Truck Day 8 – Eswatini

Alarm sounds at 6am this morning as we’re leaving for a walk at 7.30am. After breakfast we commence our Game Walk which will be a good change from rattling around in a safari truck. Within the Game Reserve there is an interwoven network of 9 trails that traverse Mlilwane and this morning we will be walking the Hippo Trail which is approx 8km and will take us around 3.5 hours to complete. The sun’s starting to peek through burning off the clouds and there’s blue sky already making an appearance.

There’s mist on the mountains and this green paradise with leafy ferns at knee height strongly resembles the Lake District. We repeatedly remind ourselves that we are actually in Southern Africa. As we walk we encounter Zebras, Impala, Bush Buck, Kudu, Warthogs, Wildebeast and Crocodiles. The earth is a beautifully terracotta hued and contrasts brilliantly with the bright green landscape. We encounter a colourful colony of bee-eater birds and watch fascinated as the swoop in an out of their burrows in search of their as it turns out not so elusive prey.

We return for lunch of noodles and salad and after some more laundry flop into the pool for a cool down. An intermittant read, a nap and a cold shower brrrr completes our afternoon. Refreshed and ready for a delicious Braai dinner we toast the day with a chilled foamy beer.

Sondzela Backpackers has table tennis and a pool table so that’s our after dinner activities sorted quite hilariously. We retire to our tents at 10pm smug in the knowledge that we won’t be leaving until 8.30am in the morning resulting in a lie-in until 7am – you’ve just gotta love these small overlanding wins.

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