Luke and I now find ourselves on a new adventure, although the cash has not quit run out we’ve started new jobs for a travel company called Oasis Overland. At the moment we have just finished a training trip with them through East and Southern Africa and are waiting to start our own trip in January. We feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity and are excited to start showing people around this amazing continent.
We started our trip with a few days in Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. From our previous travels in Africa this was one of our favourite places and it didn’t disappoint. The perfect white sand and clear blue water make for perfect beaches, and Stone Town is an amazing labyrinth of narrow winding streets worth getting lost in. Luke and I also love the night food market here (although some of the people we traveled with did not share our love the next day!).
Heading south we made our way to lake Malawi, a very chilled out and beautiful place. Camping on the beach and watching the sun set from the warm lake was not a bad way to spend a few days.
We spent the next few weeks in Zimbabwe where I was amazed at how friendly and generous the people here are despite all they have gone through. While it is not advisable to openly discuss politics in this country I’ve had a few very insightful conversations with different guides along the way. As always, hearing multiple sides to a story help me to reshape my own opinions. But mainly I have been impressed with how a people who have been through so much remain so resilient and positive, looking forward to a brighter future.
We’ve been lucky enough in Zimbabwe to have close up encounters with lions and rhinos, as well as see an ancient ruined city. We also took a very memorable overnight train journey from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. You might be imagining a romantic Out of Africa kind of train, this was not that. Quite dirty is a kind description, but it was an experience to be had!
Our next stop on the itinerary was Botswana, home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. We did a boat trip on the Chobe River and saw proof of this, as well as loads of hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, and so many beautiful birds.
One thing that we missed on our last trip in Africa was the chance to go into the Okavango Delta, a massive waterway feeding into northern Botswana. We went out in traditional makoros, small 2 person canoes, with a guide in each one poling through the shallow water. It is a very peaceful way to travel, gliding through the reeds, stopping occasionally to look at tiny frogs or huge elephants. We camped overnight on an island and enjoyed the brilliant African stars.
The next country we visited was Namibia. Namibia is a special place, with old red deserts, lots of wildlife, and some of the last remote tribal people in the world.
We stayed a night at a place called Cheetah Park, where a local farmer started rescuing wild cheetahs about 15 years ago. In Namibia cheetahs are a pest and are usually killed when trapped by farmers. There were 3 of these beautiful cats that had been rescued as kittens and lived as pets at the farmhouse that we were able to get close to and pet.
Most of the Himba people live in the northern parts of Namibia but we were able to visit a community with a local guide. The people were still living very traditionally, besides the odd mobile phone and store bought hair extensions.
A highlight in Namibia was spending 2 days in Etosha National Park. During the day we drove through the park looking for animals, and at night the campgrounds were next to busy water holes.
Namibia is a land of spectacular scenery, I would be hard pressed to pick my favourite country in Africa, but Namibia would be close to the top. We saw amazing sunsets from Dune 45 and Spitzkoppe, saw the sun rise over Soussusvlei, and spent an afternoon wandering along the edge of Fish River Canyon. If you need more excuses to come and see us out here I’ve got lots!
Hope you enjoy the photos, I’m not sure how regularly we will keep up with the blog now, but we’ll try and update you all when we can.