Archive for ‘Education’

Posts about the (hopefully) successful back-seat education of our children

Atlantic Coast

After the Richtersveld we drove along the Atlantic Coast. This is the west coast of South Africa. On the way we saw 2 shipwrecks. One was in Hondeklip Bay and was called the Jahleel. It was shipwrecked in 2003. We had our lunch next to the shipwreck Aristea. It was shipwrecked in 1945. Vivi and I made Mummy and Daddy a salad for lunch. We did it all by ourselves!

Daddy rescued a tortoise in the middle of the road and it peed on him!!

Then we did another national park called Namaqua Coastal Park. This park is supposed to be very pretty in the spring because of lots of wild flowers. But most of the flowers had finished. We drove right down to the water and got stuck in the sand. Mummy and Daddy had to dig us out. Then we saw a big seal colony. There were so many seals. They looked like fat slugs, and they were really smelly. Some of the photos weren’t very good because the sea fog was coming in.

After the park we did a wild camp by the beach. There were lots and lots of shells, so Vivi and I made shell shops.

Then we went to a Rooibos tea house. We saw a video on how they make tea. Then I tried some iced tea. It was yummy.

Then we went into the Cedarberg Wilderness Area. It was very mountainous, with lots of rock formations. We stayed at a camp and I went swimming in the river. It was very cold. Daddy went fishing and caught a small yellowfish. During dinner I saw a tortoise walk past! Vivi and I went running through a sprinkler because it was soooooo hot.

Then we went back to the coast. We went to Bird Island and learnt about guano – which is bird poo. They used to collect it to make fertiliser. But it is bad because it didn’t leave enough for the sea birds to lay their eggs in. We saw lots of gannets, but also saw two penguins. They had some skeletons in a museum and I liked one of a seagull and you could see the fish skeletons and bits of plastic in its tummy!

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.


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.

e fight

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Dr Livingstone I presume

We stayed in Livingstone for a few days. It was a nice campsite called Jolly Boys. It had a really good swimming pool. We also met lots of friends that we had seen on the road there! Daddy cooked a curry for everyone. It was very tasty.

The next day we went to the Livingstone museum. We weren’t allowed to take photos though. The museum had lots of sections. The first section had early humans with different skulls. We are Homo Sapiens. They also had skulls of Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Neaderthal and Australopithecus Afarensis. Our skull is the smallest!

There were two rooms set up with scenes. One was called ‘Our Village’ and had traditional huts. The other was called ‘Their Town’. Lots of people are moving to cities and some of the traditions are being lost.

My favourite section was the animal section. There were lots of stuffed animals – all the animals that you can find in Africa. I liked the leopard – that is one of the big five animals that we haven’t seen.

There was also a section on Dr. Livingstone. He was one of the first white men to go into the middle of Africa. Livingstone is named after him.  He was born in Scotland and was a missionary. He did lots of expeditions to Africa. This was before cars were invented and he had to walk everywhere! He followed the Zambezi River, and discovered the Victoria Falls. He was also the first European to cross from East Africa (Mozambique) to West Africa (Angola). He was trying to discover the source of the Nile River, when he got ill and had no medicine. He was helped by the slave traders – even though he didn’t agree with slavery – and the rest of the world thought that he was lost. He was found by a man called Henry Morton Stanley. Stanley found Livingstone on Lake Tanganyika and said: Dr. Livingstone, I presume. Livingstone died in Zambia. His heart was buried under a tree and his body was shipped to London and he was buried in Westminster Abbey. There were lots of his letters in the museum, but I couldn’t read his writing! When Livingstone was at school, he got a prize for hard work and was given the book Robinson Crusoe – which we read in the car!

After lots of swimming in the pool we left Zambia to go to Zimbabwe.