Friday, August 28, 2015

The ill-fated voyage of the Malachite

Our abortive houseboat trip on Lake Kariba. The hydraulic line to the steering ruptured.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Empty camps in southern Africa

July to September is the peak safari season in southern Africa, as I remember it from my days in the safari tourism industry. It is winter, but dry, which is good for viewing wildlife and the days are warm – shorts and t-shirt weather. Malaria risks are also low. Coinciding as it does with school holidays, the period usually sees South Africans flock northwards in their 4x4s. But what struck me on our overland safari through Botswana, the Caprivi Strip (or Zambezi Province as it is now known), Zambia’s Zambezi shore and Zimbabwe’s northern areas, was the extremely low occupancy of national park and private camps and lodges.
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Canoe-hippo collision at Mana Pools

Two incisors about 90 cm aft of the guide's bum.
There we were quietly enjoying the tranquility of the Zambezi from our Mana Pools campsite. As is so often is the case, tranquility is an illusion in the wild. Suddenly there was a commotion upstream of us. A canoe safari group had rounded the bend and one canoe had “exploded” as if torpedoed and the other was circling around trying to rescue its two occupants.Continue reading and view the photos here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sisyphean torture at the border

Crossing into Zambia at the Kazangula Ferry took upwards of  2 hours. Not that there was a queue for the ferry because we literally drove in and on board. By contrast there was a truck queue of kms, where truckers can stand for up to 5 days (the ferry can only ship one truck at a time, but other vehicles, 3 or 4 at a time make up the load)– ever wondered what happened to your truck Mr Transport Owner? I estimate that the ferry can do 30 trucks one way on a good day. The ferry’s arced voyage across the 500m Zambezi takes only 10 minutes.
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