Swaziland Guide

Swaziland Guide

Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET + 1 (during summer time: CET)

Total area: 17,364 km²

Land area: 17,204 km²

Water area: 160 km²

Length of the state border: 535 km

Bordering countries:
Mozambique: 105 km
South Africa: 430 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Mbabane

Regions: 4
Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini, Shiselweni

Telephone code: 00 268 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Emlembe 1,862 m


Population: approx. 1.4 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.1% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 81

Life expectancy: 51 (male), 50 (female)

Official language: English, Siswati


  • 40% Zionists
  • 20% Roman Catholic
  • 10% Muslim
  • 30% other


Due to the location south of the equator, the seasons are the opposite of those in Europe. The climate changes when you look at the country from west to east. There are a total of 4 different climatic regions:


Due to the high mountain location (over 1,000 m), the temperatures are quite pleasant. For Europeans, however, the constant high humidity takes some getting used to. Most of the rain falls in this section of the country each year. The main rainy season lasts from late October to mid-March.

Western center of the country:
The mountains merge here into a flat grass landscape (around 700 m above sea level). It is subtropically warm with less rain than in regions further west. The state capital is in this climatic zone.

Eastern center of the country:
In the flat plains (100 – 500 m above sea level) it is tropical and warm with little annual rainfall.

The higher plains (400 – 750 m above sea level) are home to a dry, subtropical climate

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Lilangeni (SZL)

Classification: 1 Lilangeni = 100 cents

ATMs: There are individual machines in the big cities.

International credit cards: are only accepted in larger cities. Otherwise cash payment is usual.

Regulations: National and foreign currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco
  • 0.7 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume
  • other goods up to a value of 500 emalangeni

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Important: Married couples traveling together are treated as one person for the exemption limits. Therefore only the amount for one person may be carried!

Behavioral advice

As there are occasional violent political demonstrations, you should avoid large crowds.

General crime has increased in recent years. You should therefore be more vigilant about your valuables during the day.


The main industry is agriculture. Over half of all employees work here.

In addition to keeping cattle, sheep and goats, the main crops are cotton, peanuts, millet, corn, rice, tobacco, citrus fruits and sugar cane.

Industries: mining, logging and processing, agriculture

Natural resources: asbestos, diamonds, gold, wood, coal, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 11%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 62%
  • Forests: 7%
  • other: 20%
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