Ep06 Swaziland & Safari
Welcome to episode 6.
After breakfast, we continued south through Swaziland, before re-entering South Africa. Travel into Zululand, passing traditional round huts and endless vistas.
Learning Zulu words
Sawubona, our first word in the Zulu language. A word that our tour guide taught us on the bus. I remember the lesson well because as our driver started the coach, she explained the word and made us respond to Yebo, Sawubona in return. Of course, we got it wrong the first time, but after several repeats, we were expert Zulu greeters and res-ponders. Sawubona is an ancient isiZulu greeting which means: We see you. It is equivalent to Hello and Namaste. So, when we meet and greet, I would say “Sawubona” [we see you], and you would respond by saying “yebo, sawubona” [yes, we see you too].
In one of the TedTalks, Roche Mamabolo, the Founder of Lora Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, explains the word Sawubona well and how it relates to the business principle in a compelling and surprising way. We experienced the Swaziland entrepreneurs craters’ application to their businesses as we saw in action how they conducted their business. It showed up in their service and product offerings. Here is a few other South African Slang we wish we had learned before our trip.
A video of our Day at Swaziland and the Safari at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.
Living in Africa
We continued our journey to view more arts and crafts in Swaziland. Our next stop would be to see the Swazi Candles. Swazi Candles www.swazicandles.com Our first stop in the early morning was to the Swazi Candles Center. Here we learned about candle making and how much of an art form it is in Swaziland. The Swazi Candle was established in 1982. They manufacture traditional paraffin wax as well as 100% organic soy tea lights. They also make pure vegetable glycerine soaps and marula oil body balm. Marula oil is extracted from the kernels (nuts) of the fruits of the Marula trees. Marula oil is extracted from the seeds and oil extracted from the nut’s hard shell.
Yebo! Art & Design
www.yeboswaziland.com Our next stop is to craft stores at Yebo! Art & Design. Here, we found an amazing range of textiles, ceramics, cards, T-shirts, and home décor, all designed and made by local artists and designers. We purchased a textile batik screen-printed by hand that we hang in our living room as a reminder of the beautiful South African Safari. We came to appreciate the artistic work of many of these local artists and we are glad to have visited this center. Yebo! Art & Design adapt to Coronavirus. A youtube showcase on how the artists adapt and change, especially to COVID-19.
Goodbye Swaziland and Re-enter South Africa
Every good trip ends sooner or later. We arrived at the Lavumisa Border to re-enter South Africa. It was an uneventful crossing as we bid our farewell to a beautiful Swazi kingdom.
Landscape Changes Re-entering South Africa
As we re-entered into South Africa, the landscape changed immediately. It felt refresing and welcoming.
A second Safari Drive at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park
We had the pleasure of enjoying an afternoon (3 hours) open vehicle safari in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (formerly known as Hluhluwe-Umbolozi Game Reserve), which contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. The park is the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. 96,000 hectares in size (960 square kilometers). This game reserve is particularly famous for its conservation of black and white rhino. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is the only state-run park in Kwazulu Natal that is home to the African Big 5. The park is world re-known for its conservation efforts and history. The conservation efforts have contributed to this park having the largest population of White Rhino in the world. The park was officially rated as a world heritage site in 1999 (Unesco). Home to the largest Hippo Population in South Africa. The game reserve was once the hunting ground of the mighty King Shaka, Zulu warrior. The reserve is home to the prized Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – a UNESCO Heritage Game Reserve
The Curious Cape Buffalo
Anew Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris
Our accommodation for the night back in South Africa was Anew Hotel. We overnight at the Hluhluwe-Umbolozi region. This hotel is set on the magnificent Elephant Coast and is the closet to the Hluhluwe-Imbolozi Game Reserve.
An African Boma At the Hotel
We were pleasantly entertained to a boma (also known as a kraal) in the evening. What is a boma? A boma is a livestock enclosure or corral. For example, if a wildlife reserve were accepting new animals onto its property, it would keep the new animals inside a boma until they became acclimated to their new surroundings and were ready to be released onto the reserve. Today, at many African lodges, the boma is a gathering place where guests meet for candlelit dinners in an open-air atmosphere. The presence of bomas at safari lodges is mostly for show these days, but they make enchanting dinner spots, lit up by lanterns, candles and a fire pit. At Anew hotel, after our traditional African dinner, we made our way to a boma and it immediately felt special. The boma is enclosed with tall reed walls and in the middle was a fire pit. We enjoyed traditional African dance and music under the starry skies. We even got the opportunities to take pictures with our dancers. After a very entertaining Boma dance, we took an evening stroll around the hotel grounds. Then we decided to retire to our rooms to get a good night’s sleep, so that we would be ready for the next day’s adventure.
Summary of Day
It has been a really rewarding day, spending shopping time at Swaziland, moving to a Safari at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, and end with a Boma at the Anew Hotel. The arts and crafts of Swaziland are truly enjoyable when you see local artists spend their efforts in perfecting their art. It is not an easy life being an artist and many do it for the joy of creating. To these artists, we are grateful that it is not a dying art.
The Safari ride was our second Safari discovery. The landscape at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is very different from the first Safari at Kapama Game at Kreuger National Park (episode 4). We are very grateful to have a second chance to experience up close to the animals. This time, we were not ignorant, having experienced our first Safari already.
The third experience of much interest is our first experience of a BOMA. There were drums and dancing. The center fireplace was welcoming as it felt like a campfire.
Yes indeed, it has been a full day of experiences. We are grateful that our tour guide has taken care of us so well.