After Kruger and Chimp Eden we drove a couple hours in to Swaziland, a small country sitting between South Africa and Mozambique and the only absolute monarchy in Africa. We were expecting to feel like we were in a different country it actually didn’t feel any different from South Africa. The landscape was very mountainous and we went on a beautiful hike up to Sheba’s Breast, a mountain near the hotel we stayed in. A local dog came on the hike with us and we met some friends up on top.
After the hike we went for a swim in a waterfall and then visited a traditional Swazi village. The village was super interesting and we learned a lot. For example. we learned that polygamy is a very strong part of African village culture. Wives aren’t cheap though, a virgin costs 14 cows but the price is negotiable for a non-virgin. For each wife the husband also has to two build three huts; a kitchen, a bedroom, and a brewing hut (for the traditional beer). We did see sings that polygamy is losing popularity in modern Swaziland though. The current king of Swaziland has 15 wives (while his father had 70!) and most young Swazis we met said they only plan on having one wife.
Another interesting thing we learned is that there is a special marijuana smoking hut in the village that only the father is allowed to use, usually to give him courage before a hunt. We were told that if the hunting party encounters a leopard all the boys will run away, but the father will stay and fight thanks to the marijuana. I’m pretty sure I’d be even more scared of a leopard if I’d just smoked a bunch of weed.
After we finished up the village tour we drove the rest of the day back to Richard’s Bay where all my sailing friends were still hanging out. I had to pick up a surf board that was getting repaired but it as also fun to see everyone and spend one last night on Obelisk. The next day we were back on the road.