Flying was the cheapest way to get out of Namibia, so we boarded for the hour flight to Johannesburg. After a night here we attempted a trip to the centre of the city to find a minibus to the apartheid museum. The centre is insane. We walked round for hours without any luck, but fortunately got to see all the life and sites of the city. We then finally got a ride home from a minibus in one of the multi-storey car parks full of minibuses.
After that failure we decided to walk direct from the centre to the museum, which we thought was about 5km. After 2 hours walking down the side of a motorway with no path we admitted we were lost and a lovely bloke we spoke to in a garage drove us the rest of the way. The museum was worth it with a walk through South Africa's shameful past.
After this we picked up our new beastly automobile. The Chevrolet Spark Lite was the cheapest option, possibly because of its likeness to a children's toy. We skimped out on a gps to save money, making every journey an adventure involving at least a couple of wrong turns. A manic trip out of Johannesburg took us into the countryside, then over the border and into Swaziland.
After a drive through the rolling hills we made it to Ezluwini valley, where we pitched up and had the first nights sleep in our new tent. We took a walk to the craft markets and the super friendly ladies made us buy stuff we didn't need, then hugged us. We spent the rest of the day chilling in the valley and playing some badminton, Sammie got the hint I was bored after kicking a football at her several times.
We then ventured to Maguga dam, where we pitched up on the shores of the crystal clear lake. We were ready for a swim before we saw he warning signs for crocodiles and hippos. The place was completely deserted, so after a short walk around the lake we settled down and cooked a braai for dinner.
Next on the list was Hlane Royal national park, where two days self drive safari and camping overnight cost £15 between us. It was worth the money as soon as we arrived, with a dozen rhinos ridiculously close to us at the waterhole next to the campsite. They spent most of their time rolling around, coating themselves in mud to keep cool.
On a drive we came around a blind bend and realised we were only a couple of metres away from an elephant. He became very aggressive, blowing his trunk and starting to charge at the car. I absolutely pooped my pants, flooring the car away from him. We then drove round a loop only to find the same elephant, locally known (by us) as psycho Bill, waiting at the end of the road. He started coming towards us forcing me to reverse pretty fast down the narrow, bumpy mud track. It was genuinely scary.
After watching sunset and sunrise over the waterhole, we went for a quick drive around the park then headed out. On the way back to the border the police caught me doing 71kmph in a 60kmph zone and fined me £3.40. After his warning we slowly headed out of the country.
The plan was to make it to Lesotho in a day, but after 7 hours of driving it was getting dark. So we camped in a town called Newcastle, not before our first McDonald's of the trip. After 8 hours driving the following day we finally made it to the Lesotho border. The trip was reminiscent of home, with fog slowing us to snails pace and the biggest hailstone storm I've ever seen. In the capital Maseru, we slowly made our way through a city void of street signs to our hostel and treated ourselves to a bed away from the cold and rain.
We headed south down the country, stoping in Quthing to see some dinosaur footprints preserved from 200 million years ago. Our guide told us they were from the Lesothosaurus, but I'm not sure if he was having us on. Our campsite that night was in Moroosi mountain, where an abandoned lodge left a sign with a number to ring if any customers turned up. With no phone we pitched up in the empty place.
A clear sky and no moon showed us an impressive sheet of stars, we had a braai under them and went to bed. Our sleeping bags are designed for temperatures as low as 9 degrees, when we woke my tshirt which I left out side was lined with icicles, and our Savanna bottles were completely frozen. It wasn't the best nights sleep.
A short distance turned out to take 6 hours on a horrendous road, but it was worth it to find a beautiful lodge in the hills. Here we were better prepared for the cold night, wearing 3 pairs of socks, 2 jumpers and Sammie's tights under my trousers, it was still cold but not as bad.
The next morning we went horse riding, heading up and down steep valleys, next to cliff edges and through streams. A small hike in the middle took us to a waterfall hidden in the hills. The horses then took us back, with my stubborn one refusing to let Sammie's go in front, with both of them misbehaving and trying to run past each other.
The rest of the day was spent killing Sammie at table tennis, pool and table football, before being legitimately beaten at pool by a 7 year old girl. We even got treated to chocolate cake and custard from the lovely owners. The next morning we were up and out of Lesotho, finishing our short but sweet stay in the two tiny countries.