Manzini
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 25 28.133 E 030 58.448 | pop. 230,000 | elevation 684 m/2,244 ft

Manzini is located in the center of Swaziland and is the principle commercial, industrial and transport hub of the country. The size of the downtown area makes it walkable by day but there are few tourist attractions in town. But the huge Manzini Market alone makes the city worth a visit, to wade through the hundreds of stalls selling food, crafts and traditional Swazi medicines.

Manzini Market

Manzini Market is a popular covered outdoor market with stalls selling everything from brightly colored woven baskets to muti (traditional Swazi medicine). A large section of the market is dedicated to craft stalls geared toward tourists.


Bhunu Mall

Bhunu Mall is the largest shopping complex in Manzini with a large Shoprite, and a host of other shops, restaurants, a bank, and an Internet café.


The Hub Shopping Center

The Hub Shopping Center has a SuperSpar, Standard Bank & Swazibank ATMs, an assortment of shops and Rambles Restaurant.


Budget

Myxo's Backpackers

Myxo's Backpackers is somewhat of a home stay, with Myxo and a few of his family members living at the backpackers. The house could use some updating, but has a relaxed atmosphere and has only a couple of rooms for guests.

About 6 km east of Manzini on the MR3 there are signs for Myxo's Backpackers and Crystal Guest House, turn onto the dirt road near the signs (S 26 29.275 E 031 25.840) and continue 1.5 km to the end of the dirt road where you will find the backpackers.


Mid-range

Park Hotel

Park Hotel has simple rooms and a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. On Sunday mornings there is a church service held in the basement, which you can hear throughout the hotel.


Manzini Lodge

Manzini Lodge is a smaller lodge with basic rooms. The reception is strictly only open during the listed time above times.


Zamekile's Guest House

Zamekile's Guest House is a newly opened guesthouse that is still a bit disorganized. It has five en suite bedrooms with a communal living room and kitchen downstairs.


Top-end

Tum's George Hotel

Tum's George Hotel is the most upscale hotel in Manzini with two restaurants, two bars and 50 rooms that surround a courtyard pool. All rooms have TV and AC. The second story rooms are the same price and have a balcony.


Ramblas Restaurant

Ramblas Restaurant serves up hearty meals including large and loaded pizzas and solid breakfasts.


Al-Medina

Al-Medina is a Halal restaurant with fish and chips, bunny chow, and the best Indian food in Manzini, including a selection of curries and tandoori.


Debonairs Pizza

Debonairs Pizza is a South African pizza chain with skimpy pizzas, but they do free delivery within a 7 km radius.


Kowloon Fast Food

Next door, Kowloon Fast Food serves Chinese food from the same owners, which they will deliver along with a pizza order from Debonairs.


The Egg Yolk Coffee Shop & Sports Bar

The Egg Yolk Coffee Shop & Sports Bar is owned by Tum's George Hotel and serves drinks and light meals at its outdoor café during the day. In the evening, it expands to an indoor/outdoor sports bar. The café serves Umgcwembe - a traditional Swazi meal of meat, pap and spinach on a large wooden tray.


Tum's George Restaurant

Tum's George Restaurant is a pleasant dining area that serves typical hotel restaurant fare including steak, fish, seafood and pasta. You can also order Umgcwembe off The Egg Yolk Coffee Shop menu next door.


Tinkers Pub & Restaurant

Tinkers Pub & Restaurant is an indoor/outdoor bar that gets packed on the weekends when it turns into a "disco bar" with DJs that come in from South Africa. It is a fun place to party, but watch your pockets.


Café de Flore

Café de Flore has black lights, mirrored walls and at least 10 disco balls on the ceiling. This place pulls in some big name DJs from both Swaziland and South Africa.


Super Rock

Super Rock is another place to mix with the local crowd. It's nondescript outside but is usually blaring music and packed with people.


Huayang (Chinese) Bar

Huayang (Chinese) Bar is a borderline dive bar that has mood lighting, two pool tables and some booths. It has the cheapest drinks in town and because of that, it attracts a rougher crowd.