The Kingdom of Swaziland Explored


The Kingdom of Swaziland Explored

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 12 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Notes

Foreign Government Travel Warnings

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At present there are no warnings against travel to the areas of Swaziland that we visit. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.

It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.

Accommodation and Meals

Hotel Check-in Times

As a general rule most hotels will allow guests to check-in from 2pm. Please note that the price of your tour does not include guaranteed early check-in. Therefore please advise us if you would like to ensure that your room is available for an earlier arrival. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the tour and for early morning arrivals. One option is to pre-book and pay for an extra night at the beginning of your tour which will guarantee your accommodation is available irrespective of what time you arrive. Please contact us for information and costs.

It should also be noted that on many of our tours we have set-aside Day 1 of the itinerary as an ‘arrival day’. For this reason and because tour participants are likely to be arriving at different times, and often from different countries, guided sightseeing or other activities are not included. If you are arriving early or before the start date of the tour and would like to organise some extra arrangements on a private basis please contact us.

Accommodation Rating

At Undiscovered Destinations we know our travellers prefer to stay in comfortable, mid-range accommodation. With a few exceptions you can expect rooms to be en-suite, with private bathroom. In general you will find your hotel has a restaurant and/or bar.  The accommodation we use in Swaziland is unique and it must be noted that electricity is not always available. Detailed descriptions are provided in the itinerary.

We welcome solo travellers and single rooms will be allocated subject to the applicable tour supplement. Please note that on occasions you may not always be allocated a double or twin room, as some hotels have designated single rooms. These may be smaller in size. However, the supplement payable takes this into consideration.

Food & Drink

The daily meal basis is shown in the tour itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). Please note that lunches may be a picnic. Drinks are not included and will be payable locally in cash.

Dietary Requirements

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Budgeting for your Tour

You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.

Food

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide.  

Lunch £3.50

Dinner £5.00

Drink

The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

Beer £0.70

Water £0.40

Tipping – Guide and Drivers

We will tip all guides, drivers, restaurant and other staff during your time in Swaziland. Please do not tip separately as you may upset the apple cart.

Foreign Exchange

ATM Availability: ATM’s are available in the towns and cities but we cannot comment on their reliability

Credit and Debit Card Acceptance: Credit cards can be used (VISA being the best). PIN cards are acceptable in cash machines if they carry the VISA logo.

Local Currency: Lilangeni (singular) or Emalangeni (plural) and cents is the currency of Swaziland. It is tied to the South African Rand and both Rand and Emalangeni are in circulation in Swaziland. If you pay for something in Rand you will be given change in Emalangeni

Recommended Currency for Exchange: It is best to get Rand to take with you but please make sure that you DO NOT have R200 notes – at times they are not accepted as legal tender. This has recently changed – make sure they have the new R220 notes.

Where to Exchange: We advise guests to obtain Rand before departure, to avoid hassles in Swaziland. Emalangeni are not accepted outside Swaziland and it is advisable to change any leftover Emalangeni into Rand, which can then be later changed back into sterling.

Joining your Tour

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive an airport transfer, both on arrival and departure include in the tour price ONLY if arriving and departing on the scheduled tour dates. In order that the transfer can be arranged please ensure that you advise us of your flight information once available. Please advise the date, time and flight number for your arrival/departure. If we have not been advised of this information at least 2 weeks before travel, then you will be required to make your own way to the hotel on Day 1 of your tour. If you are not arriving and departing on the scheduled tour dates then transfers will be at an additional cost.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Undiscovered Destinations that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip.

Visa Information

All visitors require valid passports and travel documents. UK and European nationals do not require visas.  A one-month visa is automatically given on entry into Swaziland.

British nationals do not require a visa for a short visit to South Africa if you are doing the Kruger extension. Other nationals should check with your nearest embassy or consulate for details and requirements. Please ensure your passport is valid for 1 year from entry into the country and has 2 clear pages.

Most nationalities require a visa to visit Mozambique if you are planning on taking our short Mozambique extension. Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate for details. Please ensure you have 2 clear pages in your passport and at least 6 months passport validity from the date of leaving Mozambique.

Passports

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK.

We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.

For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Vaccinations & Protection

There are no compulsory vaccinations required for travel to Swaziland. However we recommend that you speak with your doctor for the most up to date advice regarding any vaccinations that may be recommended. Yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Please carefully check your vaccination requirements with a health professional at least 2 months prior to departure if possible.

Preparing for your tour

Climate

Swaziland is a year-round destination with plenty of sunshine. Those keen on game viewing should visit April to October during the dry and cooler season and when game viewing is at its best. For the extensions both Kruger National Park and the coastal area of Mozambique

Drought in Swaziland

Please kindly note that water is in short supply in Swaziland after lower than expected rains thought to be due to the El Nino cycle. As a result grazing animals have been particularly badly affected. Whilst you will see plenty of wildlife in Swaziland due to the drought it is not as abundant as in previous years. We would ask you to use water wisely whilst you are in the country.

Clothing

Casual clothing is recommended and acceptable throughout the country.  Natural coloured clothing, such as green and beige, not only keeps you cool but also will not startle wildlife.  In the evenings the temperature may well drop, especially in the winter months (May to September), and a fleece or some similar clothing maybe necessary. During June, July and August, temperatures will drop and the nights can be chilly so bring a woolly hat and thermals. It is advisable to bring a lightweight waterproof for African downpours.

Equipment

The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit. Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. A sun hat and binoculars will come in useful. Electricity is not available at Hlane or Mkhaya so please ensure you have the appropriate spare batteries and remote charging equipment. A torch or head torch is essential as many places are dimly lit at night especially in the bush.

Footwear

Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended especially when doing the walk to the rock art site and a pair of sandals or open shoes/trainers for general travelling.

Luggage on tour

Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.

Electric Supply & Plugs

Electric current is supplied at 220 volts AC 50Hz and 15 amp three round-pin wall sockets are used.

Photography
If you wish to photograph a homestead or an individual, he/she should ask permission or consult your tour leader.  Please be subtle and aware when taking photos.  The photographing of the Royal Palace, the Royal Family, uninformed police, army personnel vehicles or aircraft is prohibited in Swaziland.

Tour Itinerary Versions

Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these tour notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changes to your tour but small changes may just be added to these tour notes. These notes were prepared on 23/08/17