Saturday, March 31, 2012


Thankfully our skydivers returned safe and totally LOVED the experience. Having watched their DVD's at the lodge, high on adrenalin we headed out into Swakopmund for a night on the town!
The final week of tour was fabulous, hitting the Namib Desert after Swakop. I always love to see peoples reaction to this amazing place as words just never do it justice, saying goodbye to tarmac and hitting bumpy dirt road and all of a sudden its just sand, sand everywhere. You see the scenery change before you from green mountains to towering arid sand dunes it is phenomenal. We headed to the Namib Naukluft National park which is the second largest National park in Namibia covering just under 50,000 sqkm's. It's home to dune 45 (among a hell of a lot of other dunes). Dune 45 is the most photographed dune in the world and we get to climb it for sunrise! The drive from camp to the dune is always ridiculously early but i tell people to try and stay awake for those 45 Km's as it will take your breath away. It begins pitch black then slowly slowly as the day begins to break you are able to make out the skyline of dunes, they look black and eerie in the early morning shadows only giving in to their rusty orange colour when the sun is higher in the sky. A grand time was had by all and the early morning was finished off with a cooked breakfast at the bottom of the dune.
Next up was the stunning views of the Fish River Canyon ,,,,, I stayed behind at camp to prepare dinner whilst everyone went to enjoy the sunset over the worlds second largest canyon. . . i was happily preparing dinner ,,,,when suddenly the flame on my gas stove died......surely not.....*%@# ....For the first time in my overlanding career I ran out of gas!! Thankfully we had an obscene amount of fire wood so cooking on fire it was....proper camping!!
The final 2 days of tour saw us crossing into South Africa and hitting the Orange River where a few of the passengers went on what was supposed to be a couple of hours canoeing trip and what turned out to be a 5 hour canoeing trip.....apparently what happens on the river stays on the river so none of us really know what took so long. Our final night was spent enjoying the wine......and possible some of the jagermeister offered at Highlanders camp site. . . . One minute we were watching the sunset over the Olifants River and the next we are glimpsing Table Mountain as we were approaching Cape Town.
We had a fantastic trip made that little more fantastic by a bunch of fabulous people. As it stands at the moment this was my last trip as am swapping my nomadic life style for a job in the operations department in Acacia's Cape Town office. I have been working on the road now for 2 years and have thoroughly enjoyed every single moment! You never know, I may make another appearance on one of our trucks but for the time being Cape Town is definitely the way forward. Must say big thanks to all the wonderful people I have met along the way and have had the pleasure of traveling with. Massive thanks to TJ who always makes life on the road that little bit easier and big love to the guys in the office who have always made sure the road we are traveling on as been a smooth one!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jealous yet??

As I write, I am sat soaking up the sun on a glorious Sunday afternoon on Swakopmund Namibia….Jealous yet? If not you sure will be by the time you’ve finished reading!

So, back to the beginning. Once leaving Livingstone and crossing into Botswana, the fun began as we spent 2 nights in the Chobe area. Game driving through Chobe National park where we spotted all kinds of colourful birds, giraffe, rhino AND mating lions! Yes! But the fun wasn’t over yet as the Fish Eagle Boat Cruise was yet to come. Whilst cruising along the waterways of the Chobe River we were blessed with herd after herd of elephants, including babies of no more that 6 months running and playing underneath (yep the were that small) their elders!

Next up was Maun (known as Maun Vegas,,,,,,,for what reason I am still unsure!), the gateway to the flowing channels of the Okavango Delta! The Delta, where bush camping and toilets masquerading as holes dug into the earth becomes everyone’s fabulous reality! We were treated to a bit of welcomed relaxation as we were ‘poled’ through the watery alleys of the delta brushed gently by reeds and water lilies as we passed. Once at our bush camp we swam and tired to pole the mokoros and as the blazing sun became too much we retreated to the shady solace of a sausage tree! In the cool of the afternoon we headed out for our first bush walk where we got to experience the serenity of the bush by sunset! Back at camp dinner was served around the fire and we saw the evening in listening as the night came alive with the nocturnal noises of all creatures calling the Delta their home.

The Delta experience was over as soon as it began and we were headed back to Maun for one more night before heading over to Ghanzi. For our one night here the peeps got to walk with and learn about the survival of the bushmen. Sadly the walk was cut short as the heaves decided to open with an enormous cloud burst. The rain continued all night adding to the eerie atmosphere of this old tribal land.

Next up was our first glance at a westernized infrastructure: Windhoek, Namibia’s capital and possibly Africa’s cleanest city! Time was on our side so we had plenty of hours to mooch around the city streets. That night, not to break overlanding tradition we took over Joe’s Beer House!!!!

The following 2 days were spent meandering through the dirt tracks of Etosha National Park, scouting out for the 4 of the big 5 that live here (Etosha is too dry for the buffalo)……Having spent the 2 days with our eyes peeled we managed to spot lions, elephant AND rhino but sadly the ever elusive leopard remained anti-social (as per reputation) and kept well hidden amongst the bush. Other spots included owls, many frogs, a jackal springing on and eating a mouse (I am counting this as a kill!!!!), and a turtle swimming through a massive puddle. But the best spot goes to our very own eagle eyed TJ who managed to glimpse a monitor lizard completely blended into the tree upon which it was sat, so much so that it took us ages to work out what it was we were supposed to be looking at! All were very impressed with TJ’s eye site!!!

Onwards to what will probably remain my favorite place in Africa: Spitzkoppe. Again, time was with us so having arrived and setting up camp everyone disappeared into the rocky wonderland to go and explore. Some went jogging, others went for gentle strolls in the shadows of the outcrops and then 4 decided to tackle the big mountain, 1 of which reached the top! Big shout out to Lee Sheara Jones who is my only pax EVER to get to the top!!!! Hugely impressed we awaited their return. The sunset,the moon rose and thanks to a clear evening the stars bought the night sky alive as they shot across the black backdrop but alas our explorers were still to return,,,,eventually at 10.30…6 hours after they set out they returned…this my friends is a lesson to ALWAYS carry your head torch!!!

This brings me pretty much up to date, We have already sent 8 out of the 11 passengers off to skydive. Over the next day and a half people will continue their quest for adrenaline as they sand board and quad bike over the sand dunes. In the mean time, whilst I await the safe return of our skydivers I will continue soaking up the sun with a good book and a cold beer. Jealous yet? Bet you are!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Well well well it has ben along time since my last post. Having finished our trip in Nairobi on the 16th February TJ and I have had a relaxing time of it making our way down to Livingstone to begin our next tour. Usually after finishing in Nairobi we would nip next door to Uganda for a couple of weeks to visit the Gorillas but alas there has been some rescheduling which has seen us heading down south to begin a trip here in Zambia which will have us finishing up in Cape Town. We transited 3000 km's in 4 days through Tanzania, a route neither of us have seen before (of course we usually run the trip through Malawi). The scenery was outstanding however the boarder crossing was utter chaos, thank God we don't have to get passengers over this boarder!!
Any way we're here now and we have 9 passengers joining us on the trip of a life time which will see them bush camping in Botswana, climbing sand dunes in Namibia, game driving through some of the best parks in Southern Africa and exploring the different cultures and walks of life in Cape Town.
Today will mark our departure from Zambia and entry into Botswana where we will be spending 2 nights in the Chobe region game driving in Chobe National Park and cruising on the Chobe River. I'll let you know how we get on very soon. :)