Thursday, May 19, 2011

Swaziland and Mozam

First off: Here are a couple of pictures from Kruger that we forgot to put in our last post!

This looks nice but I am FREEZING COLD. I got in because I was ROASTING HOT.
Such is life, no? We are lucky to have such problems.

Our overland vehicle for a night safari.

Kruger in the evening. Once it was dark we used spotlights to find the animals by seeing their gleeming eyes. You don't even want to see those pictures. The elephant looks like a blog of grey in a blob of light in darkness.

Ok, now that you are all warmed up and reminded, let's get back on tour! From Kruger Nat. Park, we head to the little country of Swaziland. Our first stop was for lunch and at a glass factory. They pay locals to bring them old bottles, etc, so everything is recycled. Locals are also the artists who are blowing the glass and making the art. It really is a fantastic organization.

Glass guys

Once to our campsite, we went on an Ex-"Walk with the Rhinos" walk. Since there weren't any rhinos, that makes it... just a walk. BUT, as you know, plants are right up my ally ali, so I had a wonderful time learning learning.
Trying to get the classic African-sunset-with-that-African-looking-tree-siloetted picture.
I swear, there are classic African photo ops everywhere you turn.
No rhinos in this photo.

That night in Swaziland, we were treated to traditional Swazi dancing by the staff. Dress in full traditional gear, we enjoyed the high kicks, drumming and fantastic singing by the fire.
The next morning, we probably got up early as usual and headed off. A typical day for us on tour was: wake up to Darren tapping on our tent. Shower, or not. Eat cold breakfast, take down tents, pack personal gear, pack food, chairs, table (etc- other group gear), leave. Potentially push the truck to start it. Do a touristy thing or two on the way to destination. Arrive. Unpack and set up tents, group gear, etc (as above). Help to cook (or not, or perhaps it's your turn for dishes!). Eat a FAB meal made by Darren and whomever helped.

As well as tourism, there was also a lot of visiting that happened with our new friends. I learned all about Tamil people in Singapore, for example. And about what it's like to be a tour guide, or how the electrian smashed his hand. The story about that-other-trip-they-went-on; how the pets are coping at home. Listened to the OT's swap stories. Heard about all the previous Africa adventures one group had just come from. Another cool thing about this was that we were traveling with Aussys, Kiwis, and people that had JUST been to India. So we could talk about specific places, and tell stories, and rave about their hometowns.
So, packed up, and BACK to S.A (passport stamp!) then OUT of SA (stamp!) then IN to Monzambique (stamp!!!). On the way to mozam:

Caryn's new house!!

Group photo minus guide and driver. Don't we look dashing! This is in front of a big dam.
Here we are at the border going into Mozam. Going from South Africa into Mozambique was unreal. The roads stop at the border. Our truck couldn't handle it so we had to "pack down" and move with less gear into 4X4 trucks.Here we are in the back of a half-ton, sitting on all our bedroll mattresses. You cross the border and the infrustruture stops as well. All the roads were sand! There are a couple larger cities, but we heard they are quite run-down. Mozam is recovering from a recent civil war and many people had come to live in the slums of Joburg and other parts of SA to find some work under the table. They can be ripped off and paid very poorly because they are unable to go to the police. Many of the poor in SA are from Mozam, Zim and elsewhere.

Mozambique is BEAUTIFUL! Happily we stayed for a couple nights. There was a stunning beach just beyond the trees by our campsite, you could hear the waves crashing. Without highrises, or traffic noises, the scene was paradise. We relaxed, enjoyed the classic drink R&R (rum and raspberry), and just generally hung out.
Ah yes, we did do one activity - a dolphin swim! We didn't get to actually swim with the dolphins, which was good and bad. Too bad, because it would have been magical. But good, because that really showed us that these guys were truly dolphin-friendly. They have strict guidelines about whether to swim that day or not... and clearly follow them. The dolphins must approach the boat, not the other way around. Many days, they do, they are curious. But in this case, they were more interested in each other. What happened was this - one main pod happened to join with another main pod. Our dolphin woman was beside herself with excitment! "Oh what a blessed sighting this is!" "Oh wow, I haven't seen this happen in a long long time!" So, we were truly lucky to watch these groups catch up with old friends. We watch these some 40-50 dolphins play in the surf. We saw some fantastic jumps! Some came quite close to the boat (but at that time we were in front of the wave break - another rule about safety - so no swimming). Lovely trip all in all. Sorry no pics - it was a small spashly pontoon type vessel.
This is how our guide Darren lounged in and out of Mozam on the gear trailor.

the beach
a rocky area of the beach we explored around sunset

Caryn loved the crabs, here's a little hole that they dive into, kicking back sand.

Remember jungle book at the very end where it's so disappointing because he leaves his jungle friends and follows that girl to her village? Yeah. I was singing, "IIIIIIIIII must go and fetch the waaaaaaaater..."
Note the barefeet. Mozam was all sand, as far as we saw. Roads, dunes, beaches...

Quiz: Mozambique is one of only four Portugese speaking countries. What are the other three? First to comment correctly I'll make an R&R for when we get home!
The wildly anticipated Part 3 will be coming soon!
Love you.


  1. São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau? I definitely googled and copied and pasted this. It wasn't easy to find... apparently there is also Angola and Equatorial Guinea...? Are any of these the 3 you are referring to??


    Love you. This is a good post. My fave part was when you were being like the Jungle Book.

    See you two in 2.5 weeks!!!!


  3. oh, so wonderful. back from wynyard. will re - read. sooo wonderful, africa. love, pat

  4. So, turns out there are way more than 3 countries with Portuguese as an official language! First to comment, and our winner, Joce! excellent.