The truth about life in Swaziland is often distorted in order to fleece money from tourists to the kingdom.
Potential visitors are told about the wonderful mountains and the beautiful valleys. Opportunities to sample the uniqueness of Swazi Culture are highlighted.
But the picture is badly distorted, especially by the Swazi Government appointed by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
Tourists don’t realise they are being targeted by the government, through its Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA), for their money, which helps to prop up the undemocratic regime. Tourism has been targeted by the government as a potential money-spinner during the present meltdown in the economy.
Now, a new website called Visit Swaziland has been set up to try to counter the distortions of STA.
The publishers of the website are a group of people living outside Swaziland. They say, ‘We have decided to publish this website because the official website, is so full of factual mistakes and glossy images that it is unsuited for tourist consumption.
‘We believe that any tourist visiting Swaziland should know the dangers of visiting Swaziland, a brutal absolute monarchy, as well as of the daily human rights violations that the Swazi population face.’
There are many interesting pages on the website covering, Facts, Family Life, The Flag, History, King Mswati III, Reed Dance, and Travel Tips.
To give you a flavour of the site, here are its ‘Travel tips’
· You will need to apply for a permit from the police to be able to speak to local Swazi’s in the rural areas. Failure to do so could lead to you being detained for questioning or your arrest
· How to get through a roadblock: Have nothing to hide, show all your belongings and passport, make sure that nobody in the vehicle is a member of a banned entity (this might be difficult to abide by, as many Swazi’s are members of either PUDEMO or SWAYOCO) as this will result in being charged under Swaziland’s terrorism laws
· If you speak to any members of political parties (all political parties are illegal in Swaziland), you are liable to be arrested and charged under the country’s anti-terror laws
· Do not expect to get access to a lawyer if you are arrested
· Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world. If you do not wish to yet another person to have contracted AIDS in Swaziland, please be careful
· Swaziland has recently overtaken Thailand in the area of “pleasure tourism”. Swaziland proudly welcomes scores of middle-aged European men with “special” sexual needs, including both small girls and boys. The best place to pick up a “companion” is near the textile industry area in Matsapha as there is always a large selection of women here who need to top up their meagre salaries in the textile factories
Click here to visit the site. http://visitswaziland.wordpress.com/