Zeb the Duck Remembers Africa

I, Zeb the Duck, really loved my summer in Southern Africa.   I wanted to show you some of my favorite memories, but there were so many.   Remember this trip started with us volunteering for a couple weeks with Ripple Africa in Malawi.

Ripple Africa

Ripple Africa

The students were so friendly and eager to learn.

Students

Students

We saw this all over Southern Africa.   Living on the shore of Lake Malawi, we appreciated the sunny days and the evenings watching the moon rise over the lake.

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

We saw people everywhere carrying items on their heads.

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

The humans walk so gracefully and have beautiful posture.   These changu changu moto stoves save so much wood and requires so much less work to use.

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

They are a huge improvement over the traditional three stone stove.   Men stack wood on frames on their bicycles.

Loading firewood on bicycle

Loading firewood on bicycle

Seeing them ride with all the wood was fascinating.   We smiled at this sign, but it was true.

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys will pick up most items and the items may be gone forever.   Victoria Falls is so big and so powerful.   It really is a sight for all to see.

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

This is Rainbow Falls on the Zambian side.   The rainbow seems to be there almost all the time. Male dancers and singers in the Kingdom of Swaziland entertained us.

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Many humans think of large animals and safaris whenever Africa is mentioned.   We loved our safaris and the animals are so majestic, and in many cases, they were playful and entertaining. Impalas are so plentiful and also so delicate and graceful.

Impala

Impala

We never tired of seeing them.   We love the zebras.

Zebra

Zebra

The stripes are so exotic to me.   And the massive elephants, especially in groups always take your breath. And there is nothing like a baby elephant to soften your heart.

Elephants

Elephants

Cape Buffalo always make us smile.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

The Swazi candles were some of our favorite souvenirs.   Packing them was a challenge!

Candle from Swazi Candles.

Candle from Swazi Candles.

This monkey candle is bigger than I am.   I loved seeing the Indian Ocean from Bonnie, our horse.  p1000388The money in Africa was very colorful.   We like each denomination a different color.    Makes things easier for humans.   Each country used a different currency, but US dollars were accepted most places.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Zimbabwe did not print their own paper money.   The official currency of Zimbabwe is the US Dollar.  We did bring a little local currency home, but most of the left over money is donated at airports to help the local people.   If everybody gives a little, that equals a lot of money and a lot of local help.   We did purchase many Visas, each time we entered a country, and flights between countries in Southern Africa were expensive and not always convenient.   But the experience was unforgettable.   The people–so friendly and helpful.   The land and animals are beautiful.  We were able to visit Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Kingdom of Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique.    We hope you visit these countries soon.   You will never forget the experience.

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Swaziland’s Culture and Shopping with Zeb the Duck

We are enjoying our time in the Kingdom of Swaziland.  Now it is time for lunch.   This is the place.

Time for lunch

Time for lunch

While eating we can gaze over a pretty lawn, into a valley with pretty mountains behind.   Lunch was delicious.  But, now there are shops to visit.   But mom!   First let’s go to the House on Fire.

House On Fire shops with Samson

House On Fire shops with Samson

What??  Go into a house on fire?   This means that it is a hot place, or a very popular area.   I, Zeb the Duck, was getting worried.   Inside the complex is a stage.

Center stage

Center stage

Perhaps I, Zeb the Duck, should perform on this stage? Maybe not.   This is where future performances are announced.

Schedule of performances. I am with Samson

Schedule of performances. I am with Samson

I did not see a sign for me, so I will not perform here.   Soon we went into a nice store that specialized in basketry and woven things.   Yes, she did.   Baskets?   Suitcase packing tomorrow night will not be good.   I really like these trees, and look at the unusual plants.   They are bent like candy canes.

Unusual plants

Unusual plants

I, Zeb the Duck, am in the leaves of the plant on the left.   Very nice in here.   Another store?   Let’s enter Swazi Candles.

Swazi Candles

Swazi Candles

Oh, I like this place.   This man is making a candle.

Making a candle

Making a candle

He stopped to tell us how they are made and show us how the wax is kept warm to shape it.   This man is adding more wax to a head to make big hair.

More wax to make big hair

More wax to make big hair

Look at these candles.

Candles

Candles

We love the safari animal candles.   After working on candles with warm wax, the finished candles must be cooled in cold water.

Newly made giraffe candles cooling in cold water

Newly made giraffe candles cooling in cold water

These giraffes are cooling now.   Our friendly candle maker has just finished this elephant.

He just finished this elephant candle. We bought it.

He just finished this elephant candle. We bought it.

Wow!  I love these candles.

So many fabulous candles.

So many fabulous candles.

Of course we purchased some.   They will be so much fun to have at home.   I will be reminded of Swaziland every time I see them.   It is now time to return to Mozambique for the night.   Samson takes us through the city of Manzini.

Driving through Manzini, Swaziland

Driving through Manzini, Swaziland

We really like Swaziland.   Everything is so clean.   The people we met were all so nice.   We even met Samson’s sister today.  Almost everybody we talked to spoke English very well, so our trip to the Kingdom of Swaziland was easy and very enjoyable.   If you ever want to go to the Kingdom of Swaziland, call Samson at Dug**** travel.   We think you will love your visit.  We did.

Swaziland Cultural Morning Tour with Zeb the Duck

Mom and I got up early again this morning   Samson picked us up and we are going to visit the Kingdom of Swaziland.   A Kingdom?   The King has absolute power here.   Samson used to live in the Kingdom of Swaziland, so he is our perfect guide.   I am riding through the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Driving through the Kingdom of Swaziland

Driving through the Kingdom of Swaziland

The country is pretty and everything is very clean.   The roads are good, also.   Our first stop is the craft center.

More markets

More markets

Oh no!   Mom, the suitcase is already full.   There is no room for more.   But it is OK.   She did not buy anything big.   She hardly bought anything at all.   We had to leave to see the cultural village.   Here we are.

Nature Reserve and Cultural Center

Nature Reserve and Cultural Center

This is the Mantenga Nature Reserve and Swazi Cultural Village.   First we are entertained by dancers performing traditional Swazi dances.

Very talented Swazi dancers and singers

Very talented Swazi dancers and singers

Toward the end of the performance they sing.   We really like these dancers and singers.   The performance has ended, so we visit the cultural village.   This is the home of the medical healer.

Medical healer lives here

Medical healer lives here

Traditional medicine and herbs were used to heal most illnesses.   Here is the fire area.

Fire area

Fire area

This is not the kitchen.   The fire area is for men.   The kitchen is for women.   Mom reacted to that, of course.   So did all the other female tourists.   But she liked this one.   This is a house of a grandmother.

Grandmother by her house

Grandmother by her house

Grandma’s  house is probably the most important house in the village.   Women marry when they are about 18 and men marry when they are about 35.   The men need to work to have enough money to buy cows for the dowry of the bride.   So, husbands die first and the widow is considered the wisest now.   When there is an important function in the family, the grandmother even cooks and supervises the special food preparation.

Outdoor cooking area

Outdoor cooking area

This is another grandmother’s house and we went inside.

We are going inside this grandmother's home

We are going inside this grandmother’s home

After entering, men stand on the right and women on the left.    The door is low for safety.   If an enemy tries to enter, he must bend low and his head enters first.   The men will simply club him on the head and the problem is usually solved.   In our society, when leaving a building, it is ladies first.   Here it is men first.   The same reason.   When leaving, you bend low and your head leaves the house first.   The men go out first to be sure that it is safe for the women.   After the cultural village, we went to Mantenga Falls and Picnic Site.

Beautiful waterfalls and river

Beautiful waterfalls and river

We love these waterfalls.  It would be so nice to have a picnic here.   Many people enjoy the falls and picnic site.   There is a stove and wood for  your fire.   The picnic tables are big and in great locations.   Aren’t these stairs great?

Scenic stairs

Scenic stairs

They just look like waterfalls and beautiful scenery should be near.   Leaving the nature reserve and cultural village, we saw this aloe plant with pretty yellow flowers.

Aloe Vera plant in bloom

Aloe Vera plant in bloom

At home, in Colorado, we have aloe plants in the house, but we never have flowers.   The yellow is very cheerful.   Continuing on the road, we passed the mother cow with a calf.

Mom and baby

Mom and baby

I love cows.   They seem to make everything peaceful.   Next time I will show you how we spent the afternoon in the Kingdom of Swaziland.   We like the Kingdom of Swaziland, and Samson is telling us so much about the country.   This is a great day.