Living in Swaziland| Sense Africa

Living in Swaziland

Sondzela Backpackers Lodge is considered Africa’s Rolls Royce of Backpacker Hostels.  It is located in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and provides a perfect introduction to Swaziland and a great venue for acclimatisation to Africa and the beginning of the expedition.  Sondzela is on a private road and can only be accessed by Sondzela’s backpacker visitors.  The lodge is approximately 15 minutes walk from the Mlilwane Rest Camp and consists of two houses with ample safe parking, rondavels (round huts) and a large garden and camping area, swimming pool and games area. Often impala, zebra and warthog graze in the garden below the canopy of trees which are visited by an abundance of birds.

Camping at the Project site is recommended and this is specific to the project that the Students choose.

Camping at the Conservation project is located above some amazing rapids in the Mbuluzi River. The campsite is spaciously set out amongst shady trees with great clear areas under the trees. Preserving the feel of the African Bush, the campsite has no electricity. There are 2 clean toilets (flushing) and 2 showers (which Expedition Sense helped to revamp a few years ago), and hot water is provided by lighting a fire under the ‘donkey-boiler’.

There are several reed enclosures for campers to make use of. These each have a water stand pipe and a braai [barbecue] grid. The water is drinkable out of the taps as it is from a borehole.

Legends Backpacker Lodge is a fun, environmentally friendly and active hostel right in the middle of Ezulwini Valley, or ‘Valley of the Heavens’. The hostel’s location ensures a close proximity to almost all of the region’s highlights, especially to outdoor adventure activities. This is often used for the final part of the expedition so that the last night meal can be walked to. Legends aims to recycle most of their rubbish, as this is not common practice in Swaziland (yet). The self-catering kitchen is well-equipped and the hostel is just a 10 minute walk from a shopping centre. There is a pool and great showers.

Water and Food
Water is drinkable practically all over Swaziland – which people often find surprising. Students will be made aware of places where the water is not advisable to drink.

The students are in charge of their budget and their choice of food. All kinds of food can be bought in Swaziland and they will not be eating food that they would get on D of E, unless they choose to do so! 

They can buy fresh produce at markets such as potatoes (sweet and normal), butternut, cabbage, salad items, carrots, gem squash, courgettes, onions, aubergine etc and fruits such as apples, bananas, pawpaw, pineapple etc. 

There are a number of supermarkets which stock the staples such as rice, tins of food, cheese, fresh meat etc so they have a large scope and choice of what they are going to eat.

In larger towns there are chemists, supermarkets and a variety of shops to buy forgotten necessities. This will not be a problem in replenishing kit as you will be shopping regularly and you can get everything from camera batteries, feminine hygiene products, shampoo and memory cards.

The transfer company will be through private companies and this is arranged in advance for the team.  This is because transport is one of the higher risks for any expedition.