After a quick month of volunteering and a couple of days in the Savannah Reasearch Camp and Kruger National Park it was time to say goodbye to 5 of the girls; Bev, Alannah, Lexi, Steph and Zoe.
Our high spirits after leaving Kruger (we saw 6 of the super seven) were soon squashed after teary goodbyes at Johannesburg Airport as we began the 5 hour car trip back to Swaziland. Although I was particularly excited to get back to Lidwala Lodge as I had missed the beautiful scenery and of course Jock and Bingo, the two pups that doubled as mountain guides when hiking Sheba’s Breast.
On returning to Lidwala the girls and I were given the option to continue construction work or move into sports teaching, and we all decided it’d be nice for a change and to interact with the children more, so sports teaching it was! We were accompanied by the All Out Swaziland Sports Coordinators, Menzi and Behlule.
Although the sports teaching was hardly as physically demanding as construction work, we still finished every day completely drained of energy and eager for sleep – I think we forgot how much energy children have (and how much they love to be picked up and swung around…constantly).
Unfortunately due to hot weather we only got to teach swimming classes once but that was definitely a highlight for me. All 7 of us had a child that we were assigned to for various exercises once in the pool and I really enjoyed that the children had so much trust in us to get them safely to the other side, as it was obvious they were all a little nervous. All nerves seemed gone though once class was over and they were given free play as they were jumping from all corners of the pool into our arms. That day was definitely our favourite day, tiring yet rewarding.
The day of our departure came too soon as we had to say goodbye to our beloved Lidwala Lodge and the other All Out volunteers (and Jock and Bingo). On that day we had a moderately short drive to the sandy shores of St Lucia in which we spent two days; hiking the 40 minutes to the windy beaches, relaxing by the pool and going on the hippo cruise! I really enjoyed this town and it’s friendly people but I was also extremely excited to move onto Durban as I’d met plenty of people from there on our weekend trip to Mozambique.
Happy Hippo was where we were based in Durban and the lodge was amazing, only a short walk to the beach through the water park and Aquarium. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay as I know all three of us absolutely love the beach! The 2 days were spent mainly lounging on the beach (and being asked on dates by the lifeguards) and exploring the water park and it’s slides.
Sadly our time in Durban was up when we arose at 6 am on the Saturday waiting for the shuttle bus to take us down to Cinsta, East Cape. We were all ready at 6:30am for our 7 am pickup but the excitement soon wore off when our ride didn’t arrive until 8:45 (I guess Swazi time exists all over Africa).
Buccaneers (where we stayed in Cinsta) was amazing! We pet cheetahs and interacted with elephants and even got our own bathroom and kitchen (definitely the highlight).
And that brings me to now, our first day in Port Elizabeth…can’t wait to give you another update once we’ve reached Cape Town! The end of our trip 🙁