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COUNTRY INFORMATION FOR TRAVELERS

Swaziland is a malaria-free area.

Banking
The four commercial banks operate from 08h30 to 15h30 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h30 on Saturdays. Travellers´ cheques may be exchanged at banks and hotels and all the major credit cards are accepted. Most of the banks have automatic teller machines.

Border hours

Border Post
Time
Oshoek - Ngwenya 07h00 - 22h00
Nerston - Sandlane 08h00 - 18h00
Houdkop - Sicunusa 08h00 - 18h00
Bothashoop - Gege 08h00 - 16h00
Mahamba - Mahamba 07h00 - 22h00
Onverwacht - Salitje 08h00 - 16h00
Golela - Lavumisa 07h00 - 22h00
Bordergate - Mananga 07h00 - 18h00
Jeppe´s Reef - Matsamo 07h00 - 20h00
Josefdal - Bulembu 08h00 - 16h00
Namaacha - Lomahasha 07h00 - 20h00

Currency
Swaziland is part of the Rand Monetary Area. The currency, the Lilangeni (plural Emalangeni), is interchangeable with the South African Rand, but only the notes are considered legal tender throughout the Kingdom of Swaziland. Although South African Rands are accepted currency in Swaziland, Emalangeni are not accepted in South Africa; so do ensure to change your Emalangeni back to South African Rand before leaving the country. The commercial banks deal in foreign exchange and travellers’ cheques, while the major shops, hotels and service outlets accept international credit cards.
One Lilangeni = One Rand

Clothing
Dress is generally casual by day and casual to smart in the evenings, depending on the venue. Shorts, t-shirts and sundresses are acceptable. At Royal Kraals ladies must wear dresses – a colourful Swazi sarong is acceptable and a good excuse to buy one! Pack jerseys for cooler evenings and coats may be necessary in the Highveld during winter. Visitors should take sports and swim wear and for walkers, a good pair of suitable shoes is essential ….. our Botanical Garden is easily accessible without the need for heavy walking gear! We have a few walking trails clearly marked out for you so you can observe and enjoy the full beauty of the garden.

Climate
Swaziland has one of the most pleasant climates in the world and due to the countries’ four distinct regions, visitors will experience significant differences in temperature within a small area. With a mild summer and winter, the climate in Swaziland is mostly pleasant all year. Rain is more frequent from October to May, but with plenty of sunshine, low humidity and temperatures around 25°C (77°F). Winters can get quite cold at night but are relatively dry. Closer to Mozambique in the lowlands, conditions become more tropical. The three regions are sub-tropical and also have wet summers and dry winters. Here summer temperatures can become very high, while the winters are mild and very pleasant.
The Highveld-region has a temperate climate of warm, wet summers and dry winters, when the temperature can rise quite sharply during the day but with cold nights. Snowfalls sometimes occur on the higher ground, but this is extremely rare.

Average temperatures

Spring September - October 20 degrees Celsius
Summer November - March 25 degrees Celsius
Autumn April - May 20 degrees Celsius
Winter June - August 15 degrees Celsius

Driving in Swaziland
Traffic travels on the left side of the road. Foreign driving licences are valid provided they show a photograph of the holder.

Electricity
220.240 volt AC, the plugs are three pin, but adaptors for two pin plugs are widely available.

Food
Swaziland offers many fine restaurants. The price of a meal in a restaurant varies from restaurant to restaurant. Food in most restaurants in general is reasonable. Swaziland is fortunate to be recognised as one of the very few countries in Africa where it is safe to drink tap water in the main city centres.

Fuel
Filling stations generally operate a 24 hour service, 7 days a week.

Gratuities / Tipping
As in most countries, tipping in Swaziland is a welcome gesture. You will find that a 10% tip in appreciation of pleasant, friendly and efficient service will be much appreciated.

Language
Siswati and English are the official languages while English is the medium of instruction in all schools and is widely understood.
To speak a few words of SiSwati can be very useful and the Swazi people, already very friendly, will enjoy your efforts. Here are a few words to guide you through your stay in Swaziland:

(greeting - singular) Sawubona `Good day`
(greeting - plural) Sanibonani `Good day to you all!`
(response – singular) Yebo `Yes, good day to you`
(greeting - singular) Unjani? `How are you`
(greeting - plural) Ninjani? `How are you all?`
(response - singular) Ngikhona, unjani wena `I am well, how are you?`
(response - plural) Sikhona, ninjani nine? `We are well, how are you all?`
(response - singular) Nami ngiyaphila `I am well too`
(response - plural) Natsi siyaphila `We are also well!`
(appreciation - plural) Siyabonga `We thank you`
(appreciation - singular) Ngiyabonga `I thank you`
(farewell) Salakahle `Stay well`
(farewell) Hambakahle `Go well`

Medical care and Private Clinics
There is good medical care available in Mbabane where there is a private hospital and both Manzini and Ezulwini have private clinics. There is a medical emergency team available (including a helicopter service) to take people to South African specialist hospitals. Most foreign health insurances are accepted but we recommend that you have a good travel insurance that includes medical care.

Photography
Taking pictures in Swaziland is usually not a problem. It is considered polite to ask first.

Post Offices
Most postal services are available throughout the country and are open from 08h30 to 16h00 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays.

Public Holidays

1 January New Years Day
14-17 April Easter Holiday
25 April National Flag Day
1 May Workers Day
25 May Ascension Day
22 July King Sobhuza II’s Birthday
Aug/Sept Umhlanga Reed Dance
6 September Independence Day
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Boxing Day
Dec/Jan Incwala Day

These dates remain the same irrespective of the day of the week on which they fall. Other public holiday dates differ each year.

Religion
Swaziland is predominantly Christian, with Zionists being the largest denomination. There are Bahai temples, mosques for the Muslim faith and places of worship for people of the Jewish religion.

Safety and Security
Swaziland is known as a safe country and is blessed with a low crime rate. Tourists in Swaziland are generally safe in any part of the country.

Airport Tax
On departure from Matsapha Airport, Manzini, all passengers must pay an airport tax of E50.00

Road Tax
A road tax of E50 is payable upon entering Swaziland for non-Swazi registered cars.

Taxis and Shuttle Busses
Taxis operate from the Matsapha international airport to most destinations. We provide our guests with a convenient, reliable and comfortable shuttle service to and from the Airport. Car hire services are available; let us know if you would like us to arrange a rental car for you.

Visas & Immigration Requirements
All visitors to Swaziland require a valid passport or travel document. Visitors from the United Kingdom and most British Commonwealth countries, including African states, do NOT require visas. Do not proceed to Swaziland without establishing your visa status. Visitors who wish to remain in the country for more than 60 days must apply for a temporary residence permit from the Chief Immigration Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Mbabane, or from a Swazi diplomatic mission in the country of origin.


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