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“The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. In addition to bushman rock paintings, and majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela which are evident.  These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.” ~ Mpumalanga Tourism

[unitegallery Africa]

Ten different shades of orange sees the sun go down! This in-between an animated jungle, succeeded by “bush TV” (a cosy crackling wood-fire), whilst we star-gaze (and perhaps see a shooting-star or two). And just when you think it cannot get any better, it does! We hear the voice of Africa; an evocative cry from the fish eagle, and the deep brash roar of lions. These are classic examples of why I keep returning to the African bush…  The Kruger National Park & Swaziland, each unique on its own accord… intensified by superlative sightings and serenity! The bush without a doubt beats through me!

Our first encounter was of a hefty lion up-close and personal. With our windows wide open, our eyes connected with this giant creature.  His one eye twitched, making me nervous. But oddly he did not move! And then to the right, one could see why? The lifeless belly of a buffalo dangled out, indulged upon!  An index to the circle of life! Reluctantly we moved on from the sighting.

Minding our own business we meandered along the road when suddenly an irate mother elephant charged at us! In the process it felled down a tree. The tree fell mere metres from us! Barricading the road from our friends in the car behind us! Tumultuous trumpeting, and wheels spinning wildly, dust blustering around us (the car behind us blinded) we manage a narrow escape… but no doubt insipid from shock! Adrenalin infused we continued our safari.

A couple of hours later in need of a toilet break we stopped. No sooner had I climbed out of the car I heard a voice, “Get back into the car”! Dumbfounded, I proclaim, “But why”? Through gritted teeth I am told, ‘Because there is a hyena behind you’, I  scurry, scrambling, probably fumbling back into the car, falling. Breathlessly I watched the hyena through the window, he purposely pushed past scavenging for his dinner! We were bemused with excitement!

As the sun began to set it was time to leave the park, but not before we watched a leopard begin to stalk his dinner! What unlucky timing for us! Especially considering we were watching a patient creature! Him camouflaged, we watched him for approximately an hour and a half, slowly, quietly creeping up on the impala. But alas unfortunately this time for him, his prey sensed him. The leopard had to start-over, and the impala relaxed.  What a long night ahead of him…!

“Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, Swaziland more than makes up for its lack of size with a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities.” ~ Kingdom of Swaziland

The following morning, we finally made our venture into a royal kingdom. Swaziland towered around us with its majestic mountains and rich culture. Celebrated for the Umhlanga Reed Dance, His Majesty’s Royal residence, eNyokeni Palace  each year welcomes young maidens from every part of the country to take part. The purpose of the dance is to honour young girls who have remained virgins, and to encourage other young maidens to remain so. Usually it is also at this reed dance ceremony where the King selects his new wife to be.

My favourite visit by far though was nestled in the dramatic mountain landscape of north-west Swaziland.  Phophonyane. It lies amidst tumbling waterfalls and plush indigenous plantations. We enjoyed an unhurried hike up the incline twisting past the waterfall. Greedily we gulped down the lush aromas of our surrounding vegetation. Once atop the mountain we kicked-back, sipped a cider and waded in the swimming pool with its dreamlike view.  It truly felt as though time had seized!

These are the trials and tribulations of the African bush!

An African adventure contact details:

Kruger National Park Accommodation – All accommodation in the Kruger is well kept by SANParks and I can highly recommend any camp. Link attached is provided by My Destination Johannesburg, including 360 degree virtual tours.

Phophonyane Falls – service and accommodation at Phophonyane Falls is first class and can recommend for special occasions.

We stayed at private property in Marloth Park, and therefore can not recommend third party accommodation. However the nature reserve & shopping village is well maintained. I have attached a link to peruse further About Marloth

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Tracy Burrows152 Posts

<p>If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is the more I see, the more there is to see!<br /> My name is Tracy Burrows and I am the managing editor of Out There Global, a community driven travel platform for both cost effective and luxury travel ideas around the world. From Jan 2014 – Dec 2016 I managed the LatestSightings.com blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). I was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and contributor at Sawubona. Prior to my career I obtained a tourism marketing degree, and graduated from a 2 year ‘Hospitality Management in Development Program’ in California. Following this I acquired a journalism diploma and since it’s been all about travel and writing! And my nourishment from all those who have impacted me: family; friends; and strangers alike. Thank you for joining our journey!I</p>

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