SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

CRIME

Petty crime, including robbery is common but is relatively low compared to other countries in southern Africa. Do not show signs of affluence, and ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Violent crime such as armed carjacking, burglary, car theft, and mugging is uncommon, but does occur, mostly in Manzini, Mbabane and rural areas. Avoid walking in these areas after dark.

Crime rates tend to increase ahead of and during the holiday season.

CARJACKINGS

Avoid entering or leaving Eswatini by road after dark, as there have been several armed carjackings on main roads from South Africa and Mozambique. Keep car doors locked, windows up and valuables out of sight at all times.

TERRORISM

While there is no recent history of terrorism in Eswatini, there is a threat of terrorism.

DEMONSTRATIONS

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

ROAD SAFETY

Safety risks are greater at night and in rural areas. Avoid walking alone. Conditions on national roads, including the highway between Mbabane and Manzini, are relatively good. Secondary roads are usually dirt tracks. Roaming livestock, abandoned unlit trailers, drivers avoiding cyclists and pedestrians, reckless driving, and heavy vehicles pose hazards. Drinking and driving is prevalent.

Most roads lack adequate lighting. Park in well-lit areas. Poor visibility is exacerbated by frequent fog conditions and severe storms, especially in the Highveld, close to Mbabane, and in forest regions near the South African border.

  • Only travel by land during the day
  • Obtain comprehensive insurance
  • Carry original vehicle registration documents
  • Ensure the vehicle is equipped with seat belts and a breakdown-warning triangle

There are car rental agencies at King Mswati III International Airport in Manzini.

There are 11 border entry posts with South Africa and two with Mozambique; most operate between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Consult local authorities for road conditions and schedules prior to cross-border travel.

You should view offers of roadside assistance with caution as this presents an opportunity for theft, mugging and hijackings.

Congested, urban areas can be dangerous at night. Exercise caution.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Avoid travelling by train and using mini-bus taxis, known as khumbis, which are often poorly maintained and overloaded.

WOMEN’S SAFETY

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Safe-travel guide for women

WILDLIFE VIEWING

Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range.

  • Always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife
  • Only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so
  • Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice

ADVENTURE TOURISM

Only undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining and rock climbing, with a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, refrain from using them. Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance.

If engaging in adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out and do not venture off marked trails 

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines