The third month on the road started off with a mini holiday within the overland trip to Zanzibar. I went to Zanzibar five years ago and I can honestly say me and Zanzibar didn’t click, I didn’t love it so I was pretty eager to give it another go.
Thankfully I had an absolute blast this time around. There was plenty of partying, swimming in the crystal clear waters and wandering the streets of Stone Town. Zanzibar was a welcome break as we had a bed, no wake up calls and we had so much free time.
The following few days after Zanzibar was spent driving, the days were long and it was very much get up early, drive for 10-14 hours, set up camp, eat and sleep. Even though we weren’t doing much it was exhausting but at the end of a few travel days was Malawi.
Kandee Beach was on Lake Malawi and it was a super chilled out place, we hung out in hammocks, went paddle boarding on the lake, I got bitten by a snake (and lived to tell the tale) and had a dress up party.
After Malawi we crossed into Zambia where the temperature soared and it didn’t let up for three more weeks. We spent a night in Lusaka where I was woken up at 2am by giraffes munching away right next to my tent. It was so cool to see them so up close and in the middle of the night, there were also loads of zebras hanging out at the camp site.
Livingstone was the next place we went in Zambia and the campsite was situated right on the Zambezi. Victoria Falls were here and it was a total let down as the falls were completely dry! But we did manage to get into Devils Pool which is at the top of Vic Falls during the dry season.
Devils Pool was pretty scary but an exhilarating experience that I will always remember.
In Livingstone a whole bunch of new people joined the Tucan trip and our truck was now at 23 passengers, it was great to have lots of new people and it keeps the long overland trip exciting. The next country was Botswana which was even hotter than Zambia, temperatures were somewhere around 40 degrees and at times it was unbearable on the truck.
Chobe National Park was our first stop and here we did a river safari, it was a totally different perspective and it was fascinating to see the animals from the river. Botswana has the biggest population of elephants and we saw a ton of them in Chobe.
The next stop in Botswana was the Okavango Delta which we got to on mokoros steered by local polers. The Delta has a huge amount of wild life and once we’d had a dip in the delta to cool off (because again the heat was unbearable) we did a walking safari which was a real highlight of the trip.
Being able to walk with the animals was so different to being in a 4×4 or boat, we got to see a herd of around 50 elephants approach us and go round us to their next destination. A can confirm that a ‘herd of elephants’ as the saying goes is wrong. They were so quiet. The Delta had no fixed camp so we had to be careful at night of the animals all around us, they were certainly around as we could hear them during the night.
After the Delta we crossed through the Kalahari Desert and into Namibia where the desert continued, we spent two nights in Etosha National Park where the campsites have a unique game watching experience. The camp have flood lit watering holes where you can go and sit at all hours of the day and night and watch the animals. One evening I saw 4 rhinos and 2 lions come to drink and hang out.
We stopped by the worlds second largest salt flat and we FINALLY found a rhino after searching for weeks. It was a very special moment to see this hugely endangered animal in the flesh.
We passed the Tropic of Capricorn
Once leaving Etosha our next camp site was a cheetah park where we got to pet tame cheetahs and see some of the more wild ones in a nearby farm. The animal encounters have been immense so far!
Continuing through Namibia we hit the German town of Swakopmund where for some reason it was freezing even though it was in the middle of the desert. We quad biked through the dunes and partied for Halloween.
Driving through the Namib desert we reached a placed called Seserium which is the gateway to the largest dunes in Namibia to climb. We had a 4am wake up call but it was worth it to climb Dune 45 and watch the sunrise over it. We also saw Deadvlei which is salt flat tucked away behind some dunes with dead trees.
On the way to South Africa we stopped at Fish River Canyon which is the second biggest canyon in the world, it resembled the Grand Canyon on a smaller scale and was a great lunch stop off.
The third month on the road has most certainly been the busiest, I can’t believe we have fit all of this into just one month. The early starts make it all worth while as we have seen and done some incredible things. I am glad to now be out of the desert as it was too hot, nothing ever stayed clean and no matter how much water you drink you still need more.
What I’ve been reading: The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
What I’ve loved: Seeing a rhino and the flood lit watering hole viewing late at night & the incredible stars in the desert
What I’ve not loved: Cooking and cleaning for 23 people on duty days
Where next? South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho & Zimbabwe