South Africa 2012
October 3rd - 16th, 2012

October 7th, 2012

Up and on our way early as we were leaving for Swaziland. We stopped in Hazyview to get fuel for the coach and coffee for us and what a cool little place this turned out to be…full of great shops. Most of the area is devoted to growing navel oranges and avocado. There are huge banana plantations, macadamia nut tree plantations, fields of sugarcane (SA’s largest cash crop is sugarcane). Many schools also have vegetable gardens which was very nice to hear.

What we didn’t know is that Woolworth’s is the premier shopping store! Go figure. .

The hills are dotted with jacaranda trees in bloom…and the soil is red….then we were at the border…

The sad statistics of this country of 2.8 million…75% live on about 1.25 per day and approximately 25 % of the people have HIV Aids. 50% of them are under the age of 30. The major industries are farming (major pineapple growing) and forestry and the people that we met were all very friendly and happy.

We visited a candle factory where all works are created by the local people, had a fantastic lunch, then continued on to our hotel. A beautiful hotel located on huge grounds with a wonderful buffet dinner that we all really enjoyed…

Swazi Candle Factory -Swazi Candles was started in an old cowshed of a former Dairy in 1981 by two South African art graduates. They are a long time member of International Federation of Fair Trading (IFAT) and their founder Tony Marshak is a committed environmentalist and conservationist. He started Swazi Candles after spending time in Berkeley with a friend who was a candle maker. In those days The Kingdom of Swaziland was a haven of freedom and refuge from the old Apartheid Regime across the border, It proved to be an excellent place for setting up a Craft Cottage industry. The mountainous countryside was beautiful. The Swazi people being warm and friendly and receptive to training soon proved to be fine handcraft workers and skilled artisans and ideal partners for their industry. Swazi Candles began to develop a distinctly Swazi ethnic flavor! His employees receive higher than the national average in pay and in response to increased international food prices he was to start a garden for them so they could grow their own vegetables.


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row