Africa Shines

SafariAn ordinary person can be inspired to do extraordinary things in Africa. Fighting back tears as we left Jo’berg, the poverty outside the city limits is sobering and staggering. Staying at Miliwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland’s ‘Valley of Heaven’ with fellow travellers for the last few days.

The Rest camp is found in the southern corner of the reserve in the mist of a well matured rehabilitated area, the camp is unfenced yet relatively safe as only smaller species of wildlife occur in the sanctuary. A semi-circle of wooden and beehive huts borders the central of the Rest Camp, with easy access to the reception, restaurant, internet lounge, shop and communal fireplace. To the west the camp overlooks Mhlambanyatsi river valley with its open floodplains. We drink in this view complimented by sundowners and happily watch animals roam about freely in stunning Swaziland.

We meet up with a few members of the Peace Corps at the backpackers who try to pass as Canadians because they don’t like Americans much here. Seriously, they’re doing great work and ought to take credit. It’s amazing to see travellers in schools, orphanages and working with HIV/AIDS children. It is quite shocking for this Canadian who works on AIDS awareness campaigns to see and hear statistics like one in five. The President just announced that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. Signs declare sayings such as “I abstain from sex for a brighter future!” I am overcome with the feeling of optimism in the people. A true optimist myself. South Africa is warm, friendly and determined not to be beaten – I can almost see strength shine through their eyes. We’re off to the St. Lucia Wetlands now. Here’s hoping we don’t hit a cow, donkey or goat along the way.

Safe and Happy Travels!

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