Since we now are back home in Sweden, it’s time to summarize our trip to southern Africa!
All in all, we’ve spent over 2800 km on the road in our rental cars. As the roads in South Africa mostly is at a very good standard it's a pleasure to drive there, and with an automatic transmission it’s easy to focus on the left hand side traffic. The roads in Lesotho are more often in worse condition and some of the gravel roads are more like a ditch than a road. With a good 4x4 this doesn’t possess a problem, it on the contrary rather fun to drive! In Swaziland the roads were something in between South African and Lesothian standards.
Amongst our top rated experiences during the trip are the Maletsunyane falls in Lesotho as well as to meet Basotho (people living in Lesotho) when we drove on the countryside and in the fantastic mountains. In Swaziland the highlights were the Canopy Tour in the Malolotja Nature Reserve and when we spotted giraffes and warthogs just a few meters from the road in the Hlane area. In the Mpumalanga area of South Africa, we particularly enjoyed the drive in the beautiful Blyde River Canyon and the Aerial Cable Trail in Hazyview.
The absolute highlight of the trip was to meet Laura and some of the children at her school again! We have to remember that it takes time for change to have an impact on every day life. People still live under miserable conditions in South African townships and the heritage of apartheid can still be found in many places of the society. By taking small steps (such as Laura do) the future for the younger generations can be different than for their parents. To see Laura's work is a huge inspiration for us! On this trip our small contribution was to cook lunch for the children one day and to stock up the supplies at the school kitchen to enable the cooking of nutritious lunch the following days.
As citizens of the world we all have a responsibility to acknowledge that things maybe not are as we think. By seeing the world with our own eyes and then tell you about it, we make a small contribution for future change.
When summing up our trip we feel that we didn’t spend enough time in Lesotho. As the roads are as they are you need more time than you think to travel around this little kingdom of the sky. Unfortunately, our planning didn’t give us time to go to the eastern parts of Lesotho this time, nor did we spend as much time with the Basotho as we wanted to. We also have to confess that our research on the Kruger park could have been better. As we didn’t want to go on a safari where we were to be driven around in a jeep we decided not to go to any game park this time. When we stayed just a few kilometres away from the park gates we learnt that you actually are allowed to drive around by your self there. That we would have loved to do so now we have to plan a re-visit to this area. As far as time is concerned, two weeks are rather short and for us four nights in Lesotho was to few and four nights in Swaziland was to many. When it was time to leave Cape Town we felt that it would be nice to stay longer… Maybe next time?!?!
- take a township tour and do it with an open mind!
- take your time to see Lesotho!
- limit a long stay in Swaziland to just Swaziland – Mozambique is not far away and to make a short detour across the boarder would (with a little planning) have been possible.
- miss out on the possibility to drive in the Kruger park.
- avoid to see the historical structures that still lives in the society.