From VicFalls to Chobe River Villas - Land and Sea

We had our final breakfast and said our goodbyes at the Victoria Falls Hotel on April 18th.  Our van took us to the Botswana border via the lovely Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe in about an hour and a half.  The two lane highway was lightly traveled except for heavy trucks, and a few tour vans and private cars.   We did see some giraffes through the trees.  I again felt that feeling of expansiveness, clear, endless skies.

At the Botswana border we had to disinfect two pairs of shoes to combat hoof and mouth disease to protect their cattle industry.  We also changed vans and drivers.  The new driver shepherded us to Kasane Immigration Botswana while he transferred our luggage to his boat.  Capt Gilbert was rocking a 6 person aluminum power boat the was tied up at a the tiny dock at Kasane Immigration.  He balanced and hoisted our ginormous bags without complaint.  I'm comfortable on the water; but Mike was a little unsure.   The next leg of the journey took  us to Kasika Immigration in Namibia.  I never had this part of the trip clear in my head.  As it turns out, the international boarder between Botswana and Namibia is the Chobe River.  We did all our Game Drives (photo safaris) in Botswana but were residing in Namibia.  We had to clear immigration every time we crossed the river!  It actually wasn't that bad and the kind folks at the Chobe Water Villas to care of most of it.  

Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe

We left Maputo Mozambique early on April 16th via South African Airways flying to Johannesburg to catch our connecting flight to Victoria Falls Airport.  We started the next day, April 17th 2017, with a tour of Mosi-oa-Tunya which in Tokaleya Tonga means - "The Smoke That Thunders"  which is more widely known as - Victoria Falls.  o see VicFalls, you walk along the lip of the Victoria Falls Rainforest Reserve and stop at 16 overlooks along the way.  The path is nicely paved and marked and fairly flat.  It's also at the about the same elevation as the Zambezi River before the Falls.  Visitors see the Zambezi River plummet into the narrow gorge.  The massive volumes of water cascading into the narrow space creates powerful air currents that rise vertically carrying water, mist and vapor with it. The resulting plume can rise 1,300 ft and be seen up to 30 miles away.  The plume also creates a microclimate that sustains its own rainforest.   We took a guided tour but you can self-guide.  Our guide, Lucky was very knowledgeable about the Falls and an excellent ambassador for his country.  We put on rain gear before entering the park but we got drenched anyway.  No rain.  Just mist.  

Macaneta Beach, Mozambique - Incredible

We drove north out of town to head to Macaneta a beach area on the Indian Ocean.  We got to see a lot of folks out doing what folks do along the way.  A herd of cows got to check us out too.  You have to have a real 4 wheel drive vehicle to get to the beach so we had to park and walk for about 20 minutes to be picked up by a car.  Well, we thought it was going to be a car.   The green ATV was our ride - 3 big guys and two little dogs and our gear.   I couldn't figure out why the 4x4's were required the roads really didn't look that bad.  Well, closer to the beach the "roads" are just sand, deep, loose sand.  The ATV is actually ideal for such conditions.

Walking Tour of Maputo Mozambique

We took a walking tour of downtown Maputo on our first full day in town, April 13th, 2017.  Our guide, Sheldon, is from the area and uses the tours to earn money and practice English.   He's very knowledgable about the history of the city and the country.  He's also proud of his heritage which is always great to see in young people.  

Africa - Getting there!

Me and Mike began our two week international adventure on a Metro Bus.  Didn't see that coming did you?  The Metro 5A leaves L'Enfant Plaza and takes goes to Dulles, stopping only twice, for $7.  It drops you right at the curb, no parking fees, walking or shuttles at the airport. 

We took South African Airways for the 17 hour flight to Johannesburg South Africa, leaving at about 6:00 pm local time.  The SAA Airbus 340 stopped after 10 hours, traveling at nearly 40,000 ft and averaging 550 mph, in Accra Ghana to refuel and off/onboard passengers.  About half the passengers, deplaned in Ghana.  We were on the ground for about an hour before continuing to Jo'burg.