eSwatini at a glance

Location Southern Africa – in northeastern South Africa against the Mozambique border, south of Tropic of Capricorn

Neighbouring countries South Africa (west, north and south), Mozambique (east)

Size 17,364km² (6,704 square miles)

Climate Temperate/subtropical; temperature and rainfall highest in summer (November–March). Rainfall higher and temperatures lower in western regions.

Status Absolute monarchy

Population 1.1 million (World Bank 2011); growth rate 1.15% (World Bank 2011)

Life expectancy 49 years at birth (2012)

Capital Mbabane; population c80,000

Other main towns Manzini, Matsapha, Nhlangano, Piggs Peak, Big Bend

Economy Principal earners are sugar, forestry and mining; manufacturing (textile and sugar products); services. 75% of population employed in subsistence agriculture; average growth rate since 2001 2.8%; South Africa accounts for 90% of imports and 70% of exports.

GDP US$3.977 billion per annum; US$3,725 per capita per annum (World Bank 2011)

Official languages SiSwati and English (English is language of instruction in schools); minority languages include Zulu, Tsonga and Afrikaans

Religion Christianity (82%), including African Zionist and numerous other evangelical denominations. Also Islam, Baha’i and Hinduism in small numbers.

Currency Lilangeni (SZL), plural emalangeni; parity with South African rand (ZAR) (for up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com)

National airport/airline Matsapha International Airport (aka Manzini International Airport). No national airline – Royal Swazi International Airways ceased operating in 1999. Airlink Swaziland flies to/from Johannesburg.

International telephone code +268

Time South African Standard Time (UTC/GMT+2)

Electrical voltage 230V (50Hz); sockets take South African ‘type M’ plugs (three large round pins)

Weights and measures Metric

Flag Narrow horizontal stripes of blue and yellow above and below a broad central band of red, with a horizontal warrior’s shield and spears at the centre

National anthem Nkulunkulu Mnikati wetibusiso temaSwati (‘Oh God, Bestower of the Blessings of the Swazi’)

National animals The purple-crested turaco (ligwalagwala) is the royal bird; the lion (ngwenyama) is symbolic of the king

National sport Football

Public holidays 1 January (New Year’s Day); Good Friday; Easter Monday; 19 April (King’s Birthday); 25 April (National Flag Day); 1 May (Labour Day); Ascension Day; 22 July (Birthday of late King Sobhuza II); late August/ early September (Umhlanga, reed dance); 6 September (Somhlolo (Independence) Day); late December/early January (Incwala, first fruits ceremony); 25 December (Christmas Day); 26 December (Boxing Day)

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