We were finally in Africa!! We arrived in Cape Town where we had a few days to chill out and catch up on life before our 35-day overland tour, with Acacia Africa, to Zanzibar.
We spent the first few days checking out the magical city of Cape Town and walked to the top of Table Mount, which was stunning. We also did a day trip to Cape of Good Hope (the most south-western point of Africa) and surrounding areas (Haute Bay, Chapman’s Peak etc).
After a few days of exploring, we met with our tour group and we’re on our way, heading towards Namibia. There was roughly 10-12 of us from all different countries and different ages. Our ‘truck’ had seats and lockers all inside so you could access your belongings while driving along (and you were driving a lot of the time)!
Our last night in South Africa was at Orange (Gariep) River where a couple of us swum across to the other side of the river where we were told we were standing in Namibia!! First time swimming across a border!
Some of the incredible things we did and saw in Namibia included watching a magical sunset at Fish River Canyon, the world’s second-largest canyon (after the Grand Canyon, of course), a stunning sunrise at Dune 45 in Namib Naukluft Park (one of the biggest dunes in the world), sky-diving in Swakopmund, (amazing to free-fall over a view of where the desert meets the ocean!), Spitzkoppe was fun climbing up the rock formations and pretty cool to pat the tam(er) cheetahs at Otjitotongwe Cheetah Park.
We saw 4 of the big 5 during our safari in Etosha National Park and witnessed some amazing sunsets over a watering hole by our camp. We even saw two black rhino get territorial and ark up at each other.
We were in Namibia for about ten days so managed to do and see a fair bit of the incredible country.
Botswana was also stunning and we did things such as a cultural bushman walk to learn about life in the Kalahari, a sunset river cruise in Chobe National Park (we saw elephants swimming across the river!) and a night out in the Okavango Delta. To get there we were taken by a mokoro (dugout canoe), and set up camp under the stars around a great bushfire. We had a go at the mokoros which were not easy!! A great walking safari around the delta and then on a scenic flight over the delta to see the magic from the air.
We had a night at Elephant Sands campsite which was (you will probably guess it), full of elephants by a watering hole. There were over 50 of them all pushing each other around to get to the fresh water and it was quite something to watch. I sat there for ages just watching the majestic animals and how daintily they move their huge bodies around.
From Chobe we crossed into Zambia and to the banks of the Zambezi to visit Victoria Falls and take out time to enjoy Africa’s ‘Adventure Capital’. We did, of course, do a bungee jump off of Victoria Falls Bridge which was scary but great fun.
As we had a decent amount of time in Livingstone, Mitty and I went across to Zimbabwe for a couple of days. Zimbabwe had a different feel about it and we managed to hop, skip and jump across hippo-infested waters to the edge of the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side!!! Very surreal to be literally on the edge of the thunderous falls (we did climb over a fence to get to Devil’s Cataract) and had to be very weary of crocs, hippos and even wild elephants around us!
Back in Zambia a few more nights to then move onto to Malawi. I loved Lake Malawi and we had a great time walking along the beach and going body surfing in the waves. The people here were amazing and so friendly, taking us on a village walk and even a horse ride with Kande Horses.
This was, by far, the best horse I had ever ridden. He was named Glen and we rode through bush, villages, and along the shores of Lake Malawi having a few races along the way (Mitty’s horse, Pavroti, kept trying to overtake me and Glen. Glen did not let that happen!). We untacked and jumped back on the horses, bareback, to take them for a ride in the water. Glen actually started swimming at one point and I had to hold onto his mane to stop myself from sliding off! Rode them back up the beach and off we got so they could roll around in the sand. Amazing.!
This day was topped off by a delicious spit roast (Mitty had helped kill the pig earlier on that day) and we lay out on the beach in peace and quiet watching the many shooting stars over the lake – bliss. Another village walk in Chitimba and saw a witch doctor who told us our future.
On the way to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, we drove through Mikumi National Park and saw lots of animals which made it a great drive. Arrived to Dar and an early morning ferry to Stone Town. I was going back to Zanzibar!!!
I showed Mitty around Stone Town (still getting lost and loving it through the cobbled streets) and we watched the sunset from the top of the Africa House before checking out the night markets and eating up a feast. We went north, to Kendwa, for the stunning palm-fringed beaches and warm blue ocean. This meant some ‘serious’ relaxation time, lots of swimming and long beach walks. The accommodation was great here so we really chilled out and had some ‘last dinners’ with the group.
Whilst everyone else was heading back to the mainland (Dar es Salaam), we finished the tour in Stone Town. We went across to the east of the Island to Paje, to say hello to some of my mates. Again, we chilled out and went for a massive walk from Paje Beach down to Jambiani.
Back in Stone Town to check out the yummy night markets some more and take the ferry back to the mainland. Unfortunately Mitty, unexpectedly, had to go back to Australia for work reasons so I was on my own once more.
While Mitty booked a one-way flight to Melbourne in Australia, I booked a one-way bus ticket to Mombasa in Kenya..!!
**** during our time traveling together, myself and Mitty made sure we went on massive walks/runs most days. We would get up early and start the day off with a 10km walk or at the end of the day after a long day driving in the truck. We did mini workouts when we could and tried to eat as healthy as possible. Doing these walks got us into some pretty rural areas where, myself as a female traveller, could not go by myself.