A street in downtown Mbabane
Mbabane is located in Swaziland
Location of Mbabane in Swaziland.
Coordinates: 26°19′S 31°08′E / 26.317°S 31.133°E / -26.317; 31.133
Country  Swaziland
District Hhohho
Population (2003)
 - Total 95,000

Mbabane (Swati: ÉMbábáne), with an estimated population of 95,000 (2007), is the capital and largest city of Swaziland. It is located on the Mbabane River and its tributary the Polinjane River in the Mdimba Mountains. It is located in the district of Hhohho, of which it is also the capital. The average elevation of the city is 1243 meters. The population (estimated) in 1987 was 30,000.[1]

The town grew after the nation's administrative centre moved from Bremersdorp (now called Manzini) in 1902. It derives its name from a Chief, Mbabane Kunene, who lived in the area when British settlers arrived. It is also a commercial hub for the surrounding region, while tin and iron were mined nearby.

View of Mbabane

Mbabane's closest border crossing to South Africa is Ngwenya-Oshoek, and though siSwati is the primary language, English is widespread. Mbabane, and Swaziland itself, depend on tourism and sugar exports. The city has two sites for light industries.

Mbabane is the home of the Waterford-KaMhlaba United World College of Southern Africa, as well as one of the three campuses of the University of Swaziland. Also in Mbabane is the British High Commission which is responsible for relations between the governments of Swaziland and the United Kingdom.

Portable market hut in Mbabane, 1979

Sister cities


Due to its altitude, Mbabane features a milder, more moderate form of a humid subtropical climate. The city has a mild climate and snow is a rare event, which has occurred only 3 times since 1900. The city averages only four days of frost a year. The average annual temperature is 15°C in July and 22°C in January.[2]


  1. ^ Whitaker's Almamack; 1988
  2. ^ The Cambridge Factfinder; 4th ed.

Coordinates: 26°19′S 31°08′E / 26.317°S 31.133°E / -26.317; 31.133

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