Known as "The Hub," Manzini, Swaziland, is located almost in the center of Swaziland, and is the second-largest urban area after the capital Mbabane. Formerly known as Bremersdorp, it was the nation's capital until British rule in the early twentieth century, when the capital was moved to Mbabane, and the name Manzini was adopted about sixty years later. The town is now a modern mix of offices and shopping malls, which, while holding little interest for the international tourist, is a stepping stone into the more touristic areas of Swaziland. It does boast a vibrant street market, where handicrafts and African prints can be bought.
Swaziland's only commercial international airport is located at Matsapha, on the western edge of Manzini; an international trade fair is held annually at the Mavuso Trade Center in town in the first two weeks of September, and is extremely popular. Accommodation at a Manzini, Swaziland hostel could be very hard to find during this time.
It's a busy town that also serves the industrial area of Matsapha and is the engine room of Swaziland's economy. Travelers entering Swaziland from the east will most likely have to change transport in Manzini, as the main MR3 road carries on to Mbabane and smaller roads fan out to the Ezulwini and Malkerns valleys and Mliliwane Wildlife Sanctuary, which are the areas of Swaziland of most interest to tourists. The bustling bus and taxi station is a confusing mess of a place, but the locals are friendly and will guide you to the right vehicle for your onward journey.
There is a mix of accommodation in Manzini region, centering on small family guesthouses and business hotels. For budget travelers, there are options for a hostel in Manzini, Swaziland, while a few others lie on the road towards Ezulwini valley and in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary a short distance from Manzini town. These offer good, dorm-style hostel facilities and are a great base for exploring the rest of central Swaziland either by car or by public transport, which is plentiful here. Manzini, Swaziland hostels can organize day trips in the area and further afield, and there are opportunities for volunteer work also.
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