Swaziland Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Swaziland: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, in Swaziland around 1.2 million people, with the tendency that the population will shrink very sharply in the next few years due to AIDS, poverty, high child mortality and emigration (especially to South Africa).

The population growth rate of Swaziland, one of the poorest countries in the world, is around 1.3% with an average birth rate of 28.09 births per 1,000 people. On average, a Swazi gives birth to 3.19 children in their lifetime. Unfortunately, 85 out of 1,000 live babies die within the first year. The maternal mortality rate is 390 per 100,000 births. The number of people infected with HIV is staggering and the highest in the world. Around 42% of the Swazi live with HIV/AIDS, with around 10,000 people dying each year from the immune deficiency disease. The average life expectancy in the country is just 31.7 years for men and 32.3 years for women.

According to reliable estimates, around 70% of Swaziland’s population live in dire poverty while the king of the country built ten palaces for his wife. About 25% of the people are dependent on food aid.

The residents of the country are called Swazi (s), which is misleading, because the term Swazi actually only includes the 90% Swazi in the country, but not the ethnic minorities, which still make up 10% (see below).

Ethnic groups

97% black and 3% white live in Swaziland. More than 90% of the people belong to the Swasi, a Bantu people. Other black African ethnic groups in the country are Sotho, Zulu and Tsonga. There is also a mulatto minority and the aforementioned white minority.


About 95% of Swaziland’s residents are Christians who mostly follow a Protestant creed. The rest of the population belongs to traditional African religions. As in many African countries, there is often a parallel affiliation to a natural religion and Christianity.

Furthermore, a tiny minority of Muslims and Bahá’ís still live in the country. It is also worth noting that most of the Swazi attribute a special spiritual power to the king and his family.

National languages SiSwati is the country’s official language. English is also used as a commercial and educational language. Of course, the minorities in the country still speak their own languages.

Capital and other cities


The capital of Swaziland is Mbabane with around 95,000 residents. Founded in 1902 by the British, the city acts as an economic and administrative center of Swaziland and spreads out in the Mdimba Mountains. It was named after Mbabane Kunene, a famous chief of the time. Economically speaking, the city lives from the nearby ore and tin mines. According to Abbreviation Finder, SWZ stands for Swaziland in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.


Lobamba, the traditional capital and seat of government of Swaziland, is the seat of parliament. The Queen Mother also has her residence here. About 5,800 people currently live in the city in the west of the country. Lobamba, with the State Palace, the Swazi National Museum, the royal kraal and some other buildings and facilities, is well-known for two ceremonies: The reed dance takes place there in August and September in honor of the Queen Mother. December and January are reserved for the homage to the king (Incwala).


By far the largest city in the country is not the capital Mbabane, but Manzini. Around 110,500 people live in the city. Manzini is located in the so-called Middle Veld and is the traffic center of the country, especially since Swaziland’s only international airport is located there or in the suburb of Matsapha.


In Nhlangano, a town about 120 kilometers south of Mbabane, there is not only a casino attached to a hotel to visit, but also a swimming pool and a fabulous golf course. Furthermore, the nearby Mkondo River runs through a landscape of valleys, gorges, rapids and waterfalls.

Swaziland: Geography and Map

Inland Swaziland is located in the east of southern Africa and is the second smallest country in Africa after Gambia. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Swaziland. The country is divided into four geographical regions:

Highlands (Highveld) with an average altitude of 1,300 m. It belongs to the Drakensberg Mountains,

which are predominantly located in the Republic of South Africa.

Middleveld with hills and valleys at an average altitude of 700 m.

Lowland (Lowveld) with an average height of 200 m.

Lubombo plateau in the east, a dry savannah.

Area and boundaries

Swaziland covers an area of 17,364 km². Thereof:

  • ForestAround 7% of the country are forest and scrubland.
  • Meadow and pasture landAround 63% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 11% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing sugar cane, citrus fruits and pineapples.

National borders

Swaziland borders on two states:

Mozambique with a length of the border of 105 km and

South Africa with a length of the border of 430 km.

Longitude and latitude

Swaziland covers the following latitude (abbr.) And longitude (abbreviation):

from 25 ° 45 ‘to 27 ° 20’ south latitude from 30 ° 45 ‘to 32 ° 10’ east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Swaziland, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus sign means that it is earlier there and a plus sign that it is later than after CET:

t (CET) = + 1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest point of the sun in Mbabane

Mbabane lies at a south latitude of around = 26.5 °.

When the sun or its image point is at the tropic, i.e. at = 23.5 °, summer begins in Mbabane, this is December 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

– 26.5 ° = – (90 ° – h) + – 23.5 °


H = 87 °

This is the highest level above the horizon (exactly: above the chimney) that the sun occupies within the year in Mbabane.


The image point of the sun and thus its declination is located north of the latitude of Mbabane all year round, so the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.



The highest mountain in Swaziland is the Emlembe with a height of 1,862 m.


The country’s four largest rivers, the Usutu, Komati, Mbuluzi and Ngwavuma, flow from west to east and flow into the Indian Ocean.


In Swaziland there are two lakes, the 16,000 ha = 160 km² lake Jozini and the Mnjoli.

Swaziland Population