17,364 km2



2 Million



The general climatic characterization of Swaziland is subtropical with wet hot summers during which 75% of the annual rainfall is received from October to March and cold dry winters (April-September). Swaziland lies at the transition of major climatic zones, being influenced by air masses from different origin: equatorial convergence zone (summer rains), subtropical eastern continental moist maritime (onshore flow with occasional cyclones), dry continental tropical and marine west Mediterranean (winter rains, with rare snow). Mean annual rainfall ranges from about 1,500 mm in the northern Highveld to 500 mm in the southern Lowveld. Mean annual temperature varies from 17°C in the Highveld to 22°C in the Lowveld. These temperatures are zonal averages, with some variation across zones.

Natural Resources:

Agriculture and fishing and allied activities as hunting and forestry contributes 10% to the GDP. Manufacturing sector with a bias of agro based raw materials mainly through sugar, wood pulp and citrus canning contributes 34%, and service sector through electricity, gas and water supply, construction, wholesale, retail, hotel and restaurants, transport and communication, financial intermediation, real estates and renting and public administration constitutes 56% of the GDP.


Agriculture is more important for Swaziland’s population and national economic development than its contribution to GDP suggests. Agricultural output forms the raw material base for about one third of value added goods within the manufacturing sector and contributes substantially to national export earnings. Livestock production is a major agricultural activity with small farmers owning about 77% of the total cattle population. Maize is the most important subsistence crop, followed by groundnuts, pumpkins, beans, sweet potatoes and vegetables. Sorghum, cowpeas, jugo beans, melons, watermelons, cassava, bananas, peaches and avocados are also produced, but in limited quantities.

Climate Vulnerabilities:

The expected increase in temperatures with extreme values for minimum and maximum temperatures for all weather stations, may lead to events such as floods, cold waves, drought and extreme heat. They may also increase the number of days with dry spells, and a reduction in the number of days with rainfall, however, these days will have rainfall of heavy intensity. These events are likely to exacerbate management problems relating infrastructure. Crop yields are also expected to be affected as well as animal production due to droughts and shifting rainfall patterns.