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July 28, 2006
From journal Swaziland Safari and Culture Visit
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
September 13, 2005
The Hippo Haunt offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as bar drinks. Breakfast consisted of a buffet of fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, juices, and toast. For an additional charge, eggs and ham can be ordered. Instant coffee and tea are always available. Full breakfast was R45 (US$7).
Lunch consisted mainly of toasted sandwiches, such as ham and cheese, and as most places we had been so far, came with chips (French fries). The cost of a sandwich with chips was R20 (US$3.25).
Dinner was our favorite. A choice of a full meal (soup, entrée, and dessert) or just the entrée was offered. Since the weather is chilly, we usually started with a large piping-hot bowl of delicious cream vegetable soup. Choices of entrée were offered, such as impala stew, kudu roast, chicken, and beef with potato and vegetable. Dessert was usually cake with a sweet sauce. A full dinner was R80 (US$13).
Entertainment at Hippo Haunt was the visit from the hippos. The restaurant is open on three sides, with one side jetting out over a small lake. To our delight, the hippos made their appearance one morning while we were having breakfast. Cameras in hand, we were all at the railing, watching and photographing these huge and noisy visitors, and no one seemed to mind that the eggs and toast were getting cold.
There was an extension to the dining area that was entirely enclosed, perhaps used when the weather was very cold. We found this a perfect place to play card games and Scrabble after dinner. It was warm and well lit, and no one else was using this space.
The bar remained open most of the day and early evening; hot coffee and tea were always available. During high season, in the boma area (fire pit surrounded by seating areas) just outside the restaurant, you can enjoy Swazi Sibhaca Dancing and drum music.
One evening, after a rousing game of Uno and Scrabble, we realized that everyone had left the restaurant, the bar was closed, and we were the only ones around. The fire in the boma was still burning. We approached and warmed ourselves for a few minutes. We noticed a large statue, or what we thought it was a statue, until he started talking. It was actually the night guard standing on a low wall because the warthogs had invaded the space around the fire. We looked down, and right at our feet were two large warthogs, apparently sleeping. We backed away slowly, and the guard offered to walk us back to our beehive huts. We were glad to take him up on his offer.
From journal SWAZILAND- You Had Me at Sawubona