Down and Soiled in Africa – Cairo to Cape Town

Malawi is most famous for its Lake, explained a lot more like a sea Lake Malawi addresses more than one/third of the nation. The distinct cleanse drinking water is relatively inviting as is the tasty fish!

We spent a couple of days on the shores of Lake Malawi, globe renowned for the exceptional and distinctive refreshing drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) dwelling in the Lake. We stayed at a tiny eco-lodge constructed on a cliff with its personal non-public sandy seashore the sights magnificent, rooms extremely comfortable and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the exact same time the rain clouds did generating a mad panic to get our cooking shelter up the rain conquer us in the race and some of us ended up rather soaked – at minimum the air was warm and to be sincere the free of charge shower was welcomed. Luckily our charcoal BBQ hearth survived extended enough for me to BBQ our pork chops for supper the rain did not allow up and several hrs afterwards was even now bucketing down. The very first real rain we have seasoned in 3 months of touring …….

Up substantial in the highlands of Malawi is a tiny settlement known as Livingstonia. The identify by itself signifies a tribute to the fantastic explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone spent very minor time in Malawi itself even though he did make a number of trips across the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some determined to journey up the steep gravel road in the wet whilst others made the decision selecting a catamaran was a better thought.

Crossing into Zambia was a quite simple procedure indicating we have been nearer to southern Africa and much more western methods in place. South Luangwa Countrywide Park is Zambia’s number two vacationer attraction 2nd only to the mighty Victoria Falls nevertheless the highway to entry the park is the worst street we traveled on through Southern Africa. Large holes, heavy corrugations, narrow boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines reduce via large tropical rain for roughly 40kms. We had been instructed the street was impassable but you by no means know until you try out the plan was basic – see how we go ……….

We reached the turn-off to South Luangwa and the road gradually deteriorated, though it experienced been visibly very soaked and boggy in elements the highway experienced dried sufficient to get by means of with out way too a lot of hiccups. We had been 5kms from South Luangwa when the entertaining really began 800m of deep lavatory holes and no way about. We weaved our way close to the brim of the holes until we experienced no decision but to go through – drinking water seeping more than the bonnet with the still left hand aspect slipping into further holes we gradually produced our way by means of without incident – excellent aged Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was certainly really worth the trip 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 one wandering through the campsite in the center of the working day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys performed on the tents. We tried our first actual recreation meat – hippo steaks -right after a little bit of a pounding and flash frying. Incredibly, they had been rather tasty a little bit like veal …….

Right after a little bit of adventure leaving South Luangwa we ended up 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 amazing uncover and in his journal wrote “on sights as gorgeous as this, angels in their flight have to have gazed” a ideal way to describe one particular of the 7 normal wonders of the Entire world. Her sheer electrical power throws spray higher into the air seen for miles. Victoria Falls is close to the town of Livingstone, it is unusual to visit a city in Africa which retains on to and is proud of its colonial heritage. Only a handful of kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has grow to be the hub for marketing curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Local Zimbabweans cross the border to generate tough forex, get fundamental food items and clothes prior to crossing the border every day. The hottest souvenirs on sale have been Zimbabwean dollars and in specific the most recent notice, ten Trillion bucks. To put this into viewpoint you need to have two 10 Trillion greenback notes to acquire a loaf of bread (at the time we bought these notes – no idea what it is really worth now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa over 10 a long time has disintegrated into a land of practically nothing. The very best thing visitors can do is to acquire products from the regional sellers, no subject how modest the merchandise or how cheap each and every cent will help.

Just just before leaving Livingstone we read an article in a travel magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that takes us throughout the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the report talked about how chaotic and hard the crossing was. With every person prepared for long delays and queues (rigorous recommendations to maintain the cars bumper to bumper) we arrived at the border/ferry port. A lot to our disappointment the crossing was far from chaotic and the queues non existent we simply cruised across into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the same time as a large thunder storm our tents were up just prior to the heavens opened. The heavy down pour lasted about 40 minutes ahead of the clouds cleared and the sunshine shone when yet again. The afternoon was expended on a game viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Significantly to our delight there ended up hundreds of elephants taking part in in the shallows with massive hippo pods shut by, as crocodiles happily sunned them selves on the shores.

The pursuing early morning we headed out on a game drive though Chobe National Park with the exception of a young bull elephant only a couple of ft absent from the motor vehicle the recreation was rather mellow. Botswana was experiencing an outstanding damp period hence the grass was high generating game viewing not excellent. Nonetheless the surroundings and birdlife created the morning fairly satisfying.

After the morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern element of Namibia or far better acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. This element of Namibia has been the scene of numerous conflicts above the many years and up until finally only eight years ago was deemed unsafe to travel by way of. With the combating in excess of and an exceptional infrastructure making travel extremely effortless we made the decision to just take this route. The Caprivi Strip is also exactly where the 1st prisoner of war was taken in WW1 – the English Colonial was entertaining the German Colonial (the Brits occupied Zambia and the Germans Namibia – of system it was Rhodesia and German South Western Africa in individuals times) when the announcement was created that the war experienced started. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and rather politely advised him that he may finish his tea and scones but “to let you know you are now my prisoner”.

The Caprivi strip is a ideal location to nip again into Botswana to investigate the Northern part of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with more than 300 bird species and quite a few mammals and of program reptiles. Massive crocs roam the h2o approaches, hippos wallow in the heat h2o whilst King Fishers swoop from high over to feast on the capture of the working day. A calming pair of days on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman were an best way to explore the spot.

As we drove through the northern component of Namibia we had been treated to a exceptional sight. A dozen or so African Wild Pet was sitting on the main freeway! Wild Puppy is unusual to see at the greatest of moments, to see a pack so shut is not a typical prevalence. It was not till later on that we identified one was wounded and the rest of the pack was waiting around for her to select herself up and go to security.

We continued our journey towards Etosha halting enroute to see the World’s largest Meteorite. Etosha, despite the fact that rather moist, failed to disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern component coupled with a whole lot of muddy tracks gave the cars a bit of a training and a momentary new white paint job!

From Etosha we manufactured a nightstop at a neighborhood farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are deemed a pest and farmers have the proper to shoot them. An increasing variety of regional farms have recognized reserves for cheetahs. As properly as guarding it gives a special chance to get extremely close and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at 1 started by a mate of ours Mario who has 3 domesticated cheetahs and over 40 wild kinds dwelling in specified places on the farm. The wild cheetahs arrive from encompassing farms, the farmers contact the men at the Cheetah Farm to inform them a cheetah is using livestock, the boys then entice the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We were greeted upon arrival by a youthful giraffe, located abandoned a number of weeks just before and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has decided to hold all around for a while!

Namibia is typically the land of desert and rocky outcrops. However an unusually wetter than standard wet year reworked Namibia from dry desert to lush green fields with bare mountains creating a remarkable backdrop. We experienced to modify our prepared route somewhat as we experienced read from locals many roadways had been cut off thanks to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

Right after more than three months of driving on every little thing from best tar roads, dust tracks, sand dunes and slim mountain passes we had been all up for a little bit of mud, river crossings and possibly a little bit of digging. Most of the roadways in Namibia are broad filth streets with a handful of made out of salt. The extraordinary rains experienced designed chaos all more than the region, road closures, flash flooding and long deep muddy stretches.

In spite of the sporadic rains we ongoing on observe and expended time on the Skeleton Coastline, a desolate extend of nothing but sand, wind and treacherous seas, home to the largest Cape Fur seal colony in the Planet. A few days checking out the German colonial town, Swakopmund, soothing and catching up on domestic responsibilities. Then manufactured the journey to Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park to check out the desert, dune forty five and Sousselvei oasis and liked some significant 4x4ing in the procedure by the time we manufactured it to Luderitz and the outdated “gold hurry” ghost city of Kolmanskop the heavens had cleared and with the days scorching and sunshine beating down on us it was the very first time we really felt like we ended up in Namibia.

The highway to Fish River Canyon was extended and dusty – our ultimate destination in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of artwork from Mom Nature rocks carved above thousands and thousands of many years to make a Canyon in excess of 170kms prolonged and up to 27kms broad in certain points. The total scale of its expanse can only actually be appreciated by the air, although our vantage stage at the prime of the Canyon definitely confirmed her in her correct glamour. On one of our previously expeditions a single group member (who generally drives on the other aspect of the road) once stated “Gosh must have taken ages to construct that” Absolutely everyone headed off in different instructions together the rim hunting for the greatest spots for the ideal photograph.

Our last place and destination – South Africa. The border crossing was very straightforward even though we did get rid of our fruit at a fruit fly inspection level. The moment we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was back in Australia. Deluxe Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor resembles the Flinders Rangers – rocky outcrops, rolling hills and salt bush as much as the eye can see. If it was not for the street indicators in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok as an alternative of kangaroos a single would genuinely feel they ended up in South Australia. We manufactured superb time on the superb roadways (extensive, straight and no pot holes!) we decided to push on a little bit and commit our last night before Cape City in Stellenbosch – the Funds of Wine Lands.

We set off down the N1 freeway towards Cape Town our ultimate spot. The air was stuffed with a combination of exhilaration of making the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and sadness in the understanding we were about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky nicely represented our inner thoughts. We arrived in Cape Town at our lodge tired but with a sense of gratification and achievement – we did it!

We shared a ultimate night meal, chatted about the good instances, remembering the quirky events alongside the way and the characters we met.

Our last working day was put in back again in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and experiencing lunch at a neighborhood vineyard, the night was topped off at the Cape Town Botanical gardens with a glass of wine in-hand listening to a dwell classical orchestra.

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