Backpacking in Swaziland: House On Fire, Swaziland’s Arty Nightclub

Backpacking in Swaziland: House On Fire, Swaziland’s Arty Nightclub

If Swaziland is a somewhat unknown traveller’s location, then it’s certainly a very under estimated one and springs a surprise to most. My trip to Swaziland was easily one of my random highlights from three weeks in southern Africa. 

I stayed in the Mahlanya area for three nights, and from there most of the main sights of Swaziland are within driving distance. One such spot was an outdoor nightclub with some style. More of an arty funky drinking den, this outdoor nightclub and entertainment venue, set in outstanding countryside was yet another snapshot of the differing Swazi lifestyle. While Botswana banned my nightclub entry for wearing shorts, and South Africa adds the dangers of drugs and robbery, Swaziland sets them both an example. Smart, clean, art deco, modern and unusual, welcome to the….HOUSE OF FIRE!


One of many impressive sculptures in the House On Fire.

Indoor Art Museum. Everything within made by local people in Swaziland.

A pretty cool bar area! Better than your average Australian “beer garden”.

Girls and boys are free to use the Man and Woman toilets, at least to nosey in on the fine artwork.

Due to the impressive art even in the toilets, you’ll be careful not to sprinkle when you twinkle.

Concrete arty seats for the lovers. A lot of the seating and indeed most of the venue is outdoors. This led me to think that Swaziland enjoys a climate with a low average rainfall. Either that or they party away outside regardless of the weather!

An unusual tower. Swazi people are certainly creative.

Relaxing and admiring the architecture. This is not a night club you would want to abuse.

Admiring the amazing walls of a day time art display which becomes a night time party venue. Incidentally, we only went during the day time. I could only imagine the vibe as a dark sky hits the Malkerns Valley and the drinking and dancing begins…

The Israeli girls on our tour were a tad annoying. One of the only times they actually spoke to me was to ask what flag I was carrying. My Northern Ireland flag got a few airings in the Kingdom of Swaziland, including at the House on Fire.

The impressive entrance arch to no ordinary night club.

Feeling hot during the day time at House on Fire!

Your night club window view in Swaziland. Out into the open air of pleasant countryside. Nature has been kind on Swaziland. These type of views are everywhere.

Order your drinks.

Swaziland was a real cultured and flavoured experience. I also visited Mantenga Village and witnessed (and joined in with) traditional Swaziland dancing! On cold winter nights, the fire here would be a perfect place to relax with a beer or dance the night away in decent company. 

Plants everywhere to add nature to human decoration. I’m no expert but this may be Aloe Vera.

I drank a fair bit of Sibebe while in Swaziland. Beer culture and different types of beer are one of the joys of travel. Sibebe is a great, refreshing lager. Our Beer, Our Pride being the logo. They have every right to be.

Out the back  is a stage. They have live music and performances there regularly. Here in a wilderness where the outside world “don’t matter” this would be one hell of a venue for any kind of party. They organise all sorts of functions, parties and weddings here.

Some rather amusing sculptures in the large garden out the back, which on busy nights becomes an open air dance floor of its own. With these pillars probably being lit up (“on fire”) to add lighting to proceedings.

Typical of the patterns that adorn every wall in House on Fire.

That elaborate sign on the way in, written in both languages of course.

Order your drinks from this funky bar kiosk. Cans and bottles of Sibebe, Swaziland’s own refreshing lager.

The funky “love station” of a Saturday night here in rural Swaziland it could well be a case of “Sex on fire” rather than “House on fire”.

Stylish clocks, all hand made locally.

And finally…a sad reminder that South Africa is next door. AK47s made into an art exhibition. From what I’ve seen and heard in life, let’s keep them that way. The Swazis are a pleasant and friendly race. I wouldn’t like to see their country or culture change in any way.

Check out on the website for House On Fire: http://www.house-on-fire.com/

What Is It? – House On Fire, a large arty, entertainment venue set in countryside in the Malkerns Valley, SWAZILAND

Used For – Art Galleries, Parties, Music Concerts, Dancing, Weddings, Shows, Night club, Live Sport etc.

Cost of Entry – Free during the day (but I bought something in the adjoining shop)

Main Beer – Sibebe

You Can Contact Them –

Tel:   (+268) 528 2110

Email: info@house-on-fire.com


Key Songs –

1. RING OF FIRE (RECORDED LIVE BY ME IN THE BOG, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND):


2. YOUR SEX IS ON FIRE (RECORDED LIVE BY ME IN DEVONPORT, TASMANIA):


My Video –

INSIDE THE HOUSE ON FIRE:


Someone Else’s Live Video:

A NIGERIAN GROUP PLAY AT THE HOUSE ON FIRE:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
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One Response to Backpacking in Swaziland: House On Fire, Swaziland’s Arty Nightclub

  1. Pingback: The Sibhaca Dance and Mantenga Cultural Village, Swaziland

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