Swaziland

This small but immensely beautiful country is home to one of Africa’s last remaining monarchs. Tradition is important here and Swazis celebrate their country and their customs with pride. Match that with some outstanding wildlife spotting and Swaziland is an absolute winner.

Swaziland Tours & Travel

All our Swaziland trips

Zebra, Kruger National Park

Kruger & Coast

9 days from
USD $969.81*
CAD $968.60*
AUD $900.77*
EUR €697.75*
GBP £607.87*
NZD $1,195.15*
ZAR R8,166.25*
CHF FR831.36*

Travel to Kruger National Park on an out-of-this-world African safari, visit Swaziland, the beaches of Mozambique and...

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Elephants, Kruger National Park

Kruger, Coast & Cape

21 days from
USD $2,548.48*
CAD $2,546.30*
AUD $2,409.25*
EUR €1,829.50*
GBP £1,587.96*
NZD $3,135.54*
ZAR R21,860.00*
CHF FR2,194.63*

Embark on an African odyssey! Visit South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Lesotho. This tour captures the rugged...

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Beach, Mozambique

Southern Africa Unplugged

16 days from
USD $3,395.00
CAD $3,460.00
AUD $3,595.00
EUR €2,495.00
GBP £2,150.00
NZD $4,260.00
ZAR R32,720.00
CHF FR3,085.00

Visit highlights of South Africa and Zimbabwe and uncover the mystique of Mozambique on this adventure holiday. See Vic...

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Swaziland Highlights

About Swaziland

At a glance

Trips Available:
3
Capital city:
Mbabane (administrative, population 100,000); Lobamba (royal, population 5,800)
Population:
1.18 million
Language:
Swati, English
Currency:
SZL
Time zone:
(GMT+02:00) Windhoek
Electricity:
Type M (see D)
Dialing code:
+268

Best time to visit Swaziland

While the Highveld remains cool and rain is common all year round, the lowlands are warmer and drier. Winter (from June to August) is the best time to visit. Rain is most prevalent from October to May but this can still be a pleasant time to visit as temperatures are mild and there’s plenty of sunshine.

Swaziland weather chart

Geography and environment

Rural village
Swaziland is blessed with four major rivers, making it one of Africa’s most fertile countries. The Lubombo plateau is the main farming area, while rolling hills and pine forests cover much of the Highveld, Middleveld and Lowveld. Swaziland shares borders with South Africa and Mozambique.

Top Picks

Lion found in the Kruger National Park, Swaziland Rhino, Hlane National Park

Top 5 Swazi Experiences

1. Walking Safari

Take wildlife spotting to a whole new level with a walking safari through Hlane Royal National Park. Spot rhinos, giraffes and vultures. You may even encounter lions… from a safe distance of course.

2. Umhlanga

Once a year, tens of thousands of young Swazi girls travel to the Queen Mother’s royal village. There they cut reeds to present to her before performing traditional dances.

3. Village Life

Get a taste of all things traditional at a Swazi cultural village. Explore domed grass houses, learn Swazi songs, try out some dance moves and help celebrate a culture that is being kept alive by passionate locals.

4. Incwala Ceremony

Catch a glimpse of the king at the annual Incwala ceremony. Celebrating the first fruits of the season, the ceremony includes a dance by the king and his regiments in their spectacular warrior dress.

5. Eat Street

Take your tastebuds on a tour of Swaziland’s street food. Mingle with locals over stewed or grilled meat, stamped mealies and corn roasted on the cob.

FAQs on Swaziland

Service charges usually aren’t included in bills but it’s customary to tip 10% in restaurants and to guides.
Internet cafes can be found in Mbabane but can be difficult to find elsewhere.
Mobile phone reception is good in urban areas, but can be patchy elsewhere. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
Swaziland has a combination of modern flushable toilets and squat/pit toilets, depending on where you are travelling and staying. Generally large hotels, modern restaurants and city cafes have flushable toilets, while remote areas have squat toilets.
Bottle of soft drink = 8 SZL
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 10 SZL
Simple meal = 100 SZL
Three-course meal = 140 SZL
Short taxi ride = 40 SZL
Tap water is considered safe to drink, however outside main towns it’s advised to sterilize or filter the water. For environmental reasons, try to avoid bottled water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found.
Credit cards are accepted in hotels and upmarket shops.
While ATMs are available, only a few accept international cards.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
Apr 19 King Mswati III’s Birthday
Apr 25 National Flag Day
May 1 Labour Day
May 9 Ascension Day
Jul 22 King Father’s Birthday
Aug 1 Umhlanga/Reed Dance Day
Sep 6 Somhlolo Day (Independence Day)
Dec 1 Incwala Ceremony
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Swaziland/public-holidays
SWAZILAND:
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don't currently require a visa for Swaziland for a stay of up to 2 months. UK and Irish nationals do require a visa but can obtain it free of charge on arrival.

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Swaziland Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Reusable water bottle

Top responsible travel tips for Swaziland

1. Be considerate of Swaziland’s customs, traditions, religions and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

10. Avoid purchasing products harvested from endangered animals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Kingdom of Roses and Thorns Debra Liebenow Daly
Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World Tom Davis
Love and Death in the Kingdom of Swaziland Glenn Alan Cheney