High quality arts & crafts that support local communities have become a mainstay of Eswatini (previously Swaziland) and the country should be of particular interest to those travellers wishing to see the best Africa has to offer. Although tiny, this Kingdom has a rich heritage of stylish, high quality handicrafts, which grace boutique outlets around the world, yet are produced by community-focused ecologically and socially responsible organisations.
Ngwenya Glass Swaziland is home to Ngwenya Glass; a business that creates stunning products for the home using 100% recycled glass as their raw material, disused engine and cooking oil to fuel their furnaces and old newspapers to shape and pack the glass. Building upon Swaziland’s indisputable reputation for arts and crafts, Ngwenya Glass is a must-see experience.
Gone Rural A weaving company that solely employs women from some of the most remote areas of Eswatini, empowering and providing income for them as well as providing health and education programmes for them and their communities. Producing everything from fashion, to lighting, to sculpture and accessories, Gone Rural is one of the most popular handicraft companies in the Kingdom.
KhoKho This boutique handbag company whose products are also made by local women is thriving; it’s not only supporting the community by producing an income, but ensuring their long-held tradition is carried on through generations as the designs incorporate traditional weaving techniques. KhoKho has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Conde Nast Traveller, proving its popularity around the globe.
Swazi Candles Swazi Candles Centre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Eswatini. Tourists can enter the music filled workshop to witness the candle-making process first-hand. Beautiful shapes in fabulous colours and patterns that range from crazy to classic. The centre features nine other creative shops as well as handicraft market place where you can watch artisans at work before buying. Imvelo Estwatini The mission of Imvelo Eswatini is to enhance the lives of women from informal settlements around towns in Eswatini by creating flexible work opportunities and providing a fair and sustainable income. Through an innovative combination of natural materials, traditional skills and contemporary design with inspiration from nature and African Art, the Imvelo women handcraft unique and vibrant fashion accessories for socially inspired individuals. Tourists are welcomed to visit Imvelo Eswatini factory to witness the production process of the handmade jewellery products as well as the weaving of the lutindzi grass bags by the women.