Friday, November 14, 2014

Swaziland (Part 2: Lots of Pix and Video!)

 I'm getting ready to go on a game drive at the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best parts of my Peace Corps service.The park is buffeted by Mount Zimeba, where deceased members of the Royal Family are buried.

   One of my favorite parts of this trip –and during my entire Peace Corps service-- was the Mliwane Wildlife Sanctuary, a 15-minute drive from the lodge. It’s one of three game parks in the country, and a real treat to visit.
   Here’s how my visit went:

Saw this colorful southern tree agama:

I saw nyalas, an antelope species:

They were roaming free around the reception area at Mlilwane. 

The scenery here was absolutely stunning!!

They had plenty of crocodiles, which are also known as or flatdogs or tingwenyas:

OK, this was a scary moment for Narin and I! Mary decided to turn into Steve Irwin when she spotted this bad boy from the other side of the pond. She found the trail that led to his presence and snapped his photo, all but 5 feet away from him!! I was scared as crap but followed suit!! Mary walked back but I ran away after I got my shot. Didn’t want for the croc to see me play paparazzi!  

OK, this was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen in my life. Just peep this video and you’ll see why:

This was another one of my favorites. We were just walking on the trail, minding our business when we came across a herd of zebras and antelope species. We immediately stopped and got quiet. The herd was about 10-15 feet away:

Here's some video footage of my zebra encounter:

Lonely monkey:

I’m sorry but these warthogs were so freaking ugly!!

Here is a kudu:

They are the third largest antelope species in the world, according to the tour guide, Secelo.

Here is a blue wildebeest:

He is called “blue” because of his black tail and mane.

My tour guide was Sicelo:

I think he was having an off day. You usually can tell when someone’s not their best.

Here are some other places I visited during my time in Swaziland:

Here is a scene from a taxi stop in Lobamba:

Here is the King’s office:

Again, he’s a highly controversial figure because of his politics and lavish lifestyle.

I visited the Swaziland National Museum:

Here, I learned a lot about Swaziland’s history and culture.

Here is an example of a traditional village that was on display at the Swaziland National Museum:

The houses are called beehives.

Currency in Swaziland is called emalangeni:

It’s equal to South African Rand. I loved the scalloped-edge coins.

The Internet Café in Mbabane offered video games and had many happy customers:

There were many, many paved roads!!!!!!!

This was a nice treat because Lesotho has lots of dirt, rocky roads, even in the capital, Maseru.

I went out with a bang in Swaziland:

The hotel across the street from The Gables had a casino so of course, I went and had fun. I didn’t spend all my money because I had to get back to Lesotho, but I still had a good time!!

   Overall, I really enjoyed myself in Swaziland. There was so much to do and everything was affordable and reasonable. I spent about $400 USD during my stay there, money well spent.

Sources: Lonely Planet book and various Swaziland tour books and brochures.

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