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Author Topic: To the Lungs of the Earth  (Read 1058 times)

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: To the Lungs of the Earth
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2019, 05:40:35 pm »
Sub.. hope the pics come through. this is one area im keen to see from a bikes perspective.
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0

Offline punisher

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Re: To the Lungs of the Earth
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2019, 07:11:26 am »
i am seeing the pics

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride

Offline Koet

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Re: To the Lungs of the Earth
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2019, 09:13:06 am »
Can also see the pics now!   :ricky:
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Offline NiteOwl

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Through the Caprivi
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2019, 11:58:14 am »
Before departing, I use the opportunity to patch our threadbare helmet linings and line up the intercoms. Today’s destination is Drotsky’s Cabins along the western edge of the Okavango, an old favourite.

After another leisurely cup of coffee down the road it’s time to get moving. The bikes are fine, but my GPS fix appears to have worn out. Whilst trying to get a Garmin power cable at Riley’s Garage, the manager offers the use of his workshop and the foreman walks me to the back. There’s an industrial-size soldering iron and a thick piece of solder on the workbench. By opening the metal shield of the mini USB connector I manage to get enough space for the soldering iron and after one or two attempts I have a thin blob of solder across the last two pins. A permanent fix this time. 

Once again we hit the road rather late. Our first stop is Lake Ngami, about 120 km to the southwest.

We were last here in 2015, when we camped at the end of the track at the edge of the water. This time, there is no water and the dusty road runs all the way through.

After refuelling we follow the road along the western edge of the Okavango delta. There’s still some 300 km to go to Drotsky’s and this is a pretty boring road only livened up by the multitude of potholes that have opened up. It’s dusk by the time we reach Drotsky’s, navigate the sandy approach road and settle in at our allotted camping spot. It’s too late for a sunset cruise, but there’s a boat ride on offer for the short hop to the dining room for a buffet dinner.

A great thing about these overlanding spots is that you get to meet some interesting folks, like these Germans with their Deux Chevaux. It’s a regular two-wheel drive but they have managed to drive through most of Africa including the Sahara with it, no doubt with copious use of those sand ladders. Sticker on the rear window: This is not a car…it’s a way of life!

Although Maun is dry, up here the delta is still navigable and we use the opportunity to get taken for a short cruise by Zebra.

This place is a magnet for kingfishers and within minutes we spot a malachite, a brown-hooded, some pieds and a giant kingfisher.

Also the notoriously shy green-backed heron, some bee-eaters, a pair of fish-eagles…

All too soon our hour is up and we have to get a move on to the Mohembo border post where we get stamped out of Botswana and into Namibia. A painless process, but not costless: there’s another Road Fund to support and it’s R188 per bike. Unlike Botswana’s, which is valid for 90 days with multiple entries, Namibia’s is payable for each entry. Again a country with lots of border posts:

There’s a 20 km stint on gravel through the Bwatabwata Park before joining the B8 main road through the Caprivi Strip. Since we have to stop to sign the register at the park gate anyway, we make use of the visitor's table to have a snack.

We make a brief detour over the bridge across the Okavango river before refuelling at Hombe. Plenty of water at this end.

At the filling station a taxi driver comes over to chat. He turns out to be Angolan and is able to give some travel advice: the road from Katwitwi to Menongue is tarred, but in bad condition with no fuel en route. The better option is to ride to Oshikango, from where the road is good all the way to Lubango with lots of fuel available along the way.

We reach Rundu in time for a late lunch at Debonair’s because here, as in many other towns we rode through, the Wimpy has closed down. The road basically follows the course of the Okavango river and if you happen to have a plot along the wetlands, you’ve pretty much got it made. Unless there’s a flood.

With plots along the river being so popular, there aren’t really any camping spots but fortunately Taranaga Safari Lodge comes to the rescue. There’s a sandy tweespoor track leading to an oasis a few km off the main road. We put our feet up for a beer and savannah before cleaning up in an open air shower and turning in for the night. The cost: R150 per person.

For those locals who missed the prime plots along the river, life looks rather dry.

But, unexpectedly, we come across a few centre pivot irrigation points that must have been financed by some serious investment. The kind that is unfortunately so rare in Africa.

I had expected that we would have to cover the 500-odd km from Rundu to the Angolan border on gravel, but it turns out to be a good tar road. But again, our fuel range lets us down when we have to back-track to Nkurenkuru after the locals tell us there’s no fuel at the Katwitwi border post.

Herding goats along the road is still a dusty business.

With the lack of access to steel fencing here, natural materials get harnessed to contain domestic animals in demarcated areas.

…and sold as hardehout bundles for cooking.

It’s not long before closing time when we eventually reach the Oshikango border post. A swarm of runners close in on us, offering to arrange a speedy transit and a good rate on Angolan kwanzas. We decline rather unkindly but unnecessarily, as the rate they offer later turns out to be better than what is available at ATMs. There is little traffic, but not many signs either. Undeterred, our unwanted assistants point to a small air-conditioned cubicle along the road where a fat immigration official presides in air-conditioned comfort while we have to stand outside. It’s too late to get through Customs, but the official there is much more affable and explains the significant amount of paperwork that is required before we may set foot on our Marxist neighbour’s soil. 

Do it before you die!
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Offline Baiesukkel

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Re: To the Lungs of the Earth
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2019, 12:19:22 pm »
Lekker Onno, ek ry saam  8)