Down and Filthy in Africa – Cairo to Cape Town

May 18, 2023

Malawi is most renowned for its Lake, explained far more like a sea Lake Malawi covers more than 1/third of the place. The obvious thoroughly clean h2o is fairly inviting as is the delicious fish!

We put in a number of days on the shores of Lake Malawi, world renowned for the exceptional and exclusive refreshing drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) dwelling in the Lake. We stayed at a small eco-lodge constructed on a cliff with its very own personal sandy seashore the sights stunning, rooms quite relaxed and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the very same time the rain clouds did creating a mad panic to get our cooking shelter up the rain defeat us in the race and some of us had been fairly soaked – at the very least the air was heat and to be truthful the totally free shower was welcomed. The good news is our charcoal BBQ fire survived lengthy sufficient for me to BBQ our pork chops for dinner the rain did not allow up and many several hours later was even now bucketing down. The initial true rain we have skilled in 3 months of traveling …….

Up large in the highlands of Malawi is a small settlement known as Livingstonia. The identify alone implies a tribute to the great explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone spent extremely minor time in Malawi alone although he did make numerous excursions across the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some made a decision to journey up the steep gravel highway in the damp while other people decided hiring a catamaran was a better idea.

Crossing into Zambia was a extremely simple procedure indicating we were closer to southern Africa and much more western systems in spot. South Luangwa Countrywide Park is Zambia’s amount two vacationer attraction 2nd only to the mighty Victoria Falls nevertheless the road to entry the park is the worst road we traveled on by way of Southern Africa. Big holes, heavy corrugations, slender boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines lower via weighty tropical rain for roughly 40kms. We had been told the road was impassable but you in no way know unless of course you consider the plan was easy – see how we go ……….

We arrived at the change-off to South Luangwa and the road slowly deteriorated, despite the fact that it experienced been visibly quite soaked and boggy in components the highway experienced dried enough to get by way of with no as well several hiccups. We had been 5kms from South Luangwa when the entertaining actually started out 800m of deep bathroom holes and no way about. We weaved our way close to the brim of the holes until finally we experienced no decision but to go via – h2o seeping in excess of the bonnet with the left hand side slipping into deeper holes we slowly and gradually produced our way through without incident – excellent old Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was absolutely well worth the journey 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 a single wandering by means of the campsite in the middle of the day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys played on the tents. We tried our initial actual match meat – hippo steaks -after a bit of a pounding and flash frying. Astonishingly, they had been rather tasty a bit like veal …….

Right after a 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 uncover and in his journal wrote “on sights as lovely as this, angels in their flight should have gazed” a excellent way to describe one particular of the seven natural miracles of the Planet. Her sheer energy throws spray higher into the air obvious for miles. Victoria Falls is close to the town of Livingstone, it is unusual to visit a city in Africa which holds on to and is proud of its colonial background. Only a few kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has turn out to be the hub for offering curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Regional Zimbabweans cross the border to generate hard forex, acquire fundamental foods items and apparel ahead of crossing the border everyday. The hottest souvenirs on sale were Zimbabwean bucks and in particular the most recent observe, ten Trillion pounds. To put this into perspective you need to have two 10 Trillion dollar notes to acquire a loaf of bread (at the time we bought these notes – no thought what it is worth now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa over 10 years has disintegrated into a land of absolutely nothing. The greatest point tourists can do is to buy merchandise from the local sellers, no matter how little the merchandise or how inexpensive each cent aids.

Just just before leaving Livingstone we read through an article in a travel journal about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that requires us across the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the write-up talked about how chaotic and hard the crossing was. With everyone well prepared for prolonged delays and queues (strict guidelines to preserve the cars 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 basically cruised throughout into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the same time as a enormous thunder storm our tents have been up just ahead of the heavens opened. The heavy down pour lasted about forty minutes before the clouds cleared and the sunlight shone once once again. The afternoon was spent on a game viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Considerably to our delight there have been hundreds of elephants enjoying in the shallows with enormous hippo pods shut by, as crocodiles happily sunned by themselves on the shores.

The adhering to morning we headed out on a recreation drive although Chobe Countrywide Park with the exception of a young bull elephant only a couple of feet away from the car the recreation was relatively mellow. Botswana was encountering an excellent moist season consequently the grass was high producing match viewing not excellent. Even so the surroundings and birdlife made the early morning instead enjoyable.

Soon after the morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern component of Namibia or far better acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. This part of Namibia has been the scene of a lot of conflicts more than the many years and up until only 8 several years in the past was considered unsafe to vacation by means of. With the battling over and an excellent infrastructure generating travel quite effortless we made a decision to just take this route. The Caprivi Strip is also the place 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 training course it was Rhodesia and German South Western Africa in individuals times) when the announcement was produced that the war had commenced. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and rather 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 ideal spot to nip again into Botswana to explore the Northern component of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with above three hundred fowl species and many mammals and of program reptiles. Huge crocs roam the h2o approaches, hippos wallow in the heat water while King Fishers swoop from higher above to feast on the catch of the day. A comforting couple of times on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman ended up an perfect way to discover the region.

As we drove via the northern component of Namibia we ended up dealt with to a exceptional sight. A dozen or so African Wild Canine was sitting on the main highway! Wild Canine is unusual to see at the very best of instances, to see a pack so shut is not a frequent incidence. one night Fellucca sail from Aswan to Luxor was not right up until later that we uncovered a single was injured and the relaxation of the pack was waiting for her to select herself up and move to safety.

We continued our journey toward Etosha stopping enroute to see the World’s greatest Meteorite. Etosha, though relatively moist, failed to disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern part coupled with a lot of muddy tracks gave the vehicles a bit of a exercise and a momentary new white paint occupation!

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 growing variety of nearby farms have recognized reserves for cheetahs. As effectively as defending it provides a distinctive opportunity to get very near and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at 1 commenced by a mate of ours Mario who has 3 domesticated cheetahs and above 40 wild types dwelling in designated locations on the farm. The wild cheetahs occur from bordering farms, the farmers phone the men at the Cheetah Farm to tell them a cheetah is taking livestock, the boys then trap the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We were greeted on arrival by a younger giraffe, identified deserted a couple of months prior to and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has made a decision to hang close to for a even though!

Namibia is traditionally the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Even so an unusually wetter than typical wet year reworked Namibia from dry desert to lush green fields with bare mountains generating a remarkable backdrop. We experienced to alter our planned route marginally as we had read from locals a number of roadways had been minimize off because of to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

Soon after in excess of 3 months of driving on every thing from best tar roadways, grime tracks, sand dunes and slender mountain passes we had been all up for a little bit of mud, river crossings and potentially a little bit of digging. Most of the streets in Namibia are vast dust streets with a couple of made out of salt. The exceptional rains had created chaos all in excess of the nation, road closures, flash flooding and extended deep muddy stretches.

Regardless of the sporadic rains we continued on observe and invested time on the Skeleton Coastline, a desolate stretch of absolutely nothing but sand, wind and treacherous seas, house to the premier Cape Fur seal colony in the Globe. A number of days checking out the German colonial town, Swakopmund, relaxing and catching up on domestic obligations. Then manufactured the journey to Namib-Naukluft Countrywide Park to explore the desert, dune 45 and Sousselvei oasis and liked some critical 4x4ing in the method by the time we produced it to Luderitz and the aged “gold hurry” ghost town of Kolmanskop the heavens experienced cleared and with the times sizzling and solar beating down on us it was the first time we truly felt like we have been in Namibia.

The street to Fish River Canyon was long and dusty – our last location in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of artwork from Mother Nature rocks carved in excess of thousands and thousands of a long time to produce a Canyon above 170kms extended and up to 27kms broad in specified details. The full scale of its expanse can only genuinely be appreciated by the air, even though our vantage position at the leading of the Canyon surely confirmed her in her real glamour. On 1 of our earlier expeditions one team member (who generally drives on the other side of the highway) when stated “Gosh have to have taken ages to build that” Absolutely everyone headed off in diverse directions alongside the rim searching for the greatest spots for the excellent photo.

Our last region and spot – South Africa. The border crossing was very simple although we did drop our fruit at a fruit fly inspection position. The moment we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was back again in Australia. The first 400kms strongly resembles the Flinders Rangers – rocky outcrops, rolling hills and salt bush as considerably as the eye can see. If it wasn’t for the road symptoms in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok instead of kangaroos one particular would really believe they were in South Australia. We created outstanding time on the superb roads (broad, straight and no pot holes!) we made the decision to push on a little bit and spend our ultimate evening ahead of Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Money of Wine Lands.

We set off down the N1 freeway towards Cape Town our final vacation spot. The air was loaded with a mixture of pleasure of generating the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and disappointment in the understanding we have been about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky properly represented our emotions. We arrived in Cape Town at our hotel fatigued but with a sense of gratification and accomplishment – we did it!

We shared a ultimate night food, chatted about the great moments, remembering the quirky events along the way and the people we achieved.

Our last day was invested back in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and making the most of lunch at a regional vineyard, the night was topped off at the Cape City Botanical gardens with a glass of wine in-hand listening to a dwell classical orchestra.

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