South Africa- Road Trip Pt. 1

Here's an outline of our road trip so far:

Johannesburg --> Sabie --> Arathusa Safari Lodge --> Mbabane, Swaziland --> Saint Lucia --> Durban

Mbanane, Swaziland

The border crossing was relatively painless to get into Swaziland (a small country located within South Africa).  Similar to most foreign countries, there was very little direction and you sort of just follow along what the person in front of you does.  Since we were driving across the border we had a few extra spots to get paperwork stamped and we assumed we got them all right until we were entering Swaziland and the guard asked for a stamp that we had clearly missed.  So instead of asking us to pull over he just told us to jump out of the car, run back to the office and get it stamped.. making quite a few cars behind us wait until we got our stamp.  Once we were across the border our stop was in Mbabane where we booked one of the coolest airbnb’s yet. 

 Located just outside the city, this house was literally a cave house built into the side of the mountain and was pretty stunningly done.  Our favourite part of the house?  Grabbing a glass of wine and climbing up on top of the roof where you could see the whole valley which was amazingly lush and green.  We spent the next morning exploring around the house where you could find beautiful hidden waterfalls.

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Saint Lucia, South Africa

From Mbanane we did the border crossing again (like experts this go round!) and headed back to South Africa to Saint Lucia- a town famous for it’s hippos.  We’d heard multiple stories how you would wake up and there would be hippos in the pool or strolling down the street.  Although we didn’t get to see any of them that up close and personal we were able to spot many of them in the estuary.  What we were able to have the “pleasure” of interacting with were the monkeys who were everywhere.  At first it was to watch them from our balcony, babies with their moms, big guys digging through the garbage until Piet and I decided to take a swim in the pool. It wasn’t until later, when we were looking for Piet’s hat that we realized that one of the pesky monkeys must have come down and stolen his hat from the top of my bag while we were in the pool… cheeky monkey!! (Press play on the photo below to see all of the monkeys)

Durban, South Africa

After a somewhat go-go-go road trip we decided to settle into Durban for a few days to work, sleep in the same bed for a few nights and get to know the city a little bit.  We stayed right off of Florida Road which has ample restaurants, bars and coffee shops. We had some of the yummiest food to date.  We found this delicious Italian restaurant, which had a line up every night of the week. We finally decided to wait the lineup and boy was it well worth it.  All 4 of us had the most amazing meals and we all contemplated going back again the next day for round 2.  One of Durbans famous dishes is the “bunny chow” which is basically made from half a loaf of bread that has the insides scooped out and filled with Indian curry. It’s so filling (and spicy) that we only needed to split one between the two of us.  

In between all of our eating we took a break and headed to the waterpark. We had such a blast bringing out our inner child on all of the rides- racing each other, going through the toilet bowl swirl and floating down the lazy river.  (See video below for all the fun we had!)

Next Stop: Bulungula Lodge, South Africa