Mlilwane

Day 3 we transferred and said goodbye to Mbabane and moved to Mlilwane were we were more in tune with nature than I have ever been before. We stayed in what the swazi’s call beehive huts but I have always called them half coconuts because that is really what they look like. They are beautiful little huts and I was so looking forward to staying in one and being in the midst of some wild animals. At the camp we saw Nyala, Impala and Blesbok which are all a type of antelope, they have the most beautiful and soft eyes and were just happily munching the grass at the camp. There were also warthogs which are the cutest little things but with the most annoying voices screaming the place down if the babies couldn’t locate their mothers! We did witness some people being stupid with the warthogs trying to get near them and touch them and it really annoyed me because these are wild animals who can do damage if they want to, they are not to be played or tampered with, leave them be and observe them from afar. Yes I so wanted to feel their fur because not being able to see them touching them enables us to build a picture of whatever it is but I know that they are wild animals and we were told not to go near them. We were very fortunate in that we were able to feel crocodile skin which is very weird, Impala, vervet monkey, blesbok and Nyala fur which was incredible all so beautifully made, we also allowed to feel skeletons for various animals included elephant, rhino and giraffe and the various antelopes and it was amazing just to feel the solid but fragility of these skulls, a very unique opportunity to feel how carefully and wonderfully made these animals are.

Later in evening we went on a safari drive where we were able to see wild blesbok, wilderbeast, nyala, impala and Zebra. All these animals in their natural environment was amazing to see. All with their unique colours, coats and antlers. Take the Zebra for example with it’s most amazing stripes and just being out in the jeep sitting near them as they happily eat the grass. We also got to see not so nice snares which poachers put out to catch different animals all collected by the rangers of the Mlilwane national park rangers. What a valuable job they do keeping these animals safe from poachers. Out in the wilderness with these wild animals was tranquil, we were able to sit by the dam drinking and listening for the different sounds of the animals. Pure Bliss

First pic shows me in a beige polo shirt and beige shorts with a black bumbag on standing in the doorway of a beehive hut or half coconut as I would call it.

second pic shows a Nyala which is a light brown antelope with white stripes eating grass

Pic 3 shows an elephant an rhino skull both extremely large skulls.

Pic 4 shows Impala which is a dark brown antelope with a lighter brown half way down its body before going white underneath eating grass.

Pic 5 is a Blesbok which is a really dark grey/brown colour again going lighter towards the bottom eating grass.

Pic 5 shows a dark brown wildebeest standing tall in a patch of grass.

Pic 6 shows a baby black and white striped zebra in the grass standing next to the back of its mum.

and pic 7 shows the mountains and hills and lake as we sit by drinking and listening for sounds of the different animals.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maguga Dam

Day 2 we visited Maguga dam which is of course a dam but unfortunately at this time there wasn’t much water in it since Swaziland had a severe drought and the dam hadn’t be filled to capacity since 2013! It just goes to show how Important water is. We could only have a boat ride around a tiny part of the lake because of this. There were meant to be Crocodiles and Hippos but we didn’t see or hear any sign of life and I wasn’t going in to test it! The surrounding area was brown and not very nice and normally we wouldn’t see this but it was still a lovely boat trip. 

After the boat trip we went to a homestead and there were fields of sugar cane, corn and free range chickens, donkeys, goats and cows. Now the homestead walls are made out of termite mounds and the floor is cow dung but they are fantastically well built. We watched the head of the homestead cut or rather Bite through to get to the sugar cane. It is Truly amazing to see the unrefined, natural sugar, it’s unbelievable to think that our sugar comes from this plant but it was very nice and sweet. This day we didn’t see much wildlife but to see these people make the most out of everything they had, their creativity amazed me and still does, to think to make a house out of termite mound and cow dung really to us would not be very hygienic but it’s incredible what they do. After this we had lunch at Maguga lodge where I tried Papp which is maize, a weird thing but very nice and then we saw the traditional reed dance from Girls and boys which was awesome, again they only wear natural things like the boys would wear Impala skins and the girls I think some may have done as well and they made a thing to go over their chests but they were completely free, natural and to us we wouldn’t even contemplate it. A very special dance :). Day 3 tomorrow hopefully.

  1. Top two pics are the boys and girls doing the reed dance mostly naked but covering the bottom half and have handmade what I can only describe as colourful scarves for the chest for the girls but boys nothing. The 3rd is a pic of a homestead which looks like a thatched cottage so very well built, 4th is the family and father cutting the sugar cane as mum Looks after children and the last 4 pics are of Maguga dam basically completely dried up.