Swaziland celebrates a number of public holidays each year and whilst these do not affect the tourism industry much, as we operate 365 days a year, they are worth noting by travellers for the impacts they might have.
Important issues to keep an eye on are whether all shops will be closed or not. On the particularly sacred holidays such as the Umhlanga and Incwala days, all shops, supermarkets and businesses are ordered to close. Most businesses also close on Xmas day. For the rest of the year, public holidays are generally observed by most sectors apart from the retail supermarkets, who remain open to service their clientele.
Another impact to keep an eye on is congestion at border posts. On days when Swazis living in South Africa (and there are many) come back home for long weekends and holidays, the major border posts tend to be much busier. The most heavily backed up tends to be the Ngwenya-Oshoek border as this is the main border between Swaziland and the Gauteng area of South Africa.
Our suggestion: Before or after a long weekend or public holiday simply avoid using the Oshoek-Ngwenya border – there are plenty of alternatives to use such as Sandlane-Nerston, Sicunusa-Houdkop or if you’d like a scenic drive take the Bulembu – Josefdal option, for an awesome mountain pass experience.
1 January 2015 New Year
3 April 2015 Good Friday
6 April 2015 Easter Monday
19 April 2015 King’s Birthday
25 April 2015 Flag Day
1 May 2015 Workers Day
14 May 2015 Ascension Day
22 July 2015 late King’s Sobhuza II birthday
Aug/Sept Umhlanga Reed Dance – to be advised
6 September 2015 Independence Day
25 December 2015 Christmas Day
26 December 2015 Boxing Day
Dec/Jan Incwala (Kingship Ceremony) – to be advised
Safe travels – happy travels!