A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Swaziland
What's in this Swaziland currency guide:
The official currency of Swaziland is the Swazi lilangeni, with symbol L and currency code SZL.
11 Nov 2022
27 Aug 2022
25 Nov 2021
26 Nov 2017
27 Nov 2012
30 Nov 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Swazi lilangeni.
Unlike South Africa, eSwatini has managed to hold on to that slow-down-this-is-Africa feeling and that’s why it’s gaining in popularity. Everything remains small and personable and the atmosphere is remarkably relaxed. Instead of making a flying visit here on your way to Kruger National Park, KwaZulu-Natal or Mozambique, consider staying at least a week to do the country justice. If you plan a visit during the winter months, try to make it coincide with the Umhlanga (reed) festival, one of Africa’s biggest cultural events.
In short: big things come in small packages. The intriguing Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) is diminutive but boasts a huge checklist for any visitor. Rewarding wildlife watching? Tick. Adrenaline-boosting activities such as rafting and mountain biking? Tick. Lively and colourful local culture, with celebrations and ceremonies still common practice? Tick. Plus there are superb walking trails, stunning mountain and flatland scenery, varied accommodation options and excellent, high-quality handicrafts.
Swaziland’s local currency is the Lilangeni (SZL), whose value is equal to that of the South African rand. (Rand dollars may be used in the country as well.) One U.S. dollar is equal to approximately seven Lilangeni. There are VISA ATMs in major towns in Swaziland, dispensing Emalangeni.
Minibus shared taxis are the main form of public transport in eSwatini. They run almost everywhere, with frequent stops en route. They leave when full; no reservations are necessary. Local buses connect towns and villages throughout the country. Most start and terminate at the main stop in central Mbabane; they are slightly cheaper than minibuses but are slow and often overcrowded.
Minibus shared taxis don’t have stellar road-safety records, but fares are cheap and the network is comprehensive. The downside is that journeys can be slow, with constant stops and long waits to fill the seats. Larger cities have private taxi services. They are much more expensive than shared taxis, though it is important to remember that the price is negotiable. It’s best to ask your accommodation to phone for a taxi rather than hailing one on the street – the vehicle will likely be better quality and you can ask your accommodation for a reputable company.
The 301km of train track in eSwatini is only for cargo freight – there are no passenger trains.
Swaziland Airlink runs several daily flights to eSwatini’s King Mswati III International Airport from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo.
The ideal time to travel to Swaziland is between the months of May and October. Try not to visit the country at any time between November and April, when it’s hot and rainy and there’s an elevated risk of contracting malaria, or in December and January, when crime often spikes.
Visas are not required for tourists and business travelers visiting Swaziland for fewer than 60 days. Most people traveling to Swaziland enter through South Africa. Travelers heading to South Africa are strongly encouraged to have several unstamped visa pages in their passports. For additional information on Swaziland’s visa requirements, contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Drakensburg is a vast mountain range on the border of South Africa and Lesotho. It is popular with backpackers who enjoy taking the winding mountain trails between Underberg and Khotso. There is a variety of walks to suit people of all abilities. There is even the option of taking a horse trek higher into the mountains. The spectacular views are well worth the ride and the Basutu ponies are excellent with children.
At Miliwane Wildlife Sanctuary here the wildlife wander right past your window, even when you are staying in something as noticeable as a colonial style bungalow. The Miliwane Wildlife sanctuary is in Swaziland where there are very few of the dangerous animals. This means that it is possible to take a horseback safari and get within spitting distance of many wild animals.
It is possible to travel to South Africa and Swaziland under your own steam; this allows you to choose your own routes and destinations. For those who prefer to know in advance where and when they will be, it is possible to book through one of the many reputable holiday companies. You can also strike a happy medium by arranging a tour for part of your stay, as there are many knowledgeable and friendly guides connected with all the nature reserves. Most of them will know of places which you would never find on your own.