How to ask directions in Swaziland (or Africa in general):
Wrong Question: “Which way is ….?”
Right Question: “Is this the way to …?”
The first allows any answer because you haven’t been specific enough and there isn’t a Yes/No option. Not wanting to disappoint you, you might just get told any direction. The second leads the helpful person to choose Yes or No, which should give a greater chance of success.
In Swaziland neither of these options worked and I was sent the wrong way on numerous occasions. When the person actually pointed me in the right direction I had to wonder whether they’d got it right by chance or whether they actually knew! I didn’t detract from my tour of this gently country, which has speed bumps in the middle of nowhere, usually appearing in groups of 7 at a time. I was researching a chapter for the book ‘Road Tripping South Africa’ and found myself slowing to Swazi pace, not caring too much if I went in the wrong direction.
But no longer! There’s a new map, which I can only presume shows you all the roads in the right places – which may just negate the need to ask the way all the time.
If you take a look, you’ll see that there aren’t actually that many roads in Swaziland, which is why if you get lost it doesn’t really matter that much, because you’ll be somewhere pretty nice anyway.
The map has been produced using the detailed maps in the Bradt Guide to Swaziland, which is the only internationally published guide book dedicated to Swaziland and came out lain 2014. The map shows places of interest, accommodation and an annotated list of Places to See and Things to Do. For download options visit the Kingdom of Swaziland website.
For more about my trip to Swaziland, take a look at these cross lion pics as he was just about to chase a worker in the Hlane Game Reserve of Swaziland.
You may have heard some disparaging things about the King of Swaziland; his spending, his many wives and the poverty of his subjects…,but when I consulted a friend who holds an important role in private sector tourism in Swaziland, he told me if there was a referendum to keep or remove the King, he would get a 90% vote to stay. He told me the people love their King and revere the old order. So, don’t believe everything you hear in the media or judge Africa by standards that they’ve never sought after.
Have you been to Swaziland….what did you think?