Travel Consideration: Swaziland

Swaziland Official Info

Listing # RA-1024515


Details of Travel Consideration: Swaziland, Swaziland Official Info
Details for Travel Consideration: Swaziland

Swaziland Official Info

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Swaziland is a small developing nation in southern Africa. Several well-developed facilities for tourism are available.

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A passport is required. Please contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland, 3400 International Drive, N.W., Suite 3M, Washington, D.C., 20008, (202) 362-6683 regarding visa requirements. Visas are not generally required for tourists and businessmen traveling to Swaziland for short visits (less than 60 days) on standard U.S. passports.



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The Deputy Prime Minister's office in the capital city, Mbabane, sustained extensive damage from a bomb explosion on November 20, 1998. A previously unknown domestic group claimed responsibility for this bombing. On November 12, 1999, a second explosion occurred in Mahlanya (an area between Manzini and Mbabane). The single-room Tinkhundla (local government authority) Administrative building was destroyed. No one has claimed responsibility for this incident. No Americans were targeted. The police authorities have stepped up security, but the perpetrators' motives remain unclear, and the possibility of further violent incidents exists. No arrests have been made in either incident.

In the past, differences between the government and the trade union movement have led to mass labor stay-aways that can virtually close the nation for several days at a time. The most recent such action, in February 1997, lasted one month on sugar and forest plantations. Further labor and political unrest remains possible at any time pending the settlement of unresolved disputes between the trade unions and government. Although such demonstrations have been peaceful, the potential for violence exists when labor actions are in progress, especially in the streets of Mbabane and in the largest city, Manzini, as well as in the sugar and wood pulp belts.

U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.

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The Deputy Prime Minister's office in the capital city, Mbabane, sustained extensive damage from a bomb explosion on November 20, 1998. A previously unknown domestic group claimed responsibility for this bombing. On November 12, 1999, a second explosion occurred in Mahlanya (an area between Manzini and Mbabane). The single-room Tinkhundla (local government authority) Administrative building was destroyed. No one has claimed responsibility for this incident. No Americans were targeted. The police authorities have stepped up security, but the perpetrators' motives remain unclear, and the possibility of further violent incidents exists. No arrests have been made in either incident.

In the past, differences between the government and the trade union movement have led to mass labor stay-aways that can virtually close the nation for several days at a time. The most recent such action, in February 1997, lasted one month on sugar and forest plantations. Further labor and political unrest remains possible at any time pending the settlement of unresolved disputes between the trade unions and government. Although such demonstrations have been peaceful, the potential for violence exists when labor actions are in progress, especially in the streets of Mbabane and in the largest city, Manzini, as well as in the sugar and wood pulp belts.

U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.

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Medical facilities are limited throughout Swaziland. The Mbabane Clinic in the capital, though small, is well-equipped and well-staffed for minor procedures. For advanced care, Americans often choose to go to South Africa where up-to-date facilities and specialists may be found. A helipad is available at the Mbabane Clinic, or medical evacuation via fixed-wing aircraft is available from Matsapha airport. Most prescription drugs are available or may be imported from South Africa.

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While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Swaziland is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor

Swaziland has a basic network of paved, two-lane routes, including a new divided super-highway between the two largest cities, Mbabane and Manzini. However, the remaining are graded dirt roads, even in urban areas. Several other factors make driving in Swaziland hazardous. Traffic circulates on the left in Swaziland (as elsewhere in the region) rather than on the right, as in the United States. Many drivers travel at high rates of speed, well above the generally posted limit of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. Except on stretches of super-highway, there is little lighting. Poor visibility is exacerbated by frequent fog conditions and severe storms, especially in the Highveld where Mbabane is located. Free-range cattle and people attempting to hitch rides along the roadways pose further hazards, especially at night.

For additional information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Swazi driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Embassy of Swaziland.

Contributed By RealAdventures Support

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Swaziland is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor

Swaziland has a basic network of paved, two-lane routes, including a new divided super-highway between the two largest cities, Mbabane and Manzini. However, the remaining are graded dirt roads, even in urban areas. Several other factors make driving in Swaziland hazardous. Traffic circulates on the left in Swaziland (as elsewhere in the region) rather than on the right, as in the United States. Many drivers travel at high rates of speed, well above the generally posted limit of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. Except on stretches of super-highway, there is little lighting. Poor visibility is exacerbated by frequent fog conditions and severe storms, especially in the Highveld where Mbabane is located. Free-range cattle and people attempting to hitch rides along the roadways pose further hazards, especially at night.

For additional information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Swazi driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Embassy of Swaziland.

Contributed By RealAdventures Support

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Swaziland is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor

Swaziland has a basic network of paved, two-lane routes, including a new divided super-highway between the two largest cities, Mbabane and Manzini. However, the remaining are graded dirt roads, even in urban areas. Several other factors make driving in Swaziland hazardous. Traffic circulates on the left in Swaziland (as elsewhere in the region) rather than on the right, as in the United States. Many drivers travel at high rates of speed, well above the generally posted limit of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. Except on stretches of super-highway, there is little lighting. Poor visibility is exacerbated by frequent fog conditions and severe storms, especially in the Highveld where Mbabane is located. Free-range cattle and people attempting to hitch rides along the roadways pose further hazards, especially at night.

For additional information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Swazi driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Embassy of Swaziland.

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