The most important tip I can give you on Swaziland  local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Swaziland, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.

What to Eat in

Swaziland foods photo

Photo by ヘザー heza

Many Western foods are available in Swazi grocery stores, but traditional foods are still common, as is modern convenient food based on traditional ingredients. Maize-based dishes are popular, and mealie or pap (similar to porridge) is a staple. Beans, groundnuts, pumpkin, avocado and sour milk are also common ingredients.



Dried and cooked local meats, such as antelope (often called ‘wild meat’ by locals), are widely available at tourist restaurants. “Chicken dust” is a cheap local bbq meal; basically chicken grilled in the open served with a salad and mealie. It is popular both with locals and absolutely delicious. Of course, take appropriate precautions as it is a street vendor food. Sweet breads, vegetables and fruits are often available from roadside merchants.

If you’re craving pasta, imported olive oil, Nestle chocolate, Herbal Essences and Carlsberg, head over to the Hub, at Manzini: a huge Spar with everything you could need (at an appropriately inflated price). There are several coffee-shops and restaurants around the Hub, also: be aware that the lavatories are located separately, down the stairs, and you have to pay to use them.

Manzini’s bustling markets and local shops yield all kinds of interesting foodstuffs, along with the ubiquitous KFC. There are some superb restaurants in Swaziland; many are be found in Ezulwini: eDladleni Restaurant, (Upper end of Ezulwini Valley), ? +268 404 5743, . 11.00-23.00. Traditional Swazi food – one of Swazilands only restaurants serving tradtitional food The Calabash Continental Restaurant, (Upper end of Ezulwini Valley), ? (+268) 416 1187, . 11.00-23.00. Excellent German and Swiss cuisine.

They do wonderful things with fish! The Boma Restaurant, Timbali Lodge (Upper Ezulwini Valley), ? (+268) 416 1156, . 11.00-23.00. New, popular, ‘Africa-Chic’ destination. The Great Taipei, Gables Shopping Centre, Ezulwini, ? (+268) 416 2300. 12.00-23.00. Swaziland’s favourite Chinese restaurant. Reasonably priced. The Driftwood Resetaurant at Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge and Nature Reserve []

What to Drink in Swaziland

Marula is locally brewed during the marula season. It may be difficult to find; ask locals as it is home-brewed. There is a vibrant nightlife in Swaziland ranging from traditional dances to bars and nightclubs. If you’re staying in Ezulwini, there are four bars at the Royal Swazi hotel; why not check out the Why Not nightclub too? If you’re in the Malkerns area, the House on Fire is extremely popular: local art, local and national DJs, an open-air setting and live acts. Maguga Lodge, Maguga Dam, Piggs Peak, .

Dining at Maguga Lodge is an epicurean delight. The restaurant offers excellent food with an interesting, diverse menu. The striking Lapa Restaurant is a piece of art in itself. The soaring ceilings provide the ambience of space while vibrant wall murals (created by a local artist) light up the interior. The restaurant offers a delicious À la carte menu during the week and on Sundays the atmospheric restaurant comes alive with a delectable buffet lunch. The restaurant is open daily from 7am – 1030pm. Bar & Restaurant Viewing Deck A wooden deck enveloping the front of the restaurant is the perfect place to relax.

With comfortable cushioned loungers, a stunning view of the dam wall and a comprehensive cocktail menu, the deck offers just the right mixes to watch the sunset and unwind! For sports lovers, there is DSTV in the bar to catch your favorite game! Please ask you server for our selection of board games available for guests. Pool & Lapa Open to guests as well as day visitors, our pool and lapa area can also be booked for private events. A dart board and Ping Pong table are there for fun & games! A delightful place to have a spit braaii with full bar service available.

Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.