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Mbabane

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Mbabane is the capital city of Eswatini (Swaziland). It houses Sibebe Rock, one of the biggest mountains in Africa. It sits on the banks of the Mbabane River and its tributary the Polinjane River in the Mdzimba Mountains, and was home to 95,000 people in 2010.

Get in

  • 1 King Mswati III International Airport (SHO IATA). The only commercial and international airport. Eswatini Airlink connects King Mswati III International Airport (and essentially the rest of the country) to Johannesburg.  

You can easily travel to Mbabane from South Africa and Mozambique. Several minibuses travel between Maputo and Manzini/Mbabane. Regular bus service is provided between Johannesburg and Durban.

If you drive your own car, you will find good tarred roads and several petrol stations/shops on the main roads.

Minibus taxis to South Africa leave from the taxi stop near Swazi Plaza. There are minibus taxis from Mbabane to Mbombela in South Africa.

Get around

The city center is walkable, with shopping malls and other administrative buildings.

See

The town offers not that much. There are no big attractions. The city centre consist of two small malls, a taxi and bus stop, a hotel and at some days open markets.

  • Sibebe Rock (8 km northeast of Mbabane.), ☏ +268 2416-2180. Swazi trails E30. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Tourist information, Sozisa Road at Umlilo St (Cooper Centre), ☏ +268 2404-2531. 08:00-16:45. Free maps of Mbabane and Eswatini and info on places to stay all over Eswatini. (updated Aug 2016)
  • 1 Hawane Nature Reserve. Nice grassy area of rolling hills and aviary activity. Walking trail. A Ramsar area. (updated Aug 2020)

Do

There is a Swazi cultural village close by and a game reserve. There are several factories around Mbabane which sell traditional hand-made Swazi candles.

Buy

  • 1 SuperSpar. (updated Aug 2016)
  • Shoprite supermarket. (updated Apr 2015)
  • Pick N Pay supermarket. (updated Apr 2015)
  • First National bank. It has an ATM. (updated Apr 2015)
  • 2 Nedbank. It has an ATM (updated Aug 2016)
  • Standard bank, Swazi Plaza. It has an ATM (updated Apr 2015)

Eat

Traditional Swazi foods such as bhatata sweet potatoes, and traditional emasi (sour milk) are some nice food to enjoy.

Drink

Would be best to visit during the traditional ceremony when the traditional brew emaganu is being celebrated. At this time, emaganu (marula) brew is drank across the country.

Sleep

  • 1 Mantenga Lodge, Mantenga Road , Ezulwini Valley (15 km from Mbabane), ☏ +268-4161049. Has 38 rooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. The rooms are tastefully furnished and are equipped with air conditioning and television, including satellite channels. 
  • Bombasos Backpackers N Lodge, 404 Lukhalo road Mbabane (off pine Valley road), ☏ +268-76819191. Camping/dorm beds. E80/145. (updated Apr 2015)
  • 2 Mountain Inn (on the way to Ezulwini Valley), ☏ +268 24042781. Restaurant, bar, the pool has an expansive view over the valley. E748. (updated Aug 2020)
  • 3 Hilton Garden Inn Mbabane, Mhlambanyatsi Rd (close to Swazi Plaza and downtown), ☏ +26824092200. This Hilton deserves mentioning for its outside appearance. Supposed to be a rendition of Simba Rock maybe? Pool, fitness centre, restaurant. E1,113. (updated Aug 2020)

Stay safe

Cope

Embassies

  • United States, 7F, Central Bank Bldg, Mahlokohla St, ☏ +268 404-6441, fax: +268 404-5959. M-Th 07:30-17:00, F 07:30AM-13:30. 
  • Republic of China (Taiwan), Makhosikhosi Street, ☏ +268 2404 4740, ✉ rocszembassy@mofa.gov.tw. M-F 08:30-17:00. Unusual in that this is an official embassy, as Eswatini is the only one in Africa recognizing Taiwan/the ROC. 

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