Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Southern Cross Lake Malawi to Kariba and the Houseboat!

30th August - 4th September - Lake Malawi to Kariba

30th - 31st August
After an amazing 3 days on the shores of Lake Malawi, we were a bit down and out about leaving. We have another 2 day drive ahead of us to reach Zimbabwe, but first to cross into Zambia for 2 nights. The Zambian border took a while, and the half hour spent in the sun, Shev managed to get the tops of her legs burnt. We stayed at a camp-site in Chipata, we all heard there was wifi and rushed ourselves to the bar only to find out that the wifi vouchers had sold out. Bummer!
The next morning we left the camp-site early to get to Lusaka where we would finally be able to get a decent shop done for lunches. We knew that the further south we went not only would the roads improve but the availability of goods too! We were getting excited as we had been told there was a Subway and Wimpy there! I had my heart set on Subway!
On the long drive to Lusaka, we stopped the truck as someone was feeling a bit ill. I only mentioned that bit as not too long after we had stopped our truck came to a grinding halt. A Pajero had skidded off the road, rolled and flipped into a ditch. There had been a tyre blow out half a kilometer up the road and our driver Temba ( also a Zimbabwean) had seen the car swerving in and out both lanes and slowed down. We had narrowly missed being hit! We have a nurse called Jill on our truck and immediately she was out the truck with Kanyo and Temba seeing how the passengers were. We all ran to get our sterile medical kits to hand out examination gloves to those helping the people in the car. It was something that I have never experienced before and a bit of a shock to the system. Some of us were halting traffic and sweeping depri off the road. There were 4 people in the car, two males and two females. The one woman seemed ok and had broken her leg in two places. The other 3 had serious head injuries. Their belongings had been thrown all over the place and there were quite a few blankets luckily and those with gloves on helped to get the people with head injuries onto the blankets and lifted them onto an open truck that had stopped and offered to take them to the hospital. We did all we could, but unfortunately we were in the middle of no where and were not able to call for an ambulance. We got back onto the truck, most were sitting in silence some were crying. It was a shock to everyone’s system and I soon realised if we hadn’t have stopped earlier we would have been involved in the accident as well. Definitely our guardian angels were certainly looking after us that day.
We arrived in Lusaka, our first stop was the local market to buy a fancy dress outfit for a party on the house boat! Some of the outfits that were being sold were utterly ridiculous! There were loads on onezies! Soon the guys all had dresses sorted for the evening. One guy was in a naughty nurses outfit. Hilarious! After getting our outfits for the houseboat party, we went to the shopping center for lunch. Dave’s face lit up when he realised there was Mike’s Kitchen there. He explained this was equivalent to Spur. We both had a steak sandwich and this went down a huge treat. After shopping for lunches for the next 4/5 days we all boarded and went to Eureka Camp for the night before leaving early the next day for Zimbabwe.

1st - 4th September
Kariba, Zimbabwe

After a rather short journey to the border, we arrived in Zimbabwe. To me I could smell the air changing to a very familiar smell - the smell of home! I am home finally. I was so excited to be home! Everyone required visas for entering except Dave and myself. Its good to know that the old paper work system was still in place. I mean that in a sarcastic way. It was funny seeing the lady behind the customs counter getting out the big receipt book with the the carbon paper and painfully writing out the receipt for the payment of the visas. After they had done one, Dave and I jumped the queue as they wanted those not requiring visas first. I had no problems re-entering considering its been almost 4 years since I was last home. Dave’s Saffa passport had to be taken to the back office to be scanned and put under a uv light. And here he called me the dodgy Zimbo! Talk about dodgy Saffa now! Hahaha! We spent a good 2 (ish) hours at the border till everyone got their visas. We are spending the night at Moths Camp-site before we board the mammoth houseboat that can sleep 40 people, all kitted out with a jacuzzi as well the next morning.

 Zim border! 

Crossing Kariba Dam Wall. View of the great Zambezi river

 Kariba Dam Wall
Kariba Dam Wall

Sabi Sabi flower!
Our boat had 2 decks, the first level is the one that we stayed on with the storage and kitchen at the stern. Top deck was the entertainment area with a bar and jacuzzi. The stern of the boat had a cage that was the only the way to swim since Kariba is now full of crocodiles, ironic when you consider that the locals called it “Kariba” meaning trapped!

 On the houseboat. Everyone in the background chipping in preparing the punch for the party that night.
 View of the cage at the back.
 Swimming in the cage.

We went fishing in the afternoon after we had moored at Antelope Island and we all caught quite a few Bream however no Tigers that day. Dave did get a few people on why the tiger fish are called tigers! Dad I am sure you know what we are talking about!
The first evening was a dress up party and a quiz night. We all started to get ready for the big party and started getting dressed into our latest 2nd hand outfits that we had bought in Zambia for between 5 – 10USD each. Shevy had a nice 60s number and as it had been easier to buy dresses from the Zambian locals most of us guys had agreed to do drags….my dress was a red scarlet floral thing and I needed safety pins to get it all to fit somehow at least.
Dinner started at 7 which was a spicy pasta and we all got a big glass of the punch that some of our gang had made which was even better than the food.
After a few more drinks and a few songs we started the quiz a few questions to which I will reveal the answers to in a few days are:
What are the small 5 in Africa! (Hint they make use of the big 5)
What is the capital of Tanzania
What is the closest relative to the Elephant
What is the 2nd largest lake in the world
Which lake is furthest south in the great rift valley
How do Giraffes communicate
Which of the big cats in Africa is not considered a cat theoretically and why?
After the quiz and some good laughs at answers…we started the party, everything after this was a typical African booze cruise and what happens on the house boat party stays on the house boat! Lets just say everyone was on struggle street the next day!

There is something about Kariba that is special to every Zimbo's heart. It could be the tranquility of fishing, the beautiful scenery of trees poking out of the water famous in Karbia, the stunning Kariba sunsets or the wildlife that can be viewed from your houseboat moored near a national park or simply the fact that you are totally withdrawn from the every day stresses of life and for a while you can truly relax in Africa's pure untouched beauty.  I think most Zimbos and fellow Africans alike will agree with me when I say the true sound of Africa is that of the fish eagle. That's when you know you are in Africa! As they say you can take us out of Africa but you will never take Africa out of us, it runs through our veins.

 Elephants on the shores of Kariba
Elephants on the shores of Kariba
 African Fish Eagle.
African Fish Eagle
African Bee Eater.
 The houseboat we were on.
 Sunset cruise.
 Kariba Sunset

Kariba Sunset.

No comments:

Post a Comment