Off to the Kingdom of eSwantini also known as the Kingdom of Swaziland...
On this trip I decided to visit two new countries, the Kingdom of Swaziland and the Republic of Mozambique.
I reached Swaziland using the TransMagnifica Shuttle, they have an online booking system but funds need to be transferred via bank transfer and no Credit Cards are accepted. So it took a bit of back and forth to book the trip. But they were able to pick me up without issues from JNB airport. At the airport I bought a MTN Sim Card which allows you to roam in Swaziland for 1 ZAR a MB.
The shuttle left me near Malkerns and a shuttle from the Sondzela Guesthouse picked me up. At first they were unaware that I staying at the property, my first TIA (This is Africa) moment so I highly recommend contacting them the same day of your arrival to confirm all the details.
Sondzela serves mostly a self catering and self drive crowd but offer the option of a Breakfast served from 630-800 AM and Dinner served at 6 PM. I ordered Breakfast for both days of my stay and dinner.
Breakfast consists of porridge and the fried eggs and bacon on toast made to order over a wood fire.
Then it was time to do some self guided safari. A 15-20 minute walk leads to the Main Camp at the Mlilwane Wildlife Reserve where the walking/hiking trails and other activities have their starting point. Besides the nature hikes one can rent bicycles and go on horseback tours. I selected the Hippo Trail and embarked on a 9.8 km hike. Sadly it had rained for three days prior to my arrival which increased significantly the mud on the trail. I was stuck on several occasions and do not recommend new sneakers or unpractical footwear while doing the hike.
After the hike I dropped by the main restaurant located by the lake where one could observe crocodiles and a variety of birds.I had a three meat grill and a few local beers. (Swazi lagers fall into the category of tasteless light lagers, good for a hot day but lacking in flavor)
Afterwords, I returned to the Guesthouse and prepared for the next part of my adventure, crossing over to Mozambique via Chapa/minibus.