Ithala, South Africa & Swaziland Scenery - Oct. 2003 
(click any picture to get enlargement)

The pictures on this page include scenery from the Ithala Game Reserve in the Kwazula Natal, and of 
the trip through Swaziland back to Pretoria.

Our BMW (4x4 wannabee) performed well for us. 

The Ithala Reserve is a self-drive park, consisting of about 100 miles of roads and paths.  

Since we didn't have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, we could only go on about half the roads. 

Nicole the Navigator

We started from the lodge and followed the range ... 

... of hills which marked the southern boundary ... 

... of the 20,000 acre Ithala Game Reserve. 

The were no lions in this Game Reserve, so we could leave the car and 
go for short walks to stretch our legs.  

Nicole looking at a series of Warthog holes.

She was really hoping to see a porcupine in one. 

As we rounded the southwest corner ... 

... to follow the western boundary, the weather ... 

... started to cloud up a bit; it rained later that night. 

(left) there were some gigantic cactus "trees" that grew in certain areas.

(right) a hut, much like those used by the 
natives that originally 
lived in the area.

The rain and fog left the valley areas nice & green. 

Other areas were higher, hilly grasslands ... 

... which will need more water before greening up.  

In most areas the rivers run very fast after the summer rains.  Here is a little canyon that was carved out of sandstone.  

It looks much like the Badlands of South Dakota (in the United States).

At times this river must flow at very high levels.

Animals are dependant on these water sources ...

... but we didn't see any animals along this river. 

We heard many birds around the water, but didn't see too many.  The ones we saw never stayed around to be identified or to have their picture taken (they will need to train them better).   

We will now transition from the Ithala Game Reserve and move to Swaziland.  
The country of Swaziland is located totally within South Africa; I am still 
learning the reasons why this country was created.  The Ithala Reserve 
was just south of Swaziland so, since we had never been there before, 
we decided to drive through the country on our way home to Pretoria.

To enter Swaziland we had to deal with border guards, show our passports, 
and pass through customs; only to repeat the process five hours later when 
we re-entered South Africa.  We were hoping to get a really nice Swazi stamp 
in our passport, but their stamp was unfortunately very boring. 

Overall, we really didn't know what to expect  ....

The first thing we saw were very quaint huts along the highway. 

The people are reported to be very poor and work mainly in Agriculture. 

If children see you taking pictures, they will come running for handouts. 

Wonderful Oleanders along the road.

We were very surprised 
by the high quality of the roads in Swaziland.  In some areas the roads were as nice as the European autobahns.  Maybe this is because Europe donated most of the money and effort to build the roads.

Road hazards; goats and cows were a big threat!

As we neared the capital, the buildings became more "Western" and they  looked much better than in South Africa.  We didn't expect to see this, but we were impressed; 
go Swaziland!   

We were greeted with a wonderful sunset upon leaving Swaziland and heading pack to South Africa and Pretoria.  Even after the sun was gone the colored were vibrant. 

This concludes our trip to the Ithala Reserve and Swaziland ... very nice!  

Return to Jay's Main Page