Lone Men

We went back to Kaokoland to see if we could find some more lone men. The last time we saw 2. We didn’t do Van Zyls Pass again, but we did another pass called Jouberts. The road was better and only had one bumpy bit. Then we passed the Red Drum, and through the Marienfluss to Camp Syncro. We were very disappointed as we didn’t see any men at all.

At Camp Syncro we met two ladies who work for the Giraffe Conservation Fund. One of the ladies came from New Zealand! They travel around taking photos of the giraffes and recording where they are. They showed us a folder of lots of giraffe photos. My favourite giraffe was one called Supergirl because she has a spot that looks like the superman logo! The giraffes here are paler in colour than the giraffes we saw up north and their horns are smaller. It was very interesting. They gave us a sticker for our car – did you know there is a world giraffe day on the 21st June?

When we left the camp we found our first stone man. He was sitting in the shade of a tree and had a stick. It was very hard to spot.

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Then we drove through the Marienfluss again. We took some more pictures of the fairy circles.

Then we drove over what Daddy called a cheeky little pass into Hartmann’s valley. We saw some Hartmann’s Zebra. They look different to other zebra because they have white tummies, instead of stripes and have a wobbly bit under their chin. They are very rare. We had to cross a little pass and it was a bit bumpy but the Taniwha was ok.

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We passed by Blue Drum and Orange Drum.  Then in a dry river bed I saw another stone man. This one was standing up and was hidden by a big rock!

Then we did a sandy loop. We saw lots of springbok and gemsbok. We lost the track and it was hard to find. The sand got really deep. Then, disaster, the engine coolant alarm came on. When Daddy looked he discovered the car was broken again. We pulled off the road and Daddy fixed it with some steel and a ratchet strap. It was late so we camped there. Genevieve and I made our own stone man!

The next day we started back to Windhoek so that we could get some more car parts. Then we saw three stone men! Two of them were sitting down looking over the road. Then Mummy saw one hanging off a rock. That was my favourite one!

Now we are in Windhoek, staying at our favourite camp: Urban Camp. We have been swimming and we watched New Zealand beat Ireland in the rugby. Last night we had a big BBQ with some of our friends. It was very tasty.

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Namibia Again

We went back to Namibia and went to another National Park called Mudumu. We saw lots of elephants, antelope, zebra, warthogs and giraffes. We camped next to the Cuando river and had a yummy stirfry dinner. There were lots of noisy baboons in the tree.

Then we went back to a campsite that we had stayed at before next to the Okavango River. We had to have our Bilharzia tablets. We had them just before bed. When Daddy woke up in the morning he felt a bit wobbly but the rest of us were fine.

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Then we drove across the top of Namibia. It wasa a boring straight road, with lots of people on it. We had another slow leak in the tyre and Daddy had to keep stopping to fill it up with air. We stayed at Fantasia Lodge and it rained and rained all night! Then we stayed at a community camp and Vivi and I made a bow and arrow and throwing sticks.

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After that we went back into Kaokoland. We drove along the border between Namibia and Angola. We stopped at the Dorsland Memorial for people who moved out of Angola into Namibia.

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Then we went to visit a school at Ehomba. The school had 350 students and some of the children board there. Some of the children have to walk 20km just to get there! We saw their bedroom with lots of bunk beds. Some of the beds didn’t have mattresses, just a blanket. There were goats walking round the school too! We went into a classroom and had a photo with the children. They kept touching my hair. We gave them a netball for their sports tournament.

Botswana

After Zimbabwe we went to Botswana. We stayed at a camp called Elephant Sands. It was awesome because there was a watering hole in the centre of the camp, right next to the swimming pool and the bar. Elephants wandered in all day and all night to get water and to cover themselves in mud. It was fun to watch. Sometimes the elephants would put their trunk over a tusk. Sometimes the elephants coming in, looked like they were running, they would flap their ears at the other elephants. One elephant put its trunk into the toilet block, even though there was elephant proofing outside! Another elephant snuck up on us when we were looking in the car and we didn’t even hear it, it was so quiet!

Genevieve and I also made dream catchers out of an old wine box, and some wool.  They looked really good!

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After that we drove the Hunter’s Road. This is a famous road on the border of Botswana and Zimbabwe. There are waterholes on the road and sometimes you can see lots of animals, but it was too dry and we only saw more elephants, and some antelope. We also saw a dead elephant, with just its skin left. I thought I saw a leopard, but when we drove back, we couldn’t see it. We also got a bit lost and ended up ‘bush bashing’ down an overgrown track. The car got really scratched. Then we found a fire break and got back to the proper road. We did a wild camp and saw zebra and a giraffe.

But the next day we found that the chassis was ripped again and we had to find someone to weld it. We also had a slow leak in the tyre because there was a thorn in it.

We went to a wildlife rescue centre. They had lots of snakes and small cats like a civet, a genet and caracal. Though they were all hiding in their boxes. We also saw a warthog with some mongoose. But the best was the pet honey badger. He had been  with humans since he was 2months old! He tried to steal the keeper’s shoe. It was very funny! We want a honey badger as a pet now.

Then we decided to go back to Namibia. We drove through Chobe National Park and saw elephants hiding behind trees. They weren’t very well hidden!

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Zimbabwe

After the Victoria Falls we drove to Lake Kariba. It is a man-made lake, but because it is so dry the level is really low. (only 19%!) Daddy tried to go fishing for tiger fish, but he didn’t catch anything. The owners gave us some nice fish for dinner though and Daddy made sweet potato chips to go with it. It was very tasty. I did some practicing on my recorder. I can do the notes B and A.

Then we drove to a painted dog sanctuary. There is a very good museum. There were 7 big paintings about an African wild dog called Eyespot. Each painting had a book under it that told you what was happening. Eyespot was a real dog! I learnt that dogs live in packs and there is an alpha male and an alpha female. The alpha is the leader and they are the only ones that have puppies. They use the den of an aardvark.  When some of the dogs go hunting, they come back and regurgitate their food for the puppies.  If a dog gets hurt, it doesn’t go hunting but it babysits the puppies and the other dogs bring back food for it. That is different to lions, because lions leave a hurt lion to hunt by itself. The dogs mainly hunt impala and have to eat quickly because lions and hyenas steal it. Eyespot’s brother was the alpha male, but was killed in a snare, so Eyespot hunted for the alpha female and all the puppies. It was really sad because Eyespot was killed by a farmer.

Then we went on a little walk to see some painted dogs. We saw three painted dogs, two of the dogs live there all the time. Their names are Lucky and Peanut. One of them was caught in a snare and had a limp. The other was attacked by a lion and its head was on a funny angle. The third dog, they hope to introduce to a pack. There was also a puppy that we didn’t see because they don’t want it to be near humans. The dogs have really big ears and are coloured black, brown and white. The lady threw them some meat to eat, and Peanut and Lucky splashed in a bath of water.

Then we went to Bulawayo. We went to a Railway Museum. It had lots of steam engines and we could climb them! The best thing was a push me pull you that Genevieve and I did with Daddy. It was really hard to make it move. One of the engines was called Jack Tar – it was the first engine to cross Victoria Falls. We also saw a train that was used by a man called Cecil Rhodes. Daddy said that is how you do overlanding in style. He had his own dining room, toilet, kitchen and bed. He had a lot more space than we do!

Then we went to the Natural History Museum. It also had lots and lots and lots of stuffed animals. There was a really big elephant – it said it was the second biggest stuffed elephant in the world. It was 5.5 tonnes – that is even more than the Taniwha. It was really big. There were stuffed cats, stuffed antelope, stuffed snakes, stuffed birds and insects. There were also some live snakes. It was a good museum. Then we drove to a National Park called Matobo.

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Matobo was a really good park. There were big granite rocks called kopjies. We did two walks to see rock paintings. The first rock paintings showed a rhino and some people. It was really good. The second paintings showed animals, like a giraffe, buffalo, and we thought some elephants. Can you see them?

We also went to a big hill where Cecile Rhodes was buried – but we didn’t go to the top because you had to pay more. It was still a good view. Then we went to the other side of the park where the animals were. We nearly got stuck in the thatch roof of the entrance. Luckily there was another way in! There was a rock formation called, Mother and Child. I thought it looked more like a duck. Daddy said it was a tired mother and two urchin children.

We saw a few small antelope them a ranger showed us a rhino. It was a white rhino. Vivi and I were a bit scared. The ranger took us for a walk up really close to the rhino. He made lots of clicking and whistling noises to talk to it.

We camped in the park and had a big fire. Then the next day we saw a mum and baby rhino. Then we drove to a new country: Botswana.

 

 

Victoria Falls

We went from Zambia to Zimbabwe. It was a really easy border and we crossed a big bridge to go over the Zambezi River. It was very impressive. We stayed at a campsite and then walked back to the Victoria Falls. We had to buy water because it was so hot.

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At the falls there was a little path that you walk along. There were lots of viewpoints, like the Devil’s Pool. You can see the falls from both Zambia and Zimbabwe but it is so dry at the moment that you can only see it from Zimbabwe. The eastern side was completely dry! We saw people on the Zambian side swimming in a rock pool right on the edge of the falls! Even though there wasn’t much water in the falls there was still some spray. It was like a jungle and everything was green. I could imagine tigers walking through it! You could see the river at the bottom of the canyon, and there were people in a speed boat. There were also lots of helicopters flying over the falls too. It was very pretty, but I would like to go back when there is more water.