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Safari Ideas

Safari and Beach19th November '15

Safari and beach holidays are becoming increasingly popular, which is not particularly surprising. Combining the exhilaration and thrills of going on safari (and also those early morning starts to be sure you get the best sightings) with the relaxation and sheer luxury of a remote beach lodge result in an ideal holiday for many of us, including myself.

With this in mind I would recommend a safari in Swaziland culminating in a five-day stay at Machangulo Lodge in Mozambique to end the trip on absolute high, or rather a complete chill out. The great thing about this combination is that the driving distances are small, that it is safe and easy to get around and it is away from mass tourism so that you don’t feel as if you are on the conveyor belt.  At the moment it is also good value because Swaziland’s currency is tied to the Rand and at the moment the Rand to the Pound is phenomenal!  I urge anyone to get out to southern Africa to make the most of the excellent exchange rate, go to Swaziland, South Africa or even Namibia.  At the moment you are playing with Monopoly money.

Safari in Swaziland
The beauty of a safari in Swaziland is that not only can you go on traditional safaris in open top Land Rover’s to see elephant, lion and rhino but you can also walk in some of the game reserve (where there are none of the Big Five) and see wildlife from a different perspective. It is also great for those of you that want to do some form of exercise as well rather than just sitting in game viewing vehicles. Sometimes Safaris can be a bit sedentary!

So put on your walking boots and walk-through a ‘dazzle’ of zebra, a ‘journey’ of giraffe or amble pass a ‘pod’ of hippo.  And you can do this either on foot, by mountain bike or even on horseback. One of the great things about Swaziland is that it it promotes seeing wildlife from a different perspective and it positively encourages you to be active as well.  There are hiking trails such as in Malolotja that can last 10 days, that is should you choose to do so.

Best Swaziland Wildlife Reserves for Safaris
I would say the best reserves for that safari experience are Mlilwane, Mbuluzi, Hlane and Mkhaya.

Mlilwane is aptly called the outdoor lovers paradise and it is here that you can walk on self-guided trails, set out on mountain bikes around the reserve as well as exploring the more inaccessible places on horseback.  This wildlife sanctuary has a wonderfully relaxed feel about it and you can certainly get up close and personal with the wildlife.

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Mbuluzi is ideal for those who were on a self drive as there are some wonderful lodges to stay in ranging from tented camps to fully functional lodges with Wi-Fi and TV.  It is entirely up to you what sort of lodge you want to stay in.  This is an absolute gem of a place for the vast numbers of giraffe –  you can simply get out of your car and walk amongst these magnificent animals. There are good walking trails here too.

giraffe at Mbuluzi

Hlane is famous for its lion, in fact it is the only reserve in Swaziland that does have lion.  The safaris are driven by local Swazis who not only have wonderful knowledge about the wildlife in the area but also give an insight into traditional uses for the flora and fauna as well.  It is a really insightful experience. And the wildlife sightings are incredible; lion, elephant and rhino for starters.

lion cub and Hlane

Mkhaya is a little gem and was originally created to help with breeding of endangered species such as black rhino, roan and sable.  Since then it has developed into Swaziland’s premier wildlife reserve with an exclusive air to it and a personalised touch.  Stay in thatched cottages which are partially open to the bush and get lulled to sleep to the gentle noises of the African bush, truly delightful.

Black Rhino_Mkhaya

Beach in Mozambique
Mozambique is famous for its pristine shorelines, is aqua blue sea and its stunning coral formations.  And you won’t be disappointed. From a beach and safari perspective, coming from Swaziland, I would really recommend only one lodge which is within easy travelling time.  And this is Machangulo Lodge.  The reason for this is that it is only three hours travelling distance by road from Swaziland’s wildlife reserves to Maputo Marina and then a further hour and a half by boats to the remote promontory that Machangulo is situated on.

Machangulo Lodge
Machangulo Beach Lodge is located between Inhaca Island and the dunes of the Santa Maria Peninsula where the tides energises the atmosphere and adds to the magic of this untamed and unspoilt place. The Lodge overlooks endless white beaches, pristine and untouched dune forests and eternally wide open ocean. It is beautifully hidden away amid the dunes and forest and an ideal getaway beach accommodation.

Machangulo Beach Lodge 026

Here you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this serene lodge which is set away in a secluded paradise.  Get up in the morning and walk down to the sea, go snorkelling or even scuba-diving, spend a day on your own private beach, visit the local village and dine on the local catch of the day, there is something here for everyone. The lodge beautifully blends into the surroundings and is environmentally friendly.  Most of the staff are employed from the nearby village and majority of your food will have been caught or grown in the local area, a perfect way to end a fabulous holiday.

Machangulo Beach Lodge food

The combination of Swaziland and Mozambique for a safari and beach holiday is ideal; both in travelling distances and experience as well as on your pocket.

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