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Eswatini (Swaziland) Weather, climate and geography

Weather and climate

Best time to visit

Due to variations in altitude, the weather can be changeable. In the Highveld region, temperatures are relatively mild, ranging from between 5°C (41°F) and 21°C (70°F) in the winter, and between 13°C (55°F) and 25°C (77°F) in the summer. The Lowveld has a warmer, drier climate, with average temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) to 27°C (81°F) in the winter, and from 18°C (64°F) to 32°C (90°F) in the summer. 

Choosing when to visit Eswatini (Swaziland) is a matter of personal preference. The wet summer season, between October and March, can be unbearable in the Lowveld but pleasant in the Highveld. Hikers should aim for an early start during the summer, as the midday heat can get intense and afternoon electrical storms are also quite common. Heavy rains can also have a negative impact on activities such as white-water rafting and caving. The dry winter season, between June and August, is usually mild in the Lowveld but can get quite cold in the Highveld. In the dry season, there is a lack of lush vegetation which makes it easier to see the wildlife. However, since the wildlife reserves throughout the country are so small, it’s always fairly easy to see game all year round. Visit during the rainy season, though, if you want to witness the variety of birds Eswatini (Swaziland) has to offer.

Required clothing

Bring light clothing, such as linens, and a jacket for the evenings. Waterproofs are rarely needed unless you're doing a lot of walking between October and March. Since hiking is the best way to see the beautiful landscape, hiking boots or sturdy trainers are a must.

Geography

Eswatini (Swaziland) is surrounded to the north, west and south by the Mpumalanga province of South Africa and to the east by Mozambique. There are four main topographical regions: the Highveld Inkangala – a wide ribbon of partly reforested, rugged country including the Usutu pine forest; the Peak Timbers in the northwest; the Middleveld, which rolls down from the Highveld through hills and fertile valleys; and the Lowveld, or bush country, with hills rising from 170 to 360m (560 to 1,180ft).

The Lubombo plateau is an escarpment along the eastern fringe of the Lowveld, comprising of mainly cattle country and mixed farmland. Eswatini’s (Swaziland's) four major rivers are the Komati, Usutu, Mbuluzi and Ngwavuma.

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