Have you ever imagined to get so close to the most ancient mammal in the world? Yes, only you and the huge white rhino in the wild. That’s will be the second activity of the day, as once we start the Hlane National Park Tour (in one of most important reserves in Eswatini) we will jump into an open vehicle through this dry savanna which hosts, amongst its cemetery of trees, 3 of the big 5: elephants, rhinos and lions. Are you assuming the risk of creating a super cool memory for your life?
A new day begins together with new experiences. Are you ready?
We will pick you up at your place at 5 a.m. It’s early, isn’t it? We know, but it will be worthy.
Please, ask your hotel for a packed breakfast and have coffee there as in our way we will not find places for that. When we say we go to wild areas, we go to wild areas. 😉
It will take us around 2 hours and half (or maybe 3) to reach our final destination, but always depending on traffic and borders.
We will use the road to Namaacha (famous in Mozambique for its water spring), and will cross Lebombo Mountains to enter Eswatini. The road is in good conditions and everything around is nature and nature, so you will enjoy landscapes and also sunrise during winter time.
Around 8 we will be entering at Hlane National Park, where some giraffes appear up to say good morning to us. This place reminds us a cemetery of trees. You will see many dead trees; elephants are responsible for them, and are perfect to birds like marabu to spot their preys.
Hlane means desert and you will understand why once here, at this beautiful desert full of life.
Our first activity, after stretching our legs, is a morning safari inside the park at 8.30 AM, visiting one of the areas looking for elephants and lions (2 of the big five). Around 11 we are finishing our morning safari and will jump for the second one, taking you so close the magnificent rhinos, getting as close to them as rangers consider safe. Sooooo close!!! We can even hear you heart bumping right now.
Then, we will seat in the restaurant of the visitor center for our lunch overlooking the lagoon, where hippos usually chill around and marabous can to drink. You will breathe peace and calmness, strange feeling nowadays in our hectic world. So keep in silence and enjoy the rest of your day!
You will find Jose mostly on Maputo Special Reserve, Limpopo and Kruger Park, stay tuned.. you will notice when you hear that Portuguese or English word with that special Spanish accent… BENGA! 🙂
We booked for a customized 2-day trip to Eswatini with Mussiro tours in February 2020. Jose was a thoughtful and insightful guide all along. He planned everything from transport, to park fees, to custom entry (you still have to obtain our own visa before of course – if you need one). He adapted to our needs and was very flexible, even when we requested to slide in an extra Jeep tour to see lions (and we did!). He also had planned for food (picnic) and coffee (which made up nicely for the early wake up !). We visited 2 of the main parks in Eswatini (Hlane and Mlilwane) which are very different from each other. We went to a waterfall, a cultural village, a candle factory. We overnight in a very nice cozy lodge with excellent traditional food.
Aside from the smoothly organized travel, the real plus of Mussiro was our guide, Jose, who managed to be present every time we needed to be. He was considerate of our wishes and last minute changes. He communicated any changes or adaptation of the time ahead of time. He was accompanying without being directive. he was knowledgeable about the country, without being “know-it-all”. he was super friendly but also left us some couple-time at the lodge… It is hard to strike the right balance on all of those, but Jose did it ! We would gladly go back with him to any of the Mussiro destinations, really !
We warmly recommend Mussiro tour and their friendly staff…
Michael and Antine – From Haiti and France (based in Maputo)