Hlane Royal National Park

After some shopping in Siteki, we quickly reached the Hlane Royal National Park. Our plan was to stay at the campsite and go on guided activities, not using our camper for game drives to give the old turbocharger a rest. We booked a game drive and a walk for the next morning. The campsite is very nice with a waterhole, where we were waiting for rhinos or elephants, which didn’t appear, but we enjoyed it anyway.

Water monitor
Black-bellied Korhaan
Baby Impala hiding in the bush

To guard the rhinos well against poachers, they have rangers patrolling the area. To prevent the rangers from getting killed by the lions, they had to move the lions to a different area of the park. On our game drive, we of course visited this area and were looking for the big cats. We found 2 young male lions and their mother, lying like dead in the high grass, only opening an eye for a second to check us out.

We came past them again later, to see if they would move as it got cooler and they would soon start to hunt. A big elephant was getting close to them too, which should be another reason for the lions to get up. Luckily our guide had the patience to wait long enough, that we could watch them finally rise. The boys were truly very impressive.

Did he think we look very “lekker”?

The next morning, we went on a guided hike with a ranger. We learned a lot about tracks, insects, plants and the animals we encountered, sadly no rhino or elephant crossed our way.

Rhino tracks
Male Nyala
Impala droppings – the colour changes with the season and the food they find
Dung beetle
Bushman’s Eye Drop
Flower of the Day
Termite mound, Elephants and Rhinos use it to rub themselves
Lilly, our guide, found an old ostrich egg
Red-billed oxpecker
Kurrichane Thrush
Purple-crested Turaco – the national bird of Eswatini

The waterhole next to the campsite is the home of a Hippo family, in the overcast afternoon, they came out of the water to start grassing earlier than usual.

We had enjoyed the nice campsite with the waterhole and the activities we could do here. There were Nyalas at the campsite and many birds to watch.

We will now move to another national park in Eswatini, where we should be able to hike on our own, as there are no predators – more next!

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