Down and Dirty in Africa – Cairo to Cape Town

Malawi is most famous for its Lake, described much more like a sea Lake Malawi covers more than one/3rd of the nation. The obvious clean h2o is instead inviting as is the tasty fish!

We expended a few times on the shores of Lake Malawi, entire world renowned for the unusual and exclusive fresh drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) dwelling in the Lake. We stayed at a tiny eco-lodge developed on a cliff with its own private sandy beach the views breathtaking, rooms extremely comfy and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the very same time the rain clouds did creating a mad stress to get our cooking shelter up the rain conquer us in the race and some of us have been rather soaked – at least the air was heat and to be honest the totally free shower was welcomed. Fortunately our charcoal BBQ hearth survived long adequate for me to BBQ our pork chops for supper the rain did not permit up and several hrs later on was nonetheless bucketing down. The 1st real rain we have experienced in 3 months of traveling …….

Up higher in the highlands of Malawi is a small settlement referred to as Livingstonia. The identify by itself implies a tribute to the wonderful explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone put in quite minor time in Malawi alone despite the fact that he did make many outings across the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some made a decision to travel up the steep gravel road in the soaked although other folks made the decision hiring a catamaran was a better notion.

Crossing into Zambia was a very simple process indicating we ended up closer to southern Africa and a lot more western systems in location. South Luangwa Countrywide Park is Zambia’s amount two tourist attraction second only to the mighty Victoria Falls however the street to access the park is the worst street we traveled on through Southern Africa. Huge holes, hefty corrugations, narrow boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines cut through heavy tropical rain for roughly 40kms. We had been informed the highway was impassable but you by no means know except if you try the program was straightforward – see how we go ……….

We achieved the change-off to South Luangwa and the road little by little deteriorated, despite the fact that it experienced been visibly quite moist and boggy in parts the road experienced dried enough to get via without having way too a lot of hiccups. We have been 5kms from South Luangwa when the entertaining genuinely started out 800m of deep bog holes and no way all around. We weaved our way about the brim of the holes till we experienced no choice but to go via – water seeping above the bonnet with the left hand facet falling into further holes we little by little produced our way through without having incident – good aged Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was definitely value the vacation 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 time (with one particular wandering through the campsite in the center of the working day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys performed on the tents. one night Fellucca sail from Aswan to Luxor tried our initial real match meat – hippo steaks -right after a little bit of a pounding and flash frying. Surprisingly, they had been pretty tasty a bit like veal …….

Soon after a little bit of journey 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 wonderful locate and in his journal wrote “on sights as lovely as this, angels in their flight need to have gazed” a ideal way to explain one particular of the 7 normal wonders of the Globe. Her sheer electrical power throws spray high into the air seen for miles. Victoria Falls is near the town of Livingstone, it is uncommon to go to a city in Africa which retains onto and is proud of its colonial heritage. Only a few kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has become the hub for offering curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Local Zimbabweans cross the border to make hard forex, get standard foods products and apparel ahead of crossing the border daily. The most popular souvenirs on sale have been Zimbabwean dollars and in particular the latest note, 10 Trillion bucks. To put this into viewpoint you want two ten Trillion dollar notes to get a loaf of bread (at the time we purchased these notes – no notion what it is well worth 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 get products from the neighborhood sellers, no issue how tiny the product or how low cost each cent helps.

Just ahead of leaving Livingstone we go through an post in a travel magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that normally takes us across the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the write-up talked about how chaotic and hard the crossing was. With every person prepared for long delays and queues (rigorous directions to maintain the automobiles 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 throughout into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the exact same time as a large thunder storm our tents had been up just before the heavens opened. The weighty down pour lasted about 40 minutes before the clouds cleared and the sun shone after again. The afternoon was spent on a sport viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Much to our delight there had been hundreds of elephants taking part in in the shallows with massive hippo pods shut by, as crocodiles fortunately sunned themselves on the shores.

The pursuing early morning we headed out on a match travel even though Chobe National Park with the exception of a young bull elephant only a number of toes away from the automobile the recreation was fairly mellow. Botswana was experiencing an extraordinary wet time that’s why the grass was substantial making sport viewing not best. However the landscapes and birdlife made the early morning instead pleasant.

After the early morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern portion of Namibia or much better acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. This component of Namibia has been the scene of several conflicts above the years and up until finally only eight several years ago was deemed unsafe to journey by way of. With the fighting over and an exceptional infrastructure creating vacation really easy we determined to just 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 people days) when the announcement was made that the war experienced began. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and fairly politely advised him that he could end his tea and scones but “to enable you know you are now my prisoner”.

The Caprivi strip is a perfect spot to nip back into Botswana to discover the Northern element of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with over three hundred bird species and quite a few mammals and of program reptiles. Huge crocs roam the water techniques, hippos wallow in the heat drinking water even though King Fishers swoop from high earlier mentioned to feast on the capture of the working day. A relaxing pair of days on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman had been an ideal way to investigate the spot.

As we drove by way of the northern component of Namibia we ended up handled to a remarkable sight. A dozen or so African Wild Canine was sitting down on the main freeway! Wild Pet is exceptional to see at the very best of instances, to see a pack so shut is not a typical event. It was not till afterwards that we discovered 1 was wounded and the rest of the pack was waiting for her to pick herself up and transfer to security.

We continued our journey toward Etosha stopping enroute to see the World’s greatest Meteorite. Etosha, though relatively moist, did not disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern element coupled with a lot of muddy tracks gave the cars a little bit of a workout and a short term 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 rising number of regional farms have set up reserves for cheetahs. As well as guarding it provides a distinctive chance to get really close and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at one particular began by a mate of ours Mario who has three domesticated cheetahs and over forty wild ones residing in specified places on the farm. The wild cheetahs appear from encompassing farms, the farmers phone the fellas at the Cheetah Farm to inform them a cheetah is having livestock, the boys then trap the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We ended up greeted on arrival by a young giraffe, identified abandoned a number of weeks just before and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has made the decision to hang all around for a whilst!

Namibia is historically the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Nevertheless an unusually wetter than typical damp time reworked Namibia from dry desert to lush green fields with bare mountains making a spectacular backdrop. We experienced to change our planned route somewhat as we had heard from locals many streets had been reduce off thanks to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

Right after in excess of three months of driving on every little thing from best tar streets, dirt tracks, sand dunes and narrow mountain passes we had been all up for a bit of mud, river crossings and probably a bit of digging. Most of the streets in Namibia are vast grime roads with a number of manufactured out of salt. The exceptional rains experienced designed chaos all over the country, highway closures, flash flooding and long deep muddy stretches.

In spite of the sporadic rains we continued on keep track of and spent time on the Skeleton Coast, a desolate stretch of practically nothing but sand, wind and treacherous seas, house to the premier Cape Fur seal colony in the Entire world. A few days checking out the German colonial town, Swakopmund, calming and catching up on domestic duties. Then made the journey to Namib-Naukluft National Park to check out the desert, dune 45 and Sousselvei oasis and appreciated some significant 4x4ing in the procedure by the time we created it to Luderitz and the outdated “gold rush” ghost city of Kolmanskop the heavens had cleared and with the days hot and solar beating down on us it was the first time we actually felt like we ended up in Namibia.

The road to Fish River Canyon was lengthy and dusty – our closing spot in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of artwork from Mother Nature rocks carved in excess of millions of a long time to produce a Canyon over 170kms long and up to 27kms extensive in specific points. The entire scale of its expanse can only truly be appreciated by the air, although our vantage position at the top of the Canyon definitely showed her in her correct glamour. On 1 of our earlier expeditions one particular team member (who normally drives on the other facet of the street) when mentioned “Gosh need to have taken ages to construct that” Everybody headed off in different instructions alongside the rim looking for the ideal spots for the perfect picture.

Our closing region and vacation spot – South Africa. The border crossing was really easy though we did shed our fruit at a fruit fly inspection position. The moment we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was back in Australia. The 1st 400kms strongly resembles the Flinders Rangers – rocky outcrops, rolling hills and salt bush as significantly as the eye can see. If it wasn’t for the street indications in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok instead of kangaroos 1 would actually believe they ended up in South Australia. We manufactured outstanding time on the fantastic roads (wide, straight and no pot holes!) we decided to press on a little bit and invest our final night time before Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Funds of Wine Lands.

We set off down the N1 highway toward Cape City our last spot. The air was loaded with a combination of enjoyment of generating the eighteen,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and disappointment in the understanding we had been about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky nicely represented our emotions. We arrived in Cape Town at our hotel fatigued but with a feeling of gratification and achievement – we did it!

We shared a closing night meal, chatted about the good moments, remembering the quirky events together the way and the characters we achieved.

Our last day was spent back again in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and enjoying lunch at a nearby vineyard, the evening was topped off at the Cape Town Botanical gardens with a glass of wine in-hand listening to a stay classical orchestra.