Diana and David's visit to South Africa 2010 - Hlane Royal National Park, Swaziland

Swaziland is a small landlocked country surrounded by South Africa except in the NE where it borders Mozambique. It was a British Protectorate from 1906 until its full independence in 1968. In the eastern lowlands sugar-cane is the main crop and we passed lots of large plantations. This was our first visit to Swaziland - and hopefully not our last. We had no problem at the border crossings and they accept the South African rand as well as their own currency, which makes traveling there easy.

Sugar-cane fields with the Labombo mountains in the distance.

I'd booked us in for 2 nights at the Hlane Royal National Park (S26 15.658 E31 52.785) but at different locations in the park each night. Our first night was at the main camp where we had a large chalet with 4 double bedrooms!

Our chalet with the braai area outside which. of course, we made good use of.

This ostrich was wandering around the camp and seemed to like our truck.

There was a waterhole next to the camp with several hippos.

This male nyala also made its way down to drink at the waterhole.


Road block!!

We had a drive around some of the tracks in the main reserve and came across this rhino. We waited for a while but it wasn't moving so we ended up having to turn around and find another route.

This warthog actually stayed still long enough for a photo - and then rushed off into the bush with its tail in the air.

A hamerkop taken from a low bridge. It was using its feet to stir up the mud and disturb small fish.

The chalet that we stayed in for the second night at Bubezi camp (S26 10.976 E31 51.792) was much quieter and there was a lovely shaded area overlooking a river. We spent most of the afternoon and evening sitting here.

As we were 20m above the river we had an excellent eye-level view of the birds that hopped about in the nearby trees.

It was noticeably warmer here than the places that we'd stopped at before as this part of Swaziland is only around 300m above sea-level whereas Richmond, the Drakensberg and Dundee are all over 900m.

This was the first evening that we'd sat outside for any length of time - and certainly the first time without a fleece - and we enjoyed sitting round the 'bush TV'.

1. Richmond.

2. Giant's Castle and Royal Natal Reserves, Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal.

3. Rorke's Drift, Isandlwana and Blood RIver battlefields, KwaZulu-Natal.

4. Hlane Royal National Park,, Swaziland.

5. Kruger National Park.

6. Arathusa Safari Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

7. Drakensberg Escarpment, Mpumalanga.

8. Johannesburg.



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