ABOUT Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, Swaziland more than makes up for its lack of size with a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities. As Africa's last remaining absolute monarchy, culture and heritage are deeply engrained in all aspects of Swazi life, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit. The most sought-after hotels in Swaziland tend to be located in Ezulwini Valley between the two major cities, Mbabane and Manzini. (Don't forget to pick up beautiful local crafts from the roadside stalls on the way.) With four bars, a restaurant, a casino, golf, swimming, tennis and 411 rooms and suites, the Royal Sun Swazi epitomises luxury. The Royal Villas, also found in Ezulwini, spread 56 rooms across 14 villas and are extremely luxurious, offering excellent food, atmosphere and leisure facilities. The Ezulwini sun offers excellent facilities, also, at mid-range prices.
And, if you're heading down towards the Mozambique border, you'll find comfortable, well-appointed country clubs at Manananga, Mhlume and Simunye. As well as the rich culture, the overwhelming friendliness of the people makes all visitors feel truly welcome and very safe. Add to that a stunning landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains; plus wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five, and you have all that’s best about Africa in one small but perfectly formed and welcoming country.
CLIMATE The climate is moderate, ranging from subtropical to temperate depending on the altitude. June and September is cool and dry, while October and May are warm and wet. Higher elevations are generally cloudy, mist-covered and about 10 C cooler than the rest of the country.
BEWARE You should avoid travelling into or out of Swaziland by road at night. There have been numerous incidences of car hijacking on major routes from South Africa and Mozambique. The level of crime is low in Swaziland. But street crimes and burglaries do occur, sometimes involving violence. There have also been incidents of vehicles being taken at gunpoint. Avoid walking in the downtown areas of Mbabane and Manzini after dark and do not picnic in remote rural areas unless in a large group. Keep valuables in a safe place and avoid carrying large amounts of money or wearing conspicuous jewellery. Do not use public transport (buses and taxis). Vehicles are, generally, poorly maintained and overloaded. Be wary of anyone who offers you help if you breakdown or need to change a tyre as it presents the opportunity for theft, muggings and hijackings. You should park in well-lit areas. Do not pick up strangers. Do not stop to assist apparently distressed motorists, as this is a technique sometimes used by hijackers.