Is Swaziland safe for Americans?

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Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a small, landlocked country in southern Africa, known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and diverse wildlife. While the country offers an array of attractions for American tourists, it also presents certain challenges and potential dangers for visitors. In this article, we'll discuss key hazards and safety tips to help tourists navigate the risks while visiting Eswatini. To avoid these risks it's a good idea to purchase travel insurance.

Crime and Personal Security:

While violent crime against tourists is relatively rare in Eswatini, petty theft and opportunistic crime can occur, especially in urban areas. To protect themselves and their belongings, visitors should:

Keep valuables secure and out of sight, using a money belt or hidden pouch.

Be cautious in crowded areas, such as markets and public transportation, where pickpockets may be more prevalent.

Avoid walking alone at night, particularly in unfamiliar or poorly lit areas.

Road Safety and Transportation:

Road safety can be a concern in Eswatini due to poor road conditions, inadequate street lighting, and erratic driving habits. To stay safe while traveling, tourists should:

Use reputable transportation services, such as registered taxis or private vehicles with experienced drivers.

Avoid using overcrowded public transportation, particularly minibuses known as "kombis."

Exercise caution when crossing streets and be vigilant at all times due to the lack of traffic signals and pedestrian crossings.

Health Risks and Medical Facilities:

Eswatini has limited healthcare facilities, particularly outside of the capital city, Mbabane, and the main urban centers. In addition, various health risks, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, can pose a threat to travelers. To minimize health risks, tourists should:

Consult with a healthcare professional before traveling to ensure they are up-to-date on necessary vaccinations and medications.

Use insect repellent and sleep under a mosquito net to protect against mosquito-borne illnesses.

Practice safe sex and avoid engaging in risky behaviors that could increase the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission.

Wildlife Encounters and Outdoor Activities:

Eswatini is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including many large mammals such as elephants, lions, and rhinos. While exploring the country's beautiful nature reserves and national parks, visitors should be aware of potential risks associated with wildlife encounters and outdoor activities. To stay safe, tourists should:

Follow all guidelines and instructions provided by local authorities, park rangers, or tour guides.

Maintain a safe distance from wildlife and never attempt to touch, feed, or approach them.

Use appropriate equipment and take necessary precautions during outdoor activities, such as hiking or swimming, where there may be hazards like uneven terrain or strong currents.

Cultural Sensitivities and Local Customs:

Eswatini is a culturally diverse country with a mix of traditional and modern customs. Visitors should be respectful of local culture and customs to avoid causing offense or misunderstanding. To ensure a respectful and safe visit, tourists should:

Dress modestly, especially when visiting cultural or religious sites.

Ask permission before taking photographs of people, as some may find it disrespectful or invasive.

Familiarize themselves with local customs and traditions, such as greeting etiquette, to show respect and foster positive interactions with locals.


While Eswatini offers American tourists a unique and culturally rich experience, it's essential to be aware of potential dangers and take necessary precautions. By staying informed, respecting local customs, and practicing common-sense safety measures, visitors can minimize risks and fully enjoy their journey through this captivating country. For these reasons, be sure to buy travel insurance.