The Kingdom of Swaziland is a quiet place, bordering South Africa and Mozambique — a place that most people never hear of. It is mostly rural, and has some beautiful scenery. We stayed in the Ezulwini valley, surrounded by hills on all sides. The lodge we stayed at has a lovely garden, with a stream running through it, and a hiking trail which winds steeply up to the twin peaks of Sheba’s Breasts.

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Sheba’s breasts


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Hiking companion!

We had some delicious meals here, including one watching the sun set over Executioner’s Peak, so called because the Swazi people would march their prisoners up there and push them off it. It’s hard to put that together with the uniformly pleasant and friendly people of present-day Swaziland.

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Executioner’s Peak

Our most memorable experience in Swaziland was a long whitewater rafting trip, covering several Class 3 and 4 rapids, on the Lusushwana river. We were in a two-person raft — a new experience for me, as I’ve only been on larger rafts or kayaks, and this seemed to handle better. We got safely through some pretty high-adrenalin situations only to overturn our raft on the very last rapid! Somewhat scarier was the fact that a tourist had been killed by a hippo two weeks ago on this same stretch of river. We had a hippo expert as one of our guides, and were given prolonged instructions on what to do if we saw a hippo. But we didn’t see anything more dangerous than cows, donkeys and egrets.

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