Sunday, December 18, 2011


We left Swakopmund behind and headed into the heart of the Namib Desert,,,,which surprisingly was really quite cold!!! We arrived in the Namib Naukluft national park and were in bed super early as the next day saw us start the truck at 4.14am so we could reach dune 45 in time for the peeps to negotiate their way to the top for sunrise. I know I’ve probably said this a million times but these dunes NEVER fail to take my breath away. The drive from the main gate to dune 45 coincidently is exactly 45 km’s and with the sun just beginning to peep the dunes are stunning eerie black silhouettes! It was an uncomfortable 7 degrees at that time n the morning so breakfast at the bottom of the dune was an eclectic mix of socks and flip flops and pj bottoms tucked into socks!!

Leaving the sand dunes behind we started our 2 day drive to Fish River Canyon where we stayed at a new camp called Canyon Road House……so ive mentioned this place as it would be a shame for the showers o go un-noticed……my word they’re amazing. We walked along the bleak edge of the second largest canyon in the world with the river bed at the bottom waiting patiently thirsty for the torrent that should arrive in a few months after what promises to be a rainy season to rival that of last year (where half of Namibia washed away……seriously!) The weather was incredible and we had a full shot of the pink sunset over the canyon without 1 single cloud in the sky!

Next day we were South Africa bound and once the boarder was crossed we inched our way on the bumpy mountain pass to our camp on the Orange River for what was the hottest day on tour with our geeky temperature telling apparatus showing temperatures of 52 degC!!!!!

The atmosphere was still pumped as though it was the first day of tour when we arrived at our last camp Highlanders and it was heightened even more by Spark’ys legendary wine tasting. And then… was time……..for CAPE TOWN. It was a standard early morning and the peeps coupled by hangovers made their final journey in our beasty truck to one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We stop at Blouberg Strand, which offers amazing views of the city perched precariously below Table Mountain, and the weather was divine! We’d had reports that the Cape had been particularly miserable but as we made our descent to sea level and caught our first glimpse of the mountain we saw that the sun would be shining all day. The guys hopped out of the truck and into a mini bus for their township tour then were returned to us for the last time at Green Point.

Goodbyes were said and promises to keep in touch were made. As I write from our hostel, the truck stands empty and clean (as clean as you’ll ever get an overland truck lol) outside waiting to get to the office and workshop tomorrow for some well-deserved rest. All paperwork is finished and finalised and bags are packed. In 18 days time we will be starting all over again, darting around the continent and taking new adventures. Until then though hope you all have a Merry Christmas and fantastic New Years!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I must start with saying that yes it is a very common misconception that the desert sees no rain at all….while I must say that for most of the year this is very true and the Namib is no different, for many months it is exactly what you would think it to be,,,dry arid and dusty (I’ve not put hot on here as in winter it’s ice cold, but that’s a different blog post entirely). However, for a few months every year the clouds role in and the pressure builds and then it comes,,,,,,the rain and believe it or not it’s a welcome relief from the harassing heat that comes a couple of months before the rain arrives.

As we arrived in Etosha National park the sky was black and the anticipation of deafening thunder and blinding lightening was tangible. We drove the 18km’s from the main gate to our camp site hoping to beat the downpour and racing the clouds we just manage it. Having set up camp we headed out for a short afternoon game drive where we spotted elephants, Zebra, Giraffe and Brown Hyena….my first!! The rain eventually came and hammered down but thankfully had decided to vanish as quickly as it came so when we arrived back at camp, although everything was a tad soggy we were able to chill out outside next to the fire without the threat of getting soaked ourselves. The next morning was early and promised sunshine as we headed out for a day of game driving. We were lucky enough to spot 2 white rhino’s giraffes, zebra, blue cranes (another first for me) and heaps of different gazelle. As the sun burned high and hot the animals disappeared deeper into the shade of the bush we headed back to camp to spend the late afternoon chilling out by the swimming pool.

From Etosha we headed deeper into Namibia and spent the night at Spitzkoppe where the pointy heads were climbed and for sunset and slept on under the full moon. Then it was time to hit Swakopmund for 2 whole nights in complete comfort. While some people opted for hurling out of planes (parachute attached ;) ) while others decided to speed down the sand dunes reaching up to 75km’s an hour, whatever the activities it’s safe to say everyone has come away with a huge adrenaline filled smile.

I can’t believe it’s only 6 days until we get to Cape Town and 3 ½ months is nearly up but before we get there we’re headed deeper into this amazing country and tomorrow we’re hitting the Namib Desert where the people will be getting involved in a Namib Desert walk and climbing the most photographed dune sand dune in the world Dune 45.

Until nest time folks J

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


From Chitimba we headed to Kande Beach but not without stopping in the town of Mzuzu first. Mzuzu is the fancy dress capital of Malawi. The night before, we each picked names out of a hat to chose our ‘victims’ and the next day with MK500 to spend on an outfit we were let loose in the market. Now as soon as you pull up to this market the guys there know exactly what you’ve come for and come running over with bags full of sequins, leopard print and “onesies”. That night we exchanged outfits and partied the night away…TJ looked particularly fetching in a neon pink dress.

One more night was spent at Kande relaxing and chilling out by the lake before heading to our final stop in Malawi: Senga Bay.

The next day we crossed into Zambia via a stop in Malawi’s capital Lillongwe and started our 2 day drive to Livingstone where I find my self writing from now. We have been here for 3 days in which time everyone (some under a little duress) has gone rafting, gone flying in helicopters, ridden elephants and walked along side Lions.

We have said goodbye to some passengers and said hello to some new ones and tomorrow having had 4days to recharge here in Livingstone we’re back on the road and headed to Botswana to check out the wildlife Chobe National Park.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back to Zanzibar,,,,,,im certainly NOT complaining!!!

I find my self writing to you once more from the shores of Lake Malawi, we arrived yesterday and as always at Chitimba Beach Camp your made to feel super welcome and after a loooonnng days drive a beer from the awesome bar is what’s on everyone’s minds! But let me tell you about our last few days in Tanzania…
…After one final night in Arusha we started our 2 day journey to Dar Es Salaam. We stopped for one night on the way along the Pangani Rive. Surrounded by the Osonbarra Mountains and sisal fields it is a peaceful evening which is what everyone was looking for after a few too many beverages the night before. We arrive at Pangani River camp and instead of a greeting from the friendly staff, we were greeted instead by a crocodile sat in the middle of our camp site..he soon plopped himself back into the river once he realised a standoff with our truck would have been a bad plan and I suggested that we camp as far away from the water as possible. He never made a second appearance but he was heard thrashing around in the water later that evening.
The next day was an early start as we wanted to hit ‘Dar’ before the afternoon rush hour, luckily we did. The truck dropped me off just outside the city as I needed to go and fetch the Zanzibar ferry tickets whilst everyone else went straight to the camp site. I however did not brave the city streets alone, I was accompanied by a 3 strong hand picked security team, naturally a simple journey turned into a covert mission but thankfully The Business (Scott), Black Hawk (Paddy) and (wait for it…..) Sex Appeal (Neil) returned me (Red Fox) to the campsite unscathed complete with Ferry tickets. Phew!!
The next few days were spent negotiating Stone Town’s ally ways and hitting the beach….HARD!! We arrived in Stone Town by 8.45am (record time thanks to the brand new ferry… new it doesn’t even smell like sea sickness yet!!). We were just in time for Stone Towns morning rain fall which transformed the streets into storming rivers! Waves and everything!! 2 hours later, boiling hot and no clouds in the sky (only in Africa hey?!) the peeps headed off on their spice tour – a must do activity whilst on the Island, made even more fun by the eccentric guide Allie T who has been working with tourists for so long his accent is a mesh of Tanzanian, Australian and Cockney rhyming slang……Next day we were beach bound for 2 nights, the weather was faultless and everyone returned back to Dar Es Salaam for one more night looing tanned and relaxed.
Another 2 days of long drives, 1 boarder crossing and here we are…Malawi, for 5 nights we will be camping alongside Africa’s third largest fresh water lake. Tomorrow we’re headed to Kande beach where we have a fancy dress and punch night planned which should give me plenty to write about next time!
Before I forget I must mention the sterling efforts from the boys for ‘Movember’ and big congratulations to Scott (The Business) for lasting the longest without shaving….even if it does make you look like Dewy from the Scream films ;)
Until next time folks J

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Wow – What an amazing few days we’ve had since I last wrote….After collecting a truck full of new people we headed to our first stop: The Masai Mara and what lucky pax we must have! Our first afternoon game drive proved a big success with elephants, lions, buffalo and 2 black rhinos! At sunset we made our way back to camp – this is probably the poshest camp we ever stay at!! Big permanent tents, each with their own toilet and shower, proper beds with pillows and duvets, told you it was posh!

The following day we were up early for a full day in the park – lions eating Zebra so close to our cruiser we could have reached out and taken a share of the feast (if you dare!!) , cheetah with 3 cubs so small they still resembles the honey badger (one of nature’s many fantastic ploys at protecting it’s young – the honey badger is possible the toughest creature of them all with no natural predators) chowing down on an impala, more elephants, buffalo, and small antelope, and the flooded Mara River filled with bloated wilder beast who unfortunately for them (fortunately for the crocs) hadn’t quite made the migration back to the Serengeti…..No leopard though but hoped for this aloof creature were pinned on the Serengeti! - Special thanks must go to Anne who runs Enklong camp where we stay,,,she never fails to amaze us with the way she runs her camp…faultless couple of nights!!!

1 more night was spent in Nairobi before crossing the border into Tanzania – the Serengeti was upon us and the anticipation was almost tangible. Our first afternoon game drive started slow with the animals finding comfort in the hidden shade against the daily battle with the blazing sun, but on our way back to camp we stopped via leopard territory and had our first glimpse of spots lounging on a branch in the distance BIG 5 mission accomplished. Hippos lazily yawned at us and the elephants trumpeted good evening just before we reached our camp.

Next morning we were up super early to get into the park at the best time of day , while we were having breakfast an elephant infiltrated our camp, almost like a lucky omen and the mornings game drive proved fruitful with cheetah, hyena and 3 leopards together playing right next to the road playing and climbing trees! Back to camp for lunch and to pack up then on our way to the Ngorongoro Crater rim where we spent one chilly night before our last game drive. With an altitude of roughly 2000m above sea level you can always count on the temperature being on the FREEZING side!

The following day as we made our way down into the ‘Crater’ the sun’s rays were shining like spotlights illuminating the animals’ stage. We were spoilt with lions, hyena and cheetah stalking some defenseless gazelles. Morning toilet break came as a huge relief as everyone was buurrrssting but just as we were getting out our cruiser a young male lion sauntered right in front of us and plonked himself down on the steps to the ladies….GREAT! After asking our driver to get us to the other set of toilets in the park and requesting very kindly to “drive it like you stole it” (we really were desperate) we got there with no accidents (just!!) and this time instead of lions we were joined by 6 3 days old warthogs’ (the cutest thing ever) and a rather brazen male baboon ……playing with……himself (use your imagination).

It was then back to camp for lunch then homeward bound to Arusha for one more night.

The next few days will see us journeying to Dar Es Salaam then onto Zanzibar for some serious beach time and relaxing YAY!

Until next time folks, keep groovy and get your flights over here booked!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011


We find our selves back in Nairobi preparing for another pre departure meeting which will begin to take us down south but lets start from where I left…which I believe was Jinja…
Having gotten over my Caterpillar incident and spent a lovely 3 days relaxing next to the Nile in Jinja it was time to move onwards to Kampala Uganda’s Capital. We had a few hours exploring parts of the city then headed to our camp for the evening where we picked up 2 brand new passengers who joined us for the Gorilla Trek! It was a relaxing evening as the next morning was an early one in preparation for the long drive to Lake Bunyonyi. Although it’s only around 420km’s in total the roads are particularly bad. Around 60 km’s out of Kampala we crossed back into the Southern Hemisphere however due to the early start everyone was still snoozing in the truck so we decided to stop on the way back to Kampala in a few days time instead of facing the wrath of tired punters!
We arrived in Kabale (the small town just outside Lake Bunyonyi) and the heavens opened…this had the potential to cause us some problems….LakeBunyonyi overland camp is quite a trek up and down muddy narrow mountain passes and the rain was heavy enough to make this impossible, so everyone agreed to forgo their shop stop at “The Royal Supermarket” (no less) and to get up and down the mountain pass before the rain could have too much of a impact…..and with TJ’s skillful driving we managed it!!
As the guys weren’t trekking until Sunday 31st and it was only Friday we had a few days to chill out, relax, and partake in many of the activities on offer, such as canoeing, visiting local tribes and bird watching (Bunyonyi after all means place of many little birds). Surrounded by nothing but jungle and one of Africa’s deepens lakes (it reaches a depth of 900m) everyone spent the 3 days here gearing up for one of Uganda’s most special highlights. The Gorillas!
Sunday 31st was soon upon us….we were all awake at 4 am as they were being picked up at 5 am…..All the tables were covered in food to be packed for breakfast and lunch as who knew what time they wouid all be back, if you’ve trekked before, I guess you know too well that you could be walking/climbing/crawling or even wading through streams, rivers and swamps for anything between 1 and 8 hours just to spy for 1 hour these magnificent beasts!
Tj and I were expecting a full day hanging around waiting for their return but 3 o’clock came, as did the first mini van of pax. As it turns out….after the 2 ½ hour morning drive into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park they spent 5 minutes trekking through a vegetable patch to the edge of the jungle and there they were in all their glory!! The others arrived back about an hour later having trekked through thick jungle and swamp land for a massive 40 minutes before reaching their gold. Everyone had an amazing day and spent the rest of the afternoon comparing stories and photos!!!
I must say no matter the length of the trek the end result is like no other game experience. I have had almost all the big game well within stroking distance from the window whilst game driving, heard lions roaring into the night coupled with hyena’s whooping and giggling, had our camp infiltrated by a curious male lion, been reared at by a green mamba and have been mock charged by elephants too many times to tell my parents without terrifying them, but it doesn’t matter how much you think you know or how much you have seen nothing can prepare you for spending that precious hour with these incredible and unfortunately diminishing species. There is nothing between you and them, you have delicately made your way into the thick of their environment, you’re in their territory now and you best respect it, and if you don’t they sure as hell will let you know about it. So huge and yet so graceful and gentle you can’t help but be amazed by the many traits they share with us. On a serious note it’s hard to believe that such strength and power can be so endangered and vulnerable all because of the species that shares between 92-98% of its DNA with them….US! All to quickly your hour is up, but you leave having experienced probably the best game experience there is to have. If you’ve never done it you should ask your self that old question: when was the last time you did anything for the first time, and get your self out here quickly before it’s too late and the only thing that’s left of these magnificent creatures are pictures in museums and articles written in the past tense.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So you may be wondering why the weird title..well the Nile part is pretty self explanatory as you read on but the caterpillar??? 

WELL let me tell you a story about a hairy caterpillar……now the hairy caterpillars you find over here are a little poisoness in that their hair has little bits of poison on them to deter predators…….whilst sat minding my own business a hairy caterpillar decided to make my hair his home…..i was non the wiser until I let me hair down and BAM!!!!!!!! I looked and felt like I rolled around in a nest of stinging nettles…..i have since learned my lesson…..if you brush you hair more frequently it wont look like a cozy home for little poisoness creatures!

Anyway since I last wrote, we have collected all the new expectant passengers and ventured out of Nairobi and headed to Nakuru National Park for our first day of adventure. First, we stopped 50km’s outside of the city to take in the phenomenal view over the Great Rift Valley. When we arrived in Nakuru there was just time for a quick road side lunch (ate in harmony with the growing number of monkey spectators) before heading off on our first game drive. 

Although the clouds were collecting above us in grey abundance promising rain, we had a fabulous drive…lioness’ right next to us on the side of the road too lazy to move out of the rain, and we were graced with 2 rhino sittings, along with zebra, buffalo and an enormous amount of different birds. The following day we headed to Eldoret to stay at Naiberri Riverside Camp. We got there early in order for everyone to watch the Rugby world Cup and after a day of celebrating (we have A LOT of Kiwi’s on board) we settled down for dinner (I proved 1 passenger wrong that you CAN bake lasagna without a stove)

The next day we crossed the boarder into Uganda and headed to the town of Jinja where we stay at the amazing Nile River explorers campsite, right next to the source of the longest river in the world. The River Nile. We stay here for 3 nights during which time there are heaps of activities to get involved with such as rafting the frothy Nile rapids, mountain biking or even horse riding!! Most of the peeps decided on a day of rafting but a few decided to stay behind, relax and take in the stunning view the campsite offers over the river. It also turns out that we bought some nice weather with us…Uganda has 2 seasons…the wet season and the not so wet season. It has apparently rained here every day for 3 weeks…..over the 3 days we have been here it has been beautiful sunshine!

Our last day at NRE in Jinja was spent volunteering for Soft Power….a charity that builds and maintains schools and focuses on educating local communities. Everyone returned covered in paint apart from 1 passenger……who as it turns out found him self in the class room teaching the children about the solar system!!!!

Tomorrow we head into Kampala Uganda’s capital where we spend one night and pick up 2 extra passengers before heading into this tropical country.

Friday, October 21, 2011


We have just had 8 days ‘off’ in Nairobi getting our truck back up to scratch to take us into Uganda!! She’s polished, clean inside and out and stocked to the rafters with food (and some seriously awesome neon coloured Tupperware……our breakfast table is going to be THE prettiest on the road!!!)

Tonight was pre departure, so a whole new bunch of people brand new to Africa have been loaded full of information and are now hopefully ready and willing to jet set around Uganda..(jet set??? We can all dream J )

Tomorrow will be an early morning as my self, TJ and truck say goodbye to Nairobi and head to Nakuru for our first game drive in Nakuru national park, and the passengers first night of camp life…and guess what?! It’s rainy season, but hey a bit of rain never hurt anyone ;) …..I will keep you posted on all the shenanigans!!!!

Will write soon to let you know what goes on during the first few as we say goodbye to Kenya and hello Gorilla Country – UGANDA

Friday, October 14, 2011


We spend one night at the famous Snake Park with Ma and BJ before heading out to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater. 8am on Sunday morning we’re all packed and ready to head off on our 2-day game drive. Lunch is spent huddling together at a picnic spot on the chilly Crater rim as we try and stay out of dodge of the Back Kites that do everything in their power to prey on your afternoon feast!.....Most of us were lucky….one person lost their chicken. Having gathered our selves together and stayed out of the way of the Bush Pig we were on our way again and began our descent into the Serengeti. The views you get driving into thepark are totally breath taking and unmistakably worthy of their name: “The Endless Plane”…it looks like the planes stretch all around the world and back! Our drive to our campsite was fruitful with hyenas, giraffe, elephant and gazelle all close by, but it seemed the following day was to offer more than any one could have hoped for.

Monday morning we leave our Serengeti camp at 7 and shorty into the drive we came across 11 8 month old lion cubs chowing down on a giraffe right on the side of the road, shortly after this we had our first cheetah siting of the day – 1 female with 2 cubs, later we would see 2 more cheetah females with cubs, and then just before lunch “She” graced us with her presence…possibly the most aloof animal in the plane, we saw a Leopard, who jumped from her perch and walked along side our vehicle for a few meter’s before heading back into the thick bush. People come here time and time again just to get a glimpse of her spots and many come away disappointed so we were super lucky!!!!

Monday night was spent on the Ngorongoro crater rim and due to the altitude it was FREEZING!!!!!! However completely worth it as we woke with enough time to catch sunrise over the world’s largest unbroken caldera. After breakfast on Tuesday morning we drove into the Crater for our morning game drive. Despite the close proximity of the Serengeti the views you get here are so different. The 260sqkm floor of the crater offers everything from thick jungle like forests to wide open lakes and planes. The morning was a complete success with 2 big male lions sunning them selves in the middle of our path, black rhino and an abundance of colourful birdlife.

Tuesday afternoon saw us heading back to Snake Park camp for 2 nights. I feel I just need to mention a bit about Snake Park and what it’s all about. It’s a camp site ran by possibly the most selfless people on the continent Ma and BJ. Just outside the gates of the camp is their clinic, one of the best places in East Africa to be treated for snake bites and is funded completely by them…..and us, 100% of the camping and 25% of the bar tabs go towards the clinic and the local community. They have an array of different snakes, reptiles and a few injured birds all expertly taken care of by Deon, and together the 3 of them (Ma BJ and Deon) run a place you can easily call home! So “home” is where we spent the next 2 nights….our final 2 nights of tour. The final days were taken up by a masai walk which includes visiting one of the local masai villages and the masai museum, and what would a trip to Tanzania be without looking at the local “gem”….Tanzanite. Tanzanite is a precious stone of purple blue in colour and is mined only around the foot hills of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spice up your life!!!

Since I last wrote we left behind the lake (still think it looks more like the ocean) and made our way to coffee country: Tanzania. Our first night was spent just outside the small town of Iringa and we were all pleased with the cooler weather and subsequent good night sleep thanks to the 2200m altitude. The following day saw us up at 4 to prepare breakfast for 5 and leave (1/2 hour earlier than planned) at 5.30. To Dar Es Salaam. The House of Peace. Now to those of you who have ever visited ‘Dar’ you’ll know that calling it The House of Peace is some what misleading. Apparently New York is the city that never sleeps, well if that’s true then Dar is a very close second. The house of noise, of the house of traffic and at various points through out the year the house of serious unforgiving humidity would be a closer fit but House of Peace it is. But what ever your opinion of the city, the electricity you fell whilst there is undeniable. We set up camp on the beach at Mikardi Beach Camp and organized our selves for the following day. The day that every one has been waiting for….ZANZIBAR! Another early morning topped off with negotiating the streets of the city and we were on the ferry to Stone Town. All though we no longer had to weave the streets of Dar we now had to worm through the ally ways of Stone Town which just invite you to get lost…Great fun though!!!! Stone Town, home of all things spicy, the old slave trade and the worlds shortest war – the Anglo Zanzibar war which lasted exactly 38 minutes. Everyone spent the day on a spice tour, visiting one of the many spice plantations in the area and then visiting the old slave market and museum. Thankfully back in time for sundowners on the balcony of Africa House looking over the crystal Indian Ocean, then onto the night market for a serious feed. With Stone Town now behind us we head up to Kendwa beach where we stay at the amazing Sunset Bungalows for 2 nights. The 2 days spent here were taken up mainly by lying on the beach ……Wonderful!!!

After our 3 nights were over (all too soon) we headed back to The House of (apparent) Peace for one more night before starting our 2 day journey to Arusha, the path to the breath taking endless plain….The Serengeti!

Friday, September 30, 2011

THAT'S A LAKE!!!!???

I write to you from the shores of Lake Malawi – Africa’s third largest fresh water lake (it’s roughly twice the size of Wales…..and I’m telling you, it looks like the ocean). Anyway, lets go back to Zambia for a moment.
When our 4 days in Livingstone were up we packed our things and headed towards Lusaka, not without visiting The Mighty Victoria Falls first though. One of the largest waterfalls in the world (about 128 meters high) this natural wonder never fails to evoke goose bumps. Mosi o Tunya (known locally, meaning the smoke that thunders) was however a little dry, with the Zambezi water levels low the falls tends to peter off to a slight drizzle in comparison to the thundering “smoke” seen in high water, however still very impressive. From Lusaka (Zambia’s capital) we headed to the boarder town of Chipatta where we spent one night before crossing into Malawi – the friendliest country on the continent.
We spend 5 nights all along the coast of Lake Malawi. Our first night saw us setting up camp literally on the ‘beach’ at Senga Bay…I think the water must have gone to our heads as we later decided to partake in some not so light aerobics which saw us all a little crippled the next day as we headed to Kande Beach – our next stop, where again we spent 2 nights on the beach.
Our last 2 nights on Malawi are spent at Chitimba Beach Camp (my personal favorite) and we have so far spent the time swimming and relaxing, before we head to fast paced Tanzania.
Tomorrow we have long day ahead of us as we head toward the Songwe boarder post and enter Tanzania, but it will all be worth it as in a couple of days we’ll be crossing the Indian Ocean to Zanzibar!!! ☺
Until next time xxx

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ZambEZI Living

Since I last wrote, we’ve left Namibia, entered Botswana …..left again and hit Zambia…..But lets start from the beginning.

With Joe’s famous game meat now just a memory we left Windhoek early doors and headed towards Botswana’s gates. Our first port of call was the town of Ghanzi where the peeps walked through the bush with some of the remaining Bushmen in the area learning about their traditional medicines, the way they hunt and even how they make fire.

The evening was spent huddled around the camp fire as the temperature dropped at this unusually cold and eerie campsite…..maybe it’s because of old bushmen spirits….or maybe because Ghanzi is so flat that we fell victim to the cold eastern winds.

The following day was an easy 300km’s to Maun….the gate way to the Okavango Delta where we spent one night at Sitatunga camp before venturing into the watery wilderness of the Delta. …
We hopped off the truck and into a mokoro as we made our way to our bush camp.

1 hour of idyllic mokoro ride through the water ways of the delta as the reeds rise over your head (and sometimes smack you in the head..) sees us to our camp for the evening, and bush camp it is….which mean there is nothing!!! No shower…the toilet is dug on our arrival, no electricity …and no tap (yes I was asked). The afternoon was spent relaxing and taking in the atmosphere of this amazing place before heading off on an afternoon game walk. Giraffe and hippo were spotted along with a lot of elephant pooh (sadly no sign of the real King of the jungle though). This time of year sees the delta in flood, which means with so much water available game viewing can be hard but everyone was pleased none the less!!! The night saw us competing with the frogs and crickets chorus and singing into the fire (singing could be overstatement but we’ll stick with it) and sharing ghost stories, which meant when the inevitable need for the toilet (hole in the ground) hit a few of us in the night, we decided to wait for the sun to come up instead! The early morning saw everyone off on one last game walk before heading back into the Mokoro and back to Sitatunga camp for one last night.

The next morning saw the loving tour leader (me) up while the moon was still awake preparing breakfast for what was a looonnng day. A whopping 620km’s was travelled from Maun to Kasane but all was good as the next day saw everyone LOVING a morning game drive through Chobe national park and then later on an afternoon boat cruise on the Chobe river.

Next stop Zambia – Livingstone to be more precise and brings me pretty much up to date. For the next 4 days we’ll be relaxing, riding elephants, white water rafting through the mighty Zambezi possibly even throwing our selves of bridges…I think I’ll stick to relaxing watching over the Zambezi. .. . . ;)
Until next time folks xx

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Here are some of the thoughts, quotes and quirky anecdotes from the class of Acacia 3.9.11 …………They kindly ask you not to judge them (might be hard though)

Chili biltong is the ultimate beer snack

Girls like stars and hugs

Tents can move spontaneously

Giraffes are stupid

The water hole at Etosha is lit up so the animals can see what they’re drinking

Talkumpowder changes lives

All spiders and scorpions are coldblooded killers

Real men eat biltong

Mopanie worms take like the seals smell

You can never have enough garlic

Getting changed inside your sleeping bag makes you look like a mental patient in a straight jacket

Set the right time on your alarm

Flip Flops don’t like being in pairs

If you’re not quick enough your mat will be pulled out from under you while you sleep!!

Mornings are some thing you’re up before

Kudu is best eaten dead…..


The comfort of Swakopmund is now a distant memory as we spend a night under the stars at Spitzkoppe (pointy heads….see there is a reason for the bizarre title!!) but first having left Swakopmind at 8.00am , we make our way to Cape Cross Seal Colony. 

Cape Cross is where the Portuguese first landed in Namibia so has great historical connotation, but it’s also a breeding ground for the Cape Fur Seal (actually a type of Seal Lion…fact of the day!) of which there were many lounging on the beach and rocks and flopping around in the sea, every one braved the smell to go and check them out. An hour later and considerably wind swept we made our way to one of the most magnificent places I have been. (Mushy moment) I can honestly say this is where my love affair with Africa began…..Spitzkoppe..

Set in the heart of Damara land, these molten rocky outcrops really do stand out like pointy-heads in the midst of flat savannah. Fueled with Bushmen history, an abundance of bird life and breath taking views these 100,000,000 year old mountains are simply sensational. We arrive with time to visit Small Bushmen Paradise to take a look at the old Bushmen paintings, which have survived 1000’s of years and allow us a sneak preview into the lives of the tribe. As the afternoon wore on some decided to go for a leisurely stroll others were more interested in trickier feats and opted to climb some of the steep rock faces for sunset. While a few people set up tents, others decided to brave the snakes, scorpions and the 1 rogue leopard (which apparently scales the rocks every so often) and sleep under the stars.

Next on the agenda is one of Southern Africa’s most famous game parks. Etosha national park.
Everyone is happy and smiley just knowing they don’t have to put their tents down in the morning as we’re here for 2 nights! The first afternoon game drive proved fruitful, spotting elephants, lions, and black rhino, heaps of various antelope, zebra and giraffe. After dinner the night was spent huddled around the waterhole as a heard of about 30 elephants and 4 black rhino descended up on us. The following morning was out the gates early for a full day of game viewing and a visit to the Etosha saltpan. Although no lions or rhino wanted to play today (it really was very hot so probably hiding away in the shade) it was another successful day, with lots of elephants bathing in various water holes, zebras, giraffes, antelopes and a collection of different birds of prey.

As the afternoon progressed and the heat continued to rise we headed back to camp for a late afternoon swim. Once again the water hole was a winner with more elephants, rhino and this time lion too!!! As bed time approached the lions woke and the jackals became even more mischievous, sleep was interrupted by the big cats roaring and the jackals……tipping over bins and trying to break into the kitchen area!
Today we are headed to Namibia’s capital city Windhoek….our last look at proper infrastructure for a while and it will be well spent indulging in some retail therapy this afternoon, good food at the famous Joe’s Beer House (if it’s not famous it should be!!) and a night in a proper bed at The Cardboard Box Hostel.

Until next time!! Xx

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The day before THE DAY!

The blog is back baby!! Guys my name is Lauren Lees and I am a tour leader here at Acacia, follow me here to get all the inside info over the next 110 days while myself and TJ (my dreamy driver) take a truck full of eager passengers around Africa. Over the next 3 ½ months we’ll be touring all the way to Uganda and back again! Experiencing and soaking up probably the BEST continent on earth!

Having flown in from taking a holiday back home in England it was straight to the office as we wasted no time in getting our truck together.  I should probably introduce you to our truck, her name is Mara named after the Mara  River which separates The Serengeti and The Masai Mara (all of our trucks are named after rivers in Africa) and she is a beasty 18 tonne 224 horse power MAN. Having been worked on for 2 weeks she now looks clean and shiny and ready to rock and roll us safely around Africa over the next 20,000 Km’s. Massive thanks to the boys in the workshop for making her look so beautiful!! After 2 days in the office sorting out all the paperwork (thank you operations team for putting up with us….and buying me a mcflurry when in need) we are ready to head to our pre departure. . . . Tomorrow is DAY 1 and my 19 passengers will be heading straight into the depth of Cape Town visiting Langa township for the morning, drinking some of the local home made beer and having lunch at the popular Mzolis. 250Km’s later we shall be hitting Highlanders campsite near the town of Trawal where I am hoping everyone is keen for a spot of wine tasting……if we’re lucky Sparky will turn up in his kilt!!.....we can all hope!! Shall keep you all posted but in the mean time keep groovy. xx

Friday, September 9, 2011


So we’ve been really busy darting all over the place since the last time I wrote. We crossed the boarder into Namibia – my personal favorite country!! Our first day was spent driving to the Fish River and visiting the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. The weather was spot on and despite the bumpy roads we got there with plenty of time to take in the fiery sunset. Next stop was straight into the heart of the Namib Desert, and 539 km’s later we arrived at Sesriem campsite situated within the boarders of The Namib Nauklauft National Park. Next morning we woke early and raced the sun to the top of dune 45 before heading to sossusvlei and deadvlei. The afternoon saw us 150 km’s down the road visiting Boesman’s farm and spending a couple of hours exploring the desert from there.Not before stopping at Solitair for some of their famous apple pie!!!

After a long and busy day we felt a feast was in order so Kudu steaks, home made bread and salads all round, I even quote one of the passengers when I say “kudu has changed my life” lol we had visits from toktokies and red romans round the fire and heard the Jackals laughing into the night.

Next morning, and everyone was in good spirits knowing that for the next 2 nights they would be in beds in ACTUAL rooms with ACTUAL walls and PROPER bathrooms. The roads from the farm to Swakopmund were much bumpier than normal….in fact a few stretches definitely rivaled the roads in East Africa. Thank God for TJ who mastered them with great precision and got us safely to Swakopmund!!!

Amanpuri lodge!!! Ahhhh Swakopmund, where to begin…….Skydiving, sand boarding, quad biking, boat cruises and Township tours, if any of the above floats your boat then “Swakop” is THE place to be, situated on the coast this tiny Germanic town is epic!!! The first night was spent in probably the most popular restaurant in town Napolitana’s where the low prices certainly don’t mirror the ENORMOUS portions, a couple of hours later, a few pounds heavier and carrying doggy bags we made our way to Grunies for a few drinks before heading “home” to sleeeeepp zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Today saw everyone off on a quest for adrenaline, jumping out planes and shooting down sand dunes…(and climbing back up them again for more).

Unfortunately tomorrow marks the end of comfort but it’s all good as we continue further into this amazing country. Nearly time for game driving in Etosha but first we’ll be journeying to Spitskoppe in the depths of the old Damara Land, spooky, eerie and simply incredible!!! Until next time chaps, keep groovy!! xx

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Wow it seems like an age since the last time I wrote. As I type on my laptop we are driving towards the planes of Etosha “the great white place”, named so after the Etosha salt pan situated within the fences of the national park. But first, lets look at Botswana…
We crossed the boarder from Zambia to Botswana on a hot sweaty day and it was a welcome relief to arrive at our campsite in Kasane and hit the pool. It was a chilled evening with the hint of oncoming storms promising rain to cool us. The next morning saw us up before sunrise to head into the Chobe National Park for a morning game drive. The birdlife was outstanding as per usual, kingfishers, bee-eaters and even the fish eagle made an appearance. That same afternoon saw us taking to the waterways of the Chobe River on the sunset cruise where hippo’s and elephants were plentiful. Up next was our 620km drive to Maun, the gate way to the Okavango Delta where we spent time night bush camping on an island surrounded by the millions of channels that make up the largest inland delta in the world. The afternoon was spent trying to learn how to pole the mokoro’s and inching into the shade on what was a scorching day. The afternoon bush walk was a success with close sightings of elephants, giraffe, zebra. That evening our guides and polers entertained us with their camp fire songs, remarkable they didn’t ask us to return the favour …maybe they heard our tuneless attempts at singing earlier in the day and decided it would be better to go to bed with the ribbeting of frogs ringing in their ears instead of us attempting and failing a rendition of queen and undoubtedly a national anthem of some kind.
Our last might in Botswana was spent in the town of Ghanzi and Trail Blazers camp where we went on a bushmen walk with some of the few remaining bushmen in the area where we were allowed a glimpse into the lives of this tribe.
The following day we crossed into Namibia (in my opinion) the best country on tour. Our first stop was in the capital city of Windhoek and the afternoon was spent wandering around and partaking in some serious SERIOUS retail therapy….then it happened…..the clouds came…..and burst!!! Our campsite was transformed into a raging torrent of water!! However we soon got over it as we all over indulged on some game meat at the famous Joe’s Beer House.
That brings me up to date folks as today we have left Windhoek and are journeying to Etosha for some game driving…..and it looks as if the rain is following us, but hey, rain or shine we are still on the best continent in the world experiencing once in a life time experiences and it sure doesn’t get much better than that!!!