Mbabane, Swaziland

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Mbabane, Swaziland

Region: Hhohho

Geographic Coordinates: -26.320800, 31.161700
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 94874
Language: siSwati

Mbabane is the capital city of Swaziland, A small landlocked country located in southern Africa. The city is situated in the western part of the country and has a population of approximately 95, 000 people. Mbabane is known for its stunning natural surroundings, Rich cultural heritage, And vibrant arts scene. One of the most striking features of Mbabane is its location at the foot of the Sibebe Rock, Which is one of the largest granite formations in the world. Visitors to Mbabane can take guided tours to explore this natural wonder and enjoy breathtaking views from its summit.

The nearby Malolotja Nature Reserve offers opportunities for hiking and wildlife watching. Mbabane also boasts a vibrant cultural scene that reflects Swaziland’s rich history and traditions. The National Museum houses exhibits on Swazi culture, Including traditional dress, Music, Dance, And art. Visitors can also attend cultural festivals such as Umhlanga (the Reed Dance) or Incwala (the Kingship Ceremony), Which are celebrated annually with great pomp and ceremony. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural attractions, Mbabane has a thriving arts community that includes painters, Sculptors, Musicians, Writers, And performers.

The city hosts several annual arts festivals that showcase local talent from across Swaziland as well as other African countries. For those interested in shopping or dining out while visiting Mbabane there are several options available ranging from street markets selling traditional crafts to modern shopping malls offering international brands. Local cuisine includes dishes such as pap(maize meal porridge) served with meat or vegetables along with traditional beer made from maize or sorghum.

Overall, Mbabanen provides visitors an opportunity to experience Swazi culture firsthand while enjoying stunning scenery at every turn making it an ideal destination for anyone looking for an authentic African experience.’

Important Landmarks

  1. Sibebe Rock
  2. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Mantenga Cultural Village
  4. Swazi Candles Craft Centre
  5. Hlane Royal National Park
  6. Ezulwini Valley
  7. King Sobhuza II Memorial Park
  8. Maguga Dam
  9. Malolotja Nature Reserve
  10. Ngwenya Glass Factory

Primary Industries

  1. Financial services: Mbabane is the financial hub of Swaziland, with several banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions operating in the city.
  2. Tourism: Mbabane is a popular tourist destination in Swaziland, with several hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses located in the city.
  3. Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry in Mbabane includes food processing, textiles and clothing production, furniture manufacturing and others.
  4. Mining: There are several mining companies that operate in Swaziland that have their headquarters or offices located in Mbabane.
  5. Agriculture: Agriculture is an important sector of the economy of Swaziland and there are several agricultural businesses that operate out of Mbabane.
  6. Retail trade: There are many retail shops located throughout the city selling a wide range of goods including clothing, electronics, groceries etc.
  7. Telecommunications: Several telecommunications companies operate out of Mbabane providing mobile phone services as well as internet connectivity to both individuals and businesses alike.

Noteable History

  1. The establishment of Mbabane as the capital city of Swaziland in 1902.
  2. The construction of the Royal Palace in Mbabane, which was completed in 1982 and is the official residence of King Mswati III.
  3. The visit of Nelson Mandela to Mbabane in 1995, during which he addressed a large crowd at Somhlolo Stadium.
  4. The opening of the University of Swaziland campus in Mbabane in 1964, which has since become one of the leading universities in Africa.
  5. The establishment of several international organizations and embassies in Mbabane, including UNICEF and the British High Commission.
  6. Notable people associated with Mbabane include King Sobhuza II, who led Swaziland to independence from British colonial rule; Queen Ntombi Tfwala, wife to King Sobhuza II; and Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini who served for over two decades as prime minister before his death on December 13th, 2020.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Swazi Candles Craft Centre
  2. The National Museum of Swaziland
  3. Mantenga Cultural Village
  4. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  5. Hlane Royal National Park
  6. Sibebe Rock
  7. King Sobhuza II Memorial Park
  8. Ngwenya Glass Factory and Mine Tour
  9. Malolotja Nature Reserve
  10. Lobamba Royal Village

Sports Teams

  1. Mbabane Highlanders FC is a renowned football (soccer) team based in Mbabane, Swaziland. The club was established back in 1958 and has achieved numerous national championships throughout the years.
  2. Another noteworthy sports team in Mbabane is the Mbabane Swallows FC, which was founded even earlier in 1948. This football club has also won several national championships.
  3. Apart from football, there are also rugby and cricket teams operating in Mbabane. The Mbabane Rugby Football Club was formed back in 1990 and competes regularly against other rugby clubs across Swaziland.
  4. The relatively new Mbabane Cricket Club has already gained recognition as one of the top cricket clubs countrywide. They have taken part in multiple national tournaments and produced some talented players who went on to represent Swaziland at an international level.

Cultural Events

  1. Umhlanga Reed Dance Ceremony: This is an annual cultural festival that takes place in August or September. Young Swazi girls dance and sing for the Queen Mother while carrying reeds to symbolize their purity and chastity.
  2. Incwala Festival: This is an ancient ceremony that celebrates the first fruits of the harvest season. It usually takes place in December or January and involves a series of rituals, including a bull sacrifice.
  3. Bushfire Festival: This is a three-day music and arts festival held annually in May at House on Fire, just outside Mbabane. The festival features local and international musicians, dancers, poets, artists, and performers.
  4. Marula Festival: This is a celebration of the marula fruit which grows abundantly in Swaziland during February or March each year. The festival includes traditional dances, music performances as well as marula beer drinking competitions.
  5. King’s Birthday Celebration: Held annually on April 19th to celebrate King Mswati III’s birthday with parades, feasts, dancing and singing throughout the country.
  6. Swazi Cultural Village Day Tour – Visitors can take part in this tour where they can learn about Swazi culture through traditional dances and songs performed by locals dressed up in their traditional attire.
  7. Tour de Eswatini – A cycling event that takes place every year around June/July where participants cycle through different parts of Eswatini while enjoying scenic views of mountains & valleys accompanied by live entertainment from local musicians.


  • Sibebe Pub & Grill – known for its grilled meats and traditional Swazi dishes like umncweba (dried meat) and tingatiya (wild spinach).
  • The Gables – a restaurant that serves a variety of international cuisine as well as local dishes like siswati chicken curry.
  • Malandela’s Restaurant – offers a fusion of African and European cuisine with an emphasis on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • House on Fire – not only a restaurant but also an entertainment venue that hosts live music performances and cultural events. They serve contemporary African cuisine.
  • The Corner Cafe – popular for breakfast and brunch, serving freshly baked pastries, sandwiches, smoothies, coffee, tea etc.
  • The Royal Villas Restaurant – located inside the Royal Villas Hotel in Mbabane; serves fine dining meals made from fresh organic produce grown in their own garden.
  • Yebo Art Gallery & Coffee Shop – serves light meals such as sandwiches, salads etc while showcasing various artworks from local artists.
  • Phumleni Guesthouse & Restaurant – offers traditional Swazi food made with home-grown vegetables served in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Nkonyeni Lodge & Golf Estate – has two restaurants: one offering fine dining experience while the other is more casual serving pizzas etc both overlooking the golf course.
  • Ngwenya Glass Village Café- located at Ngwenya Glass Village; offers light meals while enjoying views of artisans blowing glassware live right before your eyes!

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary offers a range of activities such as hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, and game drives.
    2. Mantenga Nature Reserve is a great place for birdwatching and hiking with a cultural village that showcases traditional Swazi life.
    3. Sibebe Rock is a popular destination for hiking and climbing due to its massive granite rock formation.
    4. Ezulwini Valley is a beautiful scenic valley with several parks and attractions including the Royal Swazi Golf Course, the Happy Valley Casino Resort, and the Cultural Village.
    5. Malolotja Nature Reserve has stunning views of waterfalls and wildlife sightings on its hiking trails.
    6. Hlane Royal National Park is home to various wildlife species such as elephants, lions, rhinos, hippos which can be viewed on game drives or guided walks.
    7. The National Museum of Swaziland allows visitors to learn about Swaziland’s history through exhibits showcasing traditional crafts like weaving baskets or making pottery.
    8. The King Sobhuza II Memorial Park is a public park dedicated to honoring the former king of Swaziland featuring gardens with different plants from across Africa as well as an outdoor amphitheater for performances or events.


    Leave Footprints In The Sand.

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