The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

Eswatini ~ The Kingdom of Swaziland

5D694A63-B984-48D8-9BC6-16714F1095CBThis post was originally from March 9, 2020

On Saturday Kris and I flew to Johannesburg to meet up with our G Adventures group. Not only were we excited about starting our tour but this is where we got to meet up with our friend Lucy (aka Sally). We met Sally/Lucy last year in Brazil and I was able to do my Greece trip with her in September as well. It’s just so awesome when you can make life long friends while traveling and still maintain the friendship even though we live so far away from each other.

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Sally (Lucy), Kris and I reunited!

Yesterday morning we left South Africa and crossed the border into Swaziland which is now called Eswatini. It’s a small country bordering South Africa and Mozambique and has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. The life expectancy is merely 50 years old because HIV is so rampant here. A shocking statistic is that 50% of the population is under 15 years old. Swaziland  is run by a monarchy and the King currently has 15 wives. His first wife was chosen by his mother and every year there is a major celebration where virgin women come and do the reed dance in hopes of becoming his next wife. Basically this like a Swaziland Bachelor – tune in next week as the King chooses his next wife! They dance topless and are chosen based on their beauty and their child baring hips. The first wife then chooses all the remaining wives each year. While we were at the border crossing leaving Swaziland a very official car pulled up and a man wearing the traditional scarves, cloths and beaded jewelry stepped out of the car. He even had what looked to be a cheetah paw hanging from something around his waist. We were told that he wasn’t the king, but clearly was someone within the Royal Family.

For our only night in Swaziland we stayed at the Milwane Game Reserve. It is nestled among the rolling green hills and it truly feels majestic. We stayed in an amped up version of the traditional Swazi beehive hut. They were so cool – there were beds and a full bathroom inside and it was made of a circular thatched roof.

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We also got some unforgettable evening entertainment.

Wildlife was literally outside of our door, as when we woke up to go for an early morning bike ride there was a family of springbok waiting for us. Warthogs were everywhere and there was a family of them who particularly loved laying by the fire to keep warm when the sun went down. On our bike ride we saw plenty of antelope (kudu, springbok, so many horned animals that I can’t remember the names), zebra and crocodile. The hippos weren’t in the water when we went by which made me a bit wary as they had to be in the bushes somewhat close by. The birds where also super cool – colourful ones that I’ve never seen before with dazzling, long tail feathers.

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We only had one night in Swaziland as we’ve got so much ground to cover in Mozambique. Crossing the border into Mozambique took a few hours as the people that work there move at a snails pace. We needed to get Visas so the process was a tad painful. The best part was that they needed to take our pictures to put into our passports with our Visas. We joked about pulling weird faces but both Kris and Lucy were worried that we’d end up in jail. I have a hard time backing down from a challenge so I took on this feat with gusto and walked away with a classic picture. The man processing mine hesitated when he saw my face, but then continued on in his turtle-like manner. I tried to act like making a face was normal, as the rest of the time while I sat there I just kept twisting my face into different expressions. Although Lucy and Kris didn’t pull a face, Kris walked away with an even better picture. It looked like the dude erased half of her hair in Photoshop so she looks like half of her head is bald. We couldn’t have even dreamed up a better picture!IMG_8641 (1)

Tomorrow morning we set off at the crack of dawn where we will reach Mozambique’s coast which is supposed to be absolute paradise.

Until next one…

If you are interested in taking a tour that covers the places on my adventure check out G Adventure’s Mozambique, Kruger & Swazi Discoverer

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