The roadtrip through South-Africa stopped for a little while because we went for another safari in Swaziland. This time to Mkhaya Game Reserve for a few days. For the other four games drives we stayed at the Stone Camp in Swaziland.
A mind-blowing safari experience in Swaziland
Arriving there was already sort of an experience, because we needed to wait for the ranger to pick us up because all gates were closed. A group of thirteen children came to our car while we stood still and knocked on our windows for food. We gave them chocolate and peppermints. Afterwards, it felt like half of the town came to our car to ask for food and they played football with a handmade ball. We laughed with them, gave high fives, however, on the other hand, it was sort of heart breaking…
Before we arrived at the camp, some rhino’s came running behind us. We (the children) screamed to dad; Drive faster, faster dad!!” Gladly, we entered the gate and they could not come further. It may sounds dramatic or dangerous, but we also laughed a lot (probably because nothing serious happened..). From there on, we had to leave our car, could only take a small bag and went to the camp with the ranger.
The special point about Stone Camp is, that it is totally in the middle of nowhere, much more than Umkumbe. There was no electricity, no service/WiFi, which means that we “disappeared” for three days and saw The Milky Way again. I loved everything of it! Back to basic, but still in a luxury way because all lodges had a toilet and shower (even warm water). As you can see on the picture below the lodge is one with nature. Umkumbe was already something special/new with the animals walking around the park, but this was even a step further than that.
The whole atmosphere was amazing, calm/quiet, and romantic. During the night, there were petroleums on the ground, hanging in the trees, and all around our lodge. Extremely zen!
A day at Stone Camp
At this park the dawn game drive was from 6:15 until 8:00 in the morning. They again woke us up, this time not with “good morning” as like in Umkumbe but with “knock knock”, even though we didn’t even have a proper door (so cute haha). We saw some different animals, the ones we only had actually already seen in Sadi Sands, besides the buffalo, but still beautiful. We had seen four out of five from the big five! Still waiting patiently for the lion.
At 10:30 started the bush walk until 12:30. I was already happy that we could walk around and again stretch my legs. Seeing animals was like a bonus haha! The ranger explained us different things about insects, trees, and we saw a family giraffe and rhino from close again. I have to say that I felt saver in the car than when I was walking, but the experience was still very nice though.
Lunch was at 13:00 and the second game drive started at 15:30. For the first time we saw hippos in the water, even opening their mouths. While we again had spotted some rhinos, giraffes, and a crocodile, we headed back to the camp for dinner.
Our last night there was one which I will never forget. This roadtrip through South-Africa and Swaziland is already such a dream After, we all had finished dinner, the staff (all woman) started to play music with the drum, sang and dance around the campfire. Traditional dance, as she later on told us. They had done three songs and we all stopped with clamming enthusiastic. Some volunteers were able to dance with them. You may already guess/know who the volunteer wanted to be? Yes, you were right (or maybe not), it was me and I took my little sister and mom with me. Not that I wanted it for the attention, but more that I could show my appreciation towards them and dancing makes me very happy.
Eventually, we stood there with also three French people. It was an amazing experience to dance their traditional dance, but we totally failed of course haha. The evening ended with all 20 people from the camp dancing around the campfire. We were so laughing, clapping and enjoying. It was really wonderful!
I went to bed with a big smile, hundreds of stars above my head, and the sound from lots of insects/animals. This incredible place, forever in my heart.