Down and Filthy in Africa – Cairo to Cape Town

Malawi is most renowned for its Lake, explained much more like a sea Lake Malawi addresses more than one/3rd of the country. The very clear clear drinking water is instead inviting as is the tasty fish!

We put in a few days on the shores of Lake Malawi, world renowned for the rare and unique clean drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) dwelling in the Lake. We stayed at a small eco-lodge developed on a cliff with its very own private sandy beach the sights stunning, rooms very comfortable 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 beat us in the race and some of us were fairly soaked – at minimum the air was warm and to be honest the cost-free shower was welcomed. Thankfully our charcoal BBQ hearth survived long sufficient for me to BBQ our pork chops for evening meal the rain did not enable up and many hours afterwards was still bucketing down. The first true rain we have experienced in 3 months of touring …….

Up substantial in the highlands of Malawi is a small settlement known as Livingstonia. The identify itself implies a tribute to the fantastic explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone expended quite small time in Malawi itself although he did make numerous journeys across the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some made the decision to vacation up the steep gravel road in the damp although others made a decision choosing a catamaran was a greater concept.

Crossing into Zambia was a extremely straightforward method indicating we had been closer to southern Africa and a lot more western programs in area. South Luangwa National Park is Zambia’s quantity 2 tourist attraction 2nd only to the mighty Victoria Falls however the highway to entry the park is the worst street we traveled on via Southern Africa. Big holes, weighty corrugations, narrow boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines lower through hefty tropical rain for around 40kms. We experienced been advised the highway was impassable but you in no way know until you consider the program was basic – see how we go ……….

We arrived at the flip-off to South Luangwa and the street gradually deteriorated, despite the fact that it had been visibly quite damp and boggy in parts the road experienced dried sufficient to get via with out too many hiccups. We were 5kms from South Luangwa when the exciting really started out 800m of deep bathroom holes and no way all around. We weaved our way about the brim of the holes until we experienced no option but to go by way of – water seeping in excess of the bonnet with the remaining hand facet slipping into further holes we slowly made our way through with out incident – excellent aged Land Rovers!

South Luangwa was certainly really 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 day and night time (with one particular 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 first true sport meat – hippo steaks -soon after a little bit of a pounding and flash frying. Remarkably, they have been fairly delicious a bit like veal …….

Following a bit of experience 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 incredible discover and in his journal wrote “on sights as lovely as this, angels in their flight need to have gazed” a perfect way to explain a single of the seven natural wonders of the Planet. Her sheer power throws spray substantial into the air noticeable for miles. Victoria Falls is around the city of Livingstone, it is rare to visit a town in Africa which retains on to and is proud of its colonial background. Only a handful of kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has turn into the hub for marketing curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Nearby Zimbabweans cross the border to make hard currency, acquire fundamental food merchandise and apparel ahead of crossing the border daily. The hottest souvenirs on sale had been Zimbabwean pounds and in specific the most recent notice, 10 Trillion bucks. To place this into standpoint you need 2 10 Trillion dollar notes to buy a loaf of bread (at the time we purchased these notes – no notion what it is value now). It is tragic to see how the jewel of Africa in excess of ten a long time has disintegrated into a land of nothing at all. The very best factor tourists can do is to buy merchandise from the neighborhood sellers, no issue how little the product or how low-cost every cent will help.

Just just before leaving Livingstone we study an report in a journey 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 tough the crossing was. With every person ready for lengthy delays and queues (rigid recommendations to maintain the autos bumper to bumper) we arrived at the border/ferry port. Much to our disappointment the crossing was far from chaotic and the queues non existent we simply cruised across into Botswana.

Arriving into Kasane at the exact same time as a huge thunder storm our tents ended up up just ahead of the heavens opened. The heavy down pour lasted about 40 minutes just before the clouds cleared and the solar shone once once again. The afternoon was spent on a recreation viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Considerably to our delight there were hundreds of elephants taking part in in the shallows with enormous hippo pods shut by, as crocodiles happily sunned themselves on the shores.

The adhering to morning we headed out on a sport generate however Chobe Nationwide Park with the exception of a young bull elephant only a few ft away from the vehicle the sport was fairly mellow. Botswana was experiencing an extraordinary moist time hence the grass was higher making match viewing not best. Even so the surroundings and birdlife created the early morning fairly enjoyable.

Right after the early morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern part of Namibia or better acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. one night Fellucca sail from Aswan to Luxor of Namibia has been the scene of many conflicts over the a long time and up right up until only 8 years in the past was considered unsafe to journey through. With the preventing more than and an outstanding infrastructure generating travel quite simple we decided to just take this route. The Caprivi Strip is also exactly 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 started. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and instead politely informed him that he may possibly end his tea and scones but “to permit you know you are now my prisoner”.

The Caprivi strip is a ideal location to nip back again into Botswana to check out the Northern element of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with more than three hundred hen species and many mammals and of system reptiles. Large crocs roam the water ways, hippos wallow in the heat water whilst King Fishers swoop from high over to feast on the capture of the working day. A comforting few of times on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman ended up an best way to check out the area.

As we drove through the northern element of Namibia we have been taken care of to a impressive sight. A dozen or so African Wild Pet was sitting on the major freeway! Wild Dog is rare to see at the very best of occasions, to see a pack so near is not a widespread incidence. It was not until finally afterwards that we discovered a single was hurt and the rest of the pack was ready for her to decide herself up and shift to basic safety.

We ongoing our journey towards Etosha stopping enroute to see the World’s most significant Meteorite. Etosha, although fairly damp, didn’t disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern element coupled with a great deal of muddy tracks gave the vehicles a little bit of a workout and a momentary new white paint occupation!

From Etosha we produced a nightstop at a local farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are considered a pest and farmers have the correct to shoot them. An rising quantity of regional farms have established reserves for cheetahs. As properly as safeguarding it provides a distinctive chance to get really near and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at 1 began by a mate of ours Mario who has three domesticated cheetahs and over forty wild kinds living in designated areas on the farm. The wild cheetahs occur from encompassing farms, the farmers get in touch with the fellas at the Cheetah Farm to explain to them a cheetah is having livestock, the boys then entice the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We had been greeted on arrival by a young giraffe, identified deserted a few weeks before and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has decided to dangle about for a even though!

Namibia is historically the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Nevertheless an unusually wetter than regular moist period remodeled Namibia from dry desert to lush green fields with bare mountains producing a dramatic backdrop. We experienced to change our prepared route marginally as we experienced read from locals many roads had been reduce off due to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.

After over 3 months of driving on everything from best tar roads, dirt tracks, sand dunes and slender mountain passes we were all up for a bit of mud, river crossings and possibly a little bit of digging. Most of the roads in Namibia are broad grime roads with a couple of created out of salt. The exceptional rains experienced designed chaos all in excess of the place, road closures, flash flooding and long deep muddy stretches.

Even with the sporadic rains we continued on keep track of and invested time on the Skeleton Coast, a desolate stretch of practically nothing but sand, wind and treacherous seas, residence to the premier Cape Fur seal colony in the Planet. A few times exploring the German colonial town, Swakopmund, relaxing and catching up on domestic responsibilities. Then produced the journey to Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park to investigate the desert, dune forty five and Sousselvei oasis and loved some significant 4x4ing in the approach by the time we created it to Luderitz and the aged “gold hurry” ghost town of Kolmanskop the heavens had cleared and with the times scorching and sun beating down on us it was the very first time we truly felt like we had been in Namibia.

The street 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 art from Mom Mother nature rocks carved more than hundreds of thousands of years to produce a Canyon in excess of 170kms long and up to 27kms wide in certain factors. The complete scale of its expanse can only actually be appreciated by the air, despite the fact that our vantage stage at the top of the Canyon undoubtedly confirmed her in her correct glamour. On one particular of our earlier expeditions 1 team member (who usually drives on the other side of the highway) once stated “Gosh must have taken ages to construct that” Everyone headed off in diverse instructions along the rim seeking for the very best spots for the perfect picture.

Our closing region and spot – South Africa. The border crossing was really straightforward though we did shed our fruit at a fruit fly inspection point. The moment we crossed into South Africa I felt like I was back in Australia. The first 400kms strongly resembles the Flinders Rangers – rocky outcrops, rolling hills and salt bush as much as the eye can see. If it was not for the street symptoms in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok alternatively of kangaroos one particular would really think they had been in South Australia. We made exceptional time on the exceptional roads (wide, straight and no pot holes!) we made the decision to push on a little bit and invest our closing night time before Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Capital of Wine Lands.

We established off down the N1 freeway toward Cape City our last spot. The air was loaded with a combination of excitement of producing the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and disappointment in the knowledge we had been about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky properly represented our inner thoughts. We arrived in Cape Town at our lodge fatigued but with a feeling of fulfillment and achievement – we did it!

We shared a final evening food, chatted about the good times, remembering the quirky occasions alongside the way and the characters we satisfied.

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