Swaziland Travel Information

A tiny landlocked kingdom, Swaziland lies in the spanner-like grip of South Africa which surrounds it on three sides, with Mozambique providing its eastern border along the Lubombo Mountains. Although South Africa’s influence predominates, Swaziland was a British protectorate from 1906 until its full independence in 1968, and today the country offers an intriguing mix of colonial heritage and homegrown confidence, giving the place a friendlier, more relaxed and often safer feeling than its larger neighbour.

During the long years of apartheid, white South Africans regarded Swaziland as a decadent playground, where sinful opportunitie, forbidden by their Calvinist rulers, were freely available. This image is fading fast, and though Swaziland still feels a lot more commercialized than, say, Lesotho, its outstanding scenery , along with its commitment to wildlife conservation , makes it well worth a visit. With a car and a bit of time, you can explore some of the less-trampled reserves, make overnight stops in unspoilt, out-of-the-way settlements and, if you time your visit well, take in something of Swaziland’s well-preserved cultural traditions .

In recent years, Swaziland has become something of a draw for backpackers , with useful transport links to different parts of South Africa as well as Mozambique, some good backpacker lodges and plenty of adventure activities from horse-riding to whitewater rafting. Continue reading “Swaziland Travel Information”

What to Do in Paris

“Ça fait longtemps!” is what French friends say to each other when they meet up for the first time in years. With the recent reopening of two major Parisian museums after long renovations — and the debut of a third after years of expectations — the phrase could practically be Paris’s motto these days. But the wait has been well worth it.

After a five-year expansion project, the Beaux Arts-style Petit Palais reopened its doors in 2005. Like a miniature Louvre (without the Louvre’s crowds), the museum houses a diverse collection, spanning ancient Grecian urns, medieval panel paintings, Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait in Oriental Attire,” Louis XV-era furniture, French Impressionism, the symbolist works of Odilon Redon and Art Nouveau ceramics.
Continue reading “What to Do in Paris”