Swaziland & The Kruger National Park

We had the most wonderful few days away in Swaziland and the weather was heavenly!

Our breakaway started with a night’s stopover at my folks which is always a wonderful treat and after breakfast the following morning Pete and I packed the car and hit the road.  Before I knew it, we were at the border post.  A quick three and a half hour drive from Johannesburg  – fabulous!

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Swaziland has beautiful rolling hills and mountains.  Sadly the autumn weather wasn’t kind enough to give us a clear view but they were breathtaking nonetheless.

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Unfortunately for Pete he had to work the whole day after we arrived which left me to my own devices for a leisurely long breakfast, followed by tea in the room with my feet up on the bed doing a crossword before heading to the pool for some additional R&R followed by what I thought was a necessary run around the very hilly golf course.  All that relaxation leaves a girl a little plump around the middle!  Pete took me on the route the day before when we arrived and I almost thought he was joking about how steep some of the inclines were – I had to go up on my toes otherwise I would have rolled back down.  Needless to say these were the most challenging runs of my life!  I wish I could capture it on a photo so you can see how steep it all is.

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Pete treated me to the best meal of my life in the hotels in house restaurant, Planters – a quaint welcoming and elegant restaurant/bar.  It was lovely to dress up and put on some lippy for the evening out and I have truly never eaten a better steak in my life!  The wine and company weren’t half bad either. 😉

Planters 2

Seems our waiter had the shakes when taking our photo. At least I look slim and young. 🙂

Sadly 3 days later it was time to leave Swaziland  and decided to do one more stopover en route back to the folks and went into the Kruger National Park, a sister park to our Addo where you know Pete and I spend lots of time.  Holy macaroni!  We weren’t anticipating much excitement as we could only spend a couple of hours in the park (it is HUGE – you need 5 days or more to cover its magnificence) before heading to our overnight accommodation but were we in for a serious surprise!

Kruger map

No sooner had we entered the park and driven  around 1 km when we were graced with the presence of 2 snoozing rhinos!  We have only spotted one in our park which we may never see again so this was incredible!  I snapped away frantically thinking we would never have such an opportunity again but wait…there was more!  We were squealing with delight by the time we left the park as we saw no less than 13 rhinos – all with their horns.  Now that I am typing this it worries me that some revolting poacher may read it and hunt down these near extinct magnificent animals for their horns.  What idiots to think their horns are an aphrodisiac.  How can keratin, the same material found in your hair and fingernails possibly be an aphrodisiac.  They can just as well grind up their own hair and nails, but I am getting off the point.  I have always said to Pete that a giraffe and squirrel will complete our family – he ain’t buying it. 😀  Well, the second I spotted a graceful long legged beauty, I whacked Pete so hard on the arm, I am sure he has a permanent bruise!  I couldn’t believe how incredibly lucky we were.  Short of putting in an order before heading into the Kruger, I couldn’t have asked for better viewing.

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We also saw loads of Impala and a couple of buffalo, a pair of vultures and a wildebeest (gnu) and some fascinating birds!  What a treasured couple of hours in the park.  Must say though the toasted sandwiches we ordered for lunch were revolting.  No matter as the viewing was out of this world.

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We enjoyed 2 more sleeps with my folks and had a wonderful evening with my brothers and their families.  Unfortunately my one sister in law and her youngest weren’t able to join us as the little one was sickly.

3 siblings'

Two brothers and a sister

Guess we will just have to go back and visit again soon.


48 thoughts on “Swaziland & The Kruger National Park

  1. Oh I loved this post so much! Seeing you and Pete looking so fabulous and happy – I know you get so little time together. And then the amazing animals and the lovely photo of your family. Perfect….you really deserved such a wonderful break and thank you for sharing it with us!

  2. What a great trip Mandy!!! I love the rhino photos. I can’t imagine seeing those in the wild. So amazing!!! We have to make it down your way one of these days. I’m glad you had a great visit with family too. It sounds like it was fantastic all around!

  3. Those wild animals are amazing..you are so lucky, Mandy. You and Pete are looking gorgeous together.

    • Come back for a visit and I can take you to Addo to see your favourite elephants. That would be fabulous. Bet your little one would love it too, although she is a little young yet. 🙂 xo

      • I may have to take you up on that offer one day Mandy. I would embarrass you with how excited I would be though. We didn’t get to see any baby elephants when we visited as it was the wrong time of year. I would love to see some baby ones. As you probably know there are a lot of South African health professionals settling in the UK. I have heard so much about your fabulous home town from them that I am determined to see more of it. I would really like to get to Cape Town next time xx

        • You could never embarrass me Emma. It would be an honour to share our little bit of the Eastern Cape with you. I will endeavour to get a few shots of the baby ellies for you when we next go into the park. We have a lot of South Africans leaving for lots of reasons. Sadly we currently have a corrupt government, very sad. I do believe it has started to change for the better. BTW, Cape Town is only and 8 hour drive away from us so it is very doable to come and see us and visit Cape Town. 😀 xo

    • That we were Glenda. I can’t wait for my Pete to get home so I can ask him about your soap posts. He has been wanting to make soap for the longest time. Have a super day. 🙂 xo

  4. What a wonderful mini-break. Love the shaky photo of the two of you! The rhinos! What a treat to see them in the wild and yes, I’m horrified they’re so very nearly extinct and yet still being hunted. What is wrong with some people! I would like a pet giraffe or two, too xx

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had back yards big enough for a giraffe or 2! Have a beautiful weekend Charlie. Not sure if you are away yet on your wonderful break. 🙂 xo

  5. I am sooooooooo amazed you get to see such incredible wildlife like that, I cant imagine getting that close to a rhino. WOW! And you Miss Thang are a stunner, seeing your face makes me smile! Your brothers look fun, did you guys get up to a lot mischief as kids?

    Hope you are well Mandy, I’ve missed seeing you over on my blog. Happy Monday and a great week ahead to you my friend, big squishy happy hugs headed your way. xox

    • Anna honey, I thought you have been a wee bit quiet lately – eek! Looks like my subscription to your blog has gone AWOL! How Rude! I have just resubscribed. Damn technology some days! I have loads of reading to catch up on. Will be over ASAP! Sorry about that – have no idea what could have happened.
      Now, about the brothers and growing up – see, I am 4 years younger and the only girl so with twin elder brothers, they found it great fun to tease me with things like, “So Mands, what is heavier, a tonne of feathers or a ton of lead?” And obviously being 4 years younger I thought it must be a trick question so would answer – The feathers! Haa haa. I can still see them rolling on the floor with laughter. Then there were things like our pocket money – I would keep all my paper (notes) money and they would come to me and tell me because their coins weigh more than my paper money it is worth more so they would swap me my paper money for their coins. Naughty buggers. We did have loads of fun though and are still very close. They did however when growing up protect me like no other!
      Chat soon darlin and aren’t we supposed to start counting sleeps? Love back to you. 🙂 xoxoxo

  6. Wow…that was sweet of Pete! That was a rhyme, hehe…Looks like you had a fun, interactive and romantic getaway. Nice photos, Mandy xx

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  7. It sounds like an absolutely perfect trip for the two of you…time together, visiting family and an exciting encounter with those wonderful animals.

  8. So did you get that cover or centre fold story from National Geographic magazine yet? I am sure they will be calling soon. I am hoping that you have one magnificent zoom lens so you are safe and really not as close as it looks like you are to the Rhinos. Love seeing you smile! Have a super week Mandy!

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