Swaziland

Pictures from Swaziland

October 16 Hoedspruit to Swaziland

October 17 Swaziland to St. Lucia

Banana plantation

Much of Swaziland was devoted to agriculture. In the banana plantations, blue plastic bags are wrapped around the flowers, and then the bunches of bananas grow until they fill the bags. Elsewhere there are fields and fields of sugar cane, and giant sugar cane trucks lumber about the narrow highways.

Lumber mill

And in the mountains where bananas and sugar cane would not grow, there were timber plantations. We passed this lumber mill which rather resembled many we had seen in British Columbia, except for the small size and the beehive burner, both of which are passé now.

Tea in Swaziland

Higher up in the mountains we came to a resort with a collection of craft shops. We stopped for tea, which was served in blue English china cups!

Thunderstorm

As we came down out of the mountains towards Mbabane, the capital city, we came down into a thunderstorm. This lasted for several hours, with periodic downpours, lightning strikes, and power failures.

Sondzela Backpackers

Our rondavel at Sondzela Backpackers, in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary just outside Mbabane, was next to the fence separating the animals from the people. But Mlilwane, unlike Kruger, has no animals that are dangerous to humans, so the fences are not very serious. Kruger was low and dry, Lesotho was high and barren, but Swaziland was in between and just right. In retrospect we wished we could have spent more time there.

Hippo Pool

We only had time for a morning in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. The hippo pool had a few hippos in it, and around the roads there were zebras and impalas.

Bontebok

But in one corner of the sanctuary we came upon some pens where they appeared to have a breeding program for antelopes like this bontebok.

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

We saw a lot of different kingfishers in Southern Africa—six of the ten different kinds, in fact. Some of them we spent too much time trying to identify, but this Brown-hooded Kingfisher was not so difficult.

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