Swaziland General Information

Swaziland

Quick Facts

Region: Africa

Population:
1,337,186

Religion:

A majority of the population is Christian, but many Christians retain the traditional animist beliefs of the rest of the population. The traditional Swazi culture continues strongly and is mainly expressed through religious ceremonies.

Language:

The official languages of Swaziland are Swati and English (English being the official written language). It may be helpful to know a few basic Swati words and phrases.

Area (sq. km):
17,363 square meters

Time:

GMT +2

When To Travel

The climate is mostly temperate, with cool temperatures at higher elevations and more moderately dry subtropical weather in the low veld. Precipitation, with an average of 1,400 mm of annual rainfall in the hilly west, to moderately dry subtropical, with 560 mm of annual rainfall in the east, is concentrated in the warmer months of October through April. The rest of the year is characterized by sunny, clear weather. Mean annual temperatures are 15ºc in the west and 22 ºc in the east.

Situated in the southern hemisphere, Swaziland has beautiful weather for most of the year. Winters are generally mild and dry. Summers (Dec-Feb) have warm days but a higher rainfall average than winter. The best time for game viewing is early spring.

Useful Travel Facts

Airports:

Matsapha Airport, Manzini

Telephone:

The international dialling code for Swaziland is +268.. Telephone calls, especially international ones, can be expensive when made from a hotel. We suggest you check the price first. If you have a mobile phone it should be a relatively simple procedure to arrange ‘global roaming’ with your service provider; however, charges are generally very high so be sure to check this option thoroughly. You should also check with your service provider to see if your mobile phone is compatible with the networks used in Africa. Phone calls made from public telephone offices are generally your cheapest option.

Electricity:

The electricity supply in Africa is rated at 220 volts/50 cycles, and appliances requiring 240 volts will work normally. If you bring electrical appliances you should also bring an international adaptor. Round three pin plugs are the most common types in southern Africa.

Food:

Mealie Pap (maize porridge) is the most widely eaten food in Swaziland, it is eaten with relish or stew. It is hard to find vegetarian options in Swaziland.

Transport:

Swaziland’s road network is quite good, and most major routes have sealed surfaces. We use private vehicle to get around in Swaziland

Shopping:

A wide range of quality craftwork sold in specialists stores and roadside markets throughout Swaziland. The goods on offer range from wooden sculpture, soapstone carvings, glassware, mohair, tapestries, pottery, silk-screened batik's and clothing. Swaziland also produces the world famous Ngwenya glass and Swazi candles.

Visa: Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Swaziland. You will need to carry your passport with you for use when entering and exiting the independent Kingdom of Swaziland.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading

South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland- Lonely Planet

Touring Atlas of Southern Africa-Michael Brett & Alan

Mountain Mammals of Southern Africa- Chris & Tilde Stuart