Eswatini (formerly called Swaziland) is a lush, mountainous kingdom. It’s bordered by Mozambique and South Africa. The country is Africa’s last absolute monarchy and this makes the country all the more special to visit.
Natural parks and nature reserves are the biggest tourist attractions here. It may be a small country, but it is packed with the scenic beauty of rivers and ravines, waterfalls, and emerald parks. Eswatini is truly a hiker’s Eden.
The country is one of the few places in the world to spot the ‘Big Five’ animals - rhino, buffalo, elephant, leopard, and lion. Eswatini promises visitors an intimate viewing experience, however, before you leave you should purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
for protection against any surprise illnesses or injuries.
Things to Do for Travelers in Eswatini
- Hlane Royal National Park: This national park is the home of the biggest herds of game in the country. The 22,000-hectare (about 54,363 acres) reserve has a diverse collection of flora and fauna. It includes the highest density of white-backed vultures on the whole continent. Wildlife watching, cultural visits, overnight bush treks, and mountain biking are the things that you must try here.
- Mbuluzi Game Reserve: Mbuluzi Game Reserve is privately-owned and is an amazing getaway located on the banks of Mlawula River. The best activity in this destination is the self-guided wildlife safari where you can spot more than 300 species of birds and animals. You can rent a mountain bike, a jeep, or take the nature trail on foot when indulging in the activity.
- Swazi Market, Mbabane: Mbabane is Eswatini’s cool-capital and is an attraction for tourists looking to bring home souvenirs. The town’s Swazi Market is brimming with fresh produce, traditional fabrics & handicrafts, and local jewellery. When at the market you can visit the traditional medicine center. You can also take a trip to Pine Valley which has scintillating waterfalls and rivers along the way.
- Lobamba: Lobamba is located in Ezulwini valley or the Valley of Heaven as it is famously called. This laid-back town is Eswatini’s cultural and spiritual heart, and is also the home to Eswatini’s monarchy. The Royal Village of Lobamba has several essential buildings that are open to visitors. The most thrilling of them is the Somhlolo Stadium where cultural and sporting events take place.
- Shewula Mountain Camp: It is the country’s first ecotourism project that opened in 2000 and sits atop the Lebombo Mountains. The camp occupies 2,650 hectares (about 6,548 acres) of mountain land and is owned entirely by the local community. Top activities here include meeting Swazi Sangoma, guided cultural visits, and hiking to the Mbuluzi River.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Eswatini
- Diseases: Water-borne diseases are common in the country. Avoid consuming unclean food or water, and get the standard slate of vaccines if possible.
- Crime: In comparison to other southern African countries, the risk of violent crime is very low in Eswatini. When out in the rural areas like Manzini and Mbabane, do not show signs of affluence. The locals perceive foreigners to be rich and get instigated by envy to attempt thefts.
- Adventure Sports: When booking adventure sports activities like rock climbing and zip-lining, try to book with well-established, reputable companies. Tour operators may neglect international standards, and your safety becomes a big concern. Always hire a professional guide when attempting the activity for the first time.
- Demonstrations: Even though the chances of demonstrations and public protest are very low in the country, even the peaceful ones turn violent in no time. At times, large gatherings and demonstrations tend to cause disruptions in traffic and public transportation.
Eswatini Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
The country has a basic healthcare system even in the most well-developed urban areas. As compared to the U.S. and Europe, the medical facilities are very limited. Travel medical insurance becomes necessary when traveling to Eswatini as it will mitigate the additional costs for medical treatments including evacuation.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Eswatini?
Travel medical insurance isn’t mandatory by law when entering the country. But with the limited medical facilities in the country, medical evacuation is the only feasible option in case of serious injuries or illnesses. These may cost you dearly. Travel medical insurance provides coverage for the costs that are incurred from the expensive treatment.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Eswatini?
Medical services and clinics are mostly based in urban areas and the Royal Village of Lobamba. Clinics in Mbabane offer good basic medical care but only for minor procedures. As the country’s emergency medical response is limited, most of the serious cases are evacuated to South Africa. Medical service providers request you to pay upfront or confirm your medical insurance before treatment. Buy travel medical insurance to enjoy a stress-free vacation.
Eswatini Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Although some air carriers in the country meet the international flight standards, most of them fail to do so. Flight cancellation, missing or lost baggage, and hotel cancellation are very common when traveling to any foreign country. Buying trip cancellation insurance for Eswatini beforehand will be extremely beneficial.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Eswatini?
Eswatini has very unpredictable weather. You may experience severe weather conditions like heavy rains and thunderstorms making travel difficult. Some roads in the country may become hazardous during these conditions and spoil your plans. Cancelling and rescheduling can become a very costly procedure in this case. Buy travel insurance for Eswatini to mitigate these costs and enjoy without a worry-line on your forehead.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Eswatini? (answer based on the research)
When in Eswatini, be prepared for unforeseen circumstances and bad weather to shut down the airport. Travel insurance for Eswatini may provide coverage for:
- Trip interruption due to a covered reason
- Trip or flight cancellation due to a covered reason
- Hotel cancellation due to overbooking
- Cancellation of the trip due to ill health / sickness
- Missing or lost baggage
- Missing a connecting flight from the airport
- Emergency medical evacuation and medical repatriation
Before You Travel to Eswatini – Do This
- Research the local traditions and cultures of the country and carry appropriate clothing for the country.
- Make sure that your travel insurance plan provides coverage for the adventure activities in Eswatini.
- Get vaccines and certificates of vaccination for Hepatitis, Malaria, and Yellow Fever before traveling.