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.