Mbabane market stall eSwatini Courtesy of eSwatini Tourist Board © Courtesy of eSwatini Tourist Board

Perched on the edge of the escarpment, the capital feels like the threshold of eSwatini: a gateway to greater riches beyond.

Few people visit eSwatiniwithout passing through Mbabane, its capital city, and the Ezulwini Valley that lies immediately downhill and to the east. Mbabane itself has few major attractions, although there are some good ones just outside. Indeed, perched on the edge of the escarpment, just a short drive from the South Africa border at Ngwenya, the city feels rather like the threshold of eSwatini: a gateway to greater riches beyond. Tourism begins in earnest, however, once you leave town and descend to the resorts and cultural attractions of the Ezulwini Valley. Meaning ‘heavenly place’, this valley has long been eSwatini's playground. And with Ezulwini and Mbabane no more than ten minutes apart by road it is perfectly possible to move between the two on a whim. Many residents of Mbabane nip down to Ezulwini for a night out while residents of Ezulwini, conversely, nip up to Mbabane to do their shopping.

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