Swaziland or Kingdom of eSwatini?

7. June 2018

We took off early in the morning to reach the next country on our list, Swaziland or as the king has recently renamed it to Kingdom of eSwatini. But first we enjoyed the animals in our camp as this was a game farm itself. We even saw some antelopes with white faces we had never seen before. Those were blaze bocks as one of the locals later explained to us.

Crossing the border to Swaziland was surprisingly easy and their attitude completely different from what we knew. One of the border officials was repeatedly grabbing my arm through the open car window and I had no idea what he wanted until I saw Daniela grinning and he started laughing about his joke. But I guess that is all founded in their mentality. As also during our stay at the Mlilwane Nature Reserve we experienced the Swazis as extremely positive and friendly people.

Swaziland itself is very beautiful and with its mountains and forests and especially the cold mornings and evenings it almost felt a bit like Switzerland. Even though we didn’t enjoy that last part as we were still staying in our camper.

The Mlilwane Nature Reserve was quite different from the Kruger NP. As there are no wildcats living you don’t have to stay in the car to experience the park. You can explore the park by walking, on a bike or even on the back of a horse. And also, in front of our camper have impalas, nyalas and pumbas passed by. Some of the pumbas were so used to the people living at the camp and so annoyed by the cold nights that they actually spent the night right next to the fire in the middle of the camp. Those animals have obviously never seen a pig rotating over an open fire before.

Exploring the park on foot was quite special as there are still hippos and crocs around we had to look out for but observing the exotic animals from a horseback was our absolute highlight. We were riding through high grass and little rivers and I tried to hold the camera and capture some scenes while doing so. Check out our 4th video to see how this turned out. We saw several kingfisher hunting, lots and lots of impalas, nyalas, pumbas, blaze bocks and wild beasts and even zebras were around. One of the male impalas didn’t like us being too close to his herd and started to roar. Unfortunately, that was behind a bush and our horses therefore took a jump to the right. But thanks to the training we had back in Switzerland we were well prepared for such a situation.

After that we enjoyed a last braai session and had a last freezing night in our camper before we drove back to Joburg to return our big camper and from there by plane to Port Elisabeth, where we received the tiniest car we’ve ever had and checked into our guesthouse. It felt so great to finally have our own bathroom, a warm shower, a warm room and a proper bed again. 

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