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Manzini, the largest town in Swaziland welcomes visitors to its rich culture and strong traditions with open arms. Known to be a commercial hub, the city also sports enough shopping malls to keep tourists engaged. Manzini’s main attraction is its local market; filled with colour and a wide array of products including handicrafts, glassware, antique boutique items, wood, stone carvings and many other such interesting collections. Although Manzini immerses itself in customs with trace back to generations, it also offers modern, after dark experiences by offering a fair share of night life. Head out to Malandela, as it remains to be the best entertainment venue in Swaziland, offering live performances, alongside hosting the most celebrated 3 day annual Bushfire Festival. The main bars and cafes of the country are centred in Manzini. Stop by at any of the many eateries the city offers, including fine dining restaurants, bakeries and cafes as you indulge in local as well as international cuisines. The traditional Agricultural show has now been transformed into an international trade fair for industries to promote their products. The public places around the central post office and the main malls have open parks to serve as official green areas catering for the town’s urban hub, such as the Millennium Park, Jubilee Park and Civic Office Park. Private greenery efforts include the Summerfield Botanical Garden, located along the banks of the Bobokazi River. Beyond the outskirts along the highway, the Ntfungulu Hills are a prime spot for natural trekking, spanning across protected woodlands, Spring Rivers as well as gorges. Another satellite town of Mhlambanyatsi is located nearby which hosts one of the largest artificial forests. The presence of both Methodist and Anglican Churches highlights the Christian heritage present in the area. One of the largest commercial heritage institutions is Malandela, having an art gallery, a theatre, an arts and crafts workshop as well as a local designer boutique. The famed Swazi Candles are also present here, with wax-made models and multiple patterns of candles regarded as souvenirs representing Swaziland’s heritage. The closest wildlife areas surrounding Manzini include the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, the oldest protected wildlife area of the country, the Ngwempisi Gorge, and the most prized of all, the Mkhaya Game Reserve, having a habitat of endangered white rhinos, black rhinos, elephants, leopards and antelopes.
South African Airways facilitates air travel from UK to Manzini.
There are currently no direct flights for this route.
On average, passengers departing from London would have to undergo an overall flight time of 15 hours for reaching Manzini. This flight time is exclusive from the time spent on stopovers, which can range from single to double stopovers prior to reaching destination.
The distance from the Manzini Airport to the city centre is approximately 8.84 kilometres.
Taxis and mini busses operate to and from the airport, helping tourists in their travel day and night.
Explore the city on a taxi or a mini bus. Downtown Manzini is small and at walking distance from the city taking up to 15 minutes by walk, which is a great way to explore as you go. However, taxis are preferred to get around in the city centre whist mini busses are used to get to nearby destinations as well as the residential area. Kombis replace minibuses to operate on regular routes for local commute in the area.
Ideal time to visit Manzini is during the months of January to April as this period hosts average temperatures. However slightly cooler yet pleasant temperatures are experienced from October to December, making them tourist friendly as well.
The general trend highlights lodges and resort hotels, established to facilitate standard amenities and services while varying between deluxe rooms, suites and even single huts. These lodges may vary from their setting, from golf club guest houses to safari trail accommodations in the outskirts. A few of the lodges are administered by foreigners in the area, facilitating above-the-average services and standards of hospitality. To accommodate foreign guests acclimatizing to the local heritage, there are village guest houses also present for tourists to experience the village lifestyle of living. A couple of accommodations provide relaxation spa services for their guests, while certain guest houses operate on bed & breakfast standards for a budget stay. When it comes to standard hotels, the George Hotel classifies as the single option, within easy reach of the central district of Manzini and all major landmarks in the area. Head 12 km from the city to the Malkerns or Ezulwini Valleys where tourists can get to avail the sanctity of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
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