A Travellerspoint blog

Livingstone to Zanzibar

sunny 30 °C

OK, so I've now finished the second part of my trip, which ends in Zanzibar.

Currently, I'm writing this blog while sat next to a rather fine beach, in glorious sunshine !

Overall, I'd say this was a better leg than the first one, although we did have a few problems ...

The internet is very slow here, so it's going to be a very short update !

Day 1 - 07 July - Livingstone (Zambia)
--------------------------------------

Technically this is the first day of the trip, although there's nothing to do for those of us who are carrying

on from the previous leg.

The new joiners have a 'team' talk, and get shown the Truck/tents, etc.

Our newbies are as follows -

Britt and Martin (couple from Denmark)
Karen, Maria, Phil (from Ireland, Phil is Maria's son)
Connie (cool 58 year old from Canada)
Bolke + Margarite (from Holland, also v. cool)
Liz (who's English, and ace, but slightly eccentric!)

The guys carrying on from the first leg are -

Ross, Niall, Beth, Fiona, Tatiana, Stephanie, Craig, Helen, christine, Bettina, Fabian

In all there are 21 guys on the trip (as opposed to 22 on the first leg), so we have 1 spare seat ... woohoo !!

Wen't horseriding today with Tatiana and Christine, for about 4 hours. My horse was called 'Happy'. It wasn't.

Had a very nice lunch, in a shaded herb garden.

Moved to hotel for 2 days, to get a bit of luxury !

08 Jul
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Buffet breakfast in hotel = PIG OUT :)

Met a few of the new guys at the bar for lunch.

Did nothing much !

09 Jul
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Longish drive to Choma. Meet rest of the 'newbies'.

New tour leader, Jason, gives us a 1 hour chat about the trip.

Karen seems like she might be a bit of a flirt :)

10 Jul
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Another long drive to get to the Zambezi river camp site. We're going to do a 3 day canoe safari from here.

Play a few drinking games in the bar at night. Tatiana, Liz and Phil get really hammered !!

11 Jul
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Day 1 of canoe trip. Highlight is seeing elephants crossing the river about 10 meters in front of us :)

I'm sharing my canoe with Tatiana, who's a good person to spend a day chatting to...

We paddle for about 6 hours in total.

At night 3 of us get sick after dinner (Me, plus Britt and Fabian), all at the same time and same symptoms

(vomitting and the runs - nice !).

12 Jul
------

Still feeling pants in the morning, so after half day canoeing, Me plus Britt+Martin, and Betina+Fabian get

dropped of at a village, and taken back to the camp site (about a 4 hour journey in a Landrover).

Sleep in hotel room for the night. Good kip.

13 Jul
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Feel much better, and even have bacon and eggs for brekky !!

Fabian and Britt aren't so lucky - they are still ill.

The other guys arrive back at lunchtime.

Long drive to next camp, where I get eaten alive by mozzies !

14 Jul
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We drive to Chipata, and a camp site called Mamarula's.

People have a few beers this evening, and we end up having a 'Truck Rave' - awesome :)

15 Jul
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We go to South Luanga National Park to Flatdogs campsite.

There are elephants, hippos and monkeys IN the campsite, just wandering around !

Go for brilliant night safari drive, where we see a Leopard in action !

16 Jul
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Early morning safari (not as good as night one).

Go for restaurant lunch with Ross and Niall - including best chili sauce ever !

At night we have a cake and drinks to celebrate Fabians birthday. As a present, he's actually feeling well for

the first time in days !

17 Jul
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Most guys go to a local school project, but a few of us stay at camp and chill by the bar/pool.

Nice relaxing day.

18 Jul
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Horribly early start (5am) to drive back to Chipata for breakfast, and then to Malawi.

Lunch is in Lilongwe (Malawi) where we stay in a really nice camp site. Went for a few beers with Ross, Liz +

Mark in the bar which turns into a bit of a session !

19 Jul
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Drive to lake Malawi to stay at Kande Beach.

Lots of local guys on the beach try and sell you stuff they make (drums, bau games, chairs) which lots of the

group buy. I don't.

Got a room for next 3 nights :)

20 + 21 Jul
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2 days at Kande Beach.

Lots of lazing about.

Highlight is a meal in the local village, with dancing and singing thrown in.

22 Jul
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Stop at a local market on way to Chitimba (further up Lake Malawi), where we buy silly clothes for a bad taste

party. Get to do some serious haggling :)

I'm buying for Mark, and he gets a skirt, and a BAD shirt.

Craig buys for me and I get a dress that an 8 year old girl might wear ! There are photo's, which no-one will

see!!

Party at night, culminating in Strip Darts with Myself, Ross, Liz and Helen :) Survived with honour intact.

23 Jul
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Drive (long one today) to Iringa in Tanzania.

Get a great local meal on arrival of spicy meatballs, maize and beans. All washed down with a few beers :)

24 Jul
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Even longer drive today to Dar Es Salam, where we get lost for 6 hours !!

Dar is a bustling place - interesting place to get lost :)

Finally got to camp site at 11pm !

Stayed up till 2am having a beer with John, who meet's us again here. He's going to meet the newbies for the

next leg which has a 3 day crossover with this leg.

25 Jul
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Pack small back for 4 days on Zanzibar.

Get local ferry from campsite to city, and then a 2 hour ferry ride to Zanzibar itself.

We stay in Stonetown for the afternoon/night, which is really cool. Lots of alleyways full of intersting

shops/cafes.

At night we go to the street market for food. Ace.

26 Jul
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Tour of spice/fruit farm. See lots of spices growing (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, etc). Get great lunch

of spiced rice and fruit.

In afternoon, we drive to Nungwi, which is a resort in the North of Zanzibar.

27 Jul
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All day snorkeling trip on a dhow. Great time swimming in local reefs (not as good as Australia tho).

Meet a few of the new group for the next leg, who seem nice but younger than the current group.

It's Jasons birthday, so we go for a beach BBQ (mainly seafood) at night, and get seriously drunk on lots of

cocktails !!

That's it for now, more updates when I can :)

Richard x

Posted by richardn 00:17 Archived in Tanzania Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

End of 1st leg ...

sunny 30 °C

Hi Mum (and anyone else reading) ...

Currently in Livingstone, at the end of the first section of the trip. All going well, I havent been ill yet (have a cold tho), am taking my Malaria tablets every day, and am having a pretty good time.

It's the first time I've had the opportunity for a decent amout of time on the internet, so here are 3 weeks worth of happenings (condensed, you'll be pleased to hear!).

Generally I'd say the trip is going really well. The first week was a bit dull, with too much travelling time, and not enought to do. Since then, it's been much more fun.

The guys on the truck (crew and passengers) are a really good bunch.

We started with 3 crew and 22 passengers, but some have left at the end of this section. There are some new guys joining for the next section (which ends in 3 weeks in Zanzibar).

Here's a quick rundown of who's on the trip (in case I mention them later) -

Crew
----
John (the driver), Mark (co-driver), Dougie (cook, from Zimbabwe)

Passengers
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Dawn fab. girl from Canada. We really get on well. Unfortunately she's gone home now :(
Geoff really great guy. Travelling with Dawn. Everyone loves Geoff !
Niall one of only 4 of us doing the full 10 week trip. Very funny guy from Ireland.
Ross travelling with Niall. Really sound, gets on with everyone.
Susan from the US. Enthusiastic any wildlife ! Has left the trip now.
Stephanie from NZ. Doing the first 3 sections (to Nairobi). Very quiet
Emily really lovely girl from London. Also gone home now.
Helen also from the UK. She's going to Nairobi. Always prepared for any emergency
Christine from Canada. Doing all 10 weeks. Kinda outspoken, but usually makes sense !
Freddie from Norway. Very cool (but only 22).
Maja is Freddies girlfriend. They've both now left the trip.
Betina from Switzerland.
Fabian Betina's other half. They're going to Zanzibar.
Sean Top guy, also from the UK. Very sharp.
Sarah Sean's other (better?) half. They've both gone home, now.
Tatiana from Mexico. Very smart (starting a Phd at Yale soon!). We're seem to get on well.
Beth also Irish, going to Nairobi. Great girl, full of beans !
Fiona is travelling with Beth. She's more quiet, but quite witty.
Craig Ozzy guy. I'm sharing a tent with him at the mo. Going to Zanzibar
Suzanne really lovely Irish lass. She's left for home now.
David sound guy from England. He's left now to climb Kilimanjaro !

The truck we're on is called 'Christie'. It's a bit of a wreck if you ask me ! Also there isn't much room for 22 people, so we all have to get along :)

Most days on the trip involve some 'Truck time', which is better/worse depending who you sit with. I get along with everyone pretty well, but with some more than others (naturally, I guess).

Some of the seats face each other across tables, so we can play card games and Uno to keep ourselves amused on long trips.

Anyhow, here's what I've been upto/where I've been so far -

First week
------------
Nothing to exciting really. We went to the Cape of Good Hope, and then basically drove most of the time for about 4 days to get into Namibia. Even after a few days, it's pretty obvious who is going to get on best with who ! As far as I'm concerned, I get probably on best with Dawn, Tatiana, Emily, David, Geoff, Sean and Sarah. We play LOTS of Uno, which is a good ice breaker.

Camping seems OK (I'm getting into it - but it's not as good as a hotel!). It's been VERY cold some nights.

Washing plates/pots can also be a pain, especially for breakfast, because we use cold water (very cold sometimes), and have to then 'flap' the things dry. Oh for a dishwasher....

After the first week, there are quite a few more things to do on the trip, so I'll list them by place (in trip order) -

Swakopmund
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It's a pretty touristy place in Namibia. There are lots of activies to do, and we get to stay in a hostel. Shame it's rubbish :(

I do Quad biking in the desert, and Sand boarding.

Quad biking was brilliant. It lasted about 2 hours, and we finished at sunset. I'm sure it's very dangerous, but we did lots of cool jumps and sort of 'rollercoaster' moves up the side of the dunes.

San boarding involves climbing up sand dunes (hard work - really hard work) and then lying on a waxed piece of plyboard to slide back down (at about 80kph). Pretty cool, but the work involved outweighs the thrill factor somewhat !

We also had a good meal one night, followed by more than a couple of drinks ! I was among the last standing, along with the Irish 'mafia' (who all get along very well by now).

I also managed to buy some stuff to cope with the cold nights (a new sleeping bag, a beanie, and a nice warm fleece).

Spitzkopf
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Is a smallish (1000m high) mountain called the 'Matterhorn of Africa' (due to it's shape).

We went to see some bushmen cave paintings, which were OK, but nothing really fantastic.

The camp site here was really picturesque, and was set in a valley between 2 large rock formations.

Ironically, it was the warmest night so far, so all my new purchases are pointless.

Cheetah reserve
-----------------
We stayed on a Cheetah reserve the following night.

After we arrived, we went to see them being fed (bits of dead donkey, if you're interested). That was pretty cool.

The following morning, we saw a couple of tame Cheetahs, and were able to stroke them, get photos, etc. Everyone really enjoyed this, apart from poor old Dawn who had food poisoning.

Etosha Park
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We spent 2 nights in the National Park.

The first campsite is next to a watering hole, where we saw Elephants, Rhino, Zebra (loads of), Springbok, Oryx and Jackals.

We also did a few game drives. We did's see that much. The highlights were seeing some Jackals take down a Springbok (which then fought them off and escaped!), and seeing some lions lounging around.

We did also see some Hyenas with a kill, but the prey was dead b4 we got there.

The second camp site was also next to a waterhole, but there wasn't much to see.

Helen also ended up getting sick, but not as seriously as Dawn.

Bushmen camp
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The next thing we did was pretty cool.

We visited a group of 'San' tribesmen. They showed us some of the traditional hunting techniques, how they make bows and arrows, and even let us have a go with them.

These guys aren't allowed to hunt anymore, so the only way the keep their skills is to show tourists.

At night, they did some traditional dances. Unfortunately I was washing up at the time !

It was REALLY cold this night. In the morning there was ice in the water bowls we'd left out ...

Ngepi camp
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We didn't really do much here, except get drunk !

We had a few drinking games to speed up the process. One involved pretending to be a chicken. I'll never forget Susans 'dance of the chickens'. Ever.

Ended up having a bit of a 'mini party' on the truck. Got pretty friendly with a girl called Leigh, who was working behind the bar (very lovely and very tall, from S.Africa). I got her e-mail, so I must drop here a line some time ...

Okavango Delta
---------------
In Botswana. We stayed here for 2 nights. Was a really enjoyable place.

The camp was on a small island, so we were taken there in 'Makoro', which are little dug out canoes, that the locals pole you through the reeds in. It was very cool, and felt very African !

We went on a sunset Makoro trip, plus a half day game walk on a second island.

I also got beaten at chess (kind of - he was winning when we had to go for dinner) by a 13 year old ! On the other hand, I did much better than Helen, who got mated in 4 moves...

On the 2nd night, we had a traditional Botswanan meal, prepared by the locals. This was suprising nice and involved some 'pounded goat meat'. They also brought along drums and there was a bit of singing and dancing. At the end, we all kind of joined in for a bit of a mad finale !

Ngepi (again)
--------------
We had a 2nd night at Ngepi (back in Namibia), but with an early start the next day, it was much more of a tame night.

I did finally see a hippo close up, as I was going back to my tent with Leigh and her dog. The dog went ballistic and ran of into the dark. When we shone torches, there was a hippo not 10 years from my tent. I think Leigh thought the dog was going to get squished, so she had to take her home. All the barking got Craig up, so I did have a witness !

Chobe Park
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We next went to Chobe national park for a sunset boat cruise.

Saw LOADS of stuff here including Elephants (crossing the river by holding their trunks up), Crocs, Buffalo, Hippos.

The camp site was rubbish though. The showers had no lights and no hot water. They did have lots of insects though !!

Livingstone
-------------
Instead of going to Zimbabwe, we came to Livingstone in Zambia, to see Victoria Falls.

We're here for 4 days in total.

So far I've done some white water rafting (very cool, very scary!), and a half day of horse riding.

We've also had a lot of goodbyes to say. Some harder than others.

Most people who were leaving went on our 2nd morning here, but Dawn and Geoff went a day earlier. I was pretty gutted to see them go.

The rest of us (nearly all) went on a sunset booze cruise that evening, which made for a really good send-off for everyone else.

Hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch. Hurrah for Facebook !!

Anyhow, thats where I'm up to.

Tomorrow we set of on section 2 ... it's going to be Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. Next update will probably be in 3 weeks !!

Rich xx

Posted by richardn 05:11 Archived in Zambia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

The story so far ...

sunny 25 °C

Sorry for lack of updates folks, but internet access is pretty sparse here :)

So, here's what I've been upto in very (seriously) condensed format -

Bummed around Cape Town for a few days. Got some good views from Table Mountain, went to Robben Island, and finally met up with my travelling group.

There are 22 on the truck, plus 1 driver, a co-driver and a cook.

All seem like a pretty good laugh so far. Probably my best 'buddies' would be Tatiana (who's Mexican) and Dawn/Jeff who are both from some backwater country (Canada, I think ...).

There's a few English guys on the trip, plus a good crowd of the Irish, who always seem to be at the centre of the laughs on the truck :)

We spent most of the first few days driving up to Namibia (about 12 hours driving a day). There's been lots of card games, and even more sleeping.

We're now in a place called Swakopmund, which seems to be a German flavoured tourist spot. Just got back from Sand Boarding (lying on a board, and flying down big dunes) and Quad Biking in the desert (which was awesome).

Now off for din-dins with a few of the guys ...

Next update ... god knows !!!

Posted by richardn 11:52 Archived in Namibia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The sparrow has landed ...

sunny 13 °C

Hello all.

You'll be pleased to know that I've arrived safely, and am learning my way around Cape Town.

Internet access here is really slow, so no picture uploads, I'm afraid.

So far, I've been to Robben Island (Nelson Mandela was a prisoner there for 18 years) and been on a boat trip to see some seals.

The sea is pretty rough at the mo, so no shark diving trips are running :(

Off to Table Mountain in a minute, so must dash ...

Posted by richardn 01:12 Archived in South Africa Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Contact details

sunny 16 °C

If anyone wants to get hold of me while I'm away, you can do it via -

Phone
0161 660 8549 (leave a voice mail, and I get it as an e-mail attachment)

e-mail
richyboy@mailsnare.net

I'll also stick pictures and updates in this blog, which I'll (try to) link to my Facebook page ...

And for those who are interested, the details of the trip I'm on -

http://www.dragoman.com/destinations/tripdetails.php?cat=wks

Richard.

Posted by richardn 05.06.2008 13:58 Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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