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.
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.
And we slept it in too. Crazy right ? No ? Well if you have known me for a long time you are probably at least a little bit surprised. You see, in the past I was never known to be much of an outdoorswoman. Even a couple of years ago I would never have imagined myself sleeping in the African bush with only a thin layer of poly-canvas between me and the stars. But This Is Africa (TIA) and that has all changed, though it has been a gradual process.
During our first trip to Kruger National Park about 3 years ago we had a great time but stayed in nice little chalets or rondavels. The following year I was ready to be closer to nature and we stayed in a permanent tent (with private kitchen and bath) in the unfenced camp of Mpila. What an unbelievable experience. As the camp is unfenced, this allows all sorts of animals to be browsing about at all times of the day or night. This could be some dainty impala munching on the grass right outside your tent while you try to sleep or even a hungry hyena lustfully checking out your braai just a couple meters away. If you want to know more about this camp, you can see our photos here.