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Eswatini (Swaziland) Food and Drink

Restaurants are found mainly in Mbabane and Manzini, as well as in tourist areas such as the Ezulwini Valley. Portuguese cuisine – an influence from nearby Mozambique – is popular and features fresh seafood including excellent prawns. Other international food available includes Thai, Chinese, Indian, Italian and French. African staples, such as stew and pap, can be sampled in more remote locations and in traditional homesteads and guesthouses.

The time of year and the region of the country will largely determine the ingredients used in local cooking, although staple foods like sorghum and maize are common across the country. Many Swazis are subsistence farmers, supplementing their diet with food bought from local markets including seafood and freshwater produce. There are no formal licensing hours and traditional Swazi beer – tjwla – can be tasted in rural areas. But approach with caution as it packs a punch!


Tahragout: Traditional Swazi meat stew, usually made with goat that’s been cooked slowly with a variety of vegetables, kawakawa (bush basil) and dried horopito (pepperwood leaves).

Umncweba: Dried meat similar to South African biltong.

Shishwala: Hearty porridge served with meat or vegetables.

Sidlwadlwa: Meat stew with cabbage and peanuts.

Siphuphe semabhontjisi: Thick porridge made from mashed beans.

Incwancwa: Sour porridge made with fermented cornmeal.

Siphuphesetindlubu: Thick porridge of ground nuts.

Umbidvo wetintsanga: Boiled pumpkin leaves with ground nuts.

Roasted corn on the cob: Sold on market stalls when in season.

Slaai: Refreshing salad made from avocado marinated in lemon juice, ginger and salt, and topped with peanuts.

Tinkhobe: Whole boiled maize.

Sidvudvu: Porridge made from sweet pumpkin mixed with cornmeal.

Emasietinkhobetemmbila: Ground corn and sour milk.

Sibebe: A local lager brewed in Matsapha.

Things to know

A tip of 10 to 15% of the bill is customary in restaurants and hotels.


Alcohol can be drunk at any age, but can only be bought by over 18s.

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