Malawi is most famous for its Lake, explained more like a sea Lake Malawi addresses in excess of 1/3rd of the region. The clear thoroughly clean water is relatively inviting as is the delicious fish!
We spent a couple of times on the shores of Lake Malawi, globe renowned for the rare and unique clean drinking water fish (some of which prehistoric) living in the Lake. We stayed at a little eco-lodge created on a cliff with its possess personal sandy seashore the sights spectacular, rooms really comfy and hospitality unbeatable. We arrived at about the identical time the rain clouds did making a mad panic to get our cooking shelter up the rain beat us in the race and some of us have been instead soaked – at least the air was warm and to be honest the free shower was welcomed. Fortunately our charcoal BBQ fire survived lengthy sufficient for me to BBQ our pork chops for evening meal the rain did not allow up and numerous hrs afterwards was nonetheless bucketing down. The first genuine rain we have seasoned in three months of traveling …….
Up large in the highlands of Malawi is a small settlement known as Livingstonia. The identify alone signifies a tribute to the excellent explorer himself David Livingstone. David Livingstone expended very tiny time in Malawi by itself although he did make many excursions throughout the land preaching anti-slavery and messages from the Bible. Some made the decision to journey up the steep gravel highway in the wet even though other folks determined selecting a catamaran was a far better idea.
Crossing into Zambia was a very effortless method indicating we were closer to southern Africa and more western systems in area. South Luangwa National Park is Zambia’s number two vacationer attraction second only to the mighty Victoria Falls nevertheless the highway to accessibility the park is the worst road we traveled on through Southern Africa. Huge holes, hefty corrugations, narrow boggy strips, sharp rocks and deep ravines lower through weighty tropical rain for approximately 40kms. We had been informed the highway was impassable but you never ever know except if you consider the plan was easy – see how we go ……….
We reached the change-off to South Luangwa and the road slowly and gradually deteriorated, despite the fact that it experienced been visibly really damp and boggy in elements the highway had dried ample to get through with no also several hiccups. We were 5kms from South Luangwa when the enjoyable truly commenced 800m of deep lavatory holes and no way around. We weaved our way about the brim of the holes until finally we had no selection but to go through – water seeping in excess of the bonnet with the still left hand facet falling into deeper holes we gradually produced our way by means of with out incident – good 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 night (with one wandering through the campsite in the middle of the day), and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys played on the tents. We attempted our very first true game meat – hippo steaks -soon after a little bit of a pounding and flash frying. Incredibly, they have been pretty delicious a little bit like veal …….
Right after a little bit of experience 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 amazing locate and in his journal wrote “on sights as stunning as this, angels in their flight must have gazed” a excellent way to describe 1 of the 7 natural miracles of the Entire world. Her sheer power throws spray substantial into the air seen for miles. Victoria Falls is around the town of Livingstone, it is unusual to go to a town in Africa which retains on to and is happy of its colonial heritage. Only a handful of kilometers from Zimbabwe, Livingstone has turn out to be the hub for offering curios (souvenirs) from Zimbabwe. Neighborhood Zimbabweans cross the border to make hard currency, acquire fundamental foods goods and apparel before crossing the border every day. The best souvenirs on sale had been Zimbabwean dollars and in particular the newest note, ten Trillion dollars. To set this into perspective you need 2 ten Trillion greenback notes to buy a loaf of bread (at the time we bought these notes – no notion what it is worth 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 greatest factor travelers can do is to acquire goods from the regional sellers, no issue how small the item or how low cost every single cent will help.
Just just before leaving Livingstone we read through an post in a journey magazine about the Kazangula ferry – the ferry that will take us throughout the Zambezi River from Zambia into Botswana – the article talked about how chaotic and tough the crossing was. With every person geared up for lengthy delays and queues (stringent recommendations to hold the vehicles bumper to bumper) we arrived at the border/ferry port. Considerably 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 identical time as a huge thunder storm our tents ended up up just ahead of the heavens opened. The hefty down pour lasted about 40 minutes just before the clouds cleared and the solar shone after yet again. The afternoon was expended on a sport viewing boat cruising up the Chobe River. Much to our delight there had been hundreds of elephants actively playing in the shallows with massive hippo pods shut by, as crocodiles happily sunned by themselves on the shores.
The pursuing early morning we headed out on a recreation generate even though Chobe Countrywide Park with the exception of a younger bull elephant only a number of ft away from the automobile the sport was rather mellow. Botswana was encountering an excellent moist period consequently the grass was substantial generating game viewing not excellent. Nevertheless the landscapes and birdlife manufactured the early morning rather pleasant.
After the early morning at Chobe we continued into the Northern part of Namibia or better acknowledged as the Caprivi Strip. This portion of Namibia has been the scene of several conflicts in excess of the many years and up until finally only eight many years back was deemed unsafe to vacation by way of. With the battling more than and an superb infrastructure making vacation really easy we decided 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 started out. The English Colonial turned to the German Colonial and rather politely told 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 best area to nip back again into Botswana to discover the Northern component of the Okavango Delta. The Delta is alive with over three hundred fowl species and quite a few mammals and of system reptiles. Large crocs roam the drinking water ways, hippos wallow in the warm h2o although King Fishers swoop from large above to feast on the capture of the day. A calming pair of days on the Kubu Queen houseboat with Greg the Fisherman were an ideal way to investigate the location.
As we drove by way of the northern portion of Namibia we were treated to a outstanding sight. A dozen or so African Wild Pet was sitting down on the major highway! Wild Canine is rare to see at the ideal of instances, to see a pack so near is not a common prevalence. It was not right up until later on that we uncovered one was wounded and the rest of the pack was waiting around for her to choose herself up and go to security.
We continued our journey towards Etosha halting enroute to see the World’s greatest Meteorite. Etosha, even though relatively damp, didn’t disappoint. Alive with wildlife in the northern part coupled with a lot of muddy tracks gave the autos a bit of a training and a short term new white paint job!
From Etosha we produced a nightstop at a local farm and cheetah reserve. In Namibia cheetahs are considered 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 unique chance to get very near and pat “domesticated” cheetahs. We stopped at 1 started out by a mate of ours Mario who has 3 domesticated cheetahs and over 40 wild ones living in designated places on the farm. The wild cheetahs arrive from surrounding farms, the farmers contact the guys at the Cheetah Farm to inform them a cheetah is using livestock, the boys then trap the cheetah and relocate to the farm. We were greeted upon arrival by a younger giraffe, found deserted a few weeks ahead of and rescued by the Cheetah Farm she has made the decision to dangle around for a while!
Namibia is usually the land of desert and rocky outcrops. Nevertheless an unusually wetter than regular wet season transformed Namibia from dry desert to lush eco-friendly fields with bare mountains making a spectacular backdrop. We experienced to change our planned route marginally as we experienced heard from locals many roads experienced been minimize off due to rivers flooding deeming them impassable.
After above three months of driving on everything from perfect tar roadways, grime tracks, sand dunes and slender mountain passes we were all up for a bit of mud, river crossings and potentially a bit of digging. Most of the streets in Namibia are broad grime streets with a number of manufactured out of salt. The exceptional rains experienced produced chaos all above the place, road closures, flash flooding and long deep muddy stretches.
Regardless of the sporadic rains we ongoing on track and put in time on the Skeleton Coast, a desolate extend of nothing at all but sand, wind and treacherous seas, house to the largest Cape Fur seal colony in the Entire world. A couple of times exploring the German colonial town, Swakopmund, comforting and catching up on domestic obligations. Then produced the journey to Namib-Naukluft Nationwide Park to discover the desert, dune forty five and Sousselvei oasis and loved some serious 4x4ing in the method by the time we produced it to Luderitz and the previous “gold hurry” ghost city of Kolmanskop the heavens experienced cleared and with the times sizzling and sunlight beating down on us it was the first time we actually felt like we were in Namibia.
The road to Fish River Canyon was long and dusty – our closing spot in Namibia. Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon to Africa – a masterpiece of artwork from Mother Mother nature rocks carved in excess of thousands and thousands of a long time to make a Canyon above 170kms extended and up to 27kms vast in particular points. The total scale of its expanse can only really be appreciated by the air, though our vantage stage at the best of the Canyon definitely showed her in her true glamour. On a single of our earlier expeditions 1 group member (who normally drives on the other facet of the road) when stated “Gosh need to have taken ages to construct that” Everyone headed off in various instructions together the rim seeking for the best places for the best image.
Our last country and location – South Africa. The border crossing was quite easy even though we did get rid of our fruit at a fruit fly inspection point. The minute 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 much as the eye can see. If it wasn’t for the highway indications in Afrikaans and warnings for springbok rather of kangaroos one would truly feel they have been in South Australia. We manufactured superb time on the fantastic roads (extensive, straight and no pot holes!) we made the decision to push on a little bit and invest our closing evening prior to Cape Town in Stellenbosch – the Capital of Wine Lands.
We established off down the N1 freeway toward Cape Town our ultimate location. Deluxe Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan was crammed with a combination of enjoyment of making the 18,000 kms from Aqaba, Jordan and disappointment in the knowledge we have been about to depart for our homelands. The clouds in the sky nicely represented our feelings. We arrived in Cape City at our resort tired but with a feeling of gratification and achievement – we did it!
We shared a final evening meal, chatted about the great times, remembering the quirky events along the way and the characters we achieved.
Our ultimate working day was spent back again in the Wine Lands, tasting wines and taking pleasure in lunch at a neighborhood vineyard, the evening was topped off at the Cape Town Botanical gardens with a glass of wine in-hand listening to a reside classical orchestra.