We decided that we don’t want to rush through Zambia and Zimbabwe. We wanted to be in Pretoria round about the 15th of November, so the decision was made to rather drive through the Tete Corridor and go to Cahora Basa for a few days rather than drive via Lilongwe to South Luangwa. We will combine that part of our trip with the Namibia, Botswana, Caprivi, Zambia, Lake Tanganyika and back to Uganda trip that will be the second leg of our Go2Africa adventure. Actually the 3rd leg….., ArnizeGo2India will be the 2nd leg.
We discovered when packing up that our bed sheet that was with our washing, was missing. Arno went to look at the washing line and saw that it was on a shelf in the laundry which was locked. So, we were packed and ready to go at 5.30 but had to wait until 7.00 when the door could be opened for us. Luckily the South African party of 5 vehicles that came in the previous afternoon, were very interested in our truck and our trip and we passed the time talking to them. Eventually we were on the road and enjoyed driving again after the week of rest at Cape Maclear. Everything went quick and smooth at the Border post. It was a very very hot day. Tete is the hottest place in Mozambique and we experienced that for sure. 44 Degrees!! We crossed the mighty Zambezi and got a camping spot in the garden of the Misteriosa Lodge overlooking the river. We had M2 and a delicious pizza for dinner and were ready to drive on to Cahora Basa the next day.
Driving south made it clear for us that it is time to move onwards….south! We couldn’t stop. We were quite early at the Mozambique/Zimbabwe border. We went through so many Border posts and saw, heard and experienced crazy to utterly stupid things but it is still a mystery to me why the Mozambique Immigration officer chased me out of the office, NOT going to stamp me out because I could not give him an ADDRESS of where we are going to stay in HARARE, ZIMBABWE. What on earth does it matter to HIM where I am going to stay in another country. Well, we invented a name and viola, were stamped out of Mozambique. We had a little commotion on the Zimbabwe side when an European couple wanted to jump in front of the queue we were all standing in and the Zim guy with dreadlocks in front of me complained. An officer came to me asking if I was with a bus and that I must fall in at the back of the queue when a Zim lady came to my rescue biting of his head, telling that I stood in the queue all the time but THOSE people are trying to press in. It was fantastic to see how skin colour vanished and everyone stood together for what is right. They obviously bribed the officer to get them in front and it really boomeranged on all of them. I had this warm feeling of being an African, belonging here! We stayed at “It’s a small world Backpackers Lodge in Harare which we can really recommend. It is quiet, clean and modern. They also have an art shop and we camped between the iron elephant and the iron chickens and ducks. We had a HUGE shopping experience in Harare and even bought APPLES and BILTONG! We were going to camp at the Bubi River’s, Lion and Elephant Lodge on route to Beit bridge but when we got there we saw that the campsite is next to the main road and that sleep will be impossible with all the trucks passing by. So….south we went!! By now we were far before our schedule and start wondering where next? The Zimbabwean Border at Beit Bridge was quick and easy except for them sending you from one window to the next and back again after our Passports being stamped out, paying for crossing the bridge over the Limpopo etc.etc. The South African side of the border was a bitter disappointment for us. It was quiet at the border post. We were part of about 6 people going to the RSA. There is a window marked for South African citizen’s coming back and the 2 of us stood there for about 10 minutes while officers were chatting to each other, walking up and down on the other side of the window. An officer waved us away with a “we’re not stamping here, stand over there”. We had to queue behind Zimbabweans that had to fill in numerous forms etc. After about 30 minutes we were stamped in and then had to wait another 30 – 40 minutes behind the Zimbabweans who had to fill in temporary import permits for their vehicles, waiting for the lady to stamp our Carnet de Passage. The other officer were just sitting around doing nothing. The officer (doing nothing for 30 minutes) finally came to the window and we asked if she could help us with the Carnet. Her answer was “O did she not help you? Duh…why shall we be standing here if she helped us?!! So she stamped our Carnet (took 5 seconds) and we were released in our homeland, the land of milk and honey, the good old RSA!! Eish!!!
We decide to buy a few groceries (in Afrikaans and Rand) for the cheapest prices ever (the last 7 months in any case). We went to Tshipise and camped there for 5 nights. We were sad but happy. That sounds crazy but we were sad that the adventure part were over but it was glorious to be back in South Africa. But we were restless. We had to process our experience and that is not so easy. We decided that we need the Kruger National Park, so here we are. We came in at the Pafuri Gate, camped at Punda Maria, Tzendse (where an elephant visited our tent and broke down the tap next to the tent) and is now at Letaba camp. Our emotions are now finally under control. We are reminiscing about the trip and are looking forward to the next 2 months of travelling in our homeland before we continue our African circuit. We will visit with children, family and friends, enjoy a wedding, Christmas with children and grandchildren, go home for a few days, just to begin the rest of the journey. The blog will go on. We will do a Postscript of the whole trip and will write about the pleasures of being part of the family circle again. Exciting times awaiting us.
While I am updating the blog, Arno is servicing our brave Hilux that took us on this 26000km trip without one break or flat tyre. We are proud of this brave and faithful vehicle which we could depend on through thick and thin!! Hell or high water, it took us to Egypt and brough us back home
Bridge over the Zambezi in Tete
Landscape in Zim and Tete
Camping in the garden of the Misteriosa Lodge $7 p.p.n
Camping in an art exhibition in Harare $7 p.p.n
Tshipise Camping at R90 (Part of the perks of being 60 plus)
Tzendse Bush camp
Lots of babies