The past 6 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind of travel for me so I thought I would do a quick update to let you know I am still around and looking forward to sharing my recent adventures with you soon.
The beginning of November had me back in Nice, France for a work trip. Incidentally I left for this trip exactly one year and one day from the date we moved to Joburg. It felt a bit strange to be back in Nice (or more precisely Sophia Antipolis where our offices are located) and I really feel Joburg is home to me now. It was a hectic week of conferences but a great experience to meet fellow colleagues from all over the globe. We didn’t have much free time at all and I didn’t even get a chance to see old friends but we did manage a few hours for a nice Sunday afternoon around Antibes, much needed after the long, hellish flight from South Africa.
In my previous post I wrote about the first part of our trip to Swaziland and our stay at Hlane. Our last 2 nights were spent at a different park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary located a little more than an hour from Hlane. In part 1 I mentioned that the original plan was to spend all 3 nights at Mlilwane however when we called to finalize our booking, we were told that the camp was booked out for the first night for a private function. When we arrived at Mlilwane we discovered that this private function was in fact a celebration of 50 years of conservation in Swaziland with the King of Swaziland in attendance to unveil a commemorative statue. I wonder how many people can say they got bumped because of a King and on their birthday no less, haha.
It is somewhat of a tradition for my birthday (July 11th if anyone is taking notes) that instead of lavish gifts, we try and celebrate by taking a trip somewhere, long or short, whatever we can manage that year. When we lived in Europe, as my birthday was smack in the middle of summer, this usually meant some time spent on a beach. Greece, the Amalfi Coast, Croatia… just some of the fabulous places I have spent my birthday. This being the very first year I would be spending my birthday in Africa (and in winter now to boot!) I absolutely wanted to keep with our tradition and sneak in a little birthday excursion.
In my prior post about Lesotho (pronounced Le-SOO-too), I showed you just a preview of this magnificient country and now I want to tell you more about the place where we stayed, Malealea Lodge. The lodge is located in a remote part of western Lesotho and when arriving, you will feel like you have been transported back in time, way back. The people live mostly as they always have here. They grow their own food, raise their own livestock and live in traditional Basotho huts without running water or electricity. These people are do not have much in terms of material possessions however the smiles and greetings you receive from everyone you pass are bountiful.
I have been writing a lot of food-centric posts lately so I wanted to switch gears a bit and tell you about our trip to the Kingdom of Lesotho back over the Easter holidays (yes I am a bit behind on my blogging!). Lesotho is a small independant country completely surrounded by South Africa. It is commonly referred to as the Kingdom in the Sky as its lowest point is 1400m and it is the only country that is entirely over 1000m.
Ever since moving to South Africa, I have heard over and over how we must visit Lesotho. It is so often praised for the sheer beauty of her land and the genuine warmth of her people that I knew I wanted to visit as soon as possible. With a long 4 day weekend for Easter, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a quick first visit.
Road to Peka Bridge Border Crossing. Last 16 km to the border is gravel but a good road