Country of the World Swaziland

About the country Swaziland, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.



Size: 6,704 sq. mi. (17,363 sq. km.).

Population: 538,000.

Swaziland, in southern Africa, has one of the only remaining absolute monarchs in the world. Aging King Sobhuza II abolished the 1968 constitution in 1973 and assumed full executive, legislative, and judicial powers. All political parties were banned. In 1977 the king dissolved the country's parliament and replaced it with an assembly of tribal leaders. Swaziland continues to be a liberal playground for South African whites; it offers gambling, X-rated movies, sex-across-the-color-line, and other forbidden fruits. A dog-racing track is to be built soon, followed by a horse-racing track, to increase the temptation to white South African gamblers. All the casinos and nearby hotel accommodations are owned at least in part by Holiday Inn, the U.S. chain. About 400,000 Swazis live in South Africa in former Swazi territory and still pledge allegiance to their king. The oldest fossils in the world--3 1/2 million-year-old single-celled organisms--were found in the Barberton Mountains of southeastern Swaziland.

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