July 21, 2011
330 Days - Things get a little too wild!
Countries visited – Botswana, Zimbabwe & Mozambique
Miles travelled – 3118 miles
Sunny days – 27 days
Coldest night – 9’C near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe
Warmest day – 39’C we had two days of this temp, one in Maun and one near Nxai Pan
Cheapest fuel – £0.65, Botswana
Best food tasted – Camp dinners in Okavango Delta & the set meal at Elephant Sands, Botswana
Worst meal/food tasted – Mopane worms - Nick says they taste of "wood".... after all, thats what they eat!!
Best wild camp – In the bush near Moremi & Chobe National Parks, Botswana. Should really be the scariest one as it was certainly wild! Got invade by 50+ elephants and 3x lions roared under our canopy for 2 hours!!
Most useful things – The mega torch we bought for when we went camping in the bush.
Least useful things – The Swedish Pink Caravan that invaded our camping pitch…Grrrrr… & the advice that all the roads in Mozambique are terribly potholed from when you cross the border…this is rubbish, the roads in Moz were actually surprisingly good, things are moving on.
1) Hearing from other travellers that they refuse to visit Zimbabwe because of politics. This is heart breaking as we have travelled many countries that don’t have ‘ideal’ political situations but by refusing to visit a relatively stable country I feel that one is just boycotting the average person trying to make a living. Sometimes one has to see beyond a countries leader for the sake of travelling and experiencing something amazing.
2) Realising that we are on the homeward stretch and that our adventure will soon be coming to an end.
1) Visiting our friends Sim and Kate who run Elephants for Africa at their base camp for their Okavango research programmes. A real treat for us being able to visit the Delta and even more so being able to spend time with the researchers on some of their daily sample and information gathering. Thanks again EFA, we hope to visit again.
2) Close encounters with wildlife…. This came in the form of wild camping near Moremi & Chobe. We had our scariest night yet camping alone in the bush with curious elephants and roaring lions who got comfy under our awning till the sun came up.
3) Zimbabwe!! The most amazing people yet with some great wonders to visit. Victoria Falls (with a visit to the Vic Falls Hotel for high tea, totally scrummy), Hwange National Park where the staff couldn’t do enough for you & The Great Zimbabwe Ruins amazingly restored and they have enthusiastic & informative guides to show you around. Bearing in mind that tourism has been hard hit in Zim with little money to re-invest in fixing/updating things you will find that staff will always try and ensure that broken things are repaired and that things are as clean as they can be with their resources. Aside from this, if I were to visit Natiional Parks based on service and the welcome, I would choose Zimbabwe over Namibia & Botswana.
1) We had a near cow pat incident en route in Botswana. Driving with ones windows open opens the potentially high risk of been pat splattered…..luckily the fresh pat that was projected by a car passing us magically only hit our windscreen and the side of Dassie…how we didn’t get splashed is unbelievable!
2) One can buy old Zim dollars in the trillions as souvenirs. In the height of the unstable currency 1 trillion Zim dollars was worth US$32 for one day only.
3) When visiting a Zimbabwean National Park you pay an entrance fee, which is valid for 7 consecutive days as long as you stay in the park, quite good value when comparing to Namibia & Botswana’s Parks.
4) Steele & Amber, a couple from Australia who win the prize for being the lightest travellers we met. You have our admiration guys, well done!
5) We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn another two times.
Nick & Vicks
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11