SWAZILAND RISK REPORT
Security travel advice for Swaziland
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel advice for Swaziland is to remain cautious during travel inside the country. There is a low threat from terrorism in Swaziland but western travellers should be aware of the increased global threat against them. Crime rates are relatively low but petty crimes do occur in built up areas.
Recent Security Risk Events
Anti-political demonstrations do occur in Swaziland, and can develop into violent protests without notice. Although the political situation is stable at present, some political groups have been banned from the country and labelled as terrorist organisations. Monitor local media and avoid large gatherings when possible.
Street crimes, car hijackings and burglaries are common in some areas of the country, but are quite rare. Downtown areas of Mbabane and Manzin are most at risk of such crimes, so avoid them if possible; crime rates peak at night time in these areas.
Avoid driving into or out of Swaziland during the night. Recent reports suggest there has been an increase of armed banditry on major routes from South Africa and Mozambique.
Swaziland is a member of both the United Nations and the African Union. The country has good ties with the United States, the U.S. supports Swaziland in small enterprise development, education, and military training. The country also has strong diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Road conditions are poor in Swaziland as is the standard of driving. It is highly advised against travelling at night in rural and urban areas as there is no street lighting and animals and people often walk in the middle of the road.
You can use a UK or international driving licence as well as many other EU licenses to drive in Swaziland. You should check before travel that your licence is valid for use in Swaziland before travel to avoid complications.
If you do plan to drive during your trip, you should ensure that you are alert at all times and aware of the conditions of the roads and other road users. Plan your journey prior to departure and have adequate supplies in your vehicle including fuel, food and water.
Official languages: Swati and English
Religion: Christianity and Islam
Currency: Swazi Lilangeni, South African Rand
UK citizens and many EU and US citizens do not need a visa to enter Swaziland for stays up to 30 days, however should you wish to stay in the country longer, this can be extended at the Swaziland Immigration Department in Mbabane. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.
It is advised that visitors to Swaziland are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations.
Although there is no risk of Yellow Fever in Swaziland, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of the disease you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
There is only risk of malaria infection in certain parts of Swaziland. You may want to consider anti malaria medication depending on where you travel. Protection against mosquito bites will reduce the risk further. Consult your health practitioner for more information.
Medical facilities are fairly basic in Swaziland, but better care can be found in the cities. In rural areas it is advised to get to the nearest city and not attend local medical centres.
Hospitals frequently run out of basic supplies including medicines so you should ensure you have enough prescribed medication for the duration of your trip. In more serious medical situations, you may need to be evacuated to a neighbouring country such as South Africa. Comprehensive medical and travel insurance should be purchased before your trip.
U.S. Embassy Swaziland
Corner of MR 103 and Cultural Center Drive
P.O. Box D202
The Gables, H106
Telephone: +268 2417 9000
British Embassy Status
There is no British embassy in Swaziland. You should contact the nearest embassy in Pretoria, for any assistance.
British High Commission Pretoria
255 Hill Street,
Telephone: +27 12 421 7500
Fax +27 12 421 7599