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Capital:Mbabane (administrative capital); Lobamba (royal and legislative capital)
Location:Southern Africa, between Mozambique and South Africa
Currency:Swazi lilangeni (SZL)
Area:17,364 sq km
Population:1,113,276 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:English (official, used for government business), siSwati (official)
Religion:Christian 90% (Zionist - a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship - 40%, Roman Catholic 20%, other 30% - includes Anglican, Methodist, Church of Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Witness), Muslim 2%, other 8% (includes Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, indigenous, Jewish) (2015 est.)
TimeZone:UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Things to Do
1. Sibebe Rock Hike
Embark on a challenging hike up Sibebe Rock, one of the largest granite rock formations in the world. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside from the top.
2. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Explore the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a variety of wildlife including zebras, wildebeests, and antelopes. Take a game drive or go on a horseback safari to get up close to the animals.
3. Ngwenya Glass Factory
Visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory and witness the art of glassblowing. Learn about the traditional techniques used to create unique glassware and purchase beautiful handcrafted items.
4. Ezulwini Valley
Experience the natural beauty of the Ezulwini Valley, known as the 'Valley of Heaven'. Explore lush landscapes, visit craft markets, and relax in luxurious resorts and spas.
5. Mantenga Cultural Village
Immerse yourself in Swazi culture at the Mantenga Cultural Village. Observe traditional dances, visit a replica Swazi homestead, and learn about the customs and traditions of the Swazi people.
6. Hlane Royal National Park
Embark on a safari adventure at Hlane Royal National Park, the largest protected area in Eswatini. Spot lions, elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
Explore the historical town of Lobamba, the traditional and legislative capital of Eswatini. Visit the royal residence, Parliament, and the National Museum to learn about the country's history and culture.
8. Sibebe Rock Climbing
For adventure enthusiasts, try rock climbing on Sibebe Rock. Challenge yourself to scale the cliffs and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
9. Swazi Candles
Visit the Swazi Candles Craft Center and witness the craftsmanship behind the famous handcrafted candles. Admire the intricate designs and shop for unique souvenirs.
10. Mkhaya Game Reserve
Go on a thrilling safari experience at Mkhaya Game Reserve. Spot rare and endangered species including black rhinos and sable antelopes in their natural habitat.
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Eswatini has a subtropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The best time to visit depends on your preferred activities and interests, but generally, the dry season is the most popular time to visit.
Eswatini has a warm, temperate climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season runs from November to March and is characterized by high humidity, rainfall, and thunderstorms. The dry season runs from April to October and is generally cooler and less humid.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Eswatini depends on your interests and preferred activities. If you're interested in wildlife viewing, the dry season is the best time to visit as animals are more easily spotted around water sources. The dry season is also a good time for hiking and outdoor activities, as the weather is cooler and less humid. However, if you're interested in birdwatching, the wet season is the best time to visit as many species of birds migrate to the area during this time. Additionally, the wet season is a good time to see the countryside at its greenest and most lush.
Overall, the best time to visit Eswatini is during the dry season, from April to October, as it offers the most comfortable weather for a variety of outdoor activities. However, visitors should be prepared for cooler temperatures at night, especially in the mountains.
Eswatini has a number of hotels that cater to different budgets and tastes. Many of these hotels are located in the capital city of Mbabane and other major towns. They offer amenities like air conditioning, swimming pools, restaurants, and bars.
Lodges in Eswatini offer a more rustic and natural experience. Many are located in wildlife reserves and national parks, offering guests the chance to see wildlife up close. Lodges range from basic campsites to luxurious lodges with amenities like private pools and game drives.
Camping is a popular way to experience the natural beauty of Eswatini. The country has several campsites that offer basic facilities like showers and toilets. Some campsites also offer amenities like electricity and barbecue facilities.
Guesthouses are a popular option for those looking for a more local and authentic experience. They are typically family-run and offer a more personal and homely atmosphere. Many guesthouses are located in rural areas, offering guests the chance to experience local culture and customs.
Homestays are similar to guesthouses, but offer an even more intimate and immersive experience. Visitors stay with a local family and are welcomed as part of the family. This is a great way to experience local customs and traditions firsthand.
Eswatini has a limited public transportation system, with minibus taxis being the most common form of transport. These are shared taxis that run along set routes, and are often crowded and uncomfortable. However, they are a cheap and convenient way to get around the country.
Private taxis are available in Eswatini, and are a more comfortable and convenient option than minibus taxis. They can be hailed on the street or booked through a hotel or guesthouse. Private taxis are more expensive than minibus taxis, but offer a more personalized and comfortable experience.
Car rentals are a popular way to get around Eswatini, especially for those who want the freedom to explore at their own pace. Several car rental companies operate in the country, and visitors can choose from a range of vehicles. It's important to note that driving in Eswatini can be challenging, especially for those not used to driving on the left side of the road.
Guided tours are a great way to explore Eswatini, especially for those who want to learn more about the country's culture, history, and wildlife. Several tour operators offer guided tours that cover a variety of interests, from wildlife safaris to cultural tours. Guided tours can be arranged through hotels or guesthouses, or booked directly with a tour operator.
- The currency of Eswatini is the Swazi lilangeni (SZL).
Cash And Cards
- Credit cards are widely accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and businesses in urban areas.
- It is advisable to carry both cash and cards as some places may only accept cash.
- ATMs are available in major towns and cities.
- ATMs are available in major towns and cities in Eswatini.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Eswatini but is appreciated for good service.
- A 10% tip is customary in restaurants if the service charge is not included.
- It is not common to tip taxi drivers, but rounding up the fare is appreciated.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Eswatini is relatively low compared to other countries.
- Accommodation, transportation, and food are generally affordable.
- The prices may vary depending on the location and type of establishment.
- Beware of scams involving fake tour operators or guides. It is recommended to book with reputable companies.
- Be cautious of individuals offering unsolicited assistance or asking for money.