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Published: July 18th 2019
Kruger National Park
Our first Lion sighting
10 July - We left early with our driver, David from Southern Circle Tours, it would be just us three for the next seven days tranelling through to Durban. From Johannesburg we drove via Middleburg, Dullstroom and Robber’s Pass to Pilgrim’s Rest, a 19th century gold mining area now a tourist town deep in the mountains. We stopped at two waterfalls on the way to Ligna Lodge in Sabie our stop for the night. After a long day of travelling we were happy to find our room located in the lovely gardens on the rivers edge, very peaceful.
11 July - An early start to drive via the Panoramic route stopping at the Pinnacle, God’s Window, Berlin Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the three Rondavels view at the Blyde River Canyon. We arrived at Mohlabetsi lodge in time for a late lunch on the lawns where we could see giraffe in the distance, the lodge is located in a private game reserve a part of the Greater Kruger National Park. In the afternoon we took an open vehicle drive, we were lucky to see lots of game including lions.
12 July - After an early morning game drive we left for
Kruger National Park, seeing lots more animals. We spent the night in a tented camp.
13 July - After a drive through the Kruger reserve we travelled to the border of Swaziland, now renamed Eswatini, interesting the border control still had signs for Swaziland. We travelled via Piggs Peak through the mountains to the Ngwenya glass factory where all products are hand made from recycleed glass. We would have loved to buy a few items but still having five weeks to travel in Africa we resisted, much to Alex's dismay. We drove through Mbabane, the capital before trvelling to our overnight stop at the Foresters Arms hotel a little bit of England in the Swaziland mountains.
14 July - After an early breakfast we were on the road again, driving through the Malkerns Valley. We continued along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini before heading south towards Nhlangano, a scenic route across the country. We exited Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post entering into Zululand and travelling southwards to Hluhluwe to check into another private lodge for the night. We took another open vehicle safari, this was a smaller reserve and even though we saw a number of animals it
was not as exciting as our Safari had been in Mohlabetsi lodge where our tracker had to search for the animals. In this small reserve the drivers knew where the animals would be, near the waterholes. It felt more like an open range zoo but we did get up close to lots of animals.
15 July - After checking out we travelled through the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Reserve where we sighted lots of animals but not as many as the Mohlabetsi lodge. We continued on to St Lucia for a boat cruise on the estuary of Lake St lucia to see lots of hippo and bird life. We arrived at Durban just before sunset to our hotel the Oyster Box, a beautiful historic hotel located on the seafront.
16 July - David collected us in the morning to take us to our stay at Moorcroft Manor in Himeville, our stop before heading off to Lesotho. On the way we visited the station where Ghandi was taken off the train for being in a first class coach, we drove on to Howick Falls, and then visited the Mandella Museum located on the site where he was captured before being imprisoned
for life. We were sad to say goodbye to David, he had been a great driver and guide, tomorrow we go with a new company across the Sani Pass.
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