Swaziland <<SWAH zee LAND>> is a small, beautiful country in southern Africa. It is surrounded by South Africa on the north, west, and south and by Mozambique on the east. Swaziland has two capitals. The traditional royal capital is Lobamba, and the government is run from Mbabane.
Mountains covered with pine forests rise along Swaziland’s western border. East of the mountains lie grassy plains. Temperatures in Swaziland are usually mild all the year around. Swaziland has more water than most other parts of southern Africa. Four main rivers supply water for growing crops and running power plants.
Almost all the people of Swaziland are black Africans called Swazi. A small number of Europeans live there, too. Most of the Swazi are farmers who raise cattle and grow food for their families. Swazi farmers give much importance to their cattle and respect people with large herds. They do not kill cattle for food. When a man marries, his family gives cattle to his wife’s family. Swazi men may have more than one wife.
Swaziland has rich mineral deposits, large forests, and good land for farms and ranches. Farmers grow citrus fruits, corn, cotton, pineapples, and sugar cane. They also raise cattle. Factories produce clothing, soft drinks, sugar, and textiles.Many of the farms and factories are owned by Europeans.
According to old stories, the Swazi people came to what is now Swaziland from land to the east in the late 1700′s. Swazi leaders joined their people with other groups of African people who already lived in the area.
British traders and Dutch farmers from South Africa came to Swaziland in the 1830′s. The British took control of Swaziland in 1902. The country became independent in 1968.
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