Exploring Tourism in Swaziland
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Swaziland Festivals

Mbabane, Swaziland

Experiencing Swaziland's rich culture and friendly people are highlights of a visit here. Travelers are welcome to watch some of the celebrations of the two main festivals. Umhlanga, the animated Reed Dance ceremony, is Swaziland's most famous festival. It takes place during the last week of August or first week of September when young women from around the country come here to participate in a joyful song and dance performance. In December and January, Incwala is an impressive kingship ritual lasting about three weeks. At the beginning of the celebrations, representatives of the Bemanti people bring water from all the main rivers of Swaziland, gathered at the new moon. Young men then build a royal kraal at Lobamba from branches of the lusekwane tree and other plants. The climax is reached on the "great day," when the king, clad in his finest robes, symbolically tastes the first fruits of the harvest followed by cheerful song and dance.

Eswatini’s traditional culture finds its most spectacular expression in a number of ritual ceremonies through the year conducted on an impressive scale. These are living cultural events that, bar the odd pair of sunglasses and mobile phone, have hardly changed in two centuries. Visitors are welcome (though some parts remain private) but the ceremonies make little concession to tourism. During festival time, a mood of celebration sweeps the nation and bands of warriors or maidens decked out in full regalia are often seen heading to or from the festivities. Not to be outdone, the current generation has created a modern new, vibrant music & arts festival that has fast established an excellent international reputation.

Bushfire 2023 tickets are now on sale online, so you can Bring Your Fire to the 16th edition of Africa’s celebrated music and arts festival, from 26th-28th May 2023!

Together with our festival fans, we have kept the fire burning and now, rising like a phoenix from the embers of the past two years, Bushfire 2023 invites everyone to come together for a transformational experience of hope, unity and renewal!

Named “Top African festival” by the BBC and hailed by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see,” MTN Bushfire is looking forward to reigniting the fire in the beautiful farmlands of the valley of Malkerns, Eswatini, for a family friendly, eclectic celebration of some of the finest music in Africa and beyond.

Full Festival, Glamping and Camping tickets are all available for sale on the. Tickets have sold out for 8 years running, so make sure to get your tickets soon!

Those who have pre-registered for discounted Early Bird tickets have the chance to purchase them now, but better hurry because numbers are limited.

Enliven your Bushfire experience by Glamping or Camping at the festival this year and stay safely on site in luxury style with exclusive glam-camping facilities or ready erected tent options!

Rush Adventures and Harambee Hotel offer very stylish glamping tent hotel accommodation close to the main arena of the festival. With a private walk-in tent, comfy twin beds, linen, chairs and tables, en suite shower and toilet, as well as breakfast, this is a one-of-a-kind ultimate camping experience right on the festival’s doorstep, saving you from driving anywhere.

All Out Africa has a variety of ready erected tent options adjacent to the main arena, or festivalgoers can bring their own tents or campers. Families may enjoy the exclusive Family Zone camping option, which allows vehicle parking in the campsite.

Please note that camping and glamping festivalgoers will need both a festival ticket and a camping ticket. Bushfire is also a CASHLESS festival: money is loaded onto your festival wristband for in-festival purchases. Festivalgoers can pre-load funds onto their tickets via their Howler accounts.

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