Best things to do in Mbabane
Find out more about those top places in Mbabane
Mbabane is Swaziland’s largest city and it also doubles as the nation’s capital city. With a population of over 90,000 people, it boasts of amazing road networks, beautiful coastal boulevards, pristine beaches and incredible wild life presence.
Although Mbabane cannot be compared to other more popular cities in the region, it can be said to be one of those cities that gives you a better reward for your money – its attractions when compared to the rest of the cities in its region are quite similar. So if you are searching for a budget friendly East African city then Mbabane should be your first choice.
The Sibebe Mountain is perhaps Swaziland’s most cherished attraction – located just 10 km from Mbabane, the granite mountain is recognized as the largest exposed granite pluton and the largest monolith in the world riding at 350 m above the valley of the Mbuluzi River. It is also the destination for the “Sibebe Survivor” an annual mountain hike event involving thousands of participants. Climbing the mountain might be a bit difficult for inexperience mountain climbers, to extra care is advised.
No trip to Mbabane is complete, without a visit to the Hlane Royal National Park – the largest protected area in Swaziland, with land area of over 22,000 hectares. At this park, there are no shortages of attractions to see and activities to partake in. It is home to wealth of wildlife such as lions, leopards, elephants, white rhinos and a wide variety of birds.
The hard to miss national museum is located at Lobamba adjacent to the Parliament – it is a place to go for an education on the history and archaeological facts about Swaziland. The national museum was built in 1972 and features some artifacts as well as a traditional village and cattle enclosure.
Built in the opposite side of the museum is the King Sobhuza II Memorial Park, a formal garden where the body of King Sobhuza II, who led the country to independence, is laid to rest in a glass mausoleum which is guarded day and night. It also contains a large brass statue of the King at the center of the park, with Sobhuza’s famous utterances place at the base of the statue. If you are lucky to be visiting at an important time, the flame of the garden would be lit.
The famous ceremony that is performed in most countries in Southern African is one that displays the culture of the Swaziland people. The eight-day ceremony features thousands of girls dress in their brightly colored traditional attire – making it one of Africa’s biggest events. For most parts the event is kept private and far from public eye, it is only open to the public on the last two days- the time of the event varies because it is derived from ancestral astrology but it usually occurs at the end of August or beginning of September. Visitors are not allowed to take pictures of the event.