Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Swaziland
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.
Currency tips for eSwatini.
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.
How to get around in eSwatini?
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.
Travel tips for eSwatini.
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.
Send Money to Swaziland - Best Rates
To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Swaziland you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).
The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.
You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Swaziland
When sending money to Swaziland it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers.
To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Swazi lilangeni amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted SZL amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Swaziland.
Use the above Send to Swazi lilangeni calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more -
end result is more Swazi lilangeni deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!