Eswatini now open for Tourism
The Kingdom of Eswatini has, with immediate effect, dropped the need for PCR Tests for fully vaccinated tourists; and under 12s can enter the country without a test, whether vaccinated or not.
After 2 years of devastation for the country’s tourist industry, and those who depend upon it, this move will be a game changer as international tourists can now enter the country easily to explore and experience its varied attractions. Hot on the heels of the announcement that the country’s internationally renowned MTN Bushfire Festival will go ahead in May for the first time since 2019, and with more and more events and activities re-starting, Eswatini is primed and perfectly positioned to welcome visitors again.
In a Statement issued on 29 March, Eswatini Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini confirmed that in recent months there had been a drastic reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases. This has allowed the easing of restrictions, with Eswatini currently recording fewer than 100 active cases. The clear message that vaccinations are allowing tourism to get moving again is also intended to encourage further vaccination take up amongst the people of Eswatini.
An ever-increasing number of countries across southern and east Africa, including South Africa, have also dropped the PCR test requirement in recent weeks, so allowing multi-destination trips around the continent to flourish once more.
As international travel returns, Eswatini can now re-establish the exciting growth it was seeing prior to the pandemic. In 2020 Eswatini received the prestigious accolade of being named as one of Lonely Planet’s Top Countries in their Best in Travel awards. Despite a 2 year hiatus since then, the attractions and characteristics that saw Eswatini claim such a prize remain strong, and the Kingdom is now ready to build on that success and exposure. Eswatini offers Big 5 safaris (including some of the best white and black rhino experiences in Africa), a rich culture of ancient traditions and colourful festivals, and stunningly beautiful, little visited scenic wilderness areas.
Eswatini is well prepared to welcome tourists back, having been the first country in southern Africa to obtain the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp, and with a host of uncrowded, off-the-beaten-track, sustainable, open-air and nature-based attractions – all the attributes tourists are seeking post-lockdown.
International Representative of the Eswatini Tourism Authority, Kelly White was very upbeat about the move: “This is very exciting news for Eswatini’s tourism and comes not a moment too soon. International tour operators wondering whether to include Eswatini in their itineraries can do so with confidence again, and tourists concerned about the hassle of crossing into the country need worry no more. Easter is fast approaching and Eswatini’s events calendar is getting back into full swing. With all the protocols in place and its wonderful attractions and events ready and waiting, now is the time to try out the ‘Royal Experience’ on offer throughout the wonderous Kingdom of Eswatini!”