Swaziland, Land and Resources
Komati, valuable minerals, Mbabane, tropical weather, clear weather
Swaziland is roughly oval-shaped. The elevation of the land decreases from west to east. The mountainous western portion in places reaches an altitude of more than 1,200 m (more than 4,000 ft) above sea level. The hilly central region, or veld (grassland), has an average elevation of about 600 m (about 2,000 ft). The eastern region, or low veld, is a rolling area that averages from 120 to 300 m (about 400 to 1,000 ft) above sea level; it is bounded on the east by the Lebombo Mountains. The principal rivers are the Komati, Lusutfu, and Umbuluzi. The steady flow of the rivers, fed by abundant rain in the mountains, supports irrigation and hydroelectric power projects in the lowlands. Swaziland also has quantities of several valuable minerals, including coal, asbestos, diamonds, and gold.
The climate is mostly temperate, with cool temperatures at higher elevations and more tropical weather in the low veld. Precipitation, which is heavier toward the west, is concentrated in the warmer months of October through April; the rest of the year is characterized by sunny, clear weather. The temperature in Mbabane, located in the western highlands, ranges from 15° to 25° C (59° to 77° F) in January and 6° to 19° C (42° to 67° F) in July.
Article key phrases: