Klipkop and Swaziland before heading home
30.08.2007 - 03.09.2007 30 °C
Well, for my final weekend I had all intentions of hanging around by the pool topping up my tan as the weather has now improved considerably in Jo'burg. But, I was talked into a weekend in Swaziland. There is a new group here at Klipkop and they are just brilliant.
So we set off Friday night, Lisa bless her, just off the plane from Canada, no sleep in two days, told not to unpack as we are off to Swazi, a country she had not even heard of!
We just made the border crossing after driving at breakneck speed to get there. Finally arrived at Mlilwane, where I stayed before, at about 2330.
Mlilwane is just fabulous, this is where you have to push past herds of Impala, Nyalis, several Warthogs and a couple of Ostriches, just to get to the loo. This time there were a troop of Vervet monkeys that liked to play chase on the roof all night, every night along with using our cars as target practice in crapping competitions.
Our first day, after a leisurely breakfast overlooking the lake watching the birds terrorise a small crocodile we went for a walk in the park. The weather was glorious, stinking hot with a mild breeze. We walked past several impala, zebra, wildebeast etc. Stopped to cool our feet in a waterfall, then headed to the hippo pool.
This is where I came a cropper. Steep embankment, I started sliding and the only way was to try running down the hill. Next thing I know, I am thump on my arse, my spine doing a very good impression of an accordian, complete with sound effects as the wind rushed from my lungs.
Fingers and toes checked still working, I am hoiked up. I am wearing pale stone coloured shorts, the earth is bright red. Yup, looked very similar to a baboon on heat and making noises to match.
Managed to hobble around the rest of the park helped by a couple of paracetamol and a quick (glorious) massage from Llois, guy from Barcelona who is absolutely gorgeous but fortunately gay.
Didnt see the hippos but did find a dead hyena and a dead dog in the lake! We summised that the hyena must have been chasing the dog (bit marks to its rear) and they both fell the 30' or so into the lake, the hyena probably hitting its head on the large log it was sprawled accross with its tongue lolling out. Gruesome yes, but somehow they looked peaceful plus it was a little ironic. We then went up to Executioners rock to watch the sun go down with a couple of beers. Spent the evening around a camp fire with probably a few too many Drambuies.
The next day we learned that the King was to choose a new wife, so we hotfooted it down to the Palace where we were treated to the most amazing spectacle I have ever witnessed. Literally thousands and thousands of young girls in traditional costumes which, by the way, covered just the bits you would not normally bother covering and there were tits and bums all over the place. All of them held a reed some 20' long. A huge sea of reeds with dazzling colours below. Several cows had obviously been slaughtered and young men were carrying the heads and feet home, on their heads. I have no idea what the relevance of this was.
It took several hours for all the girls to line up, ready to enter the palace grounds and entertain the King with their dancing and unfortunately we had to leave before the real celebrations begun, but we did learn that the actual choosing didnt happen until today. It was still a marvel to see. The whole population of Swaziland must have been there.
We stopped at the craft market to the delight of the stallholders, they had not seen a customer all day, so we got a few bargains. Then headed back to Klipkop. Still in mortal agony and having had no sleep the previous night, I slept all the way.
I didnt sleep last night either and now on a diet of ibroprufen. Hopefull I shall sleep on the plane tonight.
This time tomorrow, I shall be on British soil.
Now I have to go, just been informed that a porcupine is to be released in the reserve today. This I just have to see.