Mbabane is the capital of Eswatini and the largest city in the country. The city is built around the Mdimba Mountains and the Polinjane River. The city is just 23 km from South Africa.
When did Mbabane Become the Capital?
Mbabane was founded by Mickey Wells in 1887 at the crossing of the Mbabane River. In 1902, it was declared the capital of the new Swaziland Conservation Bureau. During this time, Mbabane consisted of several shops, churches and schools founded by white settlers. Black Africans were not allowed to live in the town and had to live in nearby rural areas.
In 1899, the South African War broke out between the British Empire and the two Boer republics, the Transvaal Republic and the Free Orange State. The British Empire defeated the Boer, which had built up nearly half a million troops in South Africa. The Battle of Boer II was the largest and most expensive war Britain entered between the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. In 1903, Mbabane became the capital of Eswatini after the end of the South African War.
Features of Mbabane
Mbabane has a population of 94,874 according to 2010 data. Mbabane has an area of 81.76 square kilometers. Mbabane is one of the least populated capitals in Africa. The city of Mbabane, the capital of the country of Eswatini, has similar climate characteristics to the country. In our country, where the seasons are reversed, the air temperature between summer and November is around 20 degrees. This period is also a rainy period. Between May and October, winter is experienced and rainfall is less. The average temperature is 13 degrees during this period.
Since the level of security in the city is low, you should take care not to go out alone at night. Robbery and snatch are the most common crimes in the city. As in the country, the capital Mbabane is experiencing major problems in terms of epidemic diseases. The most important epidemics are malaria and tuberculosis. As regards AIDS, it is ranked # 1 in the world according to the report of the world health organization. Because of epidemics and AIDS, the average life expectancy of people is considerably shorter than in other regions.
As in the country, you can find restaurants serving both western and local cuisine at Mbabane. There is a limited number of restaurants serving Western cuisine. Local delicacies can be found both in restaurants and in street vendors. Corn-based dishes are in the foreground. In addition, dishes made from antelope (hard wild meat among the people) are famous. The most popular dishes are the traditional dishes sold in local markets, made with meat Swazi stew, corn and cornflour.
Important Places to See in Mbabane
Places to visit in the city of Mbabane generally consists of local markets. Apart from this, there are not many alternatives. Renting a car can take you to many places in the country, as the face is a small country. It is especially recommended that you go to the towns where you can get to know Swazi culture closely. There are many workshops and factories in Eswatini that sell handmade candles specific to Mbabane. You can also go to Kruger Wildlife Park, which is organized once a day.
There is not much activity in the city. However, you can witness the life of Eswatini more closely by participating in cultural tours to the surrounding villages. You can also take part in excursions to nature parks in the country and get to know Africa’s rich ecology.