Information & Facts
In Swaziland business etiquette is quite informal, however
lightweight suits are recommended for meetings. Entertaining and
meetings often take place outdoors due to a temperate climate.
Appointments should be made in advance and business cards carried
for identification. Handshakes are the normal form of greeting for
both men and women. Meetings are not restricted to business matters
only and may take a while over prolonged lunches. Business hours
are generally 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken at
Conditions in Swaziland vary according to altitude, with the
higher areas being generally cloudy, misty and several degrees
cooler than the rest of the country. The mountainous region in the
west, where most tourists spend their time, is humid and wet, the
rain falling in occasional violent storms. In the middle and
lowland regions conditions are drier, the climate ranging from
sub-tropical to tropical as one moves east. The rainy season is
generally between October and May and is warm and wet, while cooler
and drier conditions prevail from June to September.
The international dialling code for Swaziland is +268 and the
outgoing code 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027
for South Africa). The city code (0)67 is used for Villaverde de
Guadealimar only. The country is covered by a GSM 900 mobile
network, and an Internet service provider is active. Post offices
open weekdays from 8am to 5pm, and Saturdays 8am to 11am. Public
telephones are well distributed through the towns and villages.
Homosexuality is illegal.
Travellers to Swaziland do not have to pay duty on 400
cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250g tobacco; 1 bottle alcoholic beverage
(up to 0.75 litres) and 284ml of perfume. For goods re-imported to
the country, travellers must complete a DA65 or NEP-form. Married
couples travelling together are allowed free import for one
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. The plug type
used is a 15-amp round, three-pin plug as used in South
For health purposes, travellers arriving in Swaziland within six
days of having been in a yellow fever infected area require a
vaccination certificate. Hepatitis A, rabies, polio and typhoid
vaccinations are recommended, as are malaria prevention measures
for those visiting the lowland areas. Bilharzia exists in some
rivers, and cholera outbreaks occur. There is an extremely high
HIV/AIDS infection rate and all precautions should be taken. Mains
water in hotels and towns is safe to drink and food, including
dairy products, presents no risk. Medical facilities are poor in
the country, but the tourist hotels offer private services for
minor problems. Serious cases can be transported to South Africa
for treatment. Medical insurance is recommended.
The official languages are Siswati and
The official currency is the Lilangeni (SZL), plural Emalangeni,
which is equal to 100 cents. The South African Rand is also
accepted as legal tender (notes only) and is pegged to the
Lilangeni (L1=R1). Visitors should exchange any Emalangeni they
have left back into their own currency before leaving the country.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted and are best taken in US
Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling, to avoid high commission.
American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Banks
are generally open Monday to Friday, and some banks are open on
Saturdays. Visa ATM machines are available in the main towns.
All visitors require a passport, tickets and documents for
return or onward travel, and sufficient funds to cover their stay.
Travellers wishing to stay longer than two months may obtain a
Temporary Residence Permit from the Chief Immigration Officer at
Mbabane prior to expiration of visa-free travel. It is highly
recommended that passports have at least six months validity
remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel
destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to
those stated by travel agents and official sources.
The crime rate is low and most visits are trouble free. It is
wise, however, to take precautions against theft, and avoid
travelling by road at night as tehre is a danger of hijacking.
Local time is GMT +2.
Service charges are not normally included in bills, but tips of
10% are customary.