Eswatini Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Eswatini?

Overview:

Swaziland is a landlocked independent kingdom in southern Africa. Swaziland consists of 6,700 square miles bordered on three sides by the Republic of South Africa (the Provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal). Its 70-mile-eastern border with Mozambique is about 40 miles inland from the Indian Ocean. The greatest distance from north to south is 120 miles and from east to west is roughly 90 miles. The highveld has an average elevation is 4,000 feet.

The middleveld and the Lubombo Plateau are defined as the central and extreme eastern sections. The middleveld is the site of the industrial center of the country, Manzini, as well as the University of Swaziland campuses and has an average elevation of 2,500 feet. The average elevation of the Lubombo Plateau is 1,800 feet.

Geography - note:

landlocked; almost completely surrounded by South Africa

Climate:

Swaziland is divided into four well-defined regions running from west to east. The mountainous highveld, where Mbabane is located, has a humid, near-temperate climate with mean annual rainfall of 40-90 inches (100-230 centimeters), rarely suffering from drought. Daytime weather is more variable in the highveld than in other regions; a foggy morning may be followed by a sunny afternoon and vice versa. Temperatures in Mbabane range from an average of 51ºF to an average of 72ºF. In some parts of Mbabane, frost develops in winter and snow occasionally occurs.

The middleveld and the Lubombo Plateau (the central and extreme eastern sections) are subtropical and drier, with mean annual rainfall of 25-47 inches (65-120 centimeters). Temperatures average 78ºF to an average low of 57 degrees. The middleveld is the site of the industrial center of the country, Manzini, as well as the University of Swaziland campuses and has an average elevation of 2,500 feet. The average elevation of the Lubombo Plateau is 1,800 feet.

The lowveld is subtropical and drier with a mean annual rainfall of 20-30 inches (50-90 centimeters); the majority of this rainfall is from heavy storms. Temperatures in Big Bend, the largest town in the lowveld, range from an average low of 58ºF to a high of 84ºF. The altitude ranges from 500 to 1,000 feet.

Eswatini Use of Natural Resources

Eswatini Environment

Climate:

Swaziland is divided into four well-defined regions running from west to east. The mountainous highveld, where Mbabane is located, has a humid, near-temperate climate with mean annual rainfall of 40-90 inches (100-230 centimeters), rarely suffering from drought. Daytime weather is more variable in the highveld than in other regions; a foggy morning may be followed by a sunny afternoon and vice versa. Temperatures in Mbabane range from an average of 51ºF to an average of 72ºF. In some parts of Mbabane, frost develops in winter and snow occasionally occurs.

The middleveld and the Lubombo Plateau (the central and extreme eastern sections) are subtropical and drier, with mean annual rainfall of 25-47 inches (65-120 centimeters). Temperatures average 78ºF to an average low of 57 degrees. The middleveld is the site of the industrial center of the country, Manzini, as well as the University of Swaziland campuses and has an average elevation of 2,500 feet. The average elevation of the Lubombo Plateau is 1,800 feet.

The lowveld is subtropical and drier with a mean annual rainfall of 20-30 inches (50-90 centimeters); the majority of this rainfall is from heavy storms. Temperatures in Big Bend, the largest town in the lowveld, range from an average low of 58ºF to a high of 84ºF. The altitude ranges from 500 to 1,000 feet.

Terrain:

mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains

Natural Resources:

asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc

Natural Hazards:

drought

Irrigated Land:

192 Square Miles
499 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

limited supplies of potable water; wildlife populations being depleted because of excessive hunting; overgrazing; soil degradation; soil erosion

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Eswatini Geography

Geographic Location Africa
Total Area 6,704 Square Miles
17,364 Square Kilometers
Land Area 6,642 Square Miles
17,204 Square Kilometers
Water Area 62 Square Miles
160 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 332 Miles
535 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 192 Square Miles
499 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Mozambique 105 km, South Africa 430 km
Geographic Coordinates 26 30 S, 31 30 E
Terrain mostly mountains and hills; some moderately sloping plains
Highest Point 1,862 Meters
Highest Point Location Emlembe 1,862 m
Lowest Point 21 Meters
Lowest Point Location Great Usutu River 21 m
Natural Resources asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone, and talc
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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