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Geography of Eswatini

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Map of Eswatini
Location of Eswatini
Enlargeable, detailed map of Eswatini

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), is a country in Southern Africa lying between Mozambique and South Africa. The country is located at the geographic coordinates 26°30′S 31°30′E / 26.500°S 31.500°E / -26.500; 31.500. Eswatini has an area of 17,363 square kilometres, of which 160 are water. The major regions of the country are Lowveld, Midveld and Highveld.

Climate

The climate varies from tropical to near temperate. The seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere with December being mid-summer and June mid-winter. Generally speaking, rain falls mostly during the summer months, often in the form of thunderstorms. Winter is the dry season. Annual rainfall is highest on the Highveld in the west, between 1,000 and 2,000 mm (39.4 and 78.7 in) depending on the year. The further east, the less rain, with the Lowveld recording 500 to 900 mm (19.7 to 35.4 in) per annum. Variations in temperature are also related to the altitude of the different regions. The Highveld temperature is temperate and seldom uncomfortably hot while the Lowveld may record temperatures around 40 °C (104 °F) in summer.

Climate data for Mbabane
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 24.9
(76.8)
24.5
(76.1)
24.1
(75.4)
22.6
(72.7)
21.4
(70.5)
19.3
(66.7)
19.8
(67.6)
21.3
(70.3)
23.2
(73.8)
22.8
(73.0)
22.5
(72.5)
23.7
(74.7)
22.5
(72.5)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 14.9
(58.8)
14.5
(58.1)
13.4
(56.1)
11.0
(51.8)
7.9
(46.2)
4.7
(40.5)
4.6
(40.3)
6.6
(43.9)
9.5
(49.1)
11.3
(52.3)
12.9
(55.2)
14.2
(57.6)
10.5
(50.9)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 253.2
(9.97)
224.6
(8.84)
151.6
(5.97)
87.9
(3.46)
33.8
(1.33)
19.4
(0.76)
20.1
(0.79)
35.1
(1.38)
69.4
(2.73)
141.9
(5.59)
197.8
(7.79)
206.9
(8.15)
1,441.7
(56.76)
Average rainy days 16.9 14.3 13.8 9.8 5.1 2.8 3.1 6.5 9.2 14.9 17.0 16.5 129.9
Source: World Meteorological Organization[1]
Climate data for Big Bend
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 32.2
(90.0)
31.7
(89.1)
30.6
(87.1)
29.1
(84.4)
27.0
(80.6)
25.2
(77.4)
25.2
(77.4)
26.5
(79.7)
28.4
(83.1)
29.8
(85.6)
30.2
(86.4)
31.6
(88.9)
29.0
(84.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.2
(79.2)
26.0
(78.8)
25.0
(77.0)
22.8
(73.0)
19.9
(67.8)
17.3
(63.1)
17.1
(62.8)
19.0
(66.2)
21.4
(70.5)
23.4
(74.1)
24.3
(75.7)
25.6
(78.1)
22.3
(72.2)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 20.3
(68.5)
20.4
(68.7)
19.5
(67.1)
16.6
(61.9)
12.8
(55.0)
9.4
(48.9)
9.1
(48.4)
11.5
(52.7)
14.5
(58.1)
17.1
(62.8)
18.5
(65.3)
19.6
(67.3)
15.8
(60.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 98
(3.9)
75
(3.0)
63
(2.5)
32
(1.3)
20
(0.8)
9
(0.4)
9
(0.4)
12
(0.5)
31
(1.2)
51
(2.0)
79
(3.1)
82
(3.2)
561
(22.3)
Source: Climate-Data.org [2]
Climate data for Manzini
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 28.2
(82.8)
28.1
(82.6)
27.3
(81.1)
26.0
(78.8)
24.0
(75.2)
22.2
(72.0)
22.0
(71.6)
23.6
(74.5)
25.3
(77.5)
26.4
(79.5)
26.8
(80.2)
27.9
(82.2)
25.6
(78.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.0
(73.4)
23.0
(73.4)
22.1
(71.8)
20.1
(68.2)
17.2
(63.0)
15.0
(59.0)
14.6
(58.3)
16.6
(61.9)
18.7
(65.7)
20.5
(68.9)
21.5
(70.7)
22.6
(72.7)
19.6
(67.3)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 17.9
(64.2)
17.9
(64.2)
16.9
(62.4)
14.3
(57.7)
10.5
(50.9)
7.8
(46.0)
7.3
(45.1)
9.6
(49.3)
12.2
(54.0)
14.7
(58.5)
16.2
(61.2)
17.3
(63.1)
13.6
(56.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 145
(5.7)
133
(5.2)
100
(3.9)
54
(2.1)
26
(1.0)
15
(0.6)
15
(0.6)
19
(0.7)
45
(1.8)
84
(3.3)
119
(4.7)
126
(5.0)
881
(34.6)
Source: Climate-Data.org [3]

Physical geography

Topographic map of Eswatini

The terrain largely consists of mountains and hills, with some moderately sloping plains. The lowest point is the Great Usutu River at 21 metres (69 ft), and the highest is Emlembe at 1,862 metres (6,109 ft).

As a landlocked country, Eswatini has neither coastline nor maritime claims. In terms of land boundaries, Eswatini borders Mozambique for 105 kilometres (65 mi) and South Africa for 430 kilometres (270 mi), giving a total land boundary length of 535 kilometres (332 mi).

Natural resources

Eswatini's natural resources are asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone and talc.

670 square kilometres (260 sq mi) of the country's land is irrigated. The following table describes land use in Eswatini:

Land use
Use Percentage by area
Arable land 9.77
Permanent crops 0.7
Other 89.53

Environment

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Eswatini is prone to floods and drought. Soil erosion as a result of overgrazing is a growing problem.

Eswatini is part of the following international agreements: Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban and Ozone Layer Protection. The country has signed, but not ratified the agreement on desertification and the law of the sea.

Extreme points

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This is a list of the extreme points of Eswatini, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

  • Northernmost point - unnamed location of the border with South Africa immediately north of the village of Horo, Hhohho Region
  • Easternmost point - the tripoint with South Africa and Mozambique, Lubombo Region
  • Southernmost point - unnamed location on the border with South Africa, Shiselweni Region
  • Westernmost point - a longitudinal segment of the border with South Africa, Manzini Region (not a single point)

References

  1. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Mbabane". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Climate: Big Bend". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  3. ^ "Climate: Manzini". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
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Geography of Eswatini
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