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About Swaziland

The tiny landlocked country of Swaziland is between South Africa and southern Mozambique. Swaziland has stunning landscapes, game viewing, gambling and affordable accommodation to enjoy, as well as the most intact practicing national culture in southern Africa, making Swaziland budget travel the ideal way to see Africa.

Swaziland Budget Travel

Below is a list of Swaziland's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Hlane Royal National Park, Malolotja National Park, Mbabane, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Fast Facts

Currency
Swaziland Lilangeni (SZL)

Dialing Code
268

AIDS

Swaziland HIV/AIDS precautions include:
• Don't ever share needles or syringes
• Practice safe sex at all times
• Equipment may not be adequately sterilised, or blood may not be properly screened for HIV
• If you require self-administered injections, take an adequate supply of your own needles
• Don't have a tattoo, acupuncture treatment or body piercing unless the equipment is sterile

Airports

Swaziland airports include the following:
• Matsapha International Airport - referred to as Manzini International Airport.

Birdlife

There are about 507 species making up Swaziland birdlife, including Desert Cisticola, Blue-breasted Cordon-bleu, African Firefinch, Common Waxbill, Trumpeter Hornbill, African Fish Eagle, Magpie Mannikin, Purple Crested Turaco, Swee Waxbill, Pink-throated Twinspot, Bush Blackcap, and Narina Trogan.

Conservation

A number of government and private game parks conserve a diversity of habitat and therefore species in Swaziland. Due to the size of the Kingdom, the reserves are small, but significant. Much of Swaziland's wildlife was hunted out in colonial times, but with the support of the monarchy, conservation was established in the 1960's and many (22) indigenous mammal species since reintroduced by big game parks.

Culture

Swaziland cultures include the following:
• Music and dance play a key role in celebrations and heritage
• Art and crafts is an important income provider and heritage form
• Most intact National cultural celebrations in southern Africa
• Traditions are passed down for generations
• Tribal dress play a role in cultural identity

Customs

Swaziland customs allows for free import of the following:
• 400 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 250 grammes of tobacco
• One bottle (max. 0.75 litres) of alcoholic beverages
• 10 fl. oz. of perfume

Health

Swaziland is a 3rd world country, and as such health precautions should always be taken when travelling in the country. Inoculations are essential before visiting, and during your travel take care to follow basic health steps to prevent tummy complaints or anything more serious from potentially ruining your travel experience.

Innoculations

The following inoculations are required when travelling to Swaziland:
• Hepatitis A & B
• Typhoid
• Yellow fever
• Meningococcus
• Polio
• Rabies
• Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
• Tetanus-diphtheria

Languages

Swaziland languages include:
• Siswati (official language)
• English

Malaria

Generally speaking, malaria risk in Swaziland is contained in the lowveld (Manzini eastwards) with low risk in winter months. However, due to travelling through malaria areas to reach Mbabane, it is advised to keep mosquito repellent when traveling in the summer months and wear long sleeved tops to avoid getting bitten. Speak to your doctor about the best options for medication. Swaziland malaria medication includes the following:
• Mefloquine (Lariam)
• Doxycycline
• Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)

Money

Swaziland money and banking info includes:
• Lilangeni (SZL, symbol: E) = 100 cents
• The South African Rand is also accepted as legal tender (E1 = 1 Rand)
• Local currency must be changed back into your own currency before leaving Swaziland
• Only a few ATMs accept international credit/debit cards
• Banks are open Monday to Friday 08h30-14h30 & Saturday 08h30-11h00
• Most tourism establishments accept Visa or Master Card, but best to confirm

People

Swaziland people include the following groups:
• Swazi
• A tiny minority of Shangaan, Zulu and Muslim
• White Africans

Phrase

Swaziland local phrases in Siswati include:
• Hello / Greeting - Sawubona
• I am fine - Ngiyaphila
• Thank you - Ngiyabonga
• Good day to you and your household, may I enter your house? - Sikhulekile ekhaya
• Stay well - Sala kahle
• Go well - Hamba kahle

Plants

Although a tiny country, Swaziland consists of 4 geo-regions including mountainous Highveld, Middleveld (savanna and woodland), lowveld (broad-leaved and Acacia bushveld and savanna) and the unique Lebombo region, thus diversity of plant and wildlife is extremely rich.

Population

A 2007 UN estimate puts the population in Swaziland at 1,141,000.

Religion

Swaziland religion includes the following groups:
• Christianity 57%
• Zionist 40%
• Muslim 3%

Safety Tips

Swaziland safety tips include the following:
• Major roads are in good condition, but look out for speed humps, livestock and potholes
• Roads can be bad, with livestock and potholes to look out for
• Do not attempt to touch or feed any wildlife you see
• Stay in your car during game drives and follow your guide's instructions
• Generally the area is safe to visit with little crime or issues

Transport

There are a few Swaziland transport options on offer:
• Car
• Taxi
• Bus

Travel Books

Swaziland recommended travel books include:
• Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland by Mary Fitzpatrick
• Swaziland: Enchantment of the World Series by Ettagale Blauer and Jason Laure
• Swaziland Map by ITMB Publishing
• All the King's Animals: The Return of Endangered Wildlife to Swaziland by Cristina Kessler (forward by King of Swaziland Mswati III)
• The Wildlife of Southern Africa: The Larger Illustrated Guide to the Animals and Plants of the Region by Vincent Carruthers
• Southbound travel Guide - SWAZILAND by David Fleminger
• Wild in Swaziland - various authors
• Shared Secrets - Peter Shark

Visa Requirements

Swaziland visa info includes the following:
• Most EU, SADC and American countries don't require visas, but these are simple and quick to obtain
• All other nationals do not require a visa
• A valid passport of 6 months minimum and 2 empty pages is required
• Return tickets and documents for return or onward travel are required
• Sufficient funds to cover your stay is required

What To Buy

What to buy for Swaziland safaris:
• Mosquito repellent and malaria medication
• Luggage and backpacks
• Sleeping bag
• Guide book of Swaziland plus a good map
• Swaziland bird and wildlife guide for the region

What To Pack

What to pack for Swaziland safaris:
• Loose, lightweight clothing for hot days, and warm clothing for cool days
• Binoculars and camera
• Mosquito repellent and malaria medication
• Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
• Solid, comfortable walking or hiking shoes

When To Go

Best time to visit Swaziland:
• Swaziland is a year-round destination, although the best time to visit Swaziland is: - April - October for cooler temperatures and better game viewing; - November - March for scenery (green and lush)
• October to May April is hot, but is still good to visit
• Rains fall in summer winter, with mild warm to hot temperatures and a green landscape
• Game viewing is best in summer winter months, when the bush in thinner and game congregates around waterholes

Wildlife

Swaziland wildlife includes 107 species of mammals, including Elephant, Lion, Black & White Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, Crocodile, Hippo, Kudu, Eland, Duiker and many others.

 

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4 Swaziland OVERLAND recommended for you
Recent Feedback

Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

Anne B (27) from Ireland

Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

Michael & Silke from Germany

Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

Juca from Uruguay

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