Appreciating the beauty of South Africa’s bush

Posted by Lucinda Dordley on 23 July 2019

The team of Haval staffers and their trusted fleet of Haval SUVs and the GWM Steed 5E Double Cab met us at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport for what promised to be a week filled with sights, sounds and great memories in the making.

After a stop in Hazyview to refresh and replenish, the convoy headed towards the other end of the Blyde River Canyon for their stopover at the Swadini Resort. The Haval vehicles make the perfect vehicles to travel extended distances in.

Image: Supplied

I played the role of passenger throughout the trip, and travelling in the Haval H9 is a dream. The front seats come with a nifty massage function, which comes in very handy when stationary in a single seat for several hours at a time.

We travelled through the breathtaking Bushbuck Ridge back towards Hazyview to our evening stopover at the Protea Hotel Hazyview after experiencing the dehorning of a rhino in the Sabi area. That night’s dinner table was a rumble of reminiscing and talks about the once-in-a-lifetime experience everyone present had witnessed, with sentiments resounding with the good deed completed for the day.

Image: Supplied

After a good night’s rest, it was off to Graskop Gorge for excitement in the form of the Gorge Swing or Zip Line as well as a lift trip to the bottom of the Gorge for a hike in the rainforest. The Gorge Swing experience is one that I personally found harrowing before it became fun, but would recommend that anyone tries it at least once. The feeling of dropping down for 18 stories is absolutely petrifying, but once you feel the impact of the drop and open your eyes, you will see the world in a way you never imagined. Imagine swinging through the air and being surrounded by beautiful nature on all sides – above and below included – before slowing down over a burbling river with a swing bridge suspended above. Incredible.

We had the opportunity to drive the vehicles during the trip to Graskop and from Graskop towards the tourist attractions like God’s Window, Berlin falls and the back to the quaint town of Hazyview.

Image: Supplied

On the final day the group travelled towards White River just outside Nelspruit for the next stop at the White River Child Welfare Camp site.

Upon arrival the Havals were met by the melodic sounds of children singing a song of welcome to the group of weary travellers. Child Welfare SA White River is situated in the scenic Lowveld of Mpumalanga. The town of White River is surrounded by mountains, forests, waterfalls and other beautiful attractions which nature has to offer. Despite the beauty and serenity of this tourist hub, White River is not excluded from the social ills which plague communities all over our country. Social problems include the HIV/AIDS pandemic, child abuse, exploitation and neglect, unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, child trafficking and children made orphaned and vulnerable by HIV and AIDS and other diseases.

Image: Supplied

In response to the above-mentioned social problems, Child Welfare SA White River was established in 1991 as an affiliated member organisation of Child Welfare South Africa. Child Welfare South Africa is an umbrella body with 263 affiliates, outreach projects and developing organisations across the country. Established in 1924, Child Welfare SA is the oldest and largest non-governmental child protection organisation in South Africa.

What with the fact that Child Welfare is in such dire need of funding, a small handover ceremony was held where Haval Motors South Africa handed over a donation cheque. Greeted with smiles and waves and more singing, the convoy set off to Kruger Mpumalanga International to drop us off from where we would head back home to wintry Cape Town.

Picture: Haval/Supplied

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