|Our time in Mozambique has been short
but we will definitely return, especially to Maputo. Today,
however, it was time to hit our penultimate country: The Kingdom of
The border was fine except for the man at the barrier who told
us that he had to spray our giraffe carving to prevent the spread
of foot and mouth. Interesting theory considering that he had no
interest in cleaning the tyres of our car or our shoes. We had ugly
flashbacks to arriving in Kinshasha but fortunately he didn't fight
very hard and we managed to talk our way out of it this time.
Swaziland immediately opened up into rolling hills in the
background and organized sugar cane plantations in the foreground.
Even the grass verges along the immaculate tarmac road had been
trimmed. It was pleasant surprise.
We arrived at Hlane Royal Park at lunchtime. This understated
game park, which only cost us £3 each to get in, turned out to be
an absolute gem. We wandered past the reception to the watering
hole where there were three huge hippos lying 'beached whale' style
in the sun as well as four rhinos hanging out in the bushes. Later
on, as I was writing the diary, I looked up to find an elephant
within a few meters of where I was sitting - on the other side of a
very menial fence. Then a mother and baby rhino came sauntering
past and an ostrich walked right through the camp. Amazing! On a
short drive we saw the rhinos again but moved on quickly when they
got a whiff of us and started charging. We didn't fancy hanging
around to see the damage an angry female rhino could do to a Land
Rover. We made a swift exit.
We had a wonderful relaxing evening in the camp's restaurant,
preparing ourselves emotionally for our final frontier tomorrow. We
simply could not quite believe that we were about to enter South
Africa after travelling so many miles.