Showing posts from 2012

Last days in Africa :-(

15 August Today was our last day in Kruger and final stop in the tour: we were heading back to Jo’burg after a jam-packed full two weeks.  It was a bittersweet journey as we were extremely happy to be going back to a lovely hotel with all the creature comforts we’d missed, but sad to say goodbye to all the friends we’d made on the tour.  I can’t say I wasn’t ecstatic about having a delightful double bed to sleep in that night, rather than a cold uncomfortable tent that we had to erect ourselves!  Upon arriving, the first thing I did was flop down on the bed and barely moved from there for the next 14 hours!  We’d had a great tour around southern Africa but I was exhausted from all the early mornings and lack of sleep.
16 August Our final full day in Africa, sadly.  We spent it on a guided tour of Soweto, the south-western townships of Jo’burg.  We visited an informal township that was mostly hand-constructed with metal and wood, occupied by many immigrants from war-torn African countri…

Back to my beloved South Africa

11 August We awoke rather early again to make our way to Palapye, a small stop-over town in the southern part of Botswana.  It was a super long trip and we were glad to get there and stretch our legs.  Once again we put up our tents and I went to bed almost directly after dinner as we were up at the ungodly hour of 3:45 am the next day for more travelling!
Our home during the long travels
Entertaining the kids during the journey
12 August When travelling with a truckload of families, you grow to learn very early on that children apparently need approximately 45 mins longer to get ready in the morning than adults.  This is somewhat annoying when you have to be up early anyway, but get rudely awaken well before your alarm goes off with complaining kids about how cold and dark it is and how they don’t want to get out of their sleeping bags.  I slept terribly during the night, so was rather grumpy in the morning and sat at the back of the truck away from people so that I could nap during the…

The Okavango Delta

8 August By the morning, I was extremely weak, achey, sick and not able to leave a toilet for more than an hour.  Fortunately, being that our truck trip is advertised as “families welcome”, lots of mums on the trip came well prepared with a small pharmacy of drugs to ease my pain.  I boarded the truck to the swamps with trepidation as to whether it would be a good idea to travel nearly 5 hours into the wilderness with no communication to the outside world. After a 1.5 hour very bumpy truck ride, we arrived at the river’s edge.  As soon as I got out of the truck, I laid down by the water and waited for everyone else to get the mokoros (dug-out canoes that are pushed along the shallow waters by a man with a long pole) ready for our 3-hour  journey into the Delta.  Finally we were all set to go, and I wobbled into my canoe and slumped down covering my head with my hat and tried to get some sleep.  I felt so annoyed at myself that I had come all this way to Botswana to see one of the most…

From Vic Falls, Zim to Chobe, Botswana and on to the Okavango Delta

6 August We left camp at a rather lazy 7:30 am to get on the truck to our first destination: Chobe National Park in northern Botswana.  Once crossing another border country, we went on a safari around the park for a few hours, which took us into the bush and then down to the Chobe river, the latter of which was bursting with life.  So many elephants everywhere!  Apparently Chobe National Park has something like 22,000 elephants – that’s a lot!  Also saw herds and herds of impala, buffalo, kudu, waterbuck and many other antelope species, but what impressed me the most was seeing first of all a beautiful black male lone sable antelope and then stumbling into a whole breeding herd of them!  No one else seemed to know what they were or how fantastic this sighting is being that they are super rare animals – all they wanted to see is more and more giraffe…  Shame.  I also saw my first red lechwes, which on first glance look exactly like impala, but they’re actually a lot bigger and, like wa…

The road to Victoria Falls

The following blog is a recount of my time travelling from Namibia to Zimbabwe via Zambia to start my two-week overland truck tour.
3 August After months and months of excitement about my overland truck holiday coming up, it was finally time!  Everything was packed and I said goodbye to all my CCF buddies with a little sadness but a lot of rush (the lady who was meant to be taking us in decided at the last minute to shunt our ride nearly 2 hours earlier!).  We arrived into Otji and hung out in Wimpy for a few hours before getting onto our chariot for the north: Intercape (not quite a chariot, more of a very normal-looking bus).  Very surprisingly, given its reputation, the bus actually arrived EARLY!  We found our seats and settled down.  All seemed to be going well until about midnight when there was a loud bang on the bus, which sounded like something hit the floor of the bus, and then it got quite cold.  It turned out that a rock had hit the window near the front of the bus, causing…

Final days at CCF

My final days at CCF were both sad and happy; sad because I was saying goodbye to a lot of friends (some human, some furry, some a bit of both), sad because I was also saying goodbye to my whole life that I’d led for the last year in Africa, complete with everything that came with it; but happy to be going back to old friends and the stability of being back in the UK (and not having to worry about what animal might try to kill me and what my medical bill will be!).  Plus, I do admit that I was pretty excited to be going back to a country that serves both Dr Pepper and Starbucks in most towns!
On one of the last days at CCF I went out to collect some camera traps from the waterholes that were counted during the annual waterhole survey.  When driving along the airstrip, we came across a family of ostriches (complete with mum, dad, older daughter and 11 newborn chicks!).  It was very cute to see them and we tried to snap a few pics of them as they walked away from us down the airstrip. …

A farewell to Namibia


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