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XYZ Consular Info: Swasiland
Swaziland Consular Information Sheet
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
April 11, 2002
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Swaziland is a small developing nation in southern
well-developed facilities for tourism are available. The capital is
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is required. Please contact the Embassy of
the Kingdom of Swaziland, 3400 International Drive, N.W., Suite 3M,
Washington, D.C., 20008, (202) 362-6683 regarding visa requirements. Visas
are not generally required for tourists and business travelers coming to
Swaziland for short visits (less than 60 days) on standard U.S. passports.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have
initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring
documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel
from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation
on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry and departure.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Civil unrest and disorder are rare. In the wake of
the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the ongoing worldwide threat to
U.S. Government facilities, the American Embassy in Mbabane has increased
its security precautions and counter-terrorism measures.
CRIME INFORMATION: Petty street crime, primarily theft of money and
personal property, occurs with some frequency. Since mid-1994, occasional
armed hijacking of automobiles has taken place in Manzini and, less
frequently, in Mbabane and outlying areas of Swaziland.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens
may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet,
"A Safe Trip Abroad," for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The
pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at
http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are limited throughout Swaziland.
The Mbabane Clinic in the capital, though small, is well-equipped and
well-staffed for minor procedures. For advanced care, Americans often
choose to go to South Africa where up-to-date facilities and specialists may
be found. A helipad is available at the Mbabane Clinic, and medical
evacuation via fixed-wing aircraft is available from Matsapha Airport. Most
prescription drugs are available or may be imported from South Africa.
Quantities of prescription drugs for personal use may be brought into the
country. While not necessary, a doctor's note describing the medication may
be helpful if questioned by authorities.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the
U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical
services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect
immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured travelers who require
medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy
applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation, and for
adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization
and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of
dollars. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas
hospital or doctor or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of
Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling
Abroad," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax:
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health
precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's hotline for international travelers at
1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via
the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S.
citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those
in the United States. The information below concerning Swaziland is
provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a
particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Swaziland has a basic network of paved, two-lane routes, including a new
divided super-highway between the two largest cities, Mbabane and Manzini.
However, the remaining routes are graded dirt roads, even in urban areas.
Several other factors make driving in Swaziland hazardous. Traffic
circulates on the left in Swaziland (as elsewhere in the region) rather than
on the right, as in the
United States. Many drivers travel at high rates of speed, well above the
generally posted limit of
80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. Except on stretches of super-highway,
there is little lighting. Poor visibility is exacerbated by frequent fog
conditions and severe storms, especially in the Highveld where Mbabane is
located. Free-range cattle and people attempting to hitch rides along the
roadways pose further hazards, especially at night.
For additional information about road safety, including links to foreign
government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular
Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific
information concerning Swazi driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax
and mandatory insurance, please contact the Embassy of Swaziland.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service by
local carriers at present, nor economic authority to operate such service
between the United States and Swaziland, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has not assessed Swaziland's civil aviation authority
for compliance with international aviation safety standards.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department of
Transportation within the United States at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For
information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may
contact the DOD at tel. 1-618-229-4801.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject
to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly
from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available
to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be
more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons
violating Swazi law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Swaziland are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences
and heavy fines.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children
and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or visiting Swaziland
are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in
Swaziland and obtain updated information on travel and security within
Swaziland. The U.S. Embassy is located in the Central Bank Building on
Warner Street in the capital city of Mbabane. The mailing address is Box
199, Mbabane, Swaziland. The telephone number is (268) 404-6441/5; fax
* * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated November 1, 2000 to
update the section on
Safety and Security.