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Eswatini Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Eswatini

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Eswatini is a sovereign state in Southern Africa. Its formal name is the Kingdom of Eswatini. It is bordered to the east by Mozambique and to the north, west, and south by South Africa. The kingdom and its people are named after Mswati II, the 19th-century ruler who enlarged and united Swazi territory.

Eswatini is one of Africa’s smallest countries, measuring just 200 kilometers (120 miles) north to south and 130 kilometers (81 miles) east to west. Despite its size, the climate and geography of the country are diverse, ranging from a cold and mountainous highveld to a scorching and arid lowveld. The majority of the people are ethnic Swazis who speak Swati. They founded their kingdom in the mid-18th century, led by Ngwane III, and the current limits were set up in 1881. Eswatini was a British protectorate after the Anglo-Boer War from 1903 until 1967. On September 6, 1968, it regained its freedom.

The country is an absolute monarchy, with Ngwenyama (“King”) Mswati III as the present ruler. He is the country’s head of state, appointing prime ministers and a number of MPs from both houses (Senate and House of Assembly) in the country’s parliament. Every five years, elections are held to decide the majority in the House of Assembly. The current constitution went into effect in 2005.

Eswatini has a modest economy and is a developing country. Its GDP per capita of $9,714 places it in the lower-middle income bracket. Its primary local trading partner is South Africa, which is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Eswatini’s lilangeni currency is linked to the South African rand. The United States and the European Union are Eswatini’s two most important commercial partners. The agriculture and manufacturing industries employ the vast bulk of the country’s workforce. Eswatini is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.

The Swazi population suffers severe health difficulties, including HIV/AIDS and, to a lesser degree, TB. Eswatini has a life expectancy of 50 years as of 2013. Eswatini’s population is very youthful, with a median age of 20.5 years and people aged 14 or younger representing 37.4 percent of the overall population. The current rate of population increase is 1.195 percent.

Eswatini’s culture is well-known. The nation’s most prominent events are umhlanga, celebrated in August/September, and incwala, the kingship dance performed in December/January.

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Eswatini - Info Card

Population

1,160,164

Currency

Lilangeni (SZL), South African rand (ZAR)

Time zone

UTC+2 (SAST)

Area

17,364 km2 (6,704 sq mi)

Calling code

+268

Official language

Swazi - English

Eswatini | Introduction

Eswatini, one of the world’s last absolute monarchs, is one of Africa’s smallest nations and has a well-deserved reputation for kindness in the region. It also has a number of modestly large government-sponsored game parks and reserves that are popular tourist attractions.

Mswati II, who became monarch in 1839, is the name of Eswatini. The Dlamini clan may be traced back to the royal bloodline. The population is approximately split between Nguni, Sotho, and Tsonga, with the remaining 3% white. Mswati III, the present monarch, is the son of Sobuza II, who had about seventy wives. Indlovukazi, the Queen Mother, and he reign together. Eswatini’s main emblem is the monarch himself, rather than the flags or monuments that the West associates with nationhood. The incwala, a multi-week-long ritual focusing on traditional authority, state unity, importance of agriculture, sanctity of land, fertility, and potency, exemplifies the king’s connection with the people. The implementation of chastity decrees for under-18s to prevent the spread of AIDS has made Mswati’s connection with his people even more special. Mswati III, on the other hand, defied the norm when he married his twelfth wife, a 17-year-old girl, in 2005. Mswati III has also been chastised for trying to buy a private aircraft at a time of severe drought and hunger. The media was barred from making derogatory comments about the monarchy in general, and the aircraft in particular, as a result of the outcry. Further plans to construct luxurious mansions for his wives while his people starved in the third year of drought drew widespread condemnation. Mswati III signed the country’s first constitution in 2005, but nothing has changed in practice: opposition parties are still outlawed, and the King is still the absolute ruler.

Sugar, produced on plantations across Eswatini, soft drink concentrates, cotton, maize, tobacco, rice, and wood pulp are Eswatini’s major exports. Asbestos demand, which was once a significant export, has plummeted owing to the severe health hazards it poses. The area has been severely overgrazed and cultivated. This is especially troublesome given Eswatini’s long-term drought. Unemployment is hovering about 25%. The incapacity to work as a consequence of AIDS contributes to this number.

Swazis construct their houses differently depending on whether they are Nguni or Sotho: Nguni huts are beehive-shaped, whereas Sotho homes feature complete window frames and doors. The living quarters are split into three sections: dwelling quarters, animal housing, and the ‘big’ hut, which is designated for the patrilineal ancestors’ spirits. The wives of the chiefs each have their own cottage. Local chiefs or the Crown hold property; most of it has been purchased back for the country, while unclaimed land is utilized for grazing and firewood gathering. The growth of the middle classes has resulted in a developing class structure. The individual’s social standing is defined by their relationship to the clan chief or the royal family. Fluency and competence in English are the primary social markers in metropolitan settings.

The King’s Birthday, which is celebrated with a national ‘day off’ and local celebrations on April 19, and the Reed (Umhlanga) Dance, a three-day event in August when hundreds of maidens (virgins) gather from all across Eswatini, are two of the most famous festivals and ceremonies. The King is allowed to choose a new wife from among them.

Despite comparable issues with poverty and one of the world’s worst AIDS epidemics, Eswatini is renowned for its politeness and calm in comparison to other nations in the area. The overall reported proportion of people living with HIV was 30% as of November 2008; this, of course, does not include individuals who have not yet been tested. The AIDS pandemic has shattered the traditional extended family structure, leaving many young children orphaned and on the verge of starvation.

Hhohho (northwest), Lubombo (east), Manzini (central-west), and Shiselweni (west) are the four administrative districts of Eswatini (south).

Climate

Rain occurs mostly throughout the summer months, often in the form of thunderstorms. The dry season is winter. The annual rainfall in the Highveld in the West is the greatest, ranging from 1000 to 2000mm depending on the year. The Lowveld receives 500 to 900mm of rain each year, which is less than the rest of the country. Temperature variations are also linked to the height of various locations. The climate on the Highveld is moderate and seldom too hot, while the Lowveld may reach temperatures of about 40 degrees in the summer.

Geography

Eswatini is situated on a fault that extends north from Lesotho’s Drakensberg Mountains, through Zimbabwe’s Eastern highlands, and into Kenya’s Great Rift Valley.

Eswatini is a tiny landlocked monarchy bordered on the north, west, and south by the Republic of South Africa, and on the east by Mozambique. Eswatini covers 17,364 km2 of land. Eswatini is divided into four geographical areas. These are defined by height and run from north to south. Eswatini’s latitude and longitude are about 26°30’S and 31°30’E. Eswatini’s landscapes are diverse, ranging from mountains near the Mozambican border to savannas in the east to rain forest in the northwest. The Great Usutu River, for example, runs across the nation.

The Lubombo, a mountain crest at a height of approximately 600 meters, runs along the eastern border with Mozambique. The Ngwavuma, Usutu, and Mbuluzi rivers all have gorges that cut through the highlands. This is the heartland of cattle ranching. Eswatini’s western border, at an average elevation of 1200 meters, is on the brink of an escarpment. Rivers flow through steep valleys between the mountains. The capital, Mbabane, is situated on the Highveld.

The Middleveld, at an average elevation of 700 meters above sea level, is Eswatini’s most densely inhabited area, with lesser rainfall than the highlands. The Middleveld is home to Manzini, the main commercial and industrial center.

At approximately 250 meters above sea level, Eswatini’s Lowveld is less inhabited than other regions and resembles a classic African bush country with thorn trees and grasslands. The epidemic of malaria hampered the region’s development in the early days.

Demographics

The bulk of Eswatini’s population is Swazi, with a minor number of Zulu and White Africans, mainly of British and Afrikaner ancestry, making up the remainder. Swazis have traditionally been subsistence farmers and herders, but the majority now combine these pursuits with employment in the expanding urban formal sector and government. Some Swazis labor in South African mines.

Eswatini also took in Portuguese immigrants and Mozambican African refugees. Eswatini’s Christianity is often blended with indigenous beliefs and customs. Many traditionalists think that most Swazis see the monarch as having a unique spiritual function.

Eswatini inhabitants have almost the lowest recorded life expectancy in the world, with 50.54 years, which is greater than just four other nations. This is attributable to the consequences of excess mortality related to AIDS.

Religion

Christianity is the most prevalent religion in Eswatini, with 83 percent of the people following it. The bulk of Christians (40%) are Anglican, Protestant, and indigenous African denominations, including African Zionists, with Roman Catholicism accounting for 20% of the population. Ellinah Wamukoya was elected Anglican Bishop of Eswatini on July 18, 2012, becoming Africa’s first female bishop. Traditional faiths are followed by 15% of the population; other non-Christian religions practiced in the nation include Islam (1%), the Bahá’ Faith (0.5%), and Hinduism (1%). (0.2 percent ). There are 14 Jewish households in the neighborhood.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Eswatini

The official language of business is English. It is recommended that visitors acquire a bit of the native language, SiSwati (also known as Swazi), which is virtually entirely spoken in rural regions.

Swazis are very devoted to the King and Royalty, so be careful what you say out loud.

Eswatini is mainly Christian, and humility is emphasized in clothing.

Swazis hold on to their ancient customs, which are being practiced today. Many people who are sick may visit a sangoma to identify the source of their sickness and an inyanga to suggest a therapy. Discriminating against these people or referring to them as witch doctors is the height of disrespect.

Traditional culture and traditions are still alive in Eswatini, as they are in much of Africa, and national parks and reserves are the most significant attractions.

Internet & Communications in Eswatini

Cellphone coverage is comparable to that of South Africa, with service available even in most nature reserves (although it might be weak). In Eswatini, there is just one cellular operator, MTN-Swazi. South African SIM cards will not function here unless they are MTN and roaming has been activated. Almost any petrol station or grocery shop will sell you a starting pack with an MTN-Swazi sim card. To obtain a pack, you don’t need evidence of residency or identification.

Although there is coverage, the phone service is poor, with many calls failing to connect (or connecting to the incorrect phone number), SMSes failing to arrive, and international calling costs more than in South Africa.

If you don’t use your Starter Pack sim card within 30 days, it will expire, and you won’t be able to use it in South Africa.

Entry Requirements For Eswatini

Visa & Passport

For stays of 30 days or less, foreign citizens of the following countries/territories do not need a visa: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, East Timor, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi

If there is no Eswatini diplomatic station where you legally live, you may be able to apply for a visa at a British embassy, high commission, or consulate in the nation where you legally reside. For example, Eswatini visa applications are accepted by British embassies in Al Khobar, Amman, Belgrade, Budapest, Cairo, Damascus, Guatemala City, Helsinki, Jeddah, Prague, Pristina, Rabat, Riga, Riyadh, Rome, Sofia, Tallinn, Vienna, Warsaw, and Zagreb (this list is not exhaustive). A Swaziland visa application costs £50 to complete, plus an additional £70 if the Eswatini authorities need the visa application to be forwarded to them. If you communicate directly with Eswatini’s authorities, they may opt to charge you an extra cost.

How To Travel To Eswatini

By plane

Matsapha Airport, approximately 1km north of Manzini and a few kilometers west of the route connecting Manzini and Mbabane, is Swaziland’s sole presently operational international airport. Airlink Eswatini flies from Johannesburg to Eswatini (South Africa). At the airport, there is also a modest vehicle rental station and a snack store. A hotspot was recently built, enabling anybody with a WiFi or Wireless LAN enabled computer or PDA to access the internet for free from anywhere in the building. 

By bus

The majority of public bus routes arrive in Mbabane or Manzini. Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town in South Africa, as well as Maputo in Mozambique, are served by smaller bus lines or minibuses.

Larger buses typically travel inside the nation, with some stopping at border crossings where passengers must connect with an onward trip unless a group ticket for a large bus is made.

The Eswatini-based  siyeSwatini TransMagnific offers scheduled road travel to and from Swaziland on a daily basis. The Johannesburg airport is one of the stops. Unlike public transportation, the TransMagnific minibuses are customized for enhanced comfort and safety. Because the size of the minibus is determined by the number of reservations for that journey, the bus may prove to be very uncomfortable. They ask that reservations and payments be made at least one day ahead to departure so that your food can be prepared and the movie selection for the +-5-hour journey can be made. Meals, on the other hand, are given randomly among the passengers; some receive a pack, while others don’t. Expect a four-hour wait if the motorist collides with another car on the highway.

The South African Baz Bus, an independent route aimed at backpackers, used to make frequent stops in Eswatini, passing via South Africa on its way to different hostels and hotels. They no longer do as of July 2016. Baz Bus and TransMagnific are the safest options for traveling into and out of South Africa to and from Swaziland. In South Africa, all minibuses arrive at Johannesburg bus terminals, which may be hazardous.

By car

Border crossings between South Africa and Swaziland may be congested depending on the season. Because it is the most popular border post, the Ngwenya/Oshoek Border Post (on the N17/MR3 from Ermelo to Mbabane) is always packed on long weekends and holidays. Other border checkpoints, such the one near Amsterdam (Nerston) and Jeppes Reef, are a suitable option and are readily accessible with standard 2x4s.

If you’re coming from South Africa, visit the Department of Home Affairs website for information on border crossings and their hours of operation.

How To Travel Around Eswatini

In Eswatini, the majority of transport is done by vehicle or minibus.

Kombis, or minibuses, are common, although they may be perplexing. These are tiny vans that, like comparable forms of transportation throughout the globe such as the jitney, matatu, or dolmus, collect as many passengers as possible while moving in a general direction. These vans are often driven by relatively young men in Swaziland, and most have helpers who estimate and collect fares, inquire about your route, and change money.

As of January 2008, prices vary from SZL5 for 5 minute rides to SZL10 for 30 minute journeys to SZL30 for longer trips. It’s very improbable that you’ll get overcharged.

Expect packed seats, loud radios, and sometimes erratic driving. If bigger Sprinter vans are available, they are a safer and quicker option.

Minibuses are frequently flagged down on major highways. Larger cities are often used as minibus hubs or linkages. Manzini, Mbabane, Pigg’s Peak, Nhlangano, Siteki, and Big Bend are also major centers. Finding the right bus may be difficult, so if you’re having trouble, inquire quietly. The front bumpers of kombis usually have destinations inscribed on them. Young guys will shout out the destinations and be helpful in directing you to the proper kombi at a bus station (or bus queue), but always double verify with the passengers. You will be encouraged to keep an eye on your things, since such locations, such as all bus terminals throughout the globe, have disproportionately higher crime rates. At night, stay clear from these bus stops.

Traveling after dark is very tough. The only other alternative is to take a cab. Keep a few of taxi driver’s phone numbers on hand if you’re staying in Mbabane or Manzini. Taxi drivers have a tendency to overcharge.

Destinations in Eswatini

Cities in Eswatini

  • Mbabane – capital
  • Lobamba – royal and legislative capital
  • Manzini – major business centre
  • Big Bend
  • Piggs Peak – in northern Swaziland, third city by size
  • Nhlangano – Capital of Shiselweni region and fourth city by size

Other destinations in Eswatini

  • Mkhaya Game Reserve
  • Hlane Royal National Park
  • Malolotja Nature Reserve
  • Mantenga Nature Reserve
  • Mlilwane Game Reserve
  • Mlawula Nature Reserve
  • Siteki

Accommodation & Hotels in Eswatini

Eswatini is a tiny nation with easy access to all parts of the country in a single day.

If you’re on a budget, check out Veki’s Guesthouse or Grifter’s Backpackers in Mbabane, where a bunk is about SZL120 per night. It’s uncertain whether the latter is still in existence. If you want to go all out, rent a stay at the Mountain Inn, which offers excellent accommodations, amenities, and recreational possibilities.

The most popular hotels in Swaziland are found in the Ezulwini Valley, which is between the two main towns of Mbabane and Manzini. (Don’t forget to stop by the roadside booths along the route to pick up some lovely local crafts.) The Royal Sun Swazi is the epitome of luxury, with four bars, a restaurant, a casino, golf, swimming, tennis, and 411 rooms and suites. The Royal Villas, located in Ezulwini, are very opulent, with 56 rooms distributed over 14 villas with great cuisine, ambience, and recreational facilities. The Ezulwini sun also has great amenities at a reasonable price. Sundowners Backpackers is a cheap alternative, with individual rooms starting at about E200, dormitories at SZL120, and camping from SZL70 per night.

At Manananga, Mhlume, and Simunye, you’ll discover pleasant, well-appointed country clubs on your way down to the Mozambique border.

Food & Drinks in Eswatini

Food in Eswatini

Traditional cuisine, as well as contemporary convenience food based on traditional components, are still widely accessible at Swazi grocery shops.

Mealie or pap (akin to porridge) is a staple, and maize-based recipes are popular. Beans, groundnuts, pumpkin, avocado, and sour milk are all often used. At tourist eateries, dried and prepared native meats such as antelope (often referred to as “wild meat” by locals) are frequently available.

Chicken dust is an inexpensive local barbecue meal consisting of grilled chicken served with salad and mealie. It is very popular among locals and is incredibly tasty. Of course, since it’s street food, take the necessary precautions.

Roadside vendors often sell sweet pastries, veggies, and fruits. If you’re in the mood for spaghetti, imported olive oil, Nestle chocolate, Herbal Essences, or Carlsberg, go over to Manzini’s Hub: a massive Spar with everything you could possibly need (at an appropriately inflated price). There are many coffee shops and eateries in the Hub’s vicinity; however, you must pay to use the toilets, which are situated separately down the stairs. Along with the omnipresent KFC, Manzini’s busy markets and small stores provide a wide variety of unique cuisine.

Drinks in Eswatini

During the marula season, when the fruits of the same-named tree mature between December and March, marula is brewed locally. Because it is home-brewed, it may be difficult to locate; ask locals for help.

Eswatini has a thriving nightlife that includes everything from traditional dances to pubs and nightclubs. The Royal Swazi hotel has four bars if you’re staying in Ezulwini. If you’re in the Malkerns region, the House on Fire is a must-see: local art, national and local DJs, an open-air setting, and live performances.

Money & Shopping in Eswatini

Eswatini’s lilangeni (plural: “emalangeni”) currency, the SZL, is pegged to the South African rand at par. When it comes to banknotes, Swaziland accepts and makes change for both currencies indiscriminately, but not for coins. This is not the case in South Africa, therefore if you intend to travel there, you should request rand in exchange for emalangeni from banks in Mbabane or Manzini: confirmation of identification is needed. Your emalangeni cannot be exchanged at Johannesburg Airport or in the United Kingdom. No South African merchants will accept emalangeni, while all Swazi sellers will accept Rand.

The operators of Swaziland’s kombis will not accept Rand coinage while traveling.

There are a few tiny shops selling anything from Swazi foods to Swazi wooden carvings and handcrafted bags.

Drinks in Eswatini

During the marula season, when the fruits of the same-named tree mature between December and March, marula is brewed locally. Because it is home-brewed, it may be difficult to locate; ask locals for help.

Eswatini has a thriving nightlife that includes everything from traditional dances to pubs and nightclubs. The Royal Swazi hotel has four bars if you’re staying in Ezulwini. If you’re in the Malkerns region, the House on Fire is a must-see: local art, national and local DJs, an open-air setting, and live performances.

Culture Of Eswatini

The homestead, a traditional beehive house covered with dried grass, is the most important Swazi social unit. Each woman has her own hut and yard surrounded by reed fences in a polygamous household. Sleeping, cooking, and storage are all divided into three buildings (brewing beer). There are additional buildings used as bachelors’ quarters and guest accommodations on bigger homesteads.

The cow byre, a circular area surrounded by huge logs interspersed with branches, is the heart of the traditional farmhouse. As a repository of riches and a symbol of status, the cow byre has both ceremonial and utilitarian importance. It has grain pits that are sealed. The large cottage in front of the cow byre is inhabited by the headman’s mother.

The headman is in charge of everything on the farm, and he is often polygamous. He leads by example and counsels his wife on all domestic matters, as well as ensuring the family’s overall survival. He also spends time socializing with the young boys, many of whom are his kids or close relatives, and giving them advice on what it means to grow up and become a man.

The Sangoma is a traditional diviner who is selected by the family’s ancestors. The Sangoma’s training is known as “kwetfwasa.” A graduation ceremony is held at the conclusion of the course, when all of the local sangoma gather for eating and dancing. The diviner is consulted for a variety of purposes, including determining the cause of illness or death. His diagnosis is based on “kubhula,” a trance-based method of communicating with natural abilities. The bone throwing ability (“kushaya ematsambo”) is utilized by the Inyanga (a medical and pharmaceutical expert in western terminology) to identify the source of the illness.

The Incwala ritual is Eswatini’s most significant cultural event. It takes place on the fourth day following the full moon closest to the longest day of the year, which is December 21. The King’s taste of the fresh crop is just one element of Incwala’s lengthy spectacle, which is frequently translated as ‘first fruits ritual.’ Incwala is best translated as ‘Kingship Ceremony,’ since there is no Incwala without a king. Any other individual who holds an Incwala is committing high treason.

Every Swazi is welcome to participate in the Incwala’s public areas. The fourth day of the Big Incwala marks the event’s culmination. The King, Queen Mother, royal spouses and children, royal governors (indunas), chiefs, regiments, and the “bemanti” or “water people” are all important characters.

The annual Umhlanga Reed Dance is Swaziland’s most well-known cultural event. Girls cut reeds and give them to the queen mother before dancing during the eight-day event. (There isn’t a competition in the traditional sense.) It is completed at the end of August or the beginning of September. Only childless and unmarried females are eligible to participate. The ceremony’s goals are to maintain girls’ virginity, provide tribute labor for the Queen mother, and promote unity via teamwork. The royal family selects a commoner maiden as the girls’ “induna” (captain), and she announces the ceremony’s dates over the radio. She will be a skilled dancer who is also well-versed in royal etiquette. Her counterpart will be one of the King’s daughters.

Today’s Reed Dance is a development of the traditional “umchwasho” custom, rather than an ancient ritual. All young girls in “umchwasho” were assigned to a female age group. If a girl got pregnant outside of marriage, her family had to pay the local chief a fee of one cow. When the girls were of marriageable age, they would do labor duty for the Queen Mother, which would be followed by dancing and feasting. Until August 19, 2005, the nation was subjected to the “umchwasho” chastity ritual.

Eswatini is also well-known for its robust handicrafts sector. Eswatini’s formalized handmade companies employ approximately 2,500 people, the majority of whom are women (per TechnoServe Swaziland Handcrafts Impact Study,” February 2011). The items are one-of-a-kind and represent Eswatini’s culture, ranging from kitchenware to creative décor to intricate glass, stone, and wood artwork.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Eswatini

Stay Safe in Eswatini

Eswatini has a much lower crime rate than the rest of the area. However, try to remain in areas with a lot of other people.

Hippopotamuses may be found in the country’s rivers (occasionally) and are one of the most hazardous creatures you’ll encounter. They are very quick, as well as highly strong and possessing huge, powerful jaws. They spend the day underwater in shallow water, but come out to feed at night. They may be unpredictable, possessive of their young, and possessive of their territory. Do not go in the way of a hippo in the water.

When swimming in rivers, crocodiles are a more frequent threat.

Eswatini also boasts one of the world’s highest rates of lightning strikes per capita, and it is common to know (or know of) someone who has been hit by lightning.

Crossing any of Eswatini’s nineteen border gates with caution. It is illegal to bring meat into specific regions, and troops have the authority to examine you and your car thoroughly. Getting into ‘No-Land,’ Man’s a 5km area of land between Mozambique and Swaziland, is very dangerous; troops patrolling the borders of the two countries have shot and killed many people.

While physical violence is uncommon (unless on weekends when many people drink large amounts of brandy or marula, a very intoxicating alcoholic beverage), walking about alone after dark is not recommended, especially outside Mbabane and Manzini, where street lighting is scarce. Keep your money concealed and don’t consume costly meals in front of the locals if you’re working or traveling in poor rural regions, especially if you’re feeding AIDS kids via the Sebenta school program.

Outside of settlements, the roads are mainly dirt. Town roads are riddled with potholes. While the major roads in Eswatini are usually in excellent condition, four-wheel drive is required to explore most of the country, unless you want to be stuck miles from anything with a spotty phone connection due to the scarcity of mobile telephone towers. Others, especially HGVs, often overtake without warning or checking for oncoming traffic. With more than a full quota of passengers, ‘Kombis,’ local minibuses that double as taxis, travel at a neck-or-nothing rate.

Stay Healthy in Eswatini

Eswatini has the world’s highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, with almost one in every three people infected. Never engage in unprotected sexual activity. If you chance to fall in love in Eswatini, demand an HIV test before proceeding.

If you visit contaminated streams, you’re at danger for bilharzia, and malaria is a seasonal concern in Eswatini’s north-east, near Mozambique. If mosquito nets and repellent are required, be sure you use them.

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