During the recent July school holidays, WildWeb owner Paul, packed his family and a few necessities into their Land Cruiser and hit the road on an African safari excursion. The perfect balance of a work trip mixed with family-holiday-pleasure ensued and they returned with wide eyes and adventure tales to tell.
Paul and his family visited a few of our WildWeb safari client lodges as part of their itinerary which had us green with travel-envy. Their first stop was Foresters Arms , a country Hotel nestled in the mountains of the Swaziland Kingdom. As part of their stay there Paul captured some incredible video and photographic footage of life at Forester’s Arms and all it has to offer its guests. This is now being used as an intricate part of their marketing as pictures and videos speak thousands of words, as we know.
See the new Forester’s Arms video on their brand new YouTube channel here:
We know you’re itching to hear more about their stay at the charismatic Swazi property. Paul’s wife, Sarah, shares the experience with us:
Foresters Arms Country Hotel was our first stop on a three week road/business trip around Southern Africa.
It is half a day’s drive from Durban and we took the scenic route, avoiding the toll roads through some beautiful rural countryside that kept our interest the whole journey. Ruth Buck, the owner of Foresters, gave us the inside info on the best route and we ended up entering Swaziland through the Emahlathini Border Post. This entailed a fifteen minute drive on a dirt road but with the reward of an empty crossing, apart from a herd of goats that seemed to know they weren’t allowed to go under the barrier without some form of ID.
It was a beautiful drive to Foresters Arms, which is set in pine forested mountains a short hop from Swaziland’s capital, Mbabane. As soon as you enter this beautiful kingdom, you feel as though you are in ‘real Africa’ as you drive through rolling hills dotted with indigenous huts and friendly people who greet you as you pass with a wave and a smile.
At Foresters, we were warmly welcomed by Ruth who has had a relationship with WildWeb since its days as ‘Cross Paths with Africa’. Foresters Arms is a wonderful, old-style country hotel which feels like home as soon as you enter. There are nooks and crannies throughout in which you can sit and read, page through the numerous magazines and newspapers on offer; crackling fires and a cozy bar with a huge selection of alcoholic delights. Outside, is just as enticing. The hotel sits within 95 hectares, surrounded by pine forests on the edge of an ‘African style’ golf course. There are beautiful indigenous plants and flowering roses throughout, as well as a sparkling pool, stables and a variety of walks and bike rides.
Amelia and Polly (8 and 7 respectively) were invisible for the next four days. The best thing about our stay was that they were free to run around and explore from morning till night and I didn’t once fret about where they were. Ruth organised time with the horses every day, whether just grooming them or riding through the forests and grasslands that surround the property.
One of the big attractions of Foresters Arms is the food. Breakfast time is a sight to behold and as well as a wide choice of cooked food; there is a buffet with a selection of local fruit, jams, yoghurts and fabulous home- made bread. We were lucky enough to be there on a Sunday, when Foresters becomes a haven for many of the local Swazis. The Sunday lunch has to be seen to be believed; and the girls thought they were princesses in a palace when they counted seventeen different puddings alone. Dinner is also an unusual experience: instead of the usual huge servings that one gets used to these days, Foresters instead offers two or three starters, mains and puddings, much smaller in size, so that you can sample everything on offer. There is a simplified version for children.
As Paul was working, we didn’t explore too much of the country, but from previous visits, I can attest to the friendliness of the Swazis, who pride themselves on their crime free country, their culture, the beauty of their kingdom and the welcome they give to all their visitors.
What I liked best about Foresters by Amelia and Polly:
Polly: “I liked the way they let us stroke and brush the foals and I want to come back again on a Sunday so I can have the lunch. I also liked Ruth because she was always smiling.”