We arrived at the Nisela Safari Lodge after crossing one of the smaller southern border post crossings. We immediately found ourselves on dirt roads before reaching the main tarred highway leading north. Swaziland is very small and driving distances are not what we had become accustomed to in the much larger country of South Africa.
The Nisela Safari Lodge was the perfect stop for us – reaching it at dusk. At first it appeared somewhat touristy but we found no tourists here! We stayed in the Swazi Village (named after and sponsored by a beer company). This village is a collection of traditional style Swazi homes – all with thatched roofs and doors so small even a smurf would have to duck to enter! Expecting high prices we were surprised when this was the lowest price we’ve paid for accommodation on the entire trip. And we were the only ones in the village. And they gave us the largest hut of them all – King and Queen for a night.
This lodge is awesome because its the only one of its kind in this part of the country and its soooo remote. The natural world is right at your doorstep – big beetles, huge millepedes, colorful frogs, crocodiles, colorful birds including those building nests and at night a symphony of sounds I’ve rarely heard. The camp is surrounded by large sharp sticks and fences to try and keep the big game at bay. Before sleep we heard grunting and other large animal sounds from nearby.
In the morning we walked out into the Africa Velt – thorn trees everywhere and many were in bloom. We just headed out and came across a large group of Giraffe feeding on the thorn trees. As soon as they spotted us they stopped and all raised their heads, not moving and just stared at us. This continued for about 15 minutes – we watched them and they watched us! Finally as we moved away slowly, they went back to grazing.