Although English is Swaziland’s official business language, many rural residents only speak the local language, known as SiSwati or Swazi.
Swaziland’s official currency, the lilangeni, is on par with the South African rand. Visitors entering Swaziland from South Africa do not need to exchange currency as most Swazi shops and businesses, except kombi buses, accept South African rand. The Swaziland lilangeni, on the other hand, is not an accepted currency in South Africa. Although credit cards are usually not accepted for fuel, they are accepted for virtually everything else. Swaziland’s Standard Bank ATMs accept Maestro and Cirrus debit cards, and travelers’ checks are widely accepted. Banks are closed on Sundays and the country has no currency export or import restrictions.
Swaziland falls under South Africa Standard Time, two hours ahead of GMT (GMT +2) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Swaziland uses the same 220-240 Volt electricity and Type M plug sockets as South Africa. Plug adapters and voltage converters are recommended for visitors from countries with different plug and electricity settings.
Swaziland’s country dialing code is +268, and cell phones can provide more reliable service than landlines. Over 90 percent of all telephones in Swaziland are cell phones. Swaziland’s only cell phone provider is the state-owned telecommunications network SPTC. SIM cards are easy to obtain and use, and are affordable. Although there are only slightly above 90,000 internet users in Swaziland, e-mail is available at nearly all businesses and hotels. Matsapha Airport has a free wireless internet hot spot.
Foreign visitors over 18 years can import: up to one bottle of alcohol and 284mls of perfume duty free. The same is true for up to 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars and 400 cigarettes.
Swaziland Tourism Authority, Mbabane: +268 404 9693 or http://www.thekingdomofswaziland.com.
Embassies and Consulates in Swaziland
US Embassy, Mbabane: +268 404 6441 United Kingdom Consulate, Mbabane: +268 551 6247 South African Consulate, Mbabane: +268 404 4651 Dutch Consulate, Mbabane: +268 404 5178 Danish Consulate, Mbabane: +268 404 3547 Finnish Consulate, Mbabane: +268 416 2912 Mozambican Consulate, Mbabane: +268 404 3700
Emergency services: 999