Excerpts from "A Traveller's Guide to Swaziland" by Bob Forrester.
CARS and DRIVING
Index to information in the guide
CARS AND DRIVING
Foreign cars entering Swaziland need to obtain a disc at the border. This disc is a Government road levy and costs E50.00. It is not a third party disc. Third party cover is extended from your original country of registration, provided your car is registered in southern Africa. There are no restrictions for a tourist, other than obeying normal rules of the road. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road and there is a general speed limit of 80 km per hour. In towns, the speed limit is 60 km an hour. The limit on the new highway is 120 km/h. Police have radar traps, particularly on the highway. Fines are payable on the spot for foreigners' cars. Watch out for talking on your cellphone whilst driving, this incurs an E5000 fine.
The Malagwane Hill, between Ezulwini and Mbabane once had the dubious honour of being mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most dangerous stretch of road in the world. There used to be a sign board with moveable numbers that showed how many people had died, much like a cricket scoreboard. This was taken down after a number of years as it made tourists nervous. The Malagwane is now much safer with a highway but extreme caution is advised - particularly at night, week-ends and the end of the month. If you get a combination of all three, watch out. The camber goes the wrong way on some bends, other drivers can be very erratic.
Large parts of the country are unfenced cattle grazing grounds, so watch out for cattle on the roads. At night cattle come to lie on the roads which retain the heat of the day longer than the veld. Many vehicles at night do not dip their lights at oncoming traffic or have only one headlight which is kept on bright. Beware. Car thieves operate in Swaziland, particularly at night. They more commonly steal the whole vehicle rather than bits of it, so try to park near a night watchman if you do not have an immobiliser. (For repairs and car agencies, see Garages.)
Driving distances from Mbabane to: