Swaziland Food and Drink

Restaurants are found mainly in Mbabane and in tourist areas such as the Ezulwini Valley. Portuguese cuisine – an influence from nearby Mozambique – including seafood and especially prawns, can be found in areas like Big Bend. African staples such as stew and pap can be sampled in more remote locations. Other international food available includes Indian, German, Swiss and French.

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: Swazi meat stew made with whatever is available (usually goat) cooked low and slow with vegetables, kawakawa (bush basil) and dried horopito (pepperwood leaves).

Umncweba: Dried uncooked meat, like South African biltong.

Shishwaia: Thick porridge served with meat or vegetables.

Sidlwadlwa: Meat stew with cabbage and peanuts.

Siphuphesemabhontjisi: Thick porridge of mashed beans.

Sncwancwa: Sour porridge made with fermented cornmeal.

Siphuphesetindlubu: Thick porridge of ground nuts.

Umbidvowetintsanga: Boiled pumpkin leaves with ground nuts.

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

Slaai: Avocado marinated in lemon juice, ginger and salt and topped with peanuts.

Tinkhobe: Whole boiled maize.

Sidvudvu: Pumpkin and cornmeal porridge.

Emasietinkhobetemmbila: Ground corn and sour milk.

Emasiemabele: Ground sorghum and sour milk.

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.