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Zimbabwe here we come!

Farewell Malawi, Bush camping in Mozambique and happy 2012!

rain 24 °C

Our last day in Malawi was spent snorkelling: which was cool as the lake is fresh water and all our other snorkelling has been over coral. The rocky island just off shore provided the perfect environment for an hour or two of snorkelling, a bit of jumping off rocks (well just the once for me), and a futile search for otters. The hope of seeing an otter had me scampering all over the island, over slimy florescent green rocks in wetsuit boot/sock things mainly so that I could report back to my future brother in law – who is otter mad. But sadly no otters for us that day. In the evening we attempted to play football with the local (semi-professional) team but it was the little kids who provided the best entertainment, and captured our hearts. Most simply wanted to hold hands, the girls being more popular for this, or be swung into the air over and over again by the boys. The final score: 7-3 was largely thanks to Mike aka Little Pea, who scored the first two goals and was without doubt the best player on our (only slightly hangover) team.

1 Mike with local Malawian boy

1 Mike with local Malawian boy

Our next objective was to get to Zimbabwe. Sounds easy enough but think again. First a day in the capital of Malawi: Lilongwe just chilling, doing jobs and buying supplies for the upcoming days while our guide spent the best part of 8 hours sorting out our visas for Mozambique at the embassy. Nice! 2 days of driving and one bush camp later we crossed the border into Zimbabwe, just in time for New Years, and another dress up party (Mike bought himself ANOTHER women’s top to wear). Our passports, previously new, unused and in pristine condition now have a very healthy collection of interesting looking stamps as we crossed three countries in as many days.

2 First bush camp, Mozambique

2 First bush camp, Mozambique

Bush camping was great fun – getting back to nature. Think roaring camp fire, gooey marshmallows, total darkness and a sky full of stars. Think also a trillion flies (not an exaggeration), intense humidity, scorpion warnings (luckily none in our tent) and a broken head torch. Sitting around the fire after dinner that night enjoying the company of new friends and telling tales is what camping is all about, and what better place than Africa to enjoy it in? So roughing it in the bush: awesome. Even more awesome was putting the rain fly on the tent – before it rained!!!!! We are certainly getting the hang of this camping business, and now we can add bush camping to that also, which is reassuring as we have many more bush camps to come in the next few weeks.

Just to clarify, bush camping is when we stop the truck in the middle of nowhere, side of the road kind of stuff whether it be jungle, desert, National Park or whatever. We have to ensure we can’t be seen from the road for security reasons as it is a little bit naughty. Good fun though!

3 Humidity and flies  - fun times

3 Humidity and flies - fun times

First stop in Zimbabwe was Mubayo camp. 3 nights of relative luxury; the decision to “upgrade” to a dorm made easy by the torrential and unrelenting downpour. We thought the budget could accommodate USD $5 for a bunk bed. We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, perhaps even a touch smug as we watched other people put up tents in the rain. Karma is a bitch though; the roof of our not so nice dorm leaked during the night and my backpack copped the brunt of the water flow. We got the dorm for free that night in compensation. Result. And we got all our clothes washed and pressed for free also. Even bigger result.

Mubayo camp kept us busy for a few days: a bird park (the only one in Zimbabwe), turtles, speed boat rides to white Rhino hotspots, enormous crocodiles (swimming in the lake is definitely at your own risk though) and lots of free roaming Zebras to watch outside our front door.

4 Don't get too close

4 Don't get too close

5 Anyone keen for a swim in the lake.

5 Anyone keen for a swim in the lake.

6 Mubayo camp, Lake chivera, Zimbabwe

6 Mubayo camp, Lake chivera, Zimbabwe


7 Me and the owl

7 Me and the owl

And of course Mubayo camp was our destination for a much anticipated New Year’s Eve Party! All I will say is that it was EPIC – the bits I can remember!  I rolled into bed at 5am, Mike a little before that at around 4am (he thinks?). The pictures on the camera are damming evidence indeed; multiple bottles of flavoured vodka, malibu, various other liquors, group photos inside canoes, confetti at midnight, silly poses and of course tons out of focus or without the flash. I can’t remember taking the majority of them, but we can be sure of one thing – everybody had the time of their lives!!!!! Nothing was achieved on New Year’s Day – except it was my turn to be on cook group again, and we made a very tasty chilly beef with rice served with yogurt, avocado slices and garlic bread. Everyone went straight to bed afterwards.

8 Derek (tour leader), Me, Chris and Kat

8 Derek (tour leader), Me, Chris and Kat

9 Happy New Year, 2012

9 Happy New Year, 2012

Posted by Mike.Keely 00:41 Archived in Zimbabwe

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Comments

Loving all the photo's, Mike definately suits PINK,
LOL
Love Mum xx

by Jenny Barnett

Happy NY Team! Mike - pink is awesome on you ;)

by Amie

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