International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

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Eswatini Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Eswatini - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Eswatini due to the risk of civil unrest.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Demonstrations

Waves of pro-democracy protests took place throughout the country in 2021. Further demonstrations are likely, particularly in Mbabane and Manzini. Security forces have used violence to disperse crowds, resulting in casualties.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Crime

Petty crime, including robbery is common but is relatively low compared to other countries in southern Africa. Do not show signs of affluence, and ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Violent crime such as armed carjacking, burglary, car theft, and mugging is uncommon, but does occur, mostly in Manzini, Mbabane and rural areas. Avoid walking in these areas after dark.

Crime rates tend to increase ahead of and during the holiday season.

Carjackings

Avoid entering or leaving Eswatini by road after dark, as there have been several armed carjackings on main roads from South Africa and Mozambique. Keep car doors locked, windows up and valuables out of sight at all times.

Terrorism

While there is no recent history of terrorism in Eswatini, there is a threat of terrorism.

Road safety

Safety risks are greater at night and in rural areas. Avoid walking alone. Conditions on national roads, including the highway between Mbabane and Manzini, are relatively good. Secondary roads are usually dirt tracks. Roaming livestock, abandoned unlit trailers, drivers avoiding cyclists and pedestrians, reckless driving, and heavy vehicles pose hazards. Drinking and driving is prevalent.

Most roads lack adequate lighting. Park in well-lit areas. Poor visibility is exacerbated by frequent fog conditions and severe storms, especially in the Highveld, close to Mbabane, and in forest regions near the South African border.

  • Only travel by land during the day
  • Obtain comprehensive insurance
  • Carry original vehicle registration documents
  • Ensure the vehicle is equipped with seat belts and a breakdown-warning triangle

There are car rental agencies at King Mswati III International Airport in Manzini.

There are 11 border entry posts with South Africa and two with Mozambique; most operate between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Consult local authorities for road conditions and schedules prior to cross-border travel.

You should view offers of roadside assistance with caution as this presents an opportunity for theft, mugging and hijackings.

Congested, urban areas can be dangerous at night. Exercise caution.

Public transportation

Avoid travelling by train and using mini-bus taxis, known as khumbis, which are often poorly maintained and overloaded.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Safe-travel guide for women

Wildlife viewing

Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range.

  • Always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife
  • Only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so
  • Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice

Adventure tourism

Only undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining and rock climbing, with a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, refrain from using them. Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance.

If engaging in adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out and do not venture off marked trails 

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

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Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Eswatini authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Eswatini, and have at least 2 blank pages.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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Visas

Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 30 days
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Not required

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Consult the South Africa Travel Advice page if you are transiting by road through South Africa with children under the age of 18.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Southern Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholerahepatitis Aschistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Southern Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic feverchikungunyamalariaRift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Malaria
  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

COVID-19 - Testing

Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.

Medical clinics throughout the country and emergency medical response capacity is limited. Clinics in Mbabane offer good basic medical care for minor procedures. More serious cases are generally evacuated to South Africa. Medical services providers will request you to confirm your medical insurance or pay upfront before treatment. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Death penalty

Serious crimes, including murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, may lead to the death penalty.

Illegal activities

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect large fines and extended jail sentences.

Pornography

Possession of pornographic material is forbidden and punishable by imprisonment.

Photography

Photography of government buildings, military installations, armed forces, royal residences or official ceremonies is prohibited.

Monarchy

Actions or words that are considered offensive or insulting to the king or the royal family are illegal and may result in criminal prosecution and lengthy prison sentences.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Eswatini. Eswatini citizens who acquired another citizenship by marriage or registration, might be asked to renounce that other citizenship or lose Eswatini citizenship. If you are a citizen of Canada, but also a citizen of Eswatini, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited in Eswatini. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Eswatini.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Eswatini by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Eswatini to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

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LGBTQ2 travellers

The laws of Eswatini prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. There is prevalent discrimination against the LGBTQ2 community.

LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Eswatini.

General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

You must carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Dress and behaviour

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions

Money

The currency is the Lilangeni (SZL) but the South African rand (notes only) is also accepted and widely used. Most major hotels and some restaurants accept credit cards.

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Natural disasters and climate

Eswatini can experience severe weather, including thunderstorms and heavy rains. The rainy season extends from October to April. Some roads may become hazardous during this period. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Emergency services exist but may be unreliable. In case of emergency, dial 999.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in Eswatini. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in Maputo, Mozambique.

Maputo - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressKenneth Kaunda Avenue 1138, Maputo, MozambiquePostal AddressP.O. Box 1578, Maputo, MozambiqueTelephone258 (21) 244-200Fax258 (21) 244-2531Emailconsul.mputo@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.mozambique.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in MozambiqueTwitter@CanHCMozambiqueConsular district

Eswatini, Malawi

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Maputo, Mozambique, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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