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Camel World  



Travel Diary - 2003
5 January | Senegal
22 January |Gambia
18 January |Guinea
9 February | Mali
22 February | Burkina Faso
3 March | Ghana
19 March | Togo
20 March | Benin
25 March | Niger
12 April | Chad
15 April | Cameroon
16 April | Nigeria
30 April | Congo
24 May | RDC
31 May | Angola
5 June | Namibia
27 June | South Africa
30 August | Lesotho
10 September | Swaziland
9 October | Botswana
17 October | Namibia
19 October |
29 October | Malawi
4 November |Mozambique
16 November | Tanzania
12 December | Rwanda
16 December | RDC
18 December | Uganda
24 December | Kenya

Travel Diary - 2004
9 January | Ethiopia
6 February | Sudan
21 February | Saudi Arabia
23 February | Jordan
3 March | Syria
5 March | Turkey
12 March | Greece
21 March | ...And Home


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17 months, 43 countries, and 2 vehicles


The Visa is HOW MUCH?

After failing miserably to organise my reduced price visa for Zambia I eventually bit the bullet and paid my $60. It was a relief to finally cross the Zambezi, gliding upstream of the new bridge which the locals hope will open up a new trade route to Walvis Bay.

First, though, they need to finish the road which is in that familiar African state of construction where things are happening, but no end seems to be in site. The road was difficult in places, especially as a strict right of way according to weight is applied (at least by the lorries coming the other way). After 50km, however, it was good tarmac all the way to Livingstone.

Vic Falls

It seemed that the weather was not going to play along with my plans for a relaxing week, but after a couple of days or intermittent heavy showers I used a break in the weather to take a trip down the river by inflatable raft. It’s a great way to spend a day – you certainly get to see the other side of things, or at the very least, the other side of your boat as you are thrown into a spin-cycle.

An added bonus was lunch in Zimbabwe with an option of a symbolic defecation in Mr Mugabe’s back yard without paying the extortionate visa fee, and without providing his collapsing economy with much in the way of tourist money (though remember that toilet paper is more expensive than using Zim Dollars. It’s a shame about the political situation there because I’ve always wanted to visit Zimbabwe, but I’m pretty sure that Mugabe’s days are numbered and hopefully the next president will be somebody who doesn’t list megalomania and genocide as his hobbies.

Livingstone is a laid back town with a sprawl of dilapidated buildings and no mall anywhere – welcome back to Africa. One bonus is that there are a couple of great restaurants, including a good Indian, and they cost next to nothing.

For a quite a lot more than nothing I was able to hire a microlight for a flight over the falls – I’d made a point of not visiting them up to this point, and it was a great way of getting a first view, as well as taking a hundred or so photos – it was also a great little adventure, especially when John decided to test my claims that I’m not bothered by aeronautics. Hope you managed to get the seats clean, mate.

Before leaving I just had to visit Angel’s pool, which people in Jollyboys, the backpackers, were raving about – it’s quite something to sit in the flow of the river and watch the water disappearing over the edge of the precipice just over your shoulder – and probably not one for the faint hearted as to get there you have to cross a fair amount of river.

On The Road Again

My route to the east depends upon beating the rains on the coast – the pressures of time were beginning to weigh on my mind, and I knew that there was still a lot to see, so it was back on the road again with Laura and Penny who had been working with Raleigh in Namibia.

We found a great campsite, Gwembe Safaris, for our first night on the road – some sort of crocodile farm complete with putrefying croc feed near Choma. That night it pissed down – I was snug in my tent, but the girls were drenched in theirs, and it was a pretty damp couple of girls who arrived in Kampala where we were to pick up Tanzania visas. By coincidence this was also the weekend of the Samoa – England game which was a good excuse for a trip to the Holiday Inn to watch as lightly worrying England victory. Kampala is a pretty droll town – no culture to speak of, but we did manage to find a superb Chinese, and of course all the backpackers around here seem to have pools, so things weren’t too hard.

We’d planned to visit South Luangwa National Park – but as it turned out nobody was particularly keen on yet another game park, so we drove on to an almost but not quite existent campsite by a beautiful lake for with a final bush camp before reaching the delightfully named Chipata (an portent of the chip-country that we were about to enter) for a night at a great little campsite run by Zambian Wildlife (though not literally) before our crossing into Malawi.