Swaziland Country Report
The tiny southern African kingdom of Swaziland (population 1.4 million), landlocked by its neighbors South Africa and Mozambique, presents a low risk to travelers.
The country is generally safe. However, it is advisable to avoid esplanades in downtown Mbabane and Manzini after nightfall due to the risk of mugging. Furthermore, protests and demonstrations do periodically occur, often triggered by poor economic conditions. All rallies should be avoided.
Road conditions are generally satisfactory throughout the country, but it best to avoid driving at night: streets may be poorly lit and the presence of wild animals may pose a threat. It should also be noted that a new international airport – King Mswati III International Airport – was opened in Manzini in March 2014.
Health conditions in Swaziland are mediocre at best; it should be particularly noted that malaria (zone 3) is ubiquitous throughout the country. Furthermore, a staggeringly high percentage of the adult population (one-fourth) is HIV-positive. Life expectancy is 50 years, one of thelowest on the planet.
To protect themselves against insect-borne diseases, travelers are strongly advised to use a mosquito net and insect repellent and to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants while in the country. Taking antimalarial medication is also recommended during shorter visits. To avoid diseases contracted through the consumption of contaminated food and drinks, never drink tap water (only purified or bottled water), do not accept drinks with ice cubes, and eat only thoroughly cooked foods; fruits and vegetables should be peeled prior to consumption. Visitors should be careful not to walk barefoot in stagnant water or swim in bodies of fresh water; the parasitic disease schistosomiasis can be contracted in certain rivers. Finally, cases of dengue fever and rabies are sometimes reported.
Hospitals in Mbabane provide good quality health care, but the most serious cases are nevertheless transferred to South Africa for treatment due to a lack of equipment and healthcare professionals, which are particularly concerning in rural zones.
Swaziland's climate is subtropical and dry. The dry season begins in mid-April and lasts until mid-October. Days are hot and sunny while nights are cool, even cold between May and August. The rainy season lasts from late October until late March. Rainfall is very heavy in the Highveld (west of the country).
Useful NumbersCountry Code: +268
There are no emergency services in Swaziland.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz