Down and Dirty in Africa – Cairo to Cape City

Malawi is most renowned for its Lake, explained more like a sea Lake Malawi covers in excess of 1/3rd of the place. The clear clear h2o is fairly inviting as is the tasty fish!

We spent a number of days on the shores of Lake Malawi, planet renowned for the rare and distinctive new water fish (some of which prehistoric) living in the Lake. We stayed at a small eco-lodge constructed on a cliff with its own private sandy beach the sights spectacular, rooms really comfy and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the identical time the rain clouds did making a mad panic to get our cooking shelter up the rain defeat us in the race and some of us have been rather soaked – at least the air was warm and to be trustworthy the free of charge shower was welcomed. Luckily our charcoal BBQ fireplace survived extended enough for me to BBQ our pork chops for meal the rain did not allow up and a number of hrs later was still bucketing down. The initial actual rain we have experienced in 3 months of traveling …….

Up higher in the highlands of Malawi is a tiny settlement called Livingstonia. The identify alone implies a tribute to the excellent explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone put in very tiny time in Malawi alone even though he did make many trips throughout the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some determined to travel up the steep gravel street in the damp whilst other people decided hiring a catamaran was a far better thought.

Deluxe Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor into Zambia was a very easy approach indicating we ended up closer to southern Africa and more western methods in location. South Luangwa Countrywide Park is Zambia’s number two tourist attraction next only to the mighty Victoria Falls nonetheless the street to obtain the park is the worst highway we traveled on via Southern Africa. Huge holes, weighty corrugations, narrow boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines cut by means of hefty tropical rain for roughly 40kms. We had been informed the street was impassable but you never know unless of course you attempt the strategy was straightforward – see how we go ……….

We reached the flip-off to South Luangwa and the highway little by little deteriorated, although it experienced been visibly extremely wet and boggy in elements the road had dried adequate to get by means of without as well several hiccups. We have been 5kms from South Luangwa when the entertaining actually started out 800m of deep bog holes and no way around. We weaved our way close to the brim of the holes until we had no choice but to go through – water seeping over the bonnet with the still left hand facet slipping into deeper holes we slowly and gradually created our way by way of without incident – very good outdated Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was definitely really worth the excursion an abundance of wildlife on the shores of Luangwa River in northern Zambia we camped on the shores of the river hippos grunted day and night (with 1 wandering by way of the campsite in the center of the day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys performed on the tents. We attempted our very first actual match meat – hippo steaks -right after a bit of a pounding and flash frying. Astonishingly, they had been pretty delicious a little bit like veal …….

Soon after a bit of experience leaving South Luangwa we were on our way to Victoria Falls, or as the locals know it as Mosi-oa-Tunya (smoke that thunders). In 1855 David Livingstone sat awestruck by this incredible discover and in his journal wrote “on sights as stunning as this, angels in their flight should have gazed” a perfect way to explain one of the 7 all-natural wonders of the Planet. Her sheer power throws spray substantial into the air visible for miles. Victoria Falls is in close proximity to the town of Livingstone, it is exceptional to visit a city in Africa which retains onto and is very pleased of its colonial heritage. Only a few kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has grow to be the hub for selling curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Regional Zimbabweans cross the border to generate hard forex, buy standard foodstuff products and garments before crossing the border every day. The most popular souvenirs on sale have been Zimbabwean bucks and in distinct the most recent note, 10 Trillion pounds. To put this into standpoint you need two 10 Trillion greenback notes to get a loaf of bread (at the time we purchased these notes – no thought what it is worth now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa above ten several years has disintegrated into a land of absolutely nothing. The greatest factor tourists can do is to buy products from the local sellers, no subject how modest the merchandise or how inexpensive every cent aids.

Just just before leaving Livingstone we study an post in a travel magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that requires us across the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the article talked about how chaotic and difficult the crossing was. With absolutely everyone ready for extended delays and queues (rigorous instructions to keep the vehicles bumper to bumper) we arrived at the border/ferry port. Significantly to our disappointment the crossing was much from chaotic and the queues non existent we simply cruised throughout into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the very same time as a large thunder storm our tents had been up just ahead of the heavens opened. The weighty down pour lasted about forty minutes ahead of the clouds cleared and the sunlight shone as soon as once again. The afternoon was put in on a sport viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Significantly to our delight there have been hundreds of elephants playing in the shallows with massive hippo pods near by, as crocodiles happily sunned by themselves on the shores.

The pursuing early morning we headed out on a recreation travel although Chobe Countrywide Park with the exception of a young bull elephant only a few ft absent from the car the recreation was rather mellow. Botswana was experiencing an excellent moist year consequently the grass was substantial generating game viewing not ideal. Even so the landscapes and birdlife produced the early morning rather fulfilling.

After the morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern element of Namibia or greater acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. This portion of Namibia has been the scene of several conflicts in excess of the many years and up right up until only eight several years back was considered unsafe to travel via. With the battling over and an exceptional infrastructure generating journey very simple we decided to consider this route. The Caprivi Strip is also exactly where the first prisoner of war was taken in WW1 – the English Colonial was entertaining the German Colonial (the Brits occupied Zambia and the Germans Namibia – of course it was Rhodesia and German South Western Africa in these times) when the announcement was produced that the war experienced began. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and instead politely instructed him that he might end his tea and scones but “to enable you know you are now my prisoner”.

The Caprivi strip is a perfect area to nip again into Botswana to discover the Northern element of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with over three hundred fowl species and quite a few mammals and of system reptiles. Large crocs roam the drinking water methods, hippos wallow in the warm drinking water while King Fishers swoop from higher above to feast on the catch of the day. A calming pair of times on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman have been an ideal way to explore the region.

As we drove by way of the northern component of Namibia we ended up dealt with to a outstanding sight. A dozen or so African Wild Pet was sitting on the principal freeway! Wild Pet is rare to see at the very best of moments, to see a pack so close is not a common event. It was not until afterwards that we found one particular was hurt and the rest of the pack was waiting around for her to select herself up and go to security.

We continued our journey toward Etosha stopping enroute to see the World’s largest Meteorite. Etosha, even though relatively soaked, failed to disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern element coupled with a good deal of muddy tracks gave the autos a bit of a work out and a momentary new white paint task!

From Etosha we made a nightstop at a nearby farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are considered a pest and farmers have the right to shoot them. An growing amount of nearby farms have recognized reserves for cheetahs. As well as defending it provides a exclusive chance to get quite close and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at a single started by a mate of ours Mario who has three domesticated cheetahs and above 40 wild kinds residing in designated locations on the farm. The wild cheetahs occur from bordering farms, the farmers contact the fellas at the Cheetah Farm to notify them a cheetah is taking livestock, the boys then entice the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We were greeted upon arrival by a younger giraffe, found deserted a number of months before and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has made a decision to hang about for a although!

Namibia is historically the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Nonetheless an unusually wetter than typical soaked year transformed Namibia from dry desert to lush inexperienced fields with bare mountains creating a spectacular backdrop. We experienced to adjust our prepared route somewhat as we experienced heard from locals many streets had been minimize off because of to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

Following over 3 months of driving on every thing from excellent tar roadways, filth tracks, sand dunes and slim mountain passes we had been all up for a little bit of mud, river crossings and perhaps a bit of digging. Most of the roads in Namibia are extensive dirt streets with a handful of manufactured out of salt. The exceptional rains experienced created chaos all more than the place, highway closures, flash flooding and prolonged deep muddy stretches.

In spite of the sporadic rains we ongoing on monitor and spent time on the Skeleton Coast, a desolate extend of practically nothing but sand, wind and treacherous seas, house to the greatest Cape Fur seal colony in the Globe. A few times checking out the German colonial town, Swakopmund, soothing and catching up on domestic duties. Then created the journey to Namib-Naukluft National Park to explore the desert, dune forty five and Sousselvei oasis and loved some serious 4x4ing in the approach by the time we manufactured it to Luderitz and the old “gold rush” ghost city of Kolmanskop the heavens had cleared and with the times sizzling and sunshine beating down on us it was the initial time we genuinely felt like we have been in Namibia.

The highway to Fish River Canyon was lengthy and dusty – our last destination in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of art from Mom Nature rocks carved above thousands and thousands of several years to make a Canyon in excess of 170kms prolonged and up to 27kms extensive in specific factors. The full scale of its expanse can only actually be appreciated by the air, even though our vantage point at the leading of the Canyon undoubtedly showed her in her real glamour. On 1 of our earlier expeditions one team member (who generally drives on the other facet of the street) as soon as mentioned “Gosh should have taken ages to build that” Everybody headed off in diverse directions along the rim seeking for the ideal spots for the perfect picture.

Our closing nation and spot – South Africa. The border crossing was quite easy though we did lose our fruit at a fruit fly inspection stage. The minute we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was again in Australia. The 1st 400kms strongly resembles the Flinders Rangers – rocky outcrops, rolling hills and salt bush as considerably as the eye can see. If it was not for the road indications in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok alternatively of kangaroos one would actually believe they ended up in South Australia. We produced excellent time on the excellent roads (vast, straight and no pot holes!) we made a decision to press on a bit and invest our last night before Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Capital of Wine Lands.

We set off down the N1 freeway toward Cape Town our last vacation spot. The air was filled with a mixture of pleasure of making the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and disappointment in the information we have been about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky nicely represented our emotions. We arrived in Cape City at our lodge exhausted but with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment – we did it!

We shared a closing night meal, chatted about the very good occasions, remembering the quirky events alongside the way and the figures we achieved.

Our last day was invested back again in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and taking pleasure in lunch at a regional winery, the evening was topped off at the Cape City Botanical gardens with a glass of wine in-hand listening to a live classical orchestra.

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