Down and Dirty in Africa – Cairo to Cape Town

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Malawi is most famous for its Lake, explained far more like a sea Lake Malawi handles above 1/3rd of the nation. The obvious clean drinking water is rather inviting as is the tasty fish!

We put in a number of days on the shores of Lake Malawi, globe renowned for the rare and special new drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) dwelling in the Lake. We stayed at a very small eco-lodge constructed on a cliff with its possess non-public sandy seaside the sights breathtaking, rooms quite cozy and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the exact same time the rain clouds did creating a mad stress to get our cooking shelter up the rain defeat us in the race and some of us have been instead soaked – at minimum the air was heat and to be truthful the free of charge shower was welcomed. The good news is our charcoal BBQ fire survived long enough for me to BBQ our pork chops for meal the rain did not let up and several hours afterwards was even now bucketing down. The very first genuine rain we have knowledgeable in 3 months of touring …….

Up substantial in the highlands of Malawi is a minor settlement referred to as Livingstonia. The title alone suggests a tribute to the wonderful explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone invested very minor time in Malawi alone although he did make many journeys throughout the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some decided to vacation up the steep gravel road in the soaked although other individuals made a decision choosing a catamaran was a greater idea.

Crossing into Zambia was a quite easy method indicating we were nearer to southern Africa and a lot more western methods in area. South Luangwa Nationwide Park is Zambia’s number 2 tourist attraction 2nd only to the mighty Victoria Falls nonetheless the street to obtain the park is the worst road we traveled on via Southern Africa. Massive holes, heavy corrugations, slim boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines reduce by way of heavy tropical rain for around 40kms. We had been informed the road was impassable but you in no way know unless of course you attempt the strategy was straightforward – see how we go ……….

We achieved the turn-off to South Luangwa and the highway slowly deteriorated, despite the fact that it had been visibly very soaked and boggy in components the street had dried adequate to get by way of with out too several hiccups. We have been 5kms from South Luangwa when the entertaining actually started out 800m of deep lavatory holes and no way around. We weaved our way about the brim of the holes until finally we had no choice but to go via – h2o seeping over the bonnet with the still left hand side falling into deeper holes we little by little produced our way by means of with no incident – great previous Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was definitely worth 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 day and evening (with one 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 very first real recreation meat – hippo steaks -soon after a bit of a pounding and flash frying. Astonishingly, they were rather tasty a little bit like veal …….

Following a bit of journey 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 uncover and in his journal wrote “on sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed” a perfect way to explain one particular of the 7 natural miracles of the World. Her sheer electrical power throws spray large into the air obvious for miles. Victoria Falls is in close proximity to the city of Livingstone, it is uncommon to go to a town in Africa which holds onto and is proud 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. Local Zimbabweans cross the border to generate difficult currency, acquire simple foods goods and clothing just before crossing the border every day. The hottest souvenirs on sale ended up Zimbabwean dollars and in certain the latest notice, ten Trillion pounds. To place this into standpoint you require 2 ten Trillion greenback notes to buy a loaf of bread (at the time we acquired these notes – no concept what it is value now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa above 10 a long time has disintegrated into a land of practically nothing. The very best issue tourists can do is to buy items from the local sellers, no issue how tiny the item or how low-cost each and every cent helps.

Just prior to leaving Livingstone we read an article in a travel magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that will take us across the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the article talked about how chaotic and challenging the crossing was. With everyone prepared for extended delays and queues (rigorous recommendations to hold 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 basically cruised throughout into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the exact same time as a massive thunder storm our tents had been up just prior to the heavens opened. The hefty down pour lasted about 40 minutes prior to the clouds cleared and the solar shone when once again. The afternoon was invested on a recreation viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Significantly to our delight there had been hundreds of elephants actively playing in the shallows with substantial hippo pods shut by, as crocodiles fortunately sunned them selves on the shores.

The pursuing morning we headed out on a recreation drive even though Chobe National Park with the exception of a youthful bull elephant only a handful of toes absent from the car the sport was relatively mellow. Botswana was experiencing an exceptional soaked season that’s why the grass was high creating recreation viewing not best. However the surroundings and birdlife manufactured the morning relatively fulfilling.

Following two nights Fellucca sail from Aswan to Luxor at Chobe we ongoing into the Northern part of Namibia or better identified as the Caprivi Strip. This portion of Namibia has been the scene of a lot of conflicts above the several years and up right up until only 8 years ago was deemed unsafe to journey by means of. With the preventing above and an excellent infrastructure generating travel very straightforward we made the decision to get this route. The Caprivi Strip is also 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 course it was Rhodesia and German South Western Africa in people days) when the announcement was produced that the war experienced commenced. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and fairly politely advised him that he might finish his tea and scones but “to permit you know you are now my prisoner”.

The Caprivi strip is a ideal location to nip again into Botswana to check out the Northern portion of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with in excess of 300 hen species and numerous mammals and of course reptiles. Enormous crocs roam the h2o approaches, hippos wallow in the warm h2o although King Fishers swoop from higher previously mentioned to feast on the capture of the day. A relaxing couple of times on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman ended up an best way to discover the spot.

As we drove by way of the northern component of Namibia we were handled to a outstanding sight. A dozen or so African Wild Dog was sitting on the major highway! Wild Canine is rare to see at the ideal of moments, to see a pack so near is not a widespread event. It was not till later that we found one was wounded and the rest of the pack was waiting for her to pick herself up and transfer to security.

We continued our journey towards Etosha stopping enroute to see the World’s greatest Meteorite. Etosha, although rather soaked, didn’t disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern component coupled with a lot of muddy tracks gave the cars a bit of a exercise and a short term new white paint job!

From Etosha we produced a nightstop at a neighborhood farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are deemed a pest and farmers have the correct to shoot them. An rising number of neighborhood farms have proven reserves for cheetahs. As nicely as guarding it provides a unique chance to get extremely shut and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at one particular started by a mate of ours Mario who has three domesticated cheetahs and above forty wild kinds residing in selected regions on the farm. The wild cheetahs come from encompassing farms, the farmers phone the fellas at the Cheetah Farm to inform them a cheetah is using livestock, the boys then lure the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We have been greeted on arrival by a younger giraffe, located deserted a few months just before and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has decided to hold close to for a even though!

Namibia is usually the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Nonetheless an unusually wetter than regular wet year reworked Namibia from dry desert to lush inexperienced fields with bare mountains generating a dramatic backdrop. We experienced to change our planned route marginally as we experienced read from locals a number of streets had been minimize off due to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

Soon after more than 3 months of driving on almost everything from ideal tar streets, dust tracks, sand dunes and narrow mountain passes we ended up all up for a little bit of mud, river crossings and perhaps a bit of digging. Most of the roads in Namibia are broad grime roadways with a handful of made out of salt. The outstanding rains experienced created chaos all over the country, highway closures, flash flooding and extended deep muddy stretches.

Despite the sporadic rains we continued on track and spent time on the Skeleton Coast, a desolate stretch of nothing at all but sand, wind and treacherous seas, residence to the biggest Cape Fur seal colony in the Entire world. A few days checking out the German colonial town, Swakopmund, comforting and catching up on domestic responsibilities. Then produced the journey to Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park to check out the desert, dune 45 and Sousselvei oasis and enjoyed some critical 4x4ing in the process by the time we created it to Luderitz and the aged “gold rush” ghost town of Kolmanskop the heavens had cleared and with the times sizzling and solar beating down on us it was the 1st time we really felt like we had been in Namibia.

The highway 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 Mom Character rocks carved in excess of thousands and thousands of many years to make a Canyon in excess of 170kms extended and up to 27kms extensive in specific points. The total scale of its expanse can only truly be appreciated by the air, though our vantage point at the leading of the Canyon surely confirmed her in her real glamour. On one particular of our earlier expeditions one team member (who normally drives on the other aspect of the highway) as soon as said “Gosh need to have taken ages to build that” Everyone headed off in distinct directions together the rim looking for the very best spots for the ideal photo.

Our ultimate region and vacation spot – South Africa. The border crossing was really straightforward though we did shed our fruit at a fruit fly inspection level. The moment we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was back 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 indicators in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok instead of kangaroos one would genuinely feel they had been in South Australia. We made excellent time on the excellent roadways (wide, straight and no pot holes!) we decided to push on a bit and commit our ultimate evening prior to Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Capital of Wine Lands.

We established off down the N1 freeway toward Cape Town our closing destination. The air was loaded with a mixture of pleasure of generating the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and sadness in the knowledge we ended up about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky nicely represented our emotions. We arrived in Cape City at our lodge tired but with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment – we did it!

We shared a ultimate night food, chatted about the very good instances, remembering the quirky events together the way and the characters we fulfilled.

Our final working day was put in back again in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and making the most of lunch at a neighborhood vineyard, the evening 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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