Officially named the Kingdom of eSwatini, Swaziland is a tiny landlocked monarchy set within South Africa. This captivating country is renowned for its rich cultural and historical heritage, vast expanses of untouched wilderness and pristine reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. The remarkable landscapes are characterised by low-lying grasslands, soaring mountains, lush rainforests and vast river valleys. Visitors can look forward to a wide selection of wonderful attractions and activities including spotting white rhinos and a variety of other wildlife at the Hlane Royal National Park, viewing the spellbinding landscapes of the Ezulwini Valley aptly dubbed the ‘Valley of Heaven’, and hiking the network of scenic mountain trails traversing the magnificent rugged terrain. Browse the traditional high-quality handicrafts of Malkerns Valley and the Swazi Market in Mbabane, experience local culture at the Lobamba Royal Village and the Mantenga Cultural Village, view the impressive Sibebe Rock, and visit the Malolotja Nature Reserve, the largest reserve in the country.
Language – English and Swati
Currency – Swazi Lilangeni (SZL)
Visa – required for some countries
Airports – King Mswati III (SHO), located approximately 50km from Manzini.
Climate – The rainy season is generally between the warmer summer months of October and May, while June to September is cooler and drier.
Best time to visit – Year-round travel is possible as temperatures generally do not reach extremes. The Reed Dance, usually held around the end of August, is an popular event that draws in many tourists every year.
Must visit – Ezulwini Valley, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Ngwenya Glass Factory, Mbuluzi Game Reserve, Hlane Royal National Park, Sibebe Rock.
Food – Shishwaia (porridge, served with meat or vegetables), Tahragout (meat stew usually made with goat), Umncweba (dried meat), Sidlwadlwa (meat stew with cabbage and peanuts), Siphuphesetindlubu (ground nut porridge), Umbidvowetintsang (boiled pumpkin leaves with ground nuts), Tinkhobe (whole boiled maize), Sidvudvu (pumpkin and cornmeal porridge).
Drinks – Emasietinkhobetemmbila (ground corn and sour milk), Emasiemabele (ground sorghum and sour milk).
Tipping – 10-15%