In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #11: Eswatini (formerly named Swaziland). If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
VIDEO – Country #11: Eswatini (Swaziland)
Travelling to Eswatini
During my travels in South Africa, Karen and myself decided to take a side trip to Eswatini. Before travelling to Swaziland, we had no idea what to expect travelling there. We did hear that it’s safe in Eswatini compared to South Africa and we could take our cameras out to take pictures and the chance of getting robbed was significantly lower. This gave me high hopes for our side trip to the country.
Crossing the border from South Africa to Eswatini
We crossed the border from the northern side of the country since we just finished exploring Kruger National Park in South Africa.
We were shocked to see how bad the driving conditions were in Swaziland as soon as we entered. Truthfully, we were hoping that it was just for a small segment of the roads but turns out we would be driving in these poor road conditions for quite awhile.
Things went from bad to worst as the road conditions gradually got worst. I was definitely scared because I didn’t buy car insurance hoping that the credit card car insurance was enough coverage.
After what seemed forever, we were finally greeted with a welcoming sign to our destination: Pigg’s Peak
Pigg’s Peak is a city within Swaziland that everyone recommended for us to visit. Since we knew nothing about the country, we just took that advice as we explored this city.
People seemed friendly in the city and more uniformed and organized. Since we lost a lot of time during our side trip to Swaziland thanks to the horrible road conditions, Karen and myself opted to just eat some snacks we bought at a local gas station. Afterwards, we decided to drive back to South Africa before it gets dark.
We got lost on the way back to the Eswatini-South Africa border. Lost both in directions and in amazement of the landscape. Truly, Swaziland has some of the best landscapes I have ever seen and my eyes continued to be glued outside my window.
But I know I had to stay focused. There are no road names in the streets of Swaziland making it difficult to get around. Karen had to turn on her data plan from Canada for us to find where we were and make our way back to Johannesburg.
Eventually, we found the border crossing back to South Africa. The crossing was a relatively painless experience; though, the South Africa side proved to feel quite sketchy. We were getting low on gas and we didn’t want to stop at the first gas station we saw because it definitely felt unsafe.
The rest of the drive back to Johannesburg was a tense one but we thankfully made it back safe. Looking in hindsight, we should have just stayed overnight in Swaziland instead of doing a day trip.