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Zanzibar east coastline. 
Photo by Sherrie Wenzel

Swaziland Facts

Political Climate
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a Monarchy. King Mswati III is the sovereign head of the Kingdom of Swaziland. The affairs of the country are administered by the Prime Minister and Cabinet through a Parliament of elected members.

Geography
Situated in Southern Africa, the Kingdom of Swaziland is landlocked in the east by Mozambique and on the other borders by South Africa. The country's highest point is Emlembe at 1862m and the lowest at the Usuthu River at 21m. The country has a wide range of habitats and great variations in flora and fauna. Swaziland is roughly 17,363 sq. km. (6,704 sq. miles); slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Capital
Mbabane

Languages
English, Swati, Tsonga, and Zulu

Currency
The currency of Swaziland is the Lilangeni (SZL). It can be divided into 100 cents. Also there are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent pieces. Banknotes can be found in 1 lilangeni, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200s, but the 2 and the 5 banknotes have since been turned into coins. The plural form of lilangeni is Emalangeni. The South African Rand is also accepted in Swaziland.

People & Population
The estimated population of Swaziland is 1,173,900. Drive along any road in Swaziland and you will likely see many Swazi's dressed in colorful costume, featuring a bright toga-like garmnet - the mahiya. You may also meet Swazi warriors carrying battle-axes. The women that you encounter may sport the traditional "beehive" hairstyle, which is still very popular today. For all the modernization that has come to Swaziland, the people have preserved their age-old culture and traditional ceremonies. The two most important and colorful of these, in the eyes of Swazi's and foreigners alike, are the Incwala in December and the Umhlanga in late August or early September.

Entry Requirements
U.S citizens do no require a visa for a stay up to two months. All visitors require a passport, tickets and documents for return or onward travel, and sufficient funds to cover their stay. Travelers 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. Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travelers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.

Health
Major health problems include bilharzia, typhoid, tapeworm, gastroenteritis, malaria, kwashiorkor, and pellagra. In 1999, there were an estimated 564 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it. Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling. CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. Find a travel medicine clinic near you. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons. Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Swaziland, the government requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling to one of these countries where yellow fever is present before arriving in Swaziland, this requirement must be taken into consideration. Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Check the links below to see which vaccinations adults and children should get. Other vaccinations travelers should get are Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Rabies. Also take the needed medications or vaccines for Malaria.

Communications
International telephone calls are easy to make, and there is a mobile phone communications infrastructure. The international code for the Kingdom of Swaziland is +268. There are e-mail centers and Internet Cafes in Mbabane and Manzini.

Electricity
220V AC, 50Hz and three-pin plugs are used with round terminals.

Climate and Best Time to Travel
Swaziland has a subtropical climate with summer temperature of 15 degrees to 25 degrees Centigrade and 15 degrees to 19 degrees in winter. The rainfall at higher altitudes varies from 1000 to 1600mm while in the lower areas it is between 500 and 600mm.

More Information: Tourist Websites
Tourist Information:

http://www.welcometoswaziland.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=36&Itemid=41&limit=10&limitstart=30

http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationSwaziland.aspx