2012 Africa

Zimbabwe Revisited Part 3

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Next stop was Victoria Falls, again! We stayed at Shoestrings Backpackers, again! We took a look at the Victoria Falls, again! We even walked across the bridge into Zambia and had a meal on the Zambian side. If you just want to walk onto the bridge you can get a ”bridge pass” at the border control, but if you want to enter Zambia make sure you have a double entry VISA to Zimbabwe, else you will have to buy a new VISA when you re-enter Zimbabwe again. A VISA to Zambia costs $25, a VISA to Zimbabwe costs $35 if I remember correctly.

The falls looked as amazing as I remembered them. And wet. Very wet. Since we spent some time here I managed to convince most of the gang to join me on another white water rafting tour. And of course I wanted the same guide as I had 2 months ago. Titanic! So we walked into Shearwater Adventures office and booked a rafting trip. And we were lucky! The rafting had been closed for almost 2 months due to the high water levels. The Monday we had booked on was the first day they would do it!

Said and done, the very next day we left. The road was as bumpy and the truck was as noisy and uncomfortable as the last time. We arrived at the same place as I had done 2 months earlier, we got our ”spoons” and the soup was just down in the gorge. We climbed down and after the usual safety instructions we we’re on the way. And it turned out to be a really good adventure. The Zambezi river was really aggressive and we had to paddle like crazy!

IMG_7109Then it happened! A huge wave flipped the boat! Everyone ended up in the water. We spent 1/3 of the rafting distance picking up members and their paddles. When we arrived at the sand bank where we had stopped and rested the last time we were exhausted. For me, it was loads of fun, but some of the others were not as enthusiastic as I were.

After some less dramatic rafting we arrived at pick up point of the rafting and we got to climb all the way up from the gorge again. And on the top we were greeted by food and ice cold drinks. Back at the lodge I met some nice people who I chatted with for a long time. I also met a South African tour leader who taught me the rules in rugby and also made me like the game!

From Victoria Falls it was just a short drive to Botswana, but before crossing the border we entered a small national park around Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge. We weren’t to excited about the park so we left or the border station instead.

Gallery updated with pictures from Zimbabwe!

2012 Africa

Zambia Part 2

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IMG_3542What to do in Lusaka except for the more obvious things? Well, we found the New City Market and Kamwala Market where they sold even more stuff than in the market in Lilongwe. Here I bought a fake Nokia for cheap. Always good to have a less expensive phone when out traveling. We also found the local brew Shake Shake which tasted worse than anything I’ve tried before.

We also learned that there was some decent night clubs around so we decided to visit them. The first one we arrived to was a Polo Club and felt a bit too posh for us so the taxi driver took us to a theater where they had a pub also. In the pub we met some nice people who told us to go to Kalahari which is a famous club for African music. On the way there we kind of wondered where they were taking us since we seemed to pass through some really rough neighborhoods but when we arrived we got a very pleasant surprise. The music there was indeed really good.

Here we also met two local girls who took us to another night club and then after that the night ended. The next day we went to Cairo Road to have some shwarmas which is the closest we could get to good food the day after heavy drinking. When we left Lusaka behind us we passed through another village where we played some football with the villagers before sleepy time.

Our goal was the town of Livingstone on the Zambian side of the Zambezi river and the mighty Victoria Falls. On our way to Livingstone we passed through a town called Choma where we visited a museum where I think I learned to drink coffee. There was also a market situated right at the rail yard. Seemed a bit risky but okay.

We stayed in Livingstone for 2 days, enough to visit the museum about Dr. Livingstone and the area. The day we left for Zimbabwe we also passed through a national park called  Mosi-O-Tunya Zoological Park. In this park we had a quick walking safari to see some rhinos. It felt a bit scary to stand so close to the rhinos who can be quite aggressive if threatened but the park keepers told us we were safe behind some bushes and a fallen log. I guess we had to rely on their expertise in the matter. The only thing I know is that poachers are hunting the rhinos for their horns.

Later that day we came upon the Victoria Falls and entered the Zambian side of the falls and became extremely wet since the falls produce this massive water vapor that rains down all over the area. However, looking at the falls was really nice, they are truly majestic with their 1.7 km which makes them the largest falls, not the widest and not the highest but the most ”massive” falls.

The only thing remaining now was crossing the bridge over the Zambezi river, the natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and so we did! A very narrow bridge and only one file to go alongside the railway tracks so in every end of the bridge there is a guy who opens the bar over the road to let the traffic through in sequenses.

The gallery is now updated with pictures from Zambia!

2012 Africa

Zambia Part 1

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Zambia, Zambia, Zambia… The first night we spent in Zambia I managed to get this really cool shot of the night sky, I have no idea how I managed to do that since no one else was using their cameras the moment and there was no extra lightning. Anyhow, driving through Zambia was nice, the roads were better than Malawi, not much traffic (compared to none in Malawi).

We tried to enter a national park of which I don’t remember the name anymore but we had to return because the park was really closed the staff told us. So we tried to take another route to the park through the mountains and the dense forest but instead we ended up in some remote village. In this village a very drunk headmaster showed us around thinking we we’re a help organization of some sort.

After we had explained that this was not the case he welcomed us to stay over the night anyway. He appointed 3 of the villagers to be responsible for our security. These there security guards ironically asked the headmaster to leave the area because he was to drunk. He left and came back. And then left and came back again. This time they clomped him and dragged him away. Except for the incident with the headmaster we had a really nice time with the villagers chatting away and photographing them. Being able to see them self in the camera like this seemed to be very interesting for them so we promised to send some pictures when we got ahold of a good printer.

IMG_3362In the middle of the night a bush taxi arrived and played the number one hit song in Zambia at the moment, all night long at the loudest volume! The artist One J had made a song called “Vuvuzela” that he released at the premiere of the African Cup. The reason to why this song became so big is probably because Zambia won the cup! Congratulations to Chipolopolo for the victory!

After having a night of ruined sleep we decided to leave early. We packed our stuff and off we went. Somewhere along the extremely bumpy road one of the cars broke down and we had to stop in the middle of the road and repair it. Luckily for us there was no traffic whatsoever passing through. I still wonder how that bush taxi managed to get up to that village.

When the car was repaired we continued towards Lusaka which is the capital of Zambia. After some driving around we found a back packer lodge that would host us for a couple of days.

2012 Africa

Malawi Part 2

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IMG_3071Now the fun begun, we we’re heading towards a place called The Mushroom Farm where we were supposed to stay for a couple of days. The road went uphill in a really narrow and snaky manor. After some hours of careful driving we reached our goal and was greeted by Michael, a Swedish guy who was managing the place for the moment.

One of the days we spent here we decided to walk to the village of Livingstonia just a couple of kilometers away from The Mushroom Farm. Michael had told us about a the Manchewe falls situated on the way to the village and we thought we should check it out. We found the entrance and some kids guided us to the waterfalls. There was a secret path you could walk to get in behind the waterfalls and into a cave that the locals had used in the past as a hiding place when slavers raided their village. Quite a cool place if you ask me!

On the way back from the waterfalls it started to rain and most of our group decided to go back to The Mushroom Farm, only a few of us continued to Livingstonia. The road there was extremely slippery and we slipped quite a few times but finally we got there. We found a store and bought some vegetables and then we found a bakery as well. The owner showed us around before we bought some of his bread, then we slipped and slide our way back to The Mushroom Farm on a road that was nothing more than puddle. Well back at The Mushroom Farm we took a well needed shower and then we had dinner.

The next day we left The Mushroom Farm and went to Nkhata Bay which is kind of the only touristic place in Malawi. Nkhata Bay is situated at the shores of Lake Malawi and holds a few lodges/resorts and some restaurants, shops and two or three diving centers. We decided to stay here for a couple of days which was perfect. Now I had a chance to dive in Lake Malawi. It felt somewhat strange swimming around with all these aquarium fishes in a moon like underwater landscape but it was a nice dive. My first sweet water dive as well.

IMG_3224The final stop before Zambia was Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. We found a good campsite in the outskirts of Lilongwe but still within walking distance from the more central parts. Here in Lilongwe we stayed for a couple of nights to restock our supplies and just relax a bit. We went to the local market where they were selling almost everything and anything but the stuff that interested us the most was the fresh vegetables and fruits. Walking around in this market felt really good and it was fun to just buy something small and chat with the locals for a while.

Also, the gallery is updated with pictures from Malawi!

2012 Africa

2012 Africa Introduction

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In the winter of 2012 I went on a expedition trip through 10 African countries during 4 months. I left Sweden on the 12th of February and arrived back home again on the 16th of June. I went with a company called 4x4expedition.se whose concept is going by car by a loosly planned route where the participants can make decisions on where to go and how long to stay. The cars are equiped with tents on the roof so that we can camp, there’s also small gas stoves and other equipment needed for camping. So the concept is also not so much hotels and resturants (which makes traveling pretty cheap since we buy most food from local stores/markets).

The trip was divided into 3 legs.

The first leg started 20th of February in Dar Es-Salaam, Tanzania and went through Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and ended in Cape Town, South Africa on the 14th of April.

The second leg started in Cape Town on the 20th of April and went through South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and ended in Harare, Zimbabwe on the 19th of May.

The third leg started on the 20th of May and went from Harare to Victoria Falls and then to Botswana through the Kalahari back to South Africa and ended on the 10th of June in Cape Town.

I stayed a couple of extra days in Cape Town before flying home. Also, the dates mentioned here might differ a bit, I don’t remember entierly but they should be somewhat accurate. I should have done this when I got home 5 months ago, not now. Oh well. Enjoy anyway!

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