A short summary of the country
With an area of just over 17 000 square kilometres , Swaziland is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere. It is just 193 km from north to south and 145 km from east to west. This tiny country has the only absolute monarchy in Africa and embraces its own unique and ancient traditions.
The Swazi people make up a single ethnic group that comprises of several clans who are united under the king. Numbering just more than one million , Swaziland has also one of the smallest populations in Africa. Swazi's are peaceful and friendly and visitors are ensured of a warm welcome and a visit they will always remember.
Swaziland is divided into four regions (provinces). Awell established tar road system links the regions.
The capital city is Mbabane. It was founded in 1903 when Swaziland became a protectorate under British rule. It is set amongst the spectacular mountain scenery of the Dlangeni Hills at an altitude of 1 200 m above sea level. Mbabane is a modern city offering diverse facilities including shopping malls , banks and a variety of shops. For visitors there is a wide range of lodges , hotels , guest houses.
On the highway between Mbabane and Manzini ( about 40 km away) lies the tourism mecca of the country. Here is where you will find the best hotels , restaurants , craft outlets , and many other attractions.
Swaziland is a tourist paradise. Here are nature reserves , golf courses of international standard and the most beautiful mountain scenery you can imagine. For the sport lovers Swaziland offers excellent facilities for golf , tennis , horse riding , boating , biking , fishing , 4X4 routes and much more.
For the more relaxed tourist Swaziland offers birding second to none. It is home to more species than the international renown Kruger National Park in South Africa. Not less than 498 different bird species call Swaziland home - due to the wide variety of habitats in the kingdom.
MANZINI: Manzini is the capital of the region (province) with the same name. Together with the nearby industrial area of Matsapa it comprises the largest urban population in the country. Modern day Manzini is a bustling cosmopolitan centre.
Other useful information:
Climate: Warm to hot summers and cool winters. Rainy season during summer (between October and February)
Language: Two official languages namely English and siSwati. Most Swazi'z speak English.
Money: Called the Lilangeni. On par with the South African Rand. Most international credit cards are accepted at hotels , shopping centres and restaurants. Travellers cheques and cash may be exchanged at banks. Well known South Arican banks are represented in the country.
Safety: Swaziland is generally a safe and peaceful country. Travellers are however advised to take normal safety precautions like keeping valuables out of eyesight , keep doors locked when traveling etc.
Health: It is advisable to take precautions against malaria during summer months. Hospitals (especially private hospitals ) are of a high standard.
Transport: International flights between Matsapha International Airport ( near Manzini ) and two South African airports at Durban and Johannesburg. Quality car hire is readily available.