Eswatini Travel Guide: Essential Facts and Information

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse wildlife. From its vibrant festivals to its breathtaking scenery, Eswatini offers travelers a unique and memorable experience. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore essential facts and information to help you plan your visit to this fascinating destination.

Geography and Climate

Eswatini is nestled between South Africa to the west, north, and south, and Mozambique to the east. Despite its small size, the country boasts diverse geography, including mountains, valleys, and savannahs. The climate varies from subtropical in the lowlands to temperate in the highlands. The best time to visit Eswatini is during the dry winter months from May to September when temperatures are cooler and wildlife viewing is optimal.

Cultural Heritage

Eswatini is rich in cultural heritage, with traditions deeply rooted in the Swazi people’s customs and beliefs. The country is known for its colorful ceremonies and festivals, including the famous Umhlanga Reed Dance, where thousands of young Swazi women perform a traditional dance for the King. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Swazi culture by attending these events and experiencing traditional music, dance, and cuisine.

Wildlife and Nature

Despite its small size, Eswatini is home to a diverse array of wildlife. The country’s national parks and reserves offer excellent opportunities for game viewing, birdwatching, and outdoor adventures. Hlane Royal National Park is one of the premier destinations for wildlife enthusiasts, where visitors can spot lions, elephants, rhinos, and various antelope species in their natural habitat. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve are also popular choices for nature lovers.

Attractions and Activities

Eswatini offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From adrenaline-pumping adventures to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone. Some must-visit attractions include:

Mbabane: The capital city of Eswatini, nestled in the picturesque Ezulwini Valley, offers visitors a vibrant arts and crafts scene, bustling markets, and stunning mountain views.

Lobamba: The traditional and spiritual heart of Eswatini, where visitors can explore the Royal Kraal, Parliament, and the National Museum.

Ezulwini Valley: Known as the “Valley of Heaven,” this beautiful region is home to craft markets, cultural villages, and the impressive Mantenga Cultural Village, where visitors can learn about Swazi traditions and history.

Ngwenya Glass Factory: Witness skilled artisans craft beautiful glassware using ancient techniques at one of Africa’s premier glass factories.

Sibebe Rock: Embark on a hike to the world’s second-largest monolith for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Swazi Candles Craft Centre: Experience the vibrant colors and intricate designs of Swazi candles, handcrafted using traditional methods.

Malolotja Nature Reserve: Explore one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Eswatini, known for its dramatic landscapes, hiking trails, and biodiversity.

Accommodation and Dining

Eswatini offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference, from luxury lodges to cozy guesthouses and campsites. Many lodges and hotels offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and provide opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. When it comes to dining, visitors can sample a variety of delicious Swazi dishes, including traditional stews, grilled meats, and flavorful maize-based porridges. Be sure to try local specialties such as “siphalishi” (fried bread) and “emasi” (sour milk).

Practical Information

Visa Requirements: Most visitors to Eswatini require a visa, which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport or border crossing. However, it’s essential to check the latest visa requirements before traveling.

Health and Safety: Eswatini is a relatively safe destination for travelers, but it’s always wise to take precautions against malaria and other tropical diseases. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance and consult with a healthcare professional about necessary vaccinations and precautions.

Currency and Language: The official currency of Eswatini is the lilangeni (SZL), although the South African rand is widely accepted. English and siSwati are the official languages, but English is widely spoken and understood.

Transportation: Eswatini has a well-maintained road network, making it easy to explore the country by car. Public transportation options include buses and minibusses, but renting a car provides greater flexibility and convenience.

Respect for Customs and Traditions: Visitors should respect local customs and traditions, particularly when visiting cultural sites and attending ceremonies. It’s advisable to dress modestly and seek permission before taking photographs of people.


Eswatini offers travelers a unique and unforgettable safaris in Eswatini experience, combining breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re exploring the country’s national parks, immersing yourself in Swazi traditions, or simply soaking in the stunning landscapes, Eswatini promises an enriching journey that will leave a lasting impression. Plan your visit to this hidden gem of Southern Africa and discover the magic of Eswatini for yourself.

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