Mbabane (pronounced em-BAH-bahn), Swaziland, is the capital city and a pleasant place to spend time while preparing to tour the rest of the country. Founded by the British in 1903, few historic buildings remain, and it's primarily a cluster of concrete surrounded by ring roads and highways leading to the Ezulwini Valley. Still, it's worth spending a few hours in for its good shopping and laid-back atmosphere. The Swazi Plaza and the Swazi Mall (across OK Road from Swazi Plaza) are filled with small shops and eateries. The market is near Mbabane's central roundabout and is a good place to see a colorful display of fresh produce and tropical fruit. There are a handful of places to stay, but most of the country's deluxe hotels are located in the nearby Ezulwini Valley.

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