Manzini Historical Town Eswatini

Home » African Safari Destinations » Eswatini Safari Tours & Holidays » Manzini Historical Town Eswatini

Manzini Historical Town Eswatini

Once, this bustling industrial depot in the highlands of central Swaziland bore the name of explorer Arthur Bremer, who was one of the first colonial figures to designate this cool and temperate place an official trading post way back when.

Today, the city hasn’t shed its mercantile character, and it continues to reign as perhaps the most important economic powerhouse in the nation.

There are business hotels, trade fairs, and the Matsapha International Airport is just a stone’s throw away.

It’s hardly a wonder that locals endearingly refer to the bustling spot as simply, ‘The Hub’!

When white settlers descended the Swazi territory they settled in what is today known as Manzini, then nothing more than just a veld with one homestead situated by the Umzimnene River belonging to one Manzini Motsa. As more white people came in to seek concessions, the then ruler of the territory King Mbandzeni gave them permission to set up their own governing body specifically to handle issues related to them (settlers). As they set out to set up an administrative government they bought a store which was owned by one Arthur Bremer (one of the first white settlers to start commercial activity in the area) and the condition of sale was that the administrative capital should be named after him hence the area became known among the settlers as Bremersdorp. “Dorp” being an Afrikaans name meaning agricultural town. However, native Swazis preferred to call the place “kaManzini”. Since 1890, the Transvaal colonial government’s activities were run from that building hence Bremersdorp becoming the first administrative capital of the Kingdom.

Why the name “Manzini”?

Although none has been confirmed, there are three versions given;

Swazis referred to white settlers as people “from the water” because they arrived through the sea. Note: The direct translation for “Manzini” is “water”.

Swazis preferred the name “Manzini” because Bremer’s store had a riverfront (the Umzimnene River). Swazis said “on the water” (emanzini) when referring to Bremer’s store.

Upon settling in the territory, Bremer and his partner W. Wallerstein purchased land near the Umzimnene River close to a homestead belonging to one Manzini Motsa. Therefore, Swazis preferred to say “kaManzini” when referring to Bremer’s store.

The first town to have a Hotel

Bremer’s commercial activity prospered with the store being used as a wholesaler to supply goods to other traders. In view of the increasing number of white settlers coming down to Bremersdorp, he decided to build a hotel near the store. The hotel was built out of corrugated iron sheets. The hotel only provided basic hotel services.

Size & Location
How to get there
Areas of interest
When to visit
Where to stay