December 2016

Swaziland Men Dance

Observations along the road in Swaziland

Sometimes unexperienced tourists with rented caravans act very special. At the Hlane Royal National Park in Swaziland we were alone on a campsite with more than 50 generously sized spots. While we were absent for a short time a Frenchman parked his caravan about ten metres away from our vehicles. The next morning he asked us if

we had also heard the noise during the night and what it could have been. We replied that unless it was Edy’s snoring it must have been the lions in the park. 

We have never driven over such extremely build speed humps in rural areas in southern Africa like we did in Swaziland. One would have been sufficient to break the axil of a 2x4 driving a little faster than walking speed. Often there are three of them luring right after each other to keep the heavily laden mine trucks at bay.  

Swaziland, sheer tragic Africa

An extravagant king with a couple of millions behind his name, more than 15 wives and several palaces whilst 70 percent of the 1.45 million inhabitants live in poverty with less than 1 US$ of daily income. More than 40 percent carry the AIDS virus. 120,000 kids are orphans. The life expectancy is half of that of Germany and Switzerland. The average life expectancy for births in 2005 lies at 50 years. 

 Swaziland Sibhaca Dance

Mantenga Cultural Village, Swaziland 

We are glad that we fell for this very touristic show.
The choir of the show group was impressively good. The rhythms dictated by the large drums were intoxicating and the acrobatic dancing performance worth seeing.
Per accident I did not notice that in some of the scenes I recorded on video the sound was disabled. A pity – would the up- throughing of the legs be synchronised with the beat of the drums.

Swaziland Woman Swaziland Women Dance

What was presented in the show village was embarrassing to the point of being tragic. Considering that two shows with dozens of spectators take place daily the display was insufficient and of bad quality. The actors which imitated some old actions in the huts disappeared right after the dance show and returned dressed in jeans and patent leather shoes.  The show village leaves a deserted and dismal impression. In this regards, we are used to much better in Namibia with its Living Museums! 

The guide explained that grandmother’s hut had burned down 8 years ago, but has never been rebuild since then. Africa after all…
At a similar hut the same guide had just explained to us that the construction took about three weeks!

Swaziland Singer Swasiland Vocalist

Ndebele Village Museum

Next to the deserted, dilapidated former mission station of the Berlin Mission Society Botshabelo (place of refuge) we found a colourful jewel. 
An unfortunately deserted and thus not intact Ndebele village. The painting of the village in form and colour is unique and really well accomplished. A pity that under the African bureaucratic negligence such rarities simply deteriorate. 

2016 12 Swasiland Ndebele Cultural Village

 Review 2016

Start into the 11th travel year with malaria at the Blue Canoe Lodge in Tanzania.
Travelling Malawi with much too many poor people along the shores of the highly populated Lake Malawi.
Lucky once again when travelling the politically unstable north of Mozambique.
On few, really nice camping shores in Mozambique we were mostly alone.
Entered South Africa for the third time within one year in April.
Intensively tested the winelands of the Cape region.
Adventurous experience with lions and hyenas in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Nationalpark.
Six weeks touring with Odermatt's from Meggen through Botswana and Namibia.
Touring some of Namibia’s highlights within four weeks with Brigitte‘s brother and partner Andrea.
A five week stay in Switzerland focussing on visiting friends, evaluating the vehicle for the change in continent and obtaining a pensioner visa for South Africa.
Several weeks of enjoying Kruger National Park’s wildlife.
Return via Swaziland to Johannesburg.

Photos

South Africa & Swaziland: December 2016