Swaziland — Shopping and Leisure
Manzini and Mbabane’s modern shopping centers contain as many standard electronics, clothing, and furniture stores as their counterparts in larger African countries. Most small Swazi towns also contain compact shopping complexes and modern supermarkets. However, tourists are usually far more interested in browsing and purchasing local handicrafts and souvenirs which cannot be found anywhere else. The Manzini Market’s vendors sell copperware, handmade jewelry, animal skin mats called karosses, wooden club-like implements called knobkerries, and numerous other handicrafts each Thursday and Friday morning between Mancishane and Mhlakuvane streets. Mbabane, Lavumisa, Matata, and Siteki and Lavumisa also have their own lively outdoor markets.
Two of Swaziland’s largest and best known craft centers are the Ngwenya Glass Factory, situated on the Malolotja Nature Reserve, and the Swazi Candles Craft Center in Malkerns. At both places, visitors can watch talented artisans make 100 percent recycled glass products and long-lasting millefiore candles before buying them. The Lugogo Sun’s African Queen boutique, the Ezulwini Valley Craft Market, Lonhlupeko Craft Market, and Mbabane’s Indingilizi Gallery are other hot spots for crafts.
Piggs Peak is another place packed with unique craft shops. Trays, baskets, and mats are the main items sold at Tintsaba Crafts, while rugs and cushions are just a couple of the decorative home items found at the Peak Craft Center. Beautiful batik fabrics as well as mats and baskets woven from grass are among the items sold at Malkerns Valley craft shops. Zogg’s Boutique and Baobab Batik are just two of the craft outlets situated within the Malandela’s complex here.