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.

No More Elephants!!

After Malawi we crossed into Zambia. The first night we stayed in the carpark of a castle! We wanted to go to the South Luangwa National Park but Daddy found some breaks in the chassis so we decided to go straight to Lusaka. It was a really long drive, and on the way a tyre had a blow out. Daddy changed it really quickly but there were 30 people watching us.

In Lusaka we stayed at a camp ground that had giraffes and zebra walking around! We had to stay there while Daddy took the car to a mechanic. I made some friends and learnt how to play a Swedish game called Kubb. It was really fun. We had two teams and had to knock 5 wooden blocks down, by throwing sticks. Then you had to knock the king stick down in the centre.

Then we went back to Wanderers Campsite in the centre of town. There were two others staying there that we had met overlanding before! (A Kiwi in Namibia and a Swiss family in Lesotho). Because Daddy was doing more car stuff I made a 4 wheel drive campervan for my toys. It had plastic bottle lids for wheels (thank you Michael!) It had a toilet, a sofa bed and I made cushions out of felt and a kitchen. I even had sand mats. We made a 4 wheel drive trail with mud, sand, a rocky pass and a bridge.

After Wanderers we went to the Lower Zambezi National Park. We stayed at a really pretty lodge right on the river. On the other side we could see Zimbabwe! Daddy tried to catch a tiger fish.

One day we went into the park. On the way in Mummy spotted a civet, a type of cat. The first thing we saw in the park where two big lions. They were fast asleep by the road and had really big tummies. Then we saw two more lions, and these ones were awake!

In the park we saw a jackal, impala, water buck, buffalo, monkeys, hippos, crocodiles,  mongoose and lots of different birds.

And we saw lots and lots of elephants. Often the elephants were on the road and we had to wait for them to move to get past. One young boy elephant flapped his ears at us and started to chase us.  We drove away quickly, and went round the corner to find more elephants! A mother with a baby elephant was also a bit agressive and flapped her ears. It was a bit scary.

Then when we were leaving the park, there was a tree that had fallen over the road and there were 4 elephants eating the bark. It was getting dark so Daddy had to find another way back to our campsite. And at our campsite there were more elephants!

Then, when we left the campsite to go to Livingstone, there were more elephants on the road out!  One elephant ran across the road in front of us really fast.

We have had enough of elephants.

Malawi (a play for 2 people)

Mummy: Eleanor, we really need to get the blog done about Malawi. It has been ages since we did a blog, and we left Malawi ages ago.

Eleanor: urrrgghhh

Mummy: Come on, how about we write it as a play. I’ll ask questions, and you answer.

Eleanor: urgghhhh…..ok.

M: Do you remember crossing into Malawi?

E: Yes, it took about 45 minutes, so really quick. There was a little boy who asked us for sweets or pens. Then we went to Floja. It was a campsite right by the lake. There is normally a preschool there but it was school holidays. I found a scorpion in the sink!! There were pigs and cows on the beach!!

M: Where did we go next?

E: We went up a windy road to a place called Livingstonia. It was settled by Scottish missionaries. We went to a church with a stained glass window of Dr. Livingstone. Then we went up the bell tower, but it was a bit scary as Daddy said he nearly fell through because of the dry rot. We bought a globe made of ebony and in the middle is a secret compartment!

E: Then we went to Lukwe farm campsite. It was an eco camp, so when you went to the toilet you had to cover it with ash and leaves. We also saw a really big moth, and it’s wings looked exactly like leaves! We went to Manchewe Falls, but we could only stand at the top of them and lots of people tried to follow us.

E: Then we went to Vwasa National Park. There were lots of flies in the car – horseflies, which bite. We saw lots of elephants though. We stayed in a little house with a mosquito net over our bed. We saw a crocodile and there were lots and lots of hippos. We could hear them grunting! Vivi had her favourite dinner – pesto pasta!

M: Why did Genevieve have pesto pasta?

E: Because Genevieve turned 6!! I made her a card with a unicorn on it, and I gave her a heart shaped bag with sequins that change colour. She got a new barbie doll, and some colouring books and some reading books. She also got a fish mouth game where you press a button and try and get some rings on a hook.

E: Then we went to Nkhata Bay.  They made Vivi a birthday cake with real candles on it. Daddy went diving, and we went swimming in the pool. When Daddy finished diving we ate all the popcorn!

M: After that we stayed at Cool Runnings for a night, then went to Majete National Park. What was that like?

E: I loved Majete. It reminded us of Burnham Beeches. It was next to the Shire River.  We saw a waterfall and a dam. We saw more hippos and crocodiles. We saw, zebra, giraffe and a hyena. We saw lots of impala and water buck. We went and sat at a hide for an hour and we saw elephants come and drink. I took lots of photos.

E: Then we went to the Zomba Plateau. It was a good view and we stayed on a trout farm, through Daddy wasn’t allowed to go fishing. We had a big campfire.

M: Then we went to another national park, called Liwonde.

E: Yes – we were hoping to see some black rhino, but we didn’t see any. We saw lots of antelope, but everything was near the river and hard to see. We did learn to play Bau, a game with a board with 32 holes and 64 seeds. And there was a good pool.

M: After that we went back to Lake Malawi, to Monkey Bay.

E: Yes – we went swimming and found lots of snail shells! There where cool mosaics in the toilets. I cut my finger though.

E: Then we went back to Nkhata Bay. Daddy did an advanced diving course, and he took my barbie doll with him! It was really fun, we went kayaking on the lake and we went swimming and saw lots of fish.

M: Why did Daddy take photos of your doll?

E: I am writing a book called ‘The Adventures of Overlanding Barbie’. It is really good, I have taken photos of her all around Nkhata Bay!

M: After that we went to Cool Runnings Campsite. Can you remember one of the good things they were doing there?

E: Ohh. They do a swap shop. Kids bring in plastic rubbish, and it gets weighed, then they swap it for clothes, footballs, and toys. It is a good idea, there is a lot of rubbish. Especially little blue plastic bags – they call them the rose of Malawi.

M: Then we went back to Floja, what was that like?

E: We went back to Floja when the preschool was running. I helped you make lots of finger puppets to give to the children to play with. The preschool was like a real school. The children did lessons and learnt numbers, and letters and shapes. They wrote on a blackboard with chalk and I had a go too. They had a really cool playground, with swings, seesaw and merry go round. And the best was a zip wire!

M: What happened when we were leaving Malawi?

E: We went back to Shoprite in Mzuzu and there was a protest. Lots of people were on the street and we got locked in the carpark. Some of the guards had guns. There was loud music, but we realised we could sneak out the back way, then we went back to Zambia.

M: Did you like Malawi?

E: Yes, I liked swimming in the lake, but it isn’t my favourite country.

M: When is ‘The Adventures of Overlanding Barbie’ coming out?

Eleanor has gone, jumped back in the pool….