Snorer or Lion? A Night in Swaziland

Our truck was purpose built complete with a fridge and freezer stored onboard, powerpoints, shelving and fairly comfortable seats. The storage compartments on the outside fit a couple of trestle tables, our mattresses, tents, food and of course, all our backpacks. There was an art to its packing that only our guides knew and the process of packing and unpacking had been perfected by them with us only needed to set up and pack down our own tents and bags.

The food quality has been excellent, with an array of cereals and spreads with bread (no toasters unfortunately) to choose from, and bacon and eggs when we have a later start in the morning. For dinners we’ve been served gourmet meals cooked by our tour guide in very little light with a portable stove and limited equipment, I’m not quite sure how he does it. The veges are always touched up with garlic and a selection of spices to add some excitement while the meat is cooked to perfection and absolutely full of flavour. He’s tailored each meal to those who have dietary requirements even when it’s not convenient. I couldn’t recommend his cooking more and I worry about when I’ll be back to being my own chef at the end of the week!

We arrived in Swaziland after an efficient border crossing process and had very little time to set up our tents before setting off for a bushwalk around Hlane National Park. We saw a few Nyala on our way but were stopped in our tracks by a sound I can’t even describe. Realising it was the sound of a lion I have to admit I freaked out just a little, thankfully discovering that there was a fence between me and them so I was safe. This knowledge would come in handy when I would go to bed later that night and hear it while closing my eyes for sleep and upon waking up the next morning. I questioned whether it was just someone on the tour snoring but I think that was wishful thinking, too shocked to believe that it was a lion within such close proximity.

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