LOBAMBA

Lobamba is the traditional, spiritual, and legislative capital city of Swaziland, seat of the Parliament, and residence of the Ntombi, the Queen Mother. Mswati III lives about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away at the Lozitha Palace. The King and Queen Mother participate in annual December and January Incwala ceremonies and August and September Reed Dancees at the Royal Kraal. Key attractions are the Parliament, National Museum of Swaziland, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, and the King Sobhuza II Memorial Park. The Embo State Palace, not open to visitors, was built by the British government for the polygamous King Sobhuza II, whose family included 600 children. He led the movement for Swaziland’s independence from the United Kingdom and was its first prime minister.

 

Embo State Palace

The royal Embo State Palace was built by the British to house the polygamous Sobhuza II and his family, including 600 children. It is not open to visitors and photographs are not allowed.

 

Education

Education is free, but is not required. It had low literacy rates, but they are rising. Lobamba National High School is in Lobamba.

 

Law enforcement

Lord Selborn, High Commissioner for South Africa signed a proclamation in 1907 for what became the Swaziland Police Force. Lobamba has a police station and is served by The Royal Swaziland Police Service. During the British colonial era Lord SelbornHigh Commissioner for South Africa signed a proclamation in 1907 for what became the Swaziland Police Force. After Swaziland’s independence in 1968, the force was renamed the Royal Swaziland Police Force. Its name was further changed making it a service, rather than a force.

 

Royal residences

King Mswati III lives at the Lozitha Palace, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city. He visits the Royal Kraal, or Ludzidzini Royal Residence, during the Umhlanga dance and Incwala ceremonies. The royal village includes the queen mother’s Royal Kraal, dwelling clusters, and a parade ground for ceremonies.

 

Malkern Valley

Malkerns Valley is an arts and crafts center located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of Lobamba.

 

Health and welfare

The government provides health facilities to manage endemic disease and malnutrition. Retirement, disability and survivor pensions are available through its welfare system.

 

Overview

It is located in the western part of the country in the woodland “Valley of Heaven”, or Ezulwini Valley. It is 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Mbabane, in the district of Hhohho and has a subtropical climate with a summer rainy season. In 1997 its population was 3,625. Its population in 2006 was 11,000. Across the country, 84.3% of its people are Swazi and 9.9% are Zulu. The remainder are Tsonga (2.5%), Indian (1.6%) and others (1.7%). Its official languages are Swazi and English.

 

Transportation

Many of the roads in Swaziland are unsurfaced, but there are good roads that connect principal towns, including the MR3 highway and MR103 road. There are small local airstrips and a railroad that operates between Swaziland and Mozambique. The Matsapha Airport is 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Lobamba. The next closest domestic and international airport is Maputo International Airport in Mozambique, which is 216 kilometres (134 mi) away. One of the tour operators in Swaziland is Swazi Trails, which has tours of the Lobamba royal village, nature reserves, game parks, and craft centres. Nabo Bashoa runs minibus tours.

Activities

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