Victoria Falls to Cape Town

Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
Trip End Nov 05, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hi everyone, us again!

So we've finally reached the end of our African trip which has flown by, and it's been sad to say goodbye to some really good friends, but we're also excited about heading onto the next continent!

So after leaving Vic falls we headed through to Botswana, where we went on a sunset cruise on the Chobe river. Saw plenty of the wildlife including buffalo, elephants, hippos and antelopes. We also saw a few crocodiles which was cool and our first sightings. Then we were so lucky to spot a leopard (2nd sighting of our trip!) and it was really up close as we watched it stroll across the river bank so got some great photos. A couple of long drive days took us to a campsite in Maun near the Okavango Delta, where we packed up our tents and took Mokoros (narrow canoes) into the middle of the Delta. We spent 2 nights here, and took a couple of long game walks on foot to spot some of the wildlife (taking care not to get eaten by lions or trampled by buffalo or hippos!). As we camped right by the river, we could hear the hippos walking near our tents, as well as baboons trying to steal our food... We also took an evening Mokoro ride (with our poler, who we couldn't quite catch the name of, so we called him John) into the sunset, with a bottle of vodka. How romantic!! From the mokoros we could get very close to the families of hippos. On our return from the Delta, to celebrate being able to have a (cold) shower, we spent the Sunday afternoon at the bar drinking - perfect!

The following day we drove to a campsite in the Shimba Hills, where we took a walk to look around at the 2000 year old rock paintings. We then had a long drive day, crossing over the border into Namibia, where we visited the infamous Etosha National Park. We were able to do our game drive in the Truck so had some good views from up high. Saw most of the big 5, and watched some lions stalking a Zebra (which it didn't catch, wasn't sure if I was relieved or not?!) We then camped at a campsite in the middle of the park, which had it's own floodlit watering hole. We found a spot on a rock with our bottle of wine, and spent a few hours watching hyenas, foxes and a rhino come to the hole to take a drink (we also saw a cat stroll across the grass and scare the rhino!).

Up early the next morning to do a further game drive in the park and spot some more wildlife. We then headed over to Cheetah Park, where they take in cheetahs that have been removed from farmland by the owners (as it is legal to shoot Cheetahs in Namibia as they are considered to be pests - and some farmers take pity on them and give them to the Park). We drove out in a van in the evening to watch the feeding of the cheetahs (donkey being their main meal as it is so cheap). The following morning we went up to the main house, where they have 3 cheetahs that have been hand reared and were very friendly. The funny thing was they were pretty much kept like pets, and were friends with the 4 dogs that the people also owned. The smallest dog (a little Jack Russell called Foxy) was obviously in charge and would play fight with the cheetahs and basically beat them up. Just as we were about to leave, a roaming giraffe took an interest in our truck and decided to have a rummage around through the windows. Strange morning!

We spent the next couple of nights bush camping on the skeleton coast in the desert which was FREEZING but beautiful scenery. One night was spent in Spitzkoppe surrounded by massive rocks which we spent an afternoon climbing. That was also the night of the first England world cup game, and the boys managed to get a lift to a random bar in the middle of nowhere to watch the game. We then drove to a seal colony on the coast with thousands of seals making a lot of noise, and and awful lot of smell.

We then spent 3 nights in Swakopmund in Namibia, where we ate the most amazing seafood and steaks (this may only be because we'd eaten mainly camp food for the last couple of months?!) We decided to take part in the adrenaline sports that the area is famous for. One morning we did sandboarding, which involved hiking up the sand dunes, and sliding down them on a piece of cardboard at about 70km/h. Good fun, plenty of sand was eaten by all. Having not had enough speed, in the afternoon I did a skydive from 10,000 ft. Bit silly considering I don't even like flying, but then I figured I'd be even more eager to jump out.

It was amaaazing....... me, Helena and Es from the truck had a girls plane and we all loved it!!

The next day, Danny went quadbiking on the dunes (and our tour leader managed to end up in hospital!) and I went horse riding.

After leaving the comfort of a nice bed, we spent another couple of freezing nights camping in the desert in Namib-Nauklift Park and Sossusvlei. We visited some of the bigger dunes (mainly dune 45) and we were meant to take a walk but it was so windy that there were sandstorms and you couldn't actually see anything.

That evening we started the sock assassin game, where we were all assigned people to kill by throwing socks without them realising (we have to find some entertainment, we've had no televisions for 2 months) As you can imagine, Danny took this task very seriously (I was out by 7.30am the next morning). The game was still ongoing the next afternoon, until Danny was killed by a girl (ha ha!) but he did manage to make 11 kills which apparently was a truck record.

We arrived in Fish River Canyon (think smaller version of the Grand Canyon) where we took a hike and took in the beautiful views. That evening, we had our own wine and cheese evening, just to get in the mood for the upcoming wine regions we were going to visit.

We then crossed over into South Africa, our final country. Our final night camping in a tent by an orchard was nostalgic, and we all considered that we were going to miss our tents, until it became the coldest night yet, and we couldn't wait to get into dorm rooms (the only problem with dorm rooms were the phantom snorers in our group!) We then drove to Stellenbosch, a University town near Cape Town, which was pretty quiet as the students had extra time off for the world cup. One day was spent on a winery tour, 'tasting' as many wines and cheeses as possible in 4 different vineyards. Ofcourse we're both now experts :). It was then onto Cape Town for our final night out with the group, where we had a lovely meal out on Long Street. Cape Town was in a crazy mood as SA had just won it's first World Cup match... our waitress was running round screaming and hugging everyone, I think she'd had a few too many....!

The next day we went to watch the Holland Vs Cameroon game at the stadium which was amazing, The Cameroon fans were hugely outnumbered by the guys in orange, so me and Danny stood out with our green shirts. Before the match we went to watch the afternoon game at an organised area called fanfest with big screens in the city centre, again dominated by the crazy orange people!!!

We had a red city bus tour (although the whole city was covered in mist, so not much to see either side!). We also went for a Great White Shark dive in Gaansbaai........brilliant fun, apart from the sea sickness! The biggest shark we saw was 3.5m long and fat, as she'd just eaten a seal, with it's intestines still hanging out of her mouth. You could just about see in her mouth as she come right up to the cage to have a look at us. Our final day was spent walking to, and part way up table mountain for some stunning views of the city, followed by going back to fanfest to watch a disappointing England game and some very unhappy fans!

We then took a flight up to Johannesburg, took a quick visit to pop in and say hello to Danny's Great Uncle, then the long flight to Hanoi, which is where we have finally made it.

Very hot and humid here, but the 15p beers certainly make up for it, and we'll update you further on our adventures soon!!

Take care all and keep in touch!

Jules and Danny xxx

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