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Author Topic: Africa our way !! ( Complete...... or is it? )  (Read 42653 times)

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Offline Spore

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #100 on: December 16, 2010, 03:43:17 pm »
Awesome! Respect for vasbyt & pure adventure spirit! Thanks for sharing! :thumleft:
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Offline Baches

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #101 on: December 16, 2010, 05:48:21 pm »
Excellent Mussy.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #102 on: December 17, 2010, 09:11:27 am »
ahhh, the man himself ! Sorry it has been so long since this rr, I promised it to you ages ago! You know how it goes ! I will post more asap, just have to sort out the pics and get it all down on paper.

Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Baches

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #103 on: December 18, 2010, 09:04:14 am »
Definitely worth waiting for bud !!
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Offline Brakenjan

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #104 on: December 19, 2010, 06:32:10 am »
Loving it!!

Keep it coming.  :thumleft:
 

Offline Waynan

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #105 on: December 20, 2010, 04:03:39 pm »
Muz where is the next installment?
 

Offline bike bum

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #106 on: December 20, 2010, 04:10:57 pm »
Muz where is the next installment?

+100

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Offline Kreef

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #107 on: December 20, 2010, 06:44:19 pm »
Awesome RR so far! Keep it coming  :thumleft:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #108 on: December 21, 2010, 09:01:38 am »
For some reason I cant find my photos of Eureka at the moment. I was looking for them last night and was thinking about the camp, it was a place that made a good 1st impression. I had initially lost Martin as I barreled along in the rain completely missing the entrance and had to double back much to his annoyance. What a great spot ! wildlife galore, anything from giraffe to Zebra grazing. They actually have staff who have to keep on ushering the Zebra away from the bungalows. It seemed like forever since we had seen a TV, but there one was.. aargh, soccer ! that is all they watch in Zambia and after a few hours we head off to our rooms to chill and get ready for the next day. The overland truck that rolled in was almost empty which proved disappointing but they were just gathering momentum and anyway,  not having to pitch a tent in the rain has our spirits up. I met a pastor who lives about 6km from my house in Cape Town, interesting fellow, the less I say about him the better.. I have the utmost respect for guys who leave their family to travel through Africa to set up schools and clinics, but it smacked of corruption when the conversation turned to how many properties he has and how great the fishing is on his private spot on almost every lake in Africa.. all the proceeds of the church back home and part of the negotiations with local politicians, for a few hours of our time he would happily tell us how to get free land from central African governments!

Anyway, moving on. Zambia was showing us everything she had and frankly that was not much as we headed now from Bridge Camp on the Luangwa river towards Chipata cutting past  the South Luangwa National Park, finding anything was proving to be difficult. I remember the pastor saying to me that Zambia was the land of opportunity, all you had to do was bring something into the country, anything, and you would make a fortune. I remember pondering over this, and he was right, there was very little in Zambia, so in theory you could bring in a few cubes and make a ton, but the average disposable income of the average person in Zambia is so small and they have so many problems including basic distribution and infrastructure, that the thought is quickly dismissed, and it is a pity as the people of Zambia are willing to work and are hungry for opportunity. The further I rode into Zambia the more I started to sense the desperation of the people, maybe it was just me, maybe it was the hours of riding. As we roll up to the 3rd petrol station with checkered tape across the entrance we understand the frustration!!! fuel was becoming a problem and we had it easy, diesel was almost a swear word, this becomes a topic of discussion with the overland trucks, farmers, shop owners.. everyone ran diesel and there was none..
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #109 on: December 21, 2010, 09:07:13 am »
Through everyone we had been in contact with South Luangwa National Park was something not to be missed. Heading closer and closer the riding in these parts certainly tested my abilities, deep troughs and bone hammering corrugations, factor in the domestic donkeys and dogs, it makes for some interesting moments. The ride to Flatdogs right on the perimeter of the park is simply something embedded in my memory, deep sand, more corrugations on a road carved through a forest.. breath taking and scary riding. Martin had insisted we visit Flatdogs ( which we found out later is a crocodile ) 
because they had these platforms, much like the base of a tree house, upon which you pitch your tent. Before the time I never actually asked myself why this was the setup, it just sounded like a great experience camping in trees. Upon arrival after what I considered to be a mammoth task as indicated by me collapsing on the welcome mat, we were informed that they were fully booked for the tree platforms but one was opening up tomorrow.. so do we push on, or do we wait for The experience.. we decided to wait and with glee, alongside a river we pitch tents, setup camp and head for the refreshing welcome of the pool ( with slide – oh yeah ) This may be a good time to mention that we entered with 2 warnings. 1) they spotted buffalo earlier, ok, so what ! well, apparently the lions follow the buffalo and the wild dogs follow the lions.. OK and 2) after dark you may not walk around on your own, you have to call a guard who will escort you.

Whatever, we are hardened, seasoned bikers, we did’nt arrive on an air conditioned bus with cocktails you know. And so the sun fell.. and every insect known to God himself came out to investigate the loveliness that was our light and all at once we realized why the platforms were there… needless to say, it was an early night with tents zipped tight, I may add that we endured this creepy crawly hell because a jaapie and his cherrie with a GP number plate refused to move his 4 x 4 from under the only available platform but we leave that be.


Camp attack.. wildlife so close they walked between the tents at night but the platforms were more for the insects.


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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #110 on: December 21, 2010, 09:11:09 am »
A typical platform tree dwelling that had Martin so excited.



Because Martin had not experienced his platform camping extravangza, we stayed another night, moving ‘camp attack’ from the hostile environment it was currently in to the lofts of fluttering leaves in the trees.. at a cost naturally. Only one problem, there was only space for one tent. Ha ! no problem proclaims Martin, we will share the tent at the top and gear at the bottom.. problem no 2.. I couldn’t get up the stairs that lead to the promised land that was the platform, my foot was just not strong enough to take my entire weight and push myself up even with help.. so I gave Martin my blessing to have his treetop experience and I nested below. That night saw us having one of our biggest thundershowers and a few scares as drunk tourists proceeded to fall off their perched dwellings throughout the night with screams that resembled being eaten by lions, guards with flashlights running around in the general direction of the screams.. the covers went over my head and I did’nt move a muscle.

The next morning I lazed in the pool laughing over the previous nights events with some backpackers and guilty tourists as Martin stripped his bike to find out why it would’nt start, it was too hot and humid to be standing over him bothering him with suggestions and solutions, so while his battery charged I got a tan, but lunch was over soon enough and we were back on the road I had forgotten about.. but it was coming back to me now.
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2010, 09:12:59 am »
By now local information as to when fuel would be available ranged from 2 days to 10 depending on who you asked. The lady at the station indicated with glee that the next station had fuel.. the words were hardly out her mouth and we were off at flat taps.. if they did have fuel, they would’nt have for long, the black market fuel trade is a thriving business and works  very simply ! when a petrol tanker comes and fills up at a station everyone who fancies to make a buck pitches up with 25l containers, wine bottles.. anything that holds petrol. Then all they have to do is wait a few hours for the petrol station to be sucked dry as the huge demand outstrips supply. The petrol station closes, and the 25L containers line the roadside at double the price.. and thinned out a little !

Even overland trucks with their one million km range had fuel issues, we followed these okes all the way from Livingstone to Chipata but it was time to say goodbye as they stretched their legs and did 1000km days.



We were in luck at the next station, as promised they had fuel.. but where were the masses ??? oh no, explained the petrol pump attendant.. “we have no electricity, we can’t pump” we were heading for the Malawi border running on fumes, at this stage a bike with a longer range would be nice, not that I was convinced it would make any difference.

Mamarulas was a campsite spotted by Martin as we were heading out of Zambia, it is a campsite run by South Africans however the owners were away at the time of our arrival never the less it was great to be surrounded by everything South African .. Stormers, Cheetas, Sharks and Blue Bull flags lined the walls, droe wors on the counter, and for a moment you could be at a mates house down the road and not 1000’s of km away from home.. The pet sheep was a nice touch even if the heavy rainfall was making setting up tents somewhat of a nightmare.

Arriving at mamarulas in the Rain !!





« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 09:23:50 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #112 on: December 21, 2010, 09:25:49 am »
The next day the fuel problem was still there as much as we wished it was not so. The last station before Malawi and it was as dry as a bone.. we had a tough decision to make. We had enough fuel for maybe 20km, Malawi was about 10km away which means that if we find fuel at the crossing we will be ok, but trying to find out this information was proving fruitless. Amazingly the employees at the petrol station had no idea when fuel would arrive and did’nt much care.. anywhere from the following day to a week! We hung around for a while in the stroke inflicting heat, quietly hoping that it would make a difference and somehow we would be rewarded for our patience. Martin comments that a game of backgammon and a beer is all he needs but it does little to calm the mood.. do we sit or do we go, clearly there has been no fuel here for a while, we can’t even find black market fuel, we had better gap it to the border crossing and ta ta ma chance. So long Zambia thanks for letting us ride through you and experience you, your Zambezi thrilled us, your lack of petrol frustrated us, but it was awesome !






As a kid I spent time in Zambia and Mozambique, most kids growing up in Rhodesia went to Moz on family holidays at some point but I had never been to Malawi, I can remember collecting Rhodesia & Nyasaland stamps from when these regions were joined by colonies back in the day of David Livingstone besides,  this was the furthest north I had ever been.

Of all the countries this one was my most anticipated, and immediately it did not disappoint, the crossing was quick and painless and the public servants were friendly and eager to assist in making sure we were treated fairly when exchanging currency even offering up their offices as to ensure it was safe and there was no interference, they even negotiated a better rate for us probably on a kickback system but we were glad for the smiles and assistance.. we wave goodbye to the throngs of kids shouting ‘ give me money’ and barely 3km away.. fuel ! We almost kissed the ground, which by the way was drying up making riding conditions much more comfortable.. things were looking up, as they always do in Africa. .

If I can describe happiness it would be this picture, we spent ages at this station just so happy that we had fuel at last.



« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 09:31:44 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline The Badger

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #113 on: December 21, 2010, 10:10:23 am »
What an awesome ride and RR...............Thanks and keep it coming.

Respect  :thumleft:
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Offline Brandt

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #114 on: December 21, 2010, 10:17:32 am »
 :happy1:
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2010, 02:33:03 pm »
Although we came in too far north to visit Blantyre and the upper shire valley, that is destined for a future trip, for now we were heading east towards the lake, I was determined to ride from the southern tip to the northern tip. Lilongwe seemed like the logical direction and we wasted no time. Lilongwe is the political capital of Malawi. It has enough to keep you there for a few days as it hosts the best Malawi has to offer but we were not interested in cities, we had our eye on the lake and we zoomed right through. The road is full of villages and made for some spectacular adventure.





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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #116 on: December 21, 2010, 02:35:00 pm »
We were heading for Monkey Bay at Cape Maclear, and from there head down to Kwilembe, we had heard that Monkey Bay was a tourist attraction, but the closer we got reports started talking of wall to wall resorts with water sports.. eeeu, realizing that we had a long way to go, the idea of going south to back track north again was not what we wanted to do at the time, we were already running a few weeks late and we did’nt have the luxury if we wanted to make lake Victoria, so we stayed the course and headed for the lesser visited Senga Bay.. it was a decision that Martin knew I was not entirely comfortable with as with the added km’s we would be chasing daylight again, but it did mean we would be at lake Malawi, surely one of my milestones on this trip.

By now Martin knew that I hate arriving in the dark, not because I don’t like riding at night but lets look at whet you get.. 1) You can’t see the back okes.. and I am not being racist, but those okes are really black and thy walk on the side of the road which has no lights, a car coming in the other direction and you cant see shit, a silhouette could be anything from a goat to a kid, you have no idea 2) Animals – donkeys, goats, cows, chickens, dogs.. you name it, it crosses the road at night, the road kill the next day is a sight to behold, sometimes the rust bucket of a car is still there.. probably for good. 3) you get lost, you loose any sense of direction and stopping asking silhouettes for directions is not fun which rounds up no 4: you cant see who you are asking for directions – for all you know he is holding a knife, you will never know until it is too late.. I can go on forever.. so although riding into Senga bay at dusk was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had, I could’nt let Martin know this or it would become a habit, so he got more than a few choice words from me at every chance I had cementing the ‘no night riding’ rule.

We were looking for Cool Runnings, it had quite a reputation and came highly recommended. We stopped off at a petrol station ( which had lights and fuel – two thumbs up ) to ask if they knew the way and by sheer chance we ran into the owner who gave us a lovely escort through the alleyways of the village all the way to her front door. Awesome, we have a safe place to stay.. food, company.. and the Malawi experience continues.. tomorrow I get to see it! Lake Malawi and I can’t wait.
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #117 on: December 21, 2010, 02:38:37 pm »
Sam, the owner and founder of cool runnings is no ordinary person, she is short, well spoken, intelligent and one kick ass woman. Her surfer husband started Cool Runnings in CT with his mates, it grew into the cool runnings we knew a few years back, after the tragic death of her husband she moved to Malawi and what a difference she is making.

Her attention to detail made us feel right at home, and best of all, it cost peanuts.
















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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #118 on: December 21, 2010, 02:44:24 pm »
Trying to even pretend to keep up with this woman is impossible as she builds the only library in the district, secures overseas sponsors to develop an aids wing at the local hospital, mainly US funded through church groups.

She has started a local police forum creating safe houses for domestic violence and orphans, she started a soccer league for the youth which started at 2 teams and has grown to 14 teams.. while we were there she was taking delivery of a custom built tractor, delivered my sponsors in the US.. it just never slowed down. We loved experiencing Cool Runnings in Senga bay so much that we made a generous donation to one of her many causes, our money went to providing school fees and bursaries so kids could go to school, we donated almost nothing and it was enough to put one kid through school from jnr school all the way to Matric, we intended to stay for one day and 3 days later we were still there, I even had their logo painted on my bike.. it’s an awesome and inspiring place where you don’t wake up to an alarm, you wake up to singing, you don’t sit in traffic in the morning, you watch the sun rise over the lake, and amazingly you have everything you need and more. As I get caught up in it all I can feel myself getting sucked in by Malawi and it is awesome.

The views of the lake did not dissapoint..











She took us on a tour of the new libary she was busy building with the community.. inspiring how she managed to get this building donated by the department of defence.



Time for a bit of TLC for the bikes which were holding up like stars.



Seeing as I was riding with second hand plastics after the Nam off I got a local artist to give the bike a good going over with some traditional designs, the bike drew a massive amount of attention being so bright.

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #119 on: December 21, 2010, 02:52:31 pm »
More pics of the lake.. describing this is impossible.









Seeing as we now had a bit of a base camp we left all our luggage behind and explored the area. I have always been a fishkeeper so when we heard of the malawi chchlid farm on the other side of the bay we headed out for a day ride coming across some gems.

This is Phillip, we bought a drum or 2 from him, where we were going to put them was another issue.








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