Swinging through the trees

Last weekend (belated blog, I know) saw another opportunity to get away as I tagged along to Julie’s “Family Tour of Swaziland”.  This time we headed North to Malolotja Nature Reserve, where we were flying through the trees with the greatest of ease –like Tarzan, but with much less finesse.  This was all part of the Malolotja Canopy Tour, which consists of 11 flying foxes and one rope bridge zig-zagging between the mountain ranges and above the treeline.  The Vertical Rescue SES person in me was examining every knot and carabiner on the harness (and I have to admit, it wasn’t up to SES standard), but we all survived, even the lady determined to wear high heels.  Once again, the scenery was spectacular.

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From there it was up to the famous Phophonyane Falls.  We stopped and took in a drink from the deck of the Lodge, and then scrambled to get our cameras as a lone baboony thing passed our way.  Little did we realise that 50 metres away, there were dozens more, who cheekily tried to spit seeds at us as we wandered past.  What I loved about the Lodge was the way they incorporated the falls into their landscaping, with steps and paths being built to run alongside or over the top of the falls, and the way they built a natural pool to capture the water coming in and allowing it to flow out the other side while providing a great swimming spot for rich tourists like me.

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As evening approached, we headed to our friend Daisy’s place to spend the night.  Daisy’s family arrived in Swaziland from South Africa, 40-odd years ago, and set up house close to Phophonyane falls, nestled in beautiful greenery, with great views and a rustic, artistic flair.  We were treated to fantastic homemade tortillas (even the tortilla wraps were home-made) before heading to bed.  It felt more like a retreat than anything, except for the fleas that I happened to share my bed with.

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The next morning we took a trip to the Handcraft centre at Piggs Peak, where we put the plastic fantastic to work at Tintsaba, an organisation similar to Gone Rural that supports 900 women to produce world-class handicrafts for export.  I am constantly heartened by the great fair trade industries that I am finding in Swaziland, and although you aren’t here to see first hand the work they do, I encourage you visit them online and support them by shopping or sharing this site with others.

 www.tintsaba.com

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