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Here, there, everywhere... A modest attempt at chronicling my around the world adventure over the next year (or so).

Who wants to be a trillionaire?

BOTSWANA | Saturday, 14 March 2009 | Views [1327] | Comments [1]

After leaving Duvundu where Chris lived we headed into an area known as the Caprivi Strip. This used to be no-man's land when Namibia and South Africa where having problems with Angola but is now safe. There is not much in the strip except wildlife like big elephants and man eating potholes!  After making it through this stretch finally we arrived at the Namibian/Botswana border did our little formalities and were off to the Botswana/Zimbabwean border. We stayed the night on teh Botswana side and booked transfer for day to Victoria Falls.

The next morning we bordered the van for the border, paid our $40 for a visa at the Zimbabwe border and then were shuttled off to Victoria Falls with two German guys and our driver Mackson. We arrived at the falls and were escorted around with a guide to all the big falls viewpoints. SInce this is the rainy season the falls are producing much spray and when they say bring a raincoat and/or umbrella,they mean it! We had read the falls are better viewed on the Zimbabwe side which is why we crossed into ZImbabwe and accorinding to the guide the falls are mostly located on the Zambian side but the view is on the Zimbabwe side! By the end of the walk we were thoroughly soaked except our coats and luckily I had sandals on but Jess was not so lucky her shoes were soaked all the way through. Neither one of our cameras do the falls justice but it is absolutely huge and powerful to see. After the falls we were dropped off in the town of Victoria Falls to walk around for a few hours until the Germans were done with the other parts of their tour. As we walked around we were bombarded with requests to buy stuff which we are both used to. What we were not as prepared for were the requests to trade our shirts, jackets, hats, sunglasses-anything we had. Or to buy one of the ridiculous trillion dollar bills that Zimbabwe has printed. ONe guy told Jess he would give her everything he had for one dollar!! It was very sad and depressing for us because we had nothing to trade or give, and how a country and its people had gotten so desparate. Robert Mugabe should be beaten, shot and beaten some more for what he has done to a country that 20 years ago was known as the bread basket of Africa. It is a perfect example of how some places in Africa are still in need of outside assistance.

After leaving back across the border it was too late to start driving again so we stayed another night at our campsite. It rained bigtime but not before we were able to get our braai on and make a good dinner. The next day we left for Francistown about 400km away. After driving about 20km we soon remembered what our Dutch friends who were driving through Africa in a Toyota Landcruiser said to us. The roads in Namibia are actually BETTER then in Botswana...At the time we laughed it off but soon realized they had a point. The road is probably the worst potholed road I have ever seen and it lasts at least 40km where it is impossible to drive more then 15km/hr in most places unless you want your car destroyed and eaten. After a few big dropouts into large holes and a two hours later we were onto a better road and speeded towards Francistown.

I did get a speeding ticket outside of Francistown which I argued and refused to pay the bribe. It was 170 Pulas about $20 for the actual ticket which I promptly folded up and tucked away intending never to pay! After the ticket we arrived into a Francistown late afternoon and found a campsite at a resorty type place. After pitching camp, Jess started the braai for dinner and I headed into town to do some quick internet work. When I got back our neighbor dropped by to introduce himself. He was Wayne from South AFrica, with Carmelita, Jadian and Keegan who were all traveling for 4 months with a camping trailer. He invited us over for potjie later which is apparently a big Afrikans thing in South Africa, to us was like a giant pot of beef stew cooked on a fire. I kind of liked it, Jess not so much. They had also been down the pothole road of death and had broked their trailer several times. They were waiting in Francistown for a week to get it fixed. Like I said the potholes were man and car eating! We left the next morning after chatting with Wayne and the family we headed off to Gabrorne for our last night in Botswana before crossing back into South Africa. The road was thankfully better and after going to the wrong place we found our campsite in a private game reserve. Game reserves in Africa are not necessarily for shooting game, some are just for people to camp and watch without any bloodshed. The campsite was way back in the bush and each one was very secluded with its own sweet fire heated shower, separate toilet, sink and of course braai pit. We had been fighting earlier so we were just taking care of business at that point. We had made up, ate dinner after the help of the local game reserve guy in building our fire and then putting burning logs into the fire oven for the shower in teh morning. It rained during the night so we were wondering if we would be able to build a fire for eggs breakfast(we were running out of food) and a hot shower. It was a nice surprise to find some hot coals in teh shower fire pit that we used to start our breakfast braai and best of all the water tank for the shower was steaming hot!!! We ate breakast, cleaned up and then took some nice hot outdoor showers. During this time we were also visited by a family of warthogs who were so curious we had to get into the car. They came back a little later to check on us and then moved on. We went for a little walk to the local waterhole saw some hippos then made our way back to the main road en route to South Africa.

We crossed the border with no mishaps and speeded towards Johannesburg to see our couchsurfing friend John from when we first arrived into South Africa. We got to Joberg early evening took John out for Nando's chicken and turned in for the night. The next few days were filled with running around to various malls buying supplies and getting Jessica a new backpack, the quest never ends! We also had a great dinner with our new South African friends Francis and Barry, who have a great house and great photographs. Barry is a professional photographer, he gave Jess a quick lesson for her camera which she greatly appreciated.

Monday we fly to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to start our next leg of the journey. This may prove to more challening because we will have no car and it is a less developed part of Africa. We plan on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, tracking gorillas, lounging in Zanzibar and making our way to Egypt. Southern Africa has been an amazing experience and we can't wait to visit the rest of Africa on our way north. Keep you posted....

Tags: botswana, victoria falls

Comments

1

We chatted for almost 8 hours non-stop, no one took a breath :) and even then it wasn't enough time. We already miss their company and look forward to either a Cape Town ;) reunion or somewhere else on the road of adventure - safe journey to you both :)

  Barry and Francis Mar 16, 2009 7:11 PM

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