite traditional and very friendly. The woman carry just about anything you can imagine on their heads, including large buckets of water. This is a country that I highly recommend visiting for anyone traveling to South Africa. It's a short ride from Kruger National Park's southern gate. 

The original people of Swaziland were the San, a nomadic Stone Age hunter/gatherers. Many of their cave paintings can still be seen today and some are up to 40 thousand years old. Modern Swaziland came to the area during the Bantu migration in the fifteenth century. A war like people, the migration is believed to have been driven by the need to find new pastures for cattle. The branch of the Bantu who become the Swazis were lead by Ngwane III, of the ruling Nkhosi-Dlamini family, whose direct descendants still rule in Swaziland today. They settled first in the southern Lubombo region of South Africa, but were forced north by the Zulu people. After their victory over the Zulu at the battle of Lubuya River in the late 1830s, King Sobhuza I (Ngwane IIIs grandson) married off two of his daughters to the Zulu leader Digane, (the half brother of Shaka) in 1928. Legend has it that shortly before Sobhuza I died in 1939 he had a vision and prophesied the coming of the white man. He instructed his people never to harm them. The Boers and the British arrived in Swaziland in about 1840. The Swazis initially flourished, however they would soon loose land to the Boers. With the discovery of gold in the Transvaal in 1886 Swaziland grew in strategic importance as the most direct route from the mines to the Mozambique coast. Following the Boer war between Britain and the Dutch Boer settlers from 1898 to 1901, Britain declared Swaziland a protectorate. Through the reign of Labotsibeni (Queen Regent) and King Sobhuza II, Swaziland peacefully opposed British rule, although Sobhuza II gave approval for some 4,000 Swazis to fight in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War. In the early 1960s, King Sobhuza II formed Swaziland's first political party the "Imbokodvo" or "grindstone" National Movement. In the countries first elections in 1967 the Imbokodvo won all the seats and Swaziland would win its independence by September of 1968. Today it is the only African state to still be ruled by the direct descendants of the leadership of pre colonial times.

Images of the Kingdom of Swaziland

40,000 year old Rock Art

Images of a Mine that has been worked for over 43,000 years