Wednesday 2017/01/04

Swaziland - Utshwayelo Lodge


Wonderful breakfast in the courtyard of the Umdoni Farm. The house maid kindly cares for us and the house owner welcomes us.

Drive through Swaziland towards the southeast with a short detour to the Nisela Reserve. Just like the Hlane Game Reserve, it actually invites you to stay, but the weather isn't good. The nature parks in Swaziland are less touristy and do not seem so crowded and most of all you can walk in the parks and the staff is very friendly. For a next trip this would be an option.

The border crossing is again a bit chaotic. You never know where to go and what to do when. But in principle everything works smoothly and we are back in South Africa.

Stopover in Jozini. At the gas station we wait about half an hour, because the counters of the dispensing pumps no longer reset to zero. It is the last gas station for a longer time, according to the guide. This however is a misinformation, as we will see some more gas stations on our way later.

The place is chaotic, crowded, noisy (music in a hazardous loudness as advertising, loudspeakers in the supermarket, yelling advertising), and we have to get used to all all the noise and din after the days of quietness and peace in the nature parks.

As we leave the parking lot, a passing African, greeted by Wolle with a smile, opens the rear door of our car. We can not say whether he wanted to steal something or hitchhike with us, but Brigitte reacts quickly, loudly and violently, and he closes the door again. Well, it's a lesson to us, better always to activate the vehicle lock.

The landscape is changing, we're coming into a savannah, it becomes sandy. Impressive today, the houses and Rondavels (round houses) along the street. It's difficult to imagine, how people can live in these houses.

Not only in the villages and towns many people are walking on the road. Some just walk, some have heavy luggage and wait for a ride, others arrive, also heavily packed and are expected from someone with a wheelbarrow.

The accommodation for the next two nights is owed to our information to Elefant Tours (our travel agency which did the booking of the accomodations), that we would be open to experiments. It is a wooden hut (which is called a luxury chalet!). The toilet is in an outer room and in contrary to the shower it has a roof. If it continues raining as much as it does at the moment, this makes sense, since no extra water is needed to be consumed. Water is scarce here and must be pumped up from 1.5 km distance.

It's a bit strange to get used to the Utswayelo Lodge, actually a campground with a few huts and a few big tents. From another guest we are acquainted to the use the bar (self-service with tab list). For dinner, there is a buffet (first come, first get, last come, get nothing!). But the mood is quite pleasant and relaxed.