Down and Filthy in Africa – Cairo to Cape Town
Malawi is most famous for its Lake, explained much more like a sea Lake Malawi covers in excess of 1/third of the region. The distinct clear drinking water is fairly inviting as is the tasty fish!
We spent a number of times on the shores of Lake Malawi, world renowned for the uncommon and distinctive fresh drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) residing in the Lake. We stayed at a small eco-lodge built on a cliff with its very own private sandy beach the views stunning, rooms extremely comfortable and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the exact same time the rain clouds did generating a mad stress to get our cooking shelter up the rain defeat us in the race and some of us had been relatively soaked – at minimum the air was warm and to be trustworthy the cost-free shower was welcomed. Luckily our charcoal BBQ fire survived prolonged ample for me to BBQ our pork chops for evening meal the rain did not allow up and several several hours later was nevertheless bucketing down. The first real rain we have experienced in three months of traveling …….
Up high in the highlands of Malawi is a small settlement known as Livingstonia. The name alone signifies a tribute to the wonderful explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone expended extremely tiny time in Malawi itself despite the fact that he did make several journeys across the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some made a decision to travel up the steep gravel street in the wet whilst other people made a decision choosing a catamaran was a much better idea.
Crossing into Zambia was a quite simple method indicating we had been nearer to southern Africa and a lot more western programs in area. South Luangwa Nationwide Park is Zambia’s amount two vacationer attraction 2nd only to the mighty Victoria Falls even so the street to obtain the park is the worst highway we traveled on via Southern Africa. Large holes, hefty corrugations, slim boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines reduce through weighty tropical rain for roughly 40kms. We had been advised the street was impassable but you in no way know unless of course you try out the program was straightforward – see how we go ……….
We attained the change-off to South Luangwa and the road little by little deteriorated, though it had been visibly quite soaked and boggy in components the road experienced dried ample to get through without having also several hiccups. We have been 5kms from South Luangwa when the fun truly started 800m of deep lavatory holes and no way around. We weaved our way all around the brim of the holes right up until we experienced no selection but to go through – water seeping more than the bonnet with the still left hand side slipping into deeper holes we slowly and gradually created our way through with no incident – good previous Land Rovers!
South Luangwa was definitely well 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 working day and evening (with one wandering via the campsite in the middle of the day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys played on the tents. We experimented with our 1st true game meat – hippo steaks -after a little bit of a pounding and flash frying. Surprisingly, they were rather delicious a little bit like veal …….
Following a little bit of journey 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 incredible uncover and in his journal wrote “on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight need to have gazed” a perfect way to describe one of the 7 organic wonders of the Globe. Her sheer power throws spray higher into the air seen for miles. Victoria Falls is close to the city of Livingstone, it is uncommon to check out a town in Africa which holds on to and is very pleased of its colonial historical past. Only a few kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has become the hub for marketing curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Regional Zimbabweans cross the border to generate challenging forex, purchase standard food merchandise and garments just before crossing the border day-to-day. The best souvenirs on sale ended up Zimbabwean bucks and in distinct the newest be aware, 10 Trillion pounds. To place this into point of view you need to have two 10 Trillion dollar notes to get a loaf of bread (at the time we bought these notes – no thought what it is value now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa above 10 years has disintegrated into a land of nothing. The ideal factor vacationers can do is to acquire products from the local sellers, no matter how small the merchandise or how inexpensive every single cent will help.
Just ahead of leaving Livingstone we go through an article in a vacation magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that normally takes us across the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the post talked about how chaotic and tough the crossing was. With everyone prepared for extended delays and queues (strict recommendations to preserve the autos bumper to bumper) we arrived at the border/ferry port. Significantly to our disappointment the crossing was far from chaotic and the queues non existent we merely cruised across into Botswana.
Arriving into Kasane at the very same time as a massive thunder storm our tents were up just prior to the heavens opened. The large down pour lasted about 40 minutes ahead of the clouds cleared and the sunlight shone after once again. The afternoon was spent on a recreation viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Considerably to our delight there have been hundreds of elephants actively playing in the shallows with massive hippo pods near by, as crocodiles happily sunned themselves on the shores.
The pursuing early morning we headed out on a sport push however Chobe National Park with the exception of a younger bull elephant only a number of ft away from the automobile the match was relatively mellow. Botswana was experiencing an exceptional damp year therefore the grass was high generating game viewing not ideal. Nonetheless the scenery and birdlife produced the morning rather pleasant.
Following the morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern portion of Namibia or far better known as the Caprivi Strip. This portion of Namibia has been the scene of many conflicts over the many years and up till only 8 a long time back was considered unsafe to vacation through. With the fighting above and an outstanding infrastructure generating travel quite simple we made a decision to take this route. The Caprivi Strip is also in which 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 produced that the war had began. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and instead politely informed him that he may possibly complete his tea and scones but “to let you know you are now my prisoner”.
The Caprivi strip is a perfect area to nip again into Botswana to explore the Northern component of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with over three hundred chicken species and several mammals and of training course reptiles. Enormous crocs roam the water approaches, hippos wallow in the warm h2o while King Fishers swoop from large previously mentioned to feast on the catch of the working day. A soothing few of times on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman have been an excellent way to discover the area.
As we drove by means of the northern component of Namibia we have been treated to a exceptional sight. A dozen or so African Wild Puppy was sitting on the main highway! Wild Puppy is unusual to see at the ideal of times, to see a pack so near is not a typical event. It was not until later on that we uncovered one particular was hurt and the rest of the pack was ready for her to choose herself up and shift to protection.
We continued our journey toward Etosha halting enroute to see the World’s most significant Meteorite. Etosha, although rather wet, did not disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern component coupled with a great deal of muddy tracks gave the autos a little bit of a work out and a momentary new white paint job!
From Etosha we produced a nightstop at a neighborhood farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are considered a pest and farmers have the appropriate to shoot them. An escalating quantity of nearby farms have established reserves for cheetahs. As effectively as Deluxe Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor provides a exclusive possibility to get quite shut and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at one particular started by a mate of ours Mario who has three domesticated cheetahs and in excess of forty wild kinds living in designated locations on the farm. The wild cheetahs appear from encompassing farms, the farmers get in touch with the men at the Cheetah Farm to explain to them a cheetah is getting livestock, the boys then trap the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We ended up greeted on arrival by a young giraffe, found deserted a number of weeks prior to and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has decided to hold close to for a although!
Namibia is usually the land of desert and rocky outcrops. However an unusually wetter than normal damp time transformed Namibia from dry desert to lush inexperienced fields with bare mountains making a remarkable backdrop. We had to change our planned route slightly as we experienced listened to from locals a number of streets experienced been minimize off thanks to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.
After in excess of three months of driving on every thing from best tar roadways, dust tracks, sand dunes and slender mountain passes we have been all up for a bit of mud, river crossings and probably a bit of digging. Most of the roads in Namibia are wide dirt roads with a number of produced out of salt. The excellent rains experienced developed chaos all over the nation, street closures, flash flooding and long deep muddy stretches.
Regardless of the sporadic rains we continued on monitor and invested time on the Skeleton Coast, a desolate extend of absolutely nothing but sand, wind and treacherous seas, house to the greatest Cape Fur seal colony in the World. A number of times exploring the German colonial city, Swakopmund, relaxing and catching up on domestic responsibilities. Then produced the journey to Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park to explore the desert, dune forty five and Sousselvei oasis and enjoyed some critical 4x4ing in the process by the time we created it to Luderitz and the previous “gold rush” ghost city of Kolmanskop the heavens experienced cleared and with the times very hot and sun beating down on us it was the initial time we really felt like we ended up in Namibia.
The highway to Fish River Canyon was long and dusty – our closing destination in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of artwork from Mother Mother nature rocks carved more than thousands and thousands of a long time to generate a Canyon in excess of 170kms long and up to 27kms extensive in certain details. The full scale of its expanse can only genuinely be appreciated by the air, though our vantage level at the top of the Canyon certainly confirmed her in her real glamour. On a single of our previously expeditions a single group member (who generally drives on the other side of the highway) as soon as said “Gosh must have taken ages to build that” Every person headed off in different directions along the rim searching for the ideal places for the excellent photo.
Our closing place and destination – South Africa. The border crossing was really straightforward even though we did drop our fruit at a fruit fly inspection stage. The moment we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was 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 was not for the road indications in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok rather of kangaroos a single would genuinely imagine they ended up in South Australia. We made superb time on the superb roadways (extensive, straight and no pot holes!) we made the decision to drive on a little bit and commit our final night time just before Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Cash of Wine Lands.
We established off down the N1 freeway toward Cape Town our final vacation spot. The air was loaded with a combination of enjoyment of producing the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and unhappiness in the understanding we had been about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky properly represented our thoughts. We arrived in Cape Town at our lodge drained but with a feeling of fulfillment and achievement – we did it!
We shared a ultimate night food, chatted about the excellent instances, remembering the quirky activities together the way and the characters we fulfilled.
Our ultimate day was invested back in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and taking pleasure in lunch at a neighborhood winery, the night was topped off at the Cape Town Botanical gardens with a glass of wine in-hand listening to a live classical orchestra.