Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hello!

Finally, some piece :)

Man, Africa was a crazy, at times difficult, but overall amazing trip!

We started out in Johannesburg, South Africa.
We landed and went straight to pick up our 4x4's from Bushlore.
The cars we Toyota jeeps, fully equipped with rooftop tents, cooking and survival/camping equipment. 


We drove north towards Botswana. The first three or four nights we slept on tents on top of ourcars and cooked food we bought in a store near Johannesburg.
We grilled a lot of steak. Steak in the wild feels very primal :)




The living conditions were... non existent, we used common ablution blocks in camp-sites for showering.

The first night we slept on top of a hill, and animals like monkey and warthogs came up to our camp after dark. The first shower I took was
quite an experience. They had a small bathroom/shower block there, the water was cool, the evening air was warm, there were sounds of insects and birds
singing, and the whole place was only lit by two oil lamps. It was more sensual than any spa i ever been to... unfortunately the later camps didn't provide such
pleasant experiences :/

We kept driving north up to Botswana.
In Botswana we saw the Kalahari desert, we dry regions and poverty, and wet regions, with crazy rich vegetation. Our goal was the Okawango Delta,
where we stayed for 3 days, taking boats rides into the delta, even a walk in the wild with a guide on an island. We finally got a nice bed and breakfast. 

 
The Okawango was my favorite place. It was a bit swampy, but beautiful flora and wildlife. Especially all the different species of birds.



There was a bar there were we hung out and spend new years there too. The bar owner, Neal made a huge impression on me. 

He was this Australian guy in his late 30's maybe early 40's. I got jealous of his laid back lifestyle. It was a great bar with a great vibe :)
Would love to go back.



After Okawango, we drove up to Chobe National Park where we stayed for 3 days. We camped in different areas of the park. Animals would come up after dark. I was really scared one night when buffaloes were groaning by a nearby river. I didn't know what was making that noise.



Chobe was beautiful. The lands, plants and rocks felt so untouched by men,
it was full of animals; antelope, zebras, giraffes and elephants everywhere you looked.




It is rain season after all in Africa so Chobe was the most extreme off road experience I ever had. Already crappy roads were now getting flooded and we had to do some extreme driving. It was a little scary. We even got chased by a few elephants :)

After the rather extreme Chobe experience we stayed at a beautiful lodge in Kasane and the next day drove into Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls. The vegetation around the falls was insane! Eye popping green everywhere. The falls were massive and foamy.



 After viewing the falls and getting all wet we drove deeper into Zimbabwe and spent a night at the Hwange national park. At Hwange the most memorable experience was the car workshop. Felt like like out of a video game.







Our next goal were the Ruins of Great Zimbabwe. On the way to the ruins we passed through a few towns. It's really dangerous in Zimbabwe, there's an extreme high crime and rape rate. My dad told me to put my hair up and wear a hat. Not seeing any white people for over 48 hours felt a little funny :)




At Great Zimbabwe we walked around the ruins accompanied by baboons with little baboon kids. After buying some scarves from a local market we started heading back south into South Africa.








Next up was the Kruger National Park.This place is massive. It contains a few different Eco zones. There's savanna like regions, rivers, misty hills, ravines, sands, various plants and of course animals of all shapes and sizes. There are several camp sites and we got to stay at pretty pleasant lodges. Kruger is very well organised for tourist, so this part of the trip felt the most like a holiday.

 


This bird looks like a psycho killer.



We went on a night drive and saw these baby hyena. So cute.

















After 5 days in Kruger we said our goodbye and drove to the airport.


There's a lot more to say and to show. I'll try and add some this week.
I hope you enjoyed these.

A.


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