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Mbabane Travel Guide, Swaziland

Mbabane, Travel guide – Location

Mbabane is located in the north western Swaziland and is also the country’s capital city. Other important cities like Durban and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa are more than 200 miles away. Mbabane travel guide provides basic information regarding the city and its inhabitants.

Mbabane, Travel guide – Geography

Mbabane is located in a place with a rough topography at an average elevation of 1100m where rocky hills come down to the center of the city and determine great difficulties for building residential constructions. The surrounding Sibebe Rock and Pine Valley offer a captivating view and enchant with their beauty. The soils are having in their composition clay which becomes very rough during dry periods and sticky when wet.

Climate is generally subtropical with a higher humidity determined by the altitude and with annual average temperatures in summer of 14ºC and in winter 21ºC. Precipitations occur mainly between November and April, the rainiest month being January with 166mm while snow is a rare presence here.

The city is crossed by Mbabane River, an important water flow in Swaziland with crucial effects over the local agriculture and fresh water resources.

Mbabane, Travel guide – Flora and Fauna

Flora and fauna in Mbabane is characteristic to the subtropical climate and adapted to local altitude. Flora is represented by shrubs, few tree species like the acacias and by small patches of forest populated with red bush willow trees, wild olives and tamboti trees. Wildlife in the city area is not very well represented but still few antelope species along with bird species like the ibises, bustards and blue swallows can be seen especially at the periphery. For a better understanding of the local flora and fauna tourists can make safari trips in the nearby areas and observe animals and plants in their natural background.

Mbabane, Travel guide – Transport

Due to the city’s administrative functions within Swaziland, one can get here quite easily by car, bus or plane. The nearest airport is located 40 km away in Mazini, the second city as political and administrative importance in the country, and is called the Mazini International Airport. From the airport you can reach Mbabane by bus or you can rent a car and will have a great opportunity to see more of the surroundings.

Within the city tourists can travel by public buses, minivans and taxis which can be found easily and are quite inexpensive. The public transportation system is not very modern yet efficient.

Mbabane, Travel guide – Population and Economy

With a number of 95.000 inhabitants, Mbabane is not a large city yet very important from an administrative point of view. The local population is a mix between the dominating Swazi people and the Zulu and Tsonga and their religions are mainly the Christian ones. The official language spoken in the city and in the entire country is English along with local Swati, so it will not be too difficult to get information and communicate with the locals.

Local economy is mainly based on agriculture exporting important amounts of fresh and canned fruits, cotton, peanuts and animals like sheep, goats and cows. Few industrial activities like the textile ones help local economy as well as tourism which play a more and more important role here.

Mbabane, Travel guide – Cuisine

Mbabane traditional cuisine is strongly influenced by the topography, a place where goat and beef meat, diary products, sorghum, maize and beans are important elements in the locals’ diet. Meat is usually served dried, smoked or salted as well as grilled or boiled along with polenta, porridge or vegetables stew. Some of the traditional treats here are the emasi etinkhobe tembila which is a combination of corn and yoghurt, umkhunsu which is dried goat meat served with porridge, sitfubi made from cornmeal boiled in fresh milk and many other such combinations. Beverages are mainly fresh fruit juices, local beer called tjwala, tea or spirits made of fermented cereals.

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