21 July 2013

AFRICA -- Day 3:

From Johannesburg to Swaziland...

After a yummy breakfast at African Dreams in Johannesburg, we started driving.  Jo'burg is enormous and very densely populated!  And we only saw a portion of the city...

After about 45 minutes of driving, we arrived at The Lion Park

This place was absolutely amazing!  We enjoyed a guided tour through the various wildlife preserves where we saw Gazelle, Zebra, Ostriches, Guinea Hens, Giraffes, Lions -- including White Lions -- Cheetah, and Hyenas.  Our tour guide was very informative and seemed to really enjoy her work, and she made sure all of our questions were answered.

After the "Safari Tour," we got to pet the lion cubs and have our pictures made with a young lion.  And to top it off, we got up close and personal with Meerkats and hand-fed the giraffes!  It was such a fun day!

After the Lion Park, it was time to start the 5-hour drive to Mbabane... The drive was really beautiful -- seeing the ever-changing terrain of mountains, hills, and veldt (plains).  As night fell, we often saw massive wildfires across the plains.  The winter air dries the grass and if rain doesn't fall, it doesn't take much to start a roaring blaze.  I can't even tell you how many fires we saw -- some small, some huge -- along the drive.  Unfortunately, my pictures of the glowing lines, piercing the dark, did not come out enough to print.

It seemed like the drive would never end, but finally, we heard Banele (sp?) -- our driver -- say it was time to cross the border.  Going through customs at the Swazi border was a surreal experience of its own.  I almost felt like I was watching a movie or from without... but all went smoothly and we entered Swaziland without incident.  And now, begins the real adventure!

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