Travel to Mbabane – Capital of Swaziland
Mbabane, with an estimated population of 95,000, is the capital and largest city of Swaziland. It is located on the Mbabane River and its tributary is the Polinjane River in the Mdimba Mountains. It is located in the district of Hhohho, of which it is also the capital. Mbabane’s closest border crossing to South Africa is Ngwenya-Oshoek and though siSwati is the primary language, English is widespread. Mbabane and Swaziland itself, thrive on tourism and sugar exports. The city has world class shopping centres and two sites for light industries.
The town grew after the nation’s administrative centre moved from Manzini in 1902. It derives its name from a Chief, Mbabane Kunene, who lived in the area when British settlers arrived. It is also a commercial hub for the surrounding region, while tin and iron were mined nearby.
One of the best places to visit is the Mbabane Market which has numerous stalls selling charming handcrafts as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. It is a good place to absorb the African atmosphere even if you do not wish to buy anything.
Also near Mbabane you’ll find a Swazi cultural village as well as a beautiful game reserve.
Head to the top of Malagwane Hill where you can see spectacular views from the Mountain Inn. The spectacular landscape that you’ll be rewarded with includes the Ezulwini Valley and the famous peaks of Sheba’s Breasts and Execution Rock. You can also shop at several factories around Mbabane which sell traditional hand-made Swazi candles.
Relax in the country’s first shopping centre; the Swazi Plaza or visit the twin shopping malls which are opposite the plaza. Here you’ll find crafts, clothing and souvenirs aplenty. There are also several supermarkets here for any supplies that you may need.
- Browse the traditional market for fresh fruit and vegetables as well as locally produced crafts.
- Shop in a number of malls and plazas.
- Visit a nearby Swazi cultural village.