Between Mozambique and South Africa lies one of the smallest but most beautiful countries in the world, Eswatini, which was called Swaziland until 2018. Unlike its larger neighbor, it has been largely spared racial strife, and is characterized by national pride and a rich cultural history. Those who are here during the Incwala or Umhlanga festivals will surely remember this experience as the highlight of the trip. A big draw are the residents of Eswatini who, despite their own worries, are very hospitable and easygoing towards visitors. In 2018 Eswatini celebrated 50 years of independence from Great Britain. On this occasion, the King Mswati III proclaimed. the renaming of Swaziland to the Kingdom of eSwatini. The new name means “Land of the Swazi” in the Swazi language. Eswatini’s nature reserves and game reserves are among the most beautiful areas in southern Africa. There are numerous opportunities to spot animals; However, safaris here are much more reserved than in the large national parks of South Africa. Here you can also observe the shy and almost extinct black rhino in the wild.
Arriving by plane
According to top-medical-schools, there are no direct flights to Eswatini from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Eswatini’s national carrier, Eswatini Airlink (4Z), offers daily flights between Johannesburg (South Africa) and Manzini. South African Airways (SA) flies non-stop to Johannesburg from Frankfurt/M. and Munich; Feeder flights to Frankfurt/M. from Vienna with Austrian Airlines (OS) and from Zurich with Swiss (LX). Swiss (LX) flies in code share with South African Airways (SA) from Zurich to Johannesburg; Feeder flights to Zurich from Vienna with Austrian Airlines (OS).
Frankfurt/M. – Manzini: 13 hours 10 minutes; Vienna – Manzini: 16 hours 25 minutes; Zurich – Manzini: 14 hours 20 minutes (each with 1 or 2 stops).
A fee of approximately €1.25 (20 SZL) is payable on departure. Children under the age of 3 and transit travelers are exempt from this.
Arrival by car
There are numerous border crossings into South Africa and good road links to Johannesburg, Durban and northern Zululand, among others. Long-distance buses: Blue Serve offer bus shuttles between Johannesburg and Manzini (journey time: 6 hours) and Mbabane (journey time: 5 hours). There are bus connections between Mbabane and Maputo (Mozambique) several times a week. Toll: A flat-rate road user fee of around €3 (50 SZL) has to be paid at the border when entering the country by car. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Arrival by train
The cross-border rail traffic is used exclusively for the transport of goods; there is no passenger transport.
Traveling by plane
There are no domestic flights in Eswatini.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a total length of approx. 3,800 km and is relatively well developed. Driving at night is generally discouraged, since pedestrians or larger animals such as cows are often on the road and cannot be recognized in good time in the dark. Toll: A flat-rate road user fee of around €3 (50 SZL) has to be paid at the border when entering the country by car. There are enough gas stations and they are open between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. or all day.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Tarred roads or good gravel roads connect the larger towns and lead to the border towns of South Africa and Mozambique. However, many roads are narrow and winding. Unpaved roads are best navigated with four-wheel drive, especially during the rainy season (Oct-March).
Car hire is available at the airport, Mbabane and Manzini. Minimum age: 23 years. Deposit or credit card payment required.
Private taxis are available in the cities. The price should be agreed before departure. It is best to call a taxi from the hotel. In addition, minibus shared taxis operate almost everywhere, and they can often be stopped on the way. The shared taxis are cheaper, but also often very slow because there is always a wait until they are full.
Bikes can be hired in Hlane Royal National Park and Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary for the local mountain bike trails. It is not advisable to ride a bike in cities.
Eswatini has an extensive bus network that connects towns and villages. However, the buses are often overcrowded.
Traffic regulations: – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – extra-urban: 80 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns and accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should always be contacted first.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Traveling in the city
Manzini can be explored by bus, minibus or taxi; the small city center also on foot.
Rail traffic is reserved for the transport of goods; there is no passenger transport.