The countries in the world in general follow two types of broad rules for driving during bidirectional traffic. They either drive on the left side of the road, or on the right side of the road, to avoid collisions. Fewer countries follow the left-hand traffic rule, while the majority of the countries follow right-hand traffic rule. Currently, only about 30% of the world's countries and territories implement left-hand traffic (LHT) (marked blue on map above), which accounts for about a sixth of the world's area, 35% of its population and 25% of its roads. 

The Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly and still commonly known in English as Swaziland, is one of the 14 countries in Africa that follows the LHT rule. LHT or left-hand traffic is the practice of keeping to the left side of the road, in two way traffic. In countries where one drives on the left-hand side of the road, the cars are built so that the driver sits on the right-hand side of the car. The steering wheels of these cars are located on the right-hand side, and they are known as right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles. People go around the roundabouts in the clockwise direction in such countries.

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History of LHT

Well before cars were invented, all traffic used to follow the left-hand traffic rule. As most people were right-handed, they found it easier to mount their horses from the left. It made sense to climb from the side of the road rather than from the middle, hence they chose the left-hand rule. At the same time, the right hand would be free for greetings or for defense (by holding a sword).

However, when Napoleon came to power, he began changing the left-hand rule to right-hand to suit his own requirements. As he was left-handed, he preferred to stay on the right side of the road with his sword in his left-hand, ready for attack or defense. So he introduced the right-hand system in countries or territories he conquered.

The French Revolution also contributed to popularizing the right-hand rule. The farmers in France were previously forced to travel on the right side of the road while the aristocrat travelled on the left side. Post the revolution, travelling on the right side became a symbol of freedom that quickly spread to other European countries.

However, the United Kingdom was not affected by this change, being an isolated island nation, just like other island nations, such as Japan and Indonesia. 

During colonization, Britain introduced LHT to the Cape Colony (now Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa), Rhodesia, and the East Africa Protectorate (now Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). Since Eswatini was formerly a British protectorate, LHT became prevalent here too.

Presently, about 41 countries and territories in Africa follow right-hand traffic (RHT), while only 14 African countries and territories practice left-hand traffic (LHT). 

Here is a list of countries for both RHT and LHT in Africa.    

Countries that follow RHT in Africa:

1    Algeria
2    Angola
3    Benin
4    Burkina Faso
5    Burundi
6    Cameroon
7    Cape Verde
8    Central African Republic
9    Chad
10    Comoros
11    Côte D'Ivoire
12    Democratic Republic Of Congo
13    Djibouti
14    Egypt
15    Equatorial Guinea
16    Eritrea
17    Ethiopia
18    Gabon
19    Gambia
20    Ghana
21    Guinea
22    Guinea-Bissau
23    Liberia
24    Libya
25    Madagascar
26    Mali
27    Mauritania
28    Morocco
29    Niger
30    Nigeria
31    Republic Of Congo
32    Rwanda
33    Senegal
34    Sierra Leone
35    Somalia
36    South Sudan
37    Sudan
38    São Tomé And Príncipe
39    Togo
40    Tunisia
41    Western Sahara

Countries that follow LHT in Africa:

1    Botswana
2    Eswatini (Swaziland)
3    Kenya
4    Lesotho
5    Malawi
6    Mauritius
7    Mozambique
8    Namibia
9    Seychelles
10    South Africa
11    Tanzania
12    Uganda
13    Zambia
14    Zimbabwe