Scintillating shades of orange see the sun go down amidst an animated jungle, succeeded by “bush TV” consisting of a cosy crackling wood-fire, whilst we star-gaze. This united with the voice of Africa; an evocative cry from the fish eagle, and the deep brash roar of lions heard from a distance as one lays down to sleep, are classic examples of why I keep going back 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 of a hefty lion is up-close and personal. With our windows wide open our eyes connect with this giant creature. His eye twitches, but incurious he does not move! To the right, one can see why! The lifeless belly of a buffalo dangles out, indulged upon! An index to the circle of life! In reverence we move on…
Minding our own business we meander along the road when suddenly an irate mother elephant charges us, felling down a tree. The tree falls mere metres from us! Barricading the road from our friends in the car behind! 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 continue our safari. Stopping for a toilet break I am told to immediately 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 back into the car, falling. Breathless I watch the hyena through the window as he purposely pushes past scavenging for his dinner! We are bemused with excitement!
It’s nearing dark and time to leave the park, but not before we watch a leopard begin to stalk his dinner! A patient creature (far more so than his observers)! Camouflaged, we watch him for approximately an hour and a half, slowly, quietly creeping up on the impala. Unfortunately for him this time round he is sensed by his potential prey. The impala relax! And the leopard starts-over; he has a long night ahead of him…!
The following morning, finally venturing into a royal country with towering & majestic mountains and rich in culture we arrive in Swaziland. Celebrated for the Umhlanga Reed Dance, His Majesty’s Royal residence, eNyokeni Palace 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 stay virgins. Usually it is also at this reed dance ceremony where the King selects his new wife to be.
My favourite visit by far though is nestled in the dramatic mountain landscape of north-west Swaziland. Phophonyane , which lies amid tumbling waterfalls and plush indigenous plantations. We enjoy an unhurried hike up the incline twisting past the waterfall. We greedily gulp down the lush aromas of surrounding vegetation . On top of the mountain we wind down sipping a cider and wading in the water of a swimming pool with a dreamlike view. It truly feels as though time has seized!
These are all the trials and tribulations of the bush, survival of only the fittest and adventures only told in Africa!
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 occassions.
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