Down and Dirty in Africa – Cairo to Cape City

Malawi is most popular for its Lake, explained more like a sea Lake Malawi handles above one/3rd of the place. The clear clear water is fairly inviting as is the delicious fish!

We put in a few days on the shores of Lake Malawi, planet renowned for the uncommon and exclusive fresh water fish (some of which prehistoric) dwelling in the Lake. We stayed at a tiny eco-lodge constructed on a cliff with its personal private sandy beach front the sights stunning, rooms quite comfy and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the same time the rain clouds did creating a mad worry to get our cooking shelter up the rain defeat us in the race and some of us were relatively soaked – at least the air was warm and to be sincere the free shower was welcomed. Fortunately our charcoal BBQ fireplace survived lengthy ample for me to BBQ our pork chops for meal the rain did not let up and a number of hours later was nonetheless bucketing down. The 1st true rain we have knowledgeable in 3 months of touring …….

Up high in the highlands of Malawi is a little settlement referred to as Livingstonia. The title by itself suggests a tribute to the wonderful explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone put in extremely tiny time in Malawi by itself though he did make several trips across the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some decided to vacation up the steep gravel street in the wet whilst others decided employing a catamaran was a greater thought.

Crossing into Zambia was a very easy method indicating we ended up nearer to southern Africa and a lot more western programs in place. South Luangwa Countrywide Park is Zambia’s variety two vacationer attraction next only to the mighty Victoria Falls however the street to accessibility the park is the worst highway we traveled on via Southern Africa. Massive holes, weighty corrugations, slim boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines reduce via large tropical rain for roughly 40kms. We experienced been told the road was impassable but you by no means know until you consider the strategy was straightforward – see how we go ……….

We achieved the change-off to South Luangwa and the road gradually deteriorated, although it experienced been visibly quite soaked and boggy in components the road experienced dried sufficient to get by way of with no way too numerous hiccups. We have been 5kms from South Luangwa when the exciting actually began 800m of deep bathroom holes and no way about. We weaved our way close to the brim of the holes till we experienced no selection but to go by way of – water seeping over the bonnet with the still left hand side slipping into deeper holes we slowly and gradually created our way through without having incident – very good previous Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was absolutely 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 working day and night (with a single wandering by way of the campsite in the middle of the working day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys played on the tents. We tried our initial real match meat – hippo steaks -soon after a bit of a pounding and flash frying. Remarkably, Deluxe Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor had been rather delicious a bit like veal …….

Soon after a bit of adventure leaving South Luangwa we have been 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 remarkable find and in his journal wrote “on sights as gorgeous as this, angels in their flight have to have gazed” a excellent way to explain one of the 7 organic wonders of the World. Her sheer electricity throws spray higher into the air visible for miles. Victoria Falls is near the city of Livingstone, it is unusual to visit a city in Africa which retains onto and is very pleased of its colonial historical past. Only a number of kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has grow to be the hub for offering curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Nearby Zimbabweans cross the border to receive challenging currency, purchase simple foodstuff items and clothing just before crossing the border every day. The most popular souvenirs on sale had been Zimbabwean bucks and in distinct the latest notice, 10 Trillion dollars. To set this into viewpoint you need to have 2 10 Trillion greenback notes to purchase a loaf of bread (at the time we purchased these notes – no thought what it is value now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa over ten several years has disintegrated into a land of nothing at all. The ideal factor vacationers can do is to buy products from the neighborhood sellers, no subject how little the merchandise or how low cost each and every cent will help.

Just just before leaving Livingstone we study an post in a vacation magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that takes us across the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the report talked about how chaotic and tough the crossing was. With everyone ready for prolonged delays and queues (strict instructions to hold the autos bumper to bumper) we arrived at the border/ferry port. Significantly to our disappointment the crossing was significantly from chaotic and the queues non existent we simply cruised throughout into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the same time as a huge thunder storm our tents ended up up just ahead of the heavens opened. The large down pour lasted about forty minutes ahead of the clouds cleared and the sunshine shone when once more. The afternoon was put in on a game viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Much to our delight there were hundreds of elephants actively playing in the shallows with substantial hippo pods close by, as crocodiles fortunately sunned them selves on the shores.

The following morning we headed out on a recreation push however Chobe Nationwide Park with the exception of a young bull elephant only a few toes absent from the car the match was fairly mellow. Botswana was enduring an extraordinary damp year that’s why the grass was high making sport viewing not ideal. However the surroundings and birdlife produced the morning fairly enjoyable.

After the early morning at Chobe we ongoing into the Northern element of Namibia or greater acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. This component of Namibia has been the scene of a lot of conflicts over the years and up till only 8 years in the past was deemed unsafe to vacation by means of. With the combating over and an outstanding infrastructure making travel extremely effortless we decided to just take this route. The Caprivi Strip is also the place the very 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 days) when the announcement was created that the war experienced began. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and relatively politely advised him that he may finish his tea and scones but “to enable you know you are now my prisoner”.

The Caprivi strip is a excellent location to nip again into Botswana to discover the Northern portion of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with above 300 chicken species and many mammals and of training course reptiles. Massive crocs roam the h2o techniques, hippos wallow in the warm drinking water whilst King Fishers swoop from substantial previously mentioned to feast on the catch of the working day. A soothing pair of times on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman had been an perfect way to discover the area.

As we drove via the northern element of Namibia we had been handled to a exceptional sight. A dozen or so African Wild Dog was sitting on the primary freeway! Wild Dog is exceptional to see at the very best of times, to see a pack so shut is not a widespread incidence. It was not until finally afterwards that we identified 1 was wounded and the relaxation of the pack was waiting for her to pick herself up and transfer to protection.

We ongoing our journey towards Etosha halting enroute to see the World’s biggest Meteorite. Etosha, though instead wet, did not disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern element coupled with a good deal of muddy tracks gave the autos a little bit of a exercise and a momentary new white paint job!

From Etosha we made a nightstop at a nearby farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are considered a pest and farmers have the appropriate to shoot them. An growing amount of nearby farms have set up reserves for cheetahs. As effectively as safeguarding it gives a exclusive opportunity to get quite close and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at 1 started out by a mate of ours Mario who has three domesticated cheetahs and more than forty wild types living in selected areas on the farm. The wild cheetahs appear from surrounding farms, the farmers contact the fellas at the Cheetah Farm to notify them a cheetah is getting livestock, the boys then entice the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We have been greeted on arrival by a younger giraffe, found deserted a couple of months prior to and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has made the decision to cling all around for a while!

Namibia is usually the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Even so an unusually wetter than standard soaked year remodeled Namibia from dry desert to lush environmentally friendly fields with bare mountains creating a remarkable backdrop. We experienced to adjust our prepared route somewhat as we experienced read from locals numerous streets experienced been reduce off owing to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

Right after more than 3 months of driving on every thing from excellent tar roads, dust tracks, sand dunes and slender mountain passes we had been all up for a bit of mud, river crossings and probably a little bit of digging. Most of the roads in Namibia are broad dirt streets with a handful of made out of salt. The exceptional rains experienced developed chaos all in excess of the nation, road closures, flash flooding and prolonged deep muddy stretches.

Regardless of the sporadic rains we continued on monitor and expended time on the Skeleton Coastline, a desolate extend of nothing at all but sand, wind and treacherous seas, residence to the largest Cape Fur seal colony in the Entire world. A number of times discovering the German colonial town, Swakopmund, comforting and catching up on domestic obligations. Then produced the journey to Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park to check out the desert, dune forty five and Sousselvei oasis and enjoyed some significant 4x4ing in the method by the time we manufactured it to Luderitz and the old “gold hurry” ghost city of Kolmanskop the heavens had cleared and with the times hot and solar beating down on us it was the 1st time we actually felt like we have been in Namibia.

The street to Fish River Canyon was lengthy and dusty – our ultimate destination in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of artwork from Mom Mother nature rocks carved above millions of years to produce a Canyon above 170kms extended and up to 27kms vast in specific factors. The complete scale of its expanse can only genuinely be appreciated by the air, although our vantage level at the best of the Canyon surely showed her in her accurate glamour. On a single of our previously expeditions one team member (who normally drives on the other aspect of the highway) after mentioned “Gosh have to have taken ages to create that” Everyone headed off in distinct directions along the rim seeking for the ideal spots for the perfect picture.

Our ultimate nation and destination – South Africa. The border crossing was extremely effortless even though we did shed our fruit at a fruit fly inspection position. The minute we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was back again in Australia. The very first 400kms strongly resembles the Flinders Rangers – rocky outcrops, rolling hills and salt bush as far as the eye can see. If it wasn’t for the highway indications in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok rather of kangaroos one would really imagine they were in South Australia. We produced superb time on the exceptional streets (vast, straight and no pot holes!) we decided to drive on a little bit and invest our final night time before Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Funds of Wine Lands.

We established off down the N1 freeway toward Cape City our last location. The air was loaded with a combination of excitement of producing the eighteen,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and sadness in the understanding we were about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky properly represented our emotions. We arrived in Cape Town at our hotel tired but with a perception of fulfillment and achievement – we did it!

We shared a closing evening meal, chatted about the good instances, remembering the quirky activities alongside the way and the people we fulfilled.

Our last day was spent back in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and enjoying lunch at a regional winery, 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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