Wednesday January 21st ~ A game drive in Hluhluwe and on to Swaziland
Hluhluwe was a well-known hunting area in the 1800’s for the Zulu and then in the 1840’s by the Great White Hunters who came to plunder the ivory, skins and the rhino horns. By the late 1890’s fewer than 100 white rhinos remained.
Thankfully by 1895, the area got formal protection and the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve was established.
Loaded into a Range Rover, with our guide for the three-hour ride, we headed out to see what we could find. All of the “Big Five” animals can be found in this park.
Just to bring you up to speed, the “Big Five” are:
- Cape buffalo
Many of the big five remained elusive, but we are off to a good start. We did get to see an amazing variety of animals including zebra, giraffe, rhino, wildebeest, cape buffalo, nyala and warthog to name a few. Here are some of our favorite pictures of the day:
Our time with the animals flew by much too fast and it was time to get on our bus once again and head for the border crossing into Swaziland.
Officially known as the Kingdom of Swaziland, (the country is the last absolute monarchy in Africa), this small country is completely landlocked with South Africa on three sides and Mozambique on the NE corner.
“Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It is no more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) north to south and 130 kilometres (81 mi) east to west.” ~ Wikipedia
Our border crossing went off smoothly, entering at the SE corner near Lavumisa.
All of us got off the bus, entered the South Africa control building, presented our passports for inspection, got them stamped and exited out the other door. We then walked a couple of minutes up the road and repeated the procedure with the Swaziland border control agent placing another stamp in our passport and welcoming us. Once again climbing on the bus, we headed for the Happy Valley Hotel in Ezulwini.
One final stop along the way at a candle shop where local artisans handmade a variety of animal shaped candles. It was fun to watch them take a lump of colored wax and within a few minutes turn it into an elephant.
We had all been handed a small ball of wax to feel the lanolin texture. Tim, instead of simply squishing it in his hands, turned his lump into a crocodile. The lady giving us the explanation got so tickled over his creation that she gave him two “eyes” for the head, cured it briefly in cold water and then bubble wrapped it for him to take home.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for Tim’s playful attitude and creativity.
Joanne, how do you load maps and such into your travel blogs, given that i assume you don’t travel with a scanner?
Mike, I simply save the picture or map to my computer and upload to my blog from there. It is easier to do on my iPad. If you click on the picture you want to use, you are given the option to save photo. That puts it into the camera roll section which I can then upload from that area into my blog. I hope that makes some sense.
Wish i wasn’t so techno challenged. I can understand uploading photos to your blog, but how do you save an external object like a map into your files without scanning it? Do you photograph it?
Some of the maps I use are already online that I find doing a Google or Yahoo search. If it is a map or document that I can hold in my hand then yes, I simply take a picture of it. Hope that helps.
Hello Tim and Joanne, I like to read your story, it ‘s amuse and inspiring me to traveling more interesting places these year. Keep safe for your next travel.
And hello to you Lukman. If we have inspired you to travel more, than I am delighted. We appreciate your good wishes.
These pictures are gorgeous! I never knew the difference between a black and white rhino! Great article!
Me either – I just thought a white rhino was, well, whitish in color. They are both a dark gray, but we saw some lighter ones that had been rolling in dust.
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I really liked what you said at the beginning about the ‘great white hunters’ plundering ivory, skins, and rhino horns. Very few people admit this fact, that the ‘great white hunters’ not only committed atrocities against people, but also against animals. It is so painful to see how a whole animal like an elephant could be killed, its ivory stolen, and its body just left there to rot. Such a crime!
Dr. Y. I totally agree with you. It breaks my heart to think about “trophy hunting”. I’m thankful that the game reserves are helping protect these beautiful creatures. Sadly there is still a large poaching problem, but the situation is better than it was in the past.
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Yes… I agree… there is still large poaching and “trophy” hunting. Hopefully, the governments of these countries (and the people of the world) will stop all this before animals like the rhino or elephant become extinct, i.e. museum animals.