In my ongoing series of world borders, I make border crossing a lot more clear, simple and easy for you based on my own experiences. Today you will be very pleased to learn that the border crossing from South Africa to Swaziland is an easy one, I went from Golela to Lavumisa. I would be leaving South Africa from Golela in Zululand ready for a brand new country and a new adventure.
How to get from South Africa to Swaziland (Golela to Lavumisa)
Firstly you need to decide on your method of transport, it’s going to be by bus (though car and motorbike is of course also an option). I chose an unusual option for my trip – I went on the “backpackers bus”, a company called Baz Bus. This is definitely recommended if you are a new traveller and if you want a nice easy, safe, hassle free ride. I normally like to rough it with the locals, but to get from Durban to the hostel in Mahlanya, the Baz Bus was a very easy option, so I booked it. They have a website here: Baz Bus
You might have read that I used a different bus company, a more local one to get from South Africa to Botswana, that company was Intercape, but you cannot use them to get to Swaziland so Translux is another option, but anyway I was with Baz.
Leaving Zululand at Golela
Once you get to the town of Golela in Zululand you realise you’re at the border. For leaving South Africa, the bus will stop and let you get your passport stamped. It is a very fast and simple process.
There were absolutely no issues at all, a quick stamp and then you get back into the bus and drive across the muddy border into Swaziland. Once there, get off the bus again and you are now in the village of Lavumisa, next to a big sign saying “Welcome to Swaziland”. Pick up an immigration entry card at the border point in Lavumisa, fill it in and get your stamp. I’m making this sound way too easy – but it is.
Do you need a visa to visit Swaziland?
I travel on a British and an Irish passport and I didn’t need a visa. You get a stamp on arrival that allows you to stay for 30 days. Check your individual visa requirements for your country first, but honestly, MOST countries don’t need a visa for Swaziland.
Is it really that easy to get from South Africa to Swaziland?
Yes – this is one of the easiest border crossings I have ever done.
Anything else I need to know?
– The border point between Golela to Lavumisa is open from 7am to 10 pm. There are also entry points to Swaziland at Sicunusa, Bulembu, Mahamba, Jeppe’s Reef and Ngwenya (I will write about the Ngwenya one at some point, as I left Swaziland that way).
– There is a malaria risk in Swaziland, so make sure you have your anti malaria tablets
– Swaziland’s units of currency are the Emalangeni and they are permanently fixed on a par with the South African rand. There is absolutely no need to get Emalangeni before you arrive in Swaziland. You can pay for anything in Swaziland using South African rand. Though I am a keen banknote collector, it’s one of my travel collectibles so I used the local currency on my stay there.
– Swaziland is a great country with wildlife, nature, handicrafts and a cool local beer called Sibebe – well worth a visit!!
That’s it folks! Easy peasy to get from South Africa to Swaziland this way. Check out my other world borders here. Happy travels!
Leaving South Africa at Golela in Zululand:
Arrival in Swaziland at Lavumisa: