Swaziland

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Jan 14th, 2004, 01:12 PM
  #1
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Swaziland

I'm going to be best man at a wedding in Swaziland this year.

I'd like to spend a week or two there or nearby - any suggestions.

I am adventurous, keen on wildlife, enjoy meeting people. Will have a rental car to use. Prefer budget accommodation, so that I can spend more on activities and food !

Advice appeciated,

Strawbs
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Jan 14th, 2004, 02:27 PM
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I only spent a couple of days in Swaziland, but I really enjoyed the game viewing, especially rhinos, at Mkhaya.

If you're willing to leave Swaziland, Kruger National Park is a short drive and can easily be visited in a 2WD rental car.
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Jan 14th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Strawbs, do you mind my asking where in Swaziland the wedding will take place? Also what time of year? If I knew the time of year, I would say which parts of Swaziland I believed were best to visit and which parts of neighbouring South Africa were best to visit.
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Jan 15th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Strawbs, as with so many countries in the world, if you go in the spring (September - October) or in the fall (April - May), you can go pretty much anywhere and expect the weather to be rather pleasant.

If you go in the summer (November - March), the low lying areas in the eastern part of the country will be very hot. You'll find the higher elevations in the western part of the country more pleasant.

The reverse is true in winter (June - August). Then the nights in the low lying, eastern part of the country are cool, but daytime temperatures are delightfully warm. The daytime temperatures in the hilly western part of the country are quite pleasant, but the night-time temperatures are downright frosty.

Here's a page that shows Swaziland's ecological zones (you need to scroll down the screen till you see a series of maps on the left hand side).

http://www.ecs.co.sz/unfccc/chapter4_2.htm

Very roughly, the dark green area in the west corresponds to the so called "highveld," the light green area in the centre corresponds to the "middleveld," and the grey area in the east corresponds to the "lowveld" or "bushveld."

Here's the Lonely Planet Guide's map of Swaziland.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/mapshell.../swaziland.htm

On it you can see the game reserves of Mkhaya, Hlane and Mlawula in the eastern part of the country. Being in the lowveld, they would have pleasant weather from the fall through the winter until the spring. They would be hot in summer.

Being at higher elevations, Mlilwane and Malolotja in the west would offer more pleasant summertime temperatures. They would be nice in the spring and fall, and during the daytime in winter. Winter nights, however, would be frosty.

The scenery in the northwestern part of Swaziland, in the vicinity of Malolotja Nature Reserve and Phophoyane Falls, is particularly attractive to my taste. The hilly countryside around Mbabane and Mankayane is rather pretty too.

Travelling to South Africa via Phophoyane Falls takes you through lovely hill country.

South Africa's Kruger National Park is north of Swaziland, along South Africa's eastern border with Mozambique. Kruger National Park is occupied, for the most part, by "lowveld" or "bushveld." Its climate is like that of Swaziland's eastern bushveld (pleasant in the fall, winter and spring, really hot in summer).

To the southeast of Swaziland, in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa (on the way to the coastal city of Durban), there are still more game reserves.

Here's a website with some general travel information about Swaziland:

http://www.thebtr.com/pages/africa/c...nformation.htm

Well, I could tell you more, but I hope this at least gets you started. The bride and groom for whom you will be bestman should be able to give you much more detail than I've been able to give you here.
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Jan 15th, 2004, 05:18 AM
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We went to Mkhaya - Stone Camp when we were there. It is not at all expensive but quite comfortable. It is not "commercial" ...and we met the most interesting people during mealtimes there. Take a trek to Pigg's Peak..beautiful...almost mystic in appearance. Don't miss Coral Stephen's weaving shop...exquisite loomwork.
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Jan 17th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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>>>>>>I'm going to be best man at a wedding in Swaziland this year.<<<<<<

>>>>>>I'd like to spend a week or two there or nearby - any suggestions.<<<<<<

>>>>>>I am adventurous, keen on wildlife, enjoy meeting people. Will have a rental car to use. Prefer budget accommodation, so that I can spend more on activities and food !<<<<<<

>>>>>>Advice appeciated,<<<<<<

Hello Strawbs,

Somehow I gained the impression from your post that you'd never been to Swaziland or, indeed, Southern Africa. That's why I explained Swaziland's climatic zones as best I could.

This morning I stumbled on a post of yours in which you said you'd been to Swaziland. Now I feel like an idiot.

Anyway, since I now know you've been to Sabi Sands, Swaziland, and KwaZulu-Natal, that changes things a bit.

You said you wanted to spend a week or two, either in Swaziland or nearby.

Well, depending on the time of year (because I find summer uncomfortably hot in the lowveld), you might want to visit a different ecological zone than one you've seen before, e.g., the wetlands in the far north eastern corner of KwaZulu-Natal.

Alternatively, for something "different," you might want to consider Mozambique. I used to love Mozambique, but haven't been there for decades, and it has suffered from a war in the interim.

Kewilliams (Kevin) wrote a trip report about it here. He said there were a lot of beggars in Maputo. But someone else has spoken well of Beline, a smaller town up the coast from Maputo.

If I was going to Mozambique, I would spend little time in Maputo, but instead would head north for Beline and perhaps go as far as Inhambane.

This would need some more research, but perhaps it's something to think about.
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