Mbabane Travel Guide

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Mbabane is the capital of Swaziland, but it may well not have become the capital if the British had not won the Anglo-Boer at the turn of the century. During the 1890’s the Boer administration had earmarked what was then Bremersdorp (now Manzini) for the main centre, preferring the warm climate of the middlevelt area. In "Travels of an American Insurance Agent" by Jas. A. Cavanagh, which was published in 1900, Bremersdorp is indeed described as the capital of Swaziland. However, all that changed when the British won the war and Swaziland subsequently became a protectorate of that country. The English prefered the cool hills of the highvelt and so the area which grew to become Mbabane was designated the Kingdom’s administrative capital.

Mbabane is set among the glorious mountain scenery of the Dlangeni Hills in Swaziland’s western highvelt at an altitude of 1,200 metres. The actual town of Mbabane was established near a cattle kraal belonging to King Mbanzeni - great grandfather of the present Monarch, King Mswati III.

The first government building was erected on the corner of Allister Miller and Walker Streets which today is the site of the Mbabane Branch of the Swaziland Building Society. The head quarters for the colonial administration was not built until 1939. This fine Cape Dutch structure, which was sadly damaged by a bomb late 1998, today houses the Deputy Prime Minister’s office. Next to it was the old court house which presently accommodates the Trade Promotion Unit under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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