Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 136 - Milwane to Hlane Natioanl Park, Swaziland

Swaziland has a few game parks and they also have very strict poaching laws initiated after the rhino wars of 1995 where the rhinos were almost irradicated due to poaching.  The countryside is a variety of rolling hills and valleys much like the eastern part of South Africa near Kruger.  Very picturesque.  The main city, Mbabane, is not large the whole country having a population of just over a million.  The country has only one four lane highway from the border to Mbabane, about 30km, the rest are secondary roads in fair condition.  I think this country has more paved roads than Bolivia and its smaller.

Booked a cultural village tour for the morning to the Esitjwani village.  The Chieftoness (her husband had passed away so she resumed control) greeted us in Swati.  We were given instructions on how to return the greeting in Swati.  The village was a small display of huts, 6 in all, with a central courtyard.  Each building had a single purpose whether it was sleeping quarters, kitchen or whatever.  The Chiefoness explained in Swati, the typical day to day rituals which our guide translated into English.  She had also shown us typical items such as bowls, antelope blankets, wooden pillows, cooking utensils and dress.  We also had to participate in a typical Swati dance and song.  Yes, yours truly had to sing and dance, yet again and much to my dismay.  

The Chieftoness

Since I was unmarried, I had to learn to grind maize with a stone so I could cook for myself.

So embarassing ...

Roof of one of the huts.

 Didnt realize it till after but do you think he was trying to court her?

Back at the campsite I packed up and tried to decide where to spend the night.  Stopped in at The House on Fire which is music and cultural venue but they had nothing on the agenda for tonight.  This place reminded me of Joe’s Beer House in Windhoek but for entertainment.  Very cool!!  Checked out the Mantenga Craft Center and a few other Backpackers Hostels but found myself at Hlane Park, 30km from the Mozambique border.  I just couldn’t bring myself to travel only 10km and pitch my tent again. When I arrived at Hlane I was told to stay on the road to the camp due to large game, was not safe for me to venture elsewhere.  Even had signs posted, “No walking from the gate to the camp, too dangerous”.  

Sign posted on the main highway through the park.

Tried to get at my top box but this "guy" blocked my way and I wasnt about to ruch him.

 The bar at the Hlane National Park.  Nice, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment