Only a few hours’ drive from Nelspruit/Mbombela lies Mozambique. After the wonders of the Kruger Lowveld, do a self-drive, arrange an organised tour or hop onto a scheduled shuttle and see where the road leads!
The capital of Mozambique, Maputo, formerly known as Lourenco Marques, is well-known for its peri-peri sauce, bustling streets and vibrant nightlife. The city has a rich history which is evident when looking at the buildings and historic landmarks. One such landmark is The Train Station. An imposing building, the dome was designed by an associate of Alexandre Gustav Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame).
Take a moment to see the statue of Samora Machel, Mozambique’s first president, which stands tall at the end of Avendida Samora Machel, silently watching over the city. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Conception is a well-known landmark with a tall single spire, set in Praca da Independencia (Independence Square). The Gothic-towered building boasts an elaborate stained glass interior. Cassa De Ferro (The Iron House) is a firm favourite amongst visiting the various markets and stalls, or visit the National Art Museum.
After a day taking in the sights, stop at the famous Fish Market for fresh seafood prepared Mozambican-style. Select from the catch of day and, for a nominal fee, have a freshly prepared meal at one of the restaurants on site. If you feel brave, try the Portuguese peri-peri sauce to give your meal an extra kick.
After setting your taste buds on fire, visit on one of the city’s many clubs and bars to quench your thirst with a local beer.
Swaziland caters for adrenaline junkies, cultural enthusiasts and tree huggers. One is greeted by not only the friendly nature of the locals, but also by the breath-taking and lush vegetation, which sets the scene for an amazing experience. The country has a wealth of nature reserves, which offer accommodation and various activities, including mountain biking and guided horse and walking trails.
The famous Ngwenya Glass Factory lies near the Ngwenya/Oshoek border and is a must see. Watch glass blowers in action and purchase an item or two as a keepsake. Along the highway beckons the Ezulwini Valley (Valley of Heaven) which is aptly named. The Mantenga Nature Reserve has excellent views of the valley and lies close to various other accommodation establishments. The valley also caters to the city traveller looking for a night out on the town, in the form of Happy Valley Resort and Casino.
One cannot visit Swaziland and not experience the kingdom’s sacred heart, Lobamba. This area houses Eludzidzini, the Queen Mother’s residence. Not far from here lies the National Museum and the King Sobhuza II Memorial Park. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland’s oldest nature reserve and is located along the Ezulwini Valley. Travelling further south from Ezulwini one finds Malkerns, a small farming town known not only for its fresh produce, but quirky arts and crafts shops. Swazi Candles is also located in the area. At Malkerns one can also find House On Fire, the venue that hosts The Bushfire Festival.