- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Swaziland. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- The level of HIV/AIDS infection in Swaziland is very high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
- Avoid travelling into and out of Swaziland at night due to the threat of carjacking.
- Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Swaziland. The Australian High Commission in South Africa provides consular assistance to Australians in Swaziland.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
- subscribe to this travel adviceto receive free email updates each time it's reissued.
- follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the Swaziland High Commission in South Africa for the most up-to-date information.
A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for travellers arriving in Swaziland within six days of visiting a country with yellow fever infected areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a list of yellow fever countries.
Transiting South Africa: Australians travelling to or from Swaziland through South Africa (including transiting) should read the Entry and exit section of our travel advice for South Africa. South Africa has introduced specific documentation requirements for all children travelling to South Africa. You should also note South Africa’s Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate requirements and be aware that it does not accept provisional travel documents (i.e. one page travel documents).
You may be refused entry into Swaziland by local officials if you attempt to enter the country as a same-sex married couple.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
Safety and security
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and robbery is common in major towns, particularly Mbabane and Manzini. Incidents of violent crime, including armed assault and carjacking, also occur. Security risks are greater at night, including on roads and in rural areas.
Due to the very high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Civil unrest/political tension
Demonstrations occur periodically and can lead to violent clashes between protestors and security forces. You should avoid all large public gatherings and street demonstrations.
There is a low threat of terrorism in Swaziland.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin.
Money and valuables
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
Driving in Swaziland can be dangerous due to poor driving practices, speed, lack of street lighting, inadequately maintained vehicles and the presence of pedestrians and livestock on the roads. For further advice, see our road travel page.
Australians should avoid travelling into or out of Swaziland by road at night due to the risk of carjacking. You should also avoid travelling alone in remote rural areas.
Buses and taxis should be avoided as they are poorly maintained and often overloaded.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Swaziland.
Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Swaziland, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
Penalties for drug offences in Swaziland are severe and include mandatory prison sentences. See our Drugs page.
Serious offences, such as murder and treason, carry the death penalty.
It is illegal to possess pornographic material.
Photography of government buildings, military installations, Swazi armed forces, royal residences and official ceremonies is prohibited.
Homosexual acts between men are illegal and penalties include a minimum of two years imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page.
The law in Swaziland gives the courts discretion to impose a sentence of corporal punishment, particularly where an offender is less than 18 years of age.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
Information for dual nationals
Swaziland does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Swaziland dual nationals who are arrested or detained. We recommend you travel on your Australian passport at all times.
Our Dual nationals page provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
The standard of medical facilities throughout Swaziland is limited. There can be shortages of basic medications. Hospitals will require confirmation of insurance cover or a guarantee of payment before commencing treatment. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with the required facilities would be necessary. Medical evacuation costs would be considerable.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Swaziland is very high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Malaria is prevalent throughout the year in most areas of Swaziland except the capital Mbabane and the highlands (Highveld). Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis, plague and African sleeping sickness) are also common. Consider taking prophylaxis against malaria and take measures to avoid insect bites including using insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, bilharzia, tuberculosis and rabies) are prevalent. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water with intact seals, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
Where to get help
Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.
For criminal issues, contact the local police. The national emergency number is 999. You should also obtain a police report when reporting a crime.
To complain about tourism services, contact the service provider directly.
Australia does not have a High Commission in Swaziland. You can obtain consular assistance from the nearest Australian High Commission which is in South Africa:
Australian High Commission, Pretoria
292 Orient Street
Pretoria 0083, Republic of South Africa
Telephone: (27 12) 4236000
Facsimile: (27 12) 3428442
See the High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you are travelling to Swaziland, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the above High Commission you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
For additional general and economic information to assist travelling in Swaziland, see the following links: