Luxury bus ride to Swaziland and back
Road trips are always an amazing experience and the best way to see landscapes across the country. My road trip this past weekend was to Swaziland for the 6th annual Swaziland Festival of the Arts, MTN Bushfire festival. I boarded Intercape luxury coach, which offers daily trips between Johannesburg and Gaborone.
The luxury coach dropped me off in Johannesburg’s Park Station where I connected another overnight bus to Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. The long road trip seemed to be short due to the luxury of the bus. With all the legroom and reclining seats in an air-conditioned bus, intercape was surely the best mode of transport I could have picked as compared to mini buses, which are always crowded.
I arrived safely in Nelspruit and left the luxury coach to proceed to Maputo as I hitched my way to Manzini.
When one arrives in Swaziland at this time of the year, you already feel the vibe. From the busy borders to streets full of traffic as people head out to where the festival is held, a popular
joint called House on Fire.
This year’s theme for the festival was “Bring your Fire” and I surely had my fire all lit up inside of me and under my dancing shoes together with my camera to click away. The three- day festival that attracted more than 17000 fans was in five stages.
Friday evening kicked off with Swaziland premier poetry platform known as Rooted Soulz on the House on Fire amphitheatre. The main stage was on fire as the legendary South African band Mango Groove took to the stage. Singing all those classic songs such as special star and moments away thrilled the already excited revellers. Swazi born songstress Nancy G also mellowed the crowd with her voice and acoustic guitar. It was a marvel to watch Joe Nina after so long as he performed alongside MXO.
The Friday night ended with sounds of Swazi Dj’s and Revolution on the wheels of steel.
Bushfire festival has a lot to offer. After partying hard the previous night, I was up early to view The Giant puppets of Mozambique. A marvel to watch for both the young and old, as these puppets surely know how to entertain with their dancing acts. People got closer to the stage as the one-man band Jeremy Loops took to the stage. This artist uses different musical instruments some of which he plays with his feet backed up by his beat boxing skill. The highlight of the Saturday event was however Ayo.
The Nigerian-German singer was a massive crowd puller. Performing some of her songs from her 2006 chart toping album that hit double platinum Joyful. As if the music was not enough for the fans, Ayo interacted with her audience on the stage singing along with fans that surrounded her completely.
Other artists who performed were the legend himself, Tsepo Tshola, Bholoja, Tonik, Saul Williams, Ras Haitrim, Mi Casa, Niki B, Napalma, Jika Nelanga, Joey Rasdein Woza Albert Sakaki Mango and Monotone.
Bushfire is surely an event to be included in one’s annual travel calendar. I made my way home yet again aboard intercape luxury buses with melodies from the festival as I laid back in
those reclining seats.
Next year’s Bushfire Festival will be held from the 31st of May till the 2nd June 2013
Intercape Mainliner luxury coaches operate in Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.