Travel Destinations

Swaziland» Facts

Facts


Overview

Swaziland is named after the Swazi people and it is also known as the Kingdom of Swaziland. Traditional ceremonies that will give foreigners a fascinating glimpse into the sacred heritage of the Swazi's, include the iNcwala first fruit ceremonies and the Umhlanga Reed Dance. Another excellent way to experience the culture is through the local art and craft markets, one of the Kingdom's greatest attractions apart from the nature reserves and casinos.
CAPITAL:

Mbabane

CURRENCY:

1 Lilangeni (plural: Emalangeni) = 100 cents. The South African Rand is accepted as legal tender, but not coins. Amex and MasterCard are widely accepted. Visa has more limited use. Traveller's cheques are widely accepted with Pounds Sterling recommended.

CUSTOMS:

Duty Free Allowances:

  • - 200 Emalangeni' worth of gifts
  • - 400 cigarettes
  • - 50 cigars
    - 250g of tobacco
  • - 1 bottle (750ml) of alcoholic beverages
  • - 50ml of perfume
  • - 250ml of eau de toilette
SPECIAL NOTES:
  • -Married couples travelling together are allowed free import for one person only.

(NB! For full information, please contact the nearest Embassy of Botswana.)

ELECTRICITY:

220/230volts, 50Hz. Plugs are 3-pin round.

HEALTH:

A yellow fever certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas. Visitors are advised to take pre-travel precautions against hepatits A, polio, typhoid and malaria (risk exists throughout the year in all lowveld areas e.g. Big Bend, Mhlume, Simunye and Tshaneni). Other health concerns include respiratory problems (aggravated by the wet, murky weather), cholera (the country is officially considered infected), influenza (risk is May-Oct), limited medical facilities and Aids.

HOURS:

Banking Hours

8.30am-2.30pm Mon-Fri & 8.30am-11am Sat

Office Hours

8am-5pm Mon-Fri

Shopping Hours

7.30am / 8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri; some supermarkets open longer; until 1pm on Sat

LANGUAGE:

Official languages are English and Seswati. Most locals are bilingual.

POPULATION:

1.1 Million 

HEAD OF STATE:

King Mswati III

LITERACY:

81.6%

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:

New Years' Day (1 Jan); Commonwealth Day (9 Mar); Good Friday (9 Apr); Easter Monday (12 Apr); King's Anniversayr (19 Apr); National Flag Day (25 Apr); Labour Day (1 May); Ascension Day (20 May); Somhlolo Day (6 Sep); United Nations Day (24 Oct); Christmas Day (25 Dec); Boxing Day (26 Dec)

SOCIAL CONVENTIONS:

Religion is Christian with Animist (belief that inanimate objects have souls) minority. Culture and tradition play a large part in people's lives. Ask permission (and pay tips) to photograph people and apply for permission to photograph traditional ceremonies. The photographing of the Royal Palace, Royal family, uniformed police, army personnel, army vehicles and aircraft are prohibited.

TIME DIFFERENCE:

GMT +2

TIPPING:

No service charges are included and tipping is expected, 10 percent is recommended.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE:

There are four regions in the country and the weather varies between them with warm to hot summers and cool to mild, although sometimes cold winters with snow on the high ground. Rainfall occurs mostly in the summer months between September and February.

GETTING THERE:

Drive east on the N4 from Johannesburg or Pretoria.


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