Crystal Vision: A Visit to Eswatini's Ngwenya Glass

The African nation of Eswatini, formerly-known as Swaziland, is a small country but it is huge when it comes to ways to have fun. The landlocked country, surrounded entirely by The Republic of South Africa and Mozambique, is home to numerous game parks, some of which hold the famed animals known as "The Big 5." To learn about Swazi culture there's the National Museum, Mantenga Craft Market and the King Sobhuza Park and the jaw dropping annual cultural events The Umhlanga Reed Dance Ceremony and Bushfire Music Festival which features dozens of Africa's best musical performers. Among all the other exciting things to see and do in Eswatini is the must-visit Ngwenya Glass, the kingdom's "hottest" attraction!

Eswatini's animals are represented lin glassEswatini's animals are represented lin glass

For sale at the shops at Ngwenya GlassFor sale at the shops at Ngwenya Glass

Ngwenya Glass is understandably one of the most popular attractions in Eswatini. And in one way it is the hottest too since the facility that makes glassware out of recycled glass has multiple furnaces on the shop floor, each flaming hot in order to prepare raw glass for workers who will blow and shape the fiery molten globs into an array of beautiful collectibles. An elevated walkway around the work area allows guests to view the craftsmen and women in action and it is quite something to see the glass come out of the furnace then move to an area where it is carefully worked into shape. Wine lovers can see stemware being made and among the most popular items are miniature animals; zebra, giraffe, elephant, lion and rhino among them. They make vases, bowls, decanters, jugs, candle holders, paperweights and many other items. Once you've had your fill of watching from the elevated walkway a well-stocked gift shop awaits, filled with all of the above-mentioned items. There are pewter items as well, among them a very cool sand dollar keychain.

A worker prepares glass to be blownA worker prepares glass to be blown

A worker shapes a piece of red hot glassA worker shapes a piece of red hot glass

Colorful handmade crafts are available at the shops at Ngwenya GlassColorful handmade crafts are available at the shops at Ngwenya Glass

There's more browsing and shopping to do in an adjacent building where other handmade crafts are for sale. Here you can find items like woven grass mats for kitchen and decorative use, colorful clothing and unique chocolates (how about a piece of chocolate embossed with a lion's head?) And speaking of colorful, there are a couple of peacocks roaming the ground, and if you're lucky you'll get to see them with their tails up and their plumage on full display. The proud birds put an exclamation point on an already unforgettable visit to Ngwenya Glass.

A peacock poses at Ngwenya GlassA peacock poses at Ngwenya Glass

Some pewter items are available at Ngwenya GlassSome pewter items are available at Ngwenya Glass

Vases at Ngwenya Glass come in eye-popping colorsVases at Ngwenya Glass come in eye-popping colors

Ngwenya Glass will ship your purchase home for you. Find more information here.

For ideas on other fun things to do in Eswatini go here.

Share this article

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pin it Share on Reddit email this article