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Walking Women love Swaziland

Posted on: Monday, July 31, 2017
Blog Category: General

A six-member all-women tour entourage from different parts of the world who were in the Swaziland recently as part of a tour organised by Walking Women Holidays, a UK-based holiday company, have heaped praise on to the people of Swaziland for what they described as ‘unprecedented friendliness and helpfulness’.

In an interview at Foresters Arms Hotel Wednesday evening, the women said Swaziland was absolutely beautiful and exceeded expectation. “We totally loved Swaziland, especially the people. Never before have I come across people who are this friendly to visitors and quite helpful,” said the leader of the group Pam Satterthwaite.

Satterthwaite lauded the local guides as well as Sense Africa’s Jenny Bowen for being insightful and knowledgeable about all places they visited during their 11-day stay in the country. Some of the places they put up at overnight included Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Hlane Royal National Park, Mkhaya Game Reserve, as well as Foresters’ Arms Hotel.

Other than wildlife safari, it was a great thrill to watch and learn about birds as well,” added Satterthwaite.

She explained that the group had come for gentle walking at various places of interest in the country, something which gave them great intimacy with the surroundings.

Christine Chudd from the United States of America described the trip to Swaziland as her best holiday ever. “I have done several trips with Walking Women: three in England, one in Turkey, Croatia, and Slovenia but nothing compares to Swaziland! When I saw that Walking Women was advertising this tour as a ‘walking safari’ I immediately signed up for it. It really sounded incredibly and out of this world.” said Chudd.

She narrated how at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary she woke up very early one morning for a brisk walk and found herself surrounded by grazing animals and for once felt at great peace. “It was just me and the animals. I never thought I will get that kind of a moment," she said.

Chris Ward, from West London in the United Kingdom, said she was in Africa for the first time, and summed up the experience in one word: “amazing”. She first heard of Walking Women through a friend, and decided to give the idea a go. “I had done beach holidays before, and the idea of doing a safari was just fascinating. A walking safari in that matter!” she said.

What added the adventure to the experience, she said, was the fact that Swaziland’s terrain was hardly flat as they had to either ascend or descend all the times. Walks at each place of interest took about three to four hours, she stated.

Maggie Whitlock from Birmingham in England said she appreciated the social and humanitarian component of the tour, where guide Jenny Bowen (from Sense Africa) showed them various projects that were being funded by volunteer tourists, as well as projects run by women. These were a children’s centre at Mayanjane  (near Lonhlupheko) as well as Gone Rural in Malkerns.

The group said they were impressed by Swaziland’s hand-made products as well as local designs, which they said were of a high quality. They went on to marvel at the traditional dances they witnessed at Mantenga Cultural Village, Hlane Royal National Park, and at Mkhaya Game Reserve, saying Swazi women were totally impressive.

“Walking women love the women of Swaziland,” they pronounced gleefully. Jan Tankel from London in England expressed her heartfelt appreciation to Bowen for her amazing people skills as well as being resourceful throughout the tour.

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