Happy 2017 everyone!

The day after Christmas we took our second-hand car with a broken speedometer and started our first and last annual Christmas-family-road-trip. We had booked 2 nights in a lodge next to Kruger Park, in South Africa, and 2 nights at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland. We didn’t know much about both places (they were recommended to us by friends) and we planned a week before so we didn’t have a lot of expectations. But it really turned out to be an amazing trip!

4 days full of driving around beautiful and different landscapes of 3 different countries, seeing wild animals far closer than we would expected to, eating big breakfasts and delicious dinners, having a lot of snacks in the car (Ramona has even learned how to say “cookie please!!”) and relaxing and walking in nature! It was perfect.

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa (360km from north to south and 65 km from east to west!). You can drive around with your car for a self-guided tour. There are a bunch of different trails and you can stop whenever you see an animal close by but you can’t get out of the car. We only saw like 1/5 of it but we got to see a loooot of animals including a lion, rhinos, elephants and giraffes! The landscapes were beautiful. Even if it was a long day in the car, it was so worth it to see so many wild animals around us. Ramona liked it too. She sat in our lap and kept saying “hola” to all the animals and yelling “cook-a-doodle-doo”. Her favorites were the monkeys.

A bird cleaning the giraffe’s nose.

Rhinos and elephants together!

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland was a great surprise too. So green, wild and family-friendly. We stayed in this cute “beehive hut” made out of sticks and hay, super cozy and authentic. Animals where everywhere! A bunch of warthogs, impalas and zebras were walking around and you had to be careful to not get in their way. The sound that zebras make was the most surprising thing for me! If you’ve never heard one, please google it right now.

Pregnant zebra?!

We didn’t see a lot of South Africa or Swaziland, but even in the short time we were away, it was clear how much less developed Mozambique is. South Africa and Swaziland have nicer roads and houses, less trash everywhere, stores with more variety of products, but also less colorful markets in the streets and less kids playing outside. We liked coming back home and seeing our neighbors excited to see us, Antonio welcoming us too, and feeling like we were coming back home (even if it still feels very weird to think that our home is in Mozambique now!)

These were some of the pictures. We have so many more! I hope you liked them and you get an idea of how special those places were (even if you know, it is always much better in real life than through pictures…)

And if you wanna see more, here is a video too: