Swaziland Guide

Swaziland Guide

Swaziland – country information

Country name Swaziland
Official name Kingdom of Swaziland
Capital Mbabane
Continent Africa
Area 17,364 km2
Population 1,250,000 (2013)
Foundation of a state 6/9/1968
The highest mountains Emlembe 1862 m
State system a monarchy with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Manzini 70,000, Mbabane (capital) 60,000, Lobamba (seat of king and parliament)
Official language Swazi and English
Ethnicity/National Composition Swazi 85%, Zulu 10%, Tsonga 2.5%, Indian 1.5%, other 1%
Religious affiliation Protestant 38%, African Christian 29%, Traditional African Faith 21%, Roman Catholic 11%
Currency 1 lilangeni (pl. emalangeni, E) = 100 cents
gross domestic product (GDP) US$5,719 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 32.62 years (2006)

Swaziland – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
South Africa – JAR Pretoria 1,221,040 km2 52,981,991
Mozambique Maputo 801,590 km2 23,700,715

Country overview

The Kingdom of Swaziland borders Mozambique to the east, but is otherwise surrounded by the territory of South Africa, with which it forms a customs union.

According to Abbreviationfinder, Swaziland is a state in southeast Africa. Common borders with South Africa – in the south, southeast, west, north, with Mozambique – in the east.

The capital is Mbabane. The official language is English, Swazi. Currency – Lilanjeni.

The climate is tropical. Temperature in winter +15*С, in summer +25*С.
Swaziland is a small country, stretching 200 km from north to south and 130 km from east to west. The western part of the country is made up of mountains, smoothly moving to the east into the plain.

The Lubombo Mountains dominate the eastern border with Mozambique and South Africa. The climate is temperate, but in summer the temperature can reach 40 degrees in the flat part of Swaziland. The territory of Swaziland has always been inhabited by people since prehistoric times. Today, the vast majority of the country’s population is made up of the Swazi people.
The country has Rancho Ubombo and Nsok airports.

An attraction is the traditional Reed Dance. This is an annual holiday.

Interesting facts

Sugar cane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus fruits, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts are grown.

The ancestors of the Swazi people came to southern Africa in the Middle Ages, from the central part of the continent. At first they settled on the coast of the Indian Ocean, but in the 18th century the Swazis were forced out by other tribes to the north, to the territory of present-day Swaziland. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Swazis waged bloody wars against the Zulu and other neighboring tribes, and raided the Swazi lands. After the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, Great Britain declared Swaziland its protectorate, retaining the power of local kings and leaders there. On September 6, 1968, Great Britain granted full independence to the Kingdom of Swaziland.

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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