Monday, November 12, 2012

We left you last time as we were about to go walking for a day or 2. Well we did that, and great it was too. Lovely walks among rocks and with hills in the back ground, and very quiet. The monkeys and baboons came to visit us daily, but decided that we were not going to feed them so they soon lost interest!!

Our water-tank was fixed when we got back, and very well too. Great!! What a relief!! Next stop was a small guest farm. It was a very tranquil setting with a small ‘children’s ‘ zoo….lovely peacocks strutting about, some kuni-kuni pigs, guinea pigs etc! There were also African animals roaming about in huge enclosures and we could walk and drive about amongst them too. All very peaceful and restful too. The folks here were mad keen on rugby and we were able to enjoy a very match between South Africa and Australia.

We then headed off to the east coast to Sodwana Bay which is in the middle of the Wetland Park, a world Heritage site. After watching the rugby [it must seem to some that we spend our life going from one place to another just so that we can watch some rugby!] we went onto the National Park wondering if there would be room for us to camp…well, there were over 500 campsites so they found us a spot!!! Michael began to do a PADI diving course, starting in the pool and then progressing to the ocean. Liz just pottered about looking at the wild-life, flowers, birds and small animals, and of course doing the washing you do!!! There was a lovely little antelope, called a duiker, and he came to visit us every day. He didn’t seem at all afraid of us, and came really close. Also we were visited by a gang of mongeese[maybe that should be mongooses] who go around looking quite intimidating, but are really quite harmless. All was well until Michael began to get earache, so it was off to the doctor to see what he thought! He was an amazing man…very jolly, kind and seemed to be good at his job!! He said no more diving until things had calmed down…what a blow…however we decided to make the most of it and went to Mozambique for a few days.[ we needed to get our carnet stamped outside the S.A customs zone] On the way we spent 2 days at Kosi Bay, still part of the Wetland park. There were lovely weaver birds building their nests….how they weave the grass into neat balls is incredible. We were able to wade out to see things more clearly…amazing.

On then to Mozambique…what a contrast. The tar ended as we crossed the border….sand only. We were glad that we had had some experience in sand in Botswana, especially when we ground to a halt because we stopped to let someone past!! We stayed in a ‘resort’. An area of level ground close to the ocean, with showers…cold, and water taps. It was a fabulous spot with lovely walks along the beach and plenty to see, as it is a great surfing area and also kite-surfing. It looked tremendous fun, and a bit hairy from time to time. We met a couple in Sodwana Bay..he is Austrian and she is German… and we all went out to eat one night in Mozambique. We had just got ourselves a beer and ordered some food when the heavens opened and huge hail-stones began to fall…about the size of a 10p piece!!. There was a tremendous clattering on the tin roof, and we had to change tables as we were getting wet!! It lasted about 10 minutes, the proprietor said he had never seen anything like it in 15 years!!

The economy in Mozambique does not compare with S.A. There is much more begging and selling of things on the beach. The houses are poorer and the shopping is small stalls with people desperate for you to buy. Having said that they all seemed happy and cheerful.

After our few days we went back to S.A. with our carnet stamped [.we had to show them what to do]. We revisited the doc who advised that the ear needed more time to heal properly. What a shame but there will be other opportunities for the PADI course to be completed.

In complete contrast to our other adventures we decided to go and visit the battle sites on our way to the Drakensberg Mountains. Dundee seemed to be in the middle of it all so that is where we went. There was a great museum in the town and we spent a whole morning there trying to sort out in our heads the chronology of the events. It was all very bloody and the Brits didn’t seem to come out of it very well on numerous occasions…not sure how we eventually won as we seemed to make all sorts of stupid decisions, which led to our troops being in sieges for months and defeated several times. Masses of soldiers died on both sides..what a waste. It was quite difficult to imagine what it was like in the various sites…Rorkes Drift, Ladysmith, Dundee and Blood River. We were helped in Blood River by a short film and a walk down to a replica Laager, about 40 wagons in a circle, each with its own bucket and water container hanging down, and all made out of bronze. What a sight! It certainly made it all seem more real….what a waste of life, and all to very little purpose.

The Drakensberg Mountains are really spectacular. They rise up out of a plain, have impressive towers of rock at the summits, which reflect the sunlight and glow at sunset. We spent our 3 days there walking to view waterfalls, or just to look at the amazing views. We also had some spectacular thunderstorms, which lit up the sky and rumbled around for ages. Magnificent!

During our last few days at Sodwana Bay we received a telephone call from the Visa people in Mafikeng to say that our visas had come through and would we please collect them. After a bit of negotiation they agreed that we could have 2 weeks to get back to Mafikeng. The annoying part of all this was that we discovered when we arrived that the visas had been granted on the day that we left Mafikeng and that it had taken 2 + months for them to let us know. Still it did give us a chance to stay at, in our opinion, South Africa’s best campsite. It is fairly basic but has electricity, hot showers and toilets but NO fences. The animals just wander in and out; giraffe, water buck, impala, wharthogs. Although we did not see any rhino actually inside the campsite, they slept so close to our truck that I am sure that I heard them snoring! [we did see some footprints inside where the fence used to be]. The other glorious thing about this campsite is that nobody seems to go there. Apart from a chap and his son who where working in the area, we were the only campers.

Then it was back to Johannesburg. We made a decision to come back to the UK for a flying visit. We shall be there for 2 weeks, and hope to see as many of you as possible, albeit briefly. At least we shall be able to wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year, and hopefully share a glass of something festive too!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Time again!! How time does fly when you are having fun!!!

After our first week in the Kruger we returned to Tzaneen and this time we stayed in the garden of Michael’s old college friend [Alan and Ann] They have a swimming pool, a lovely house and garden, so we were extremely comfortable. We entertained each other well, and went our separate ways as it suited us all. It was great fun, too! We had more things done to the truck, and it now runs better than before, which is good!! Unfortunately we developed a water leak….not serious but a great annoyance and it made our cupboard a bit damp!! We were able to live with it (Michael rigged up a plastic tank, so we always had 5 gallons] so we went back to the Kruger for more animal viewing.

What a wonderful time we had!! There seemed to be more animals about, or maybe we were better at seeing them!! We were driving along a huge somewhat prairie-like area, a car had stopped on the side of the road, so we slowed down and there, just in the grass were 3 cheetahs!!! [although we only ever managed to get 2 in a photo at the same time] What a thrill!! We think they were mother father and child, and they were just hanging around as cheetahs do!! After about 15/20 minutes a rhino came into sight. We wondered what the reaction would be, and for a short while it looked as though the cheetahs were going to take on the rhino…however, they thought better of that idea and went on their way leaving the rhino to wander on his way!!
On leaving our campsite early one morning we came across a hyena chewing on the remains of a buffalo. Hyena are not really a very nice sort of creature!

We saw lots of antelope, plenty of birds, masses of buffalo, but the highlight of our stay in Kruger was the last 24 hours!! We still had not seen any lions, so were really keen and on the look-out even more than usual!! On our way to our overnight campsite we watched a herd of elephants grazing on the side of the river….1. Next morning,...our last in the park, we got caught up in a huge herd of buffalo,2, they were just grazing on the side of the road and surrounded the truck….we were glad to be up high!! A bit further on we saw a leopard, just ambling down the road!

 He then went of onto the roadside and walked right past us...within 10 yards of the truck. What a fantastic sight!!3. The road we wanted to take in the park was closed for repair, so we had to go another way…how fortunate that turned out to be!! 8 rhino were next of the big 5!! We had seen rhino before but not in such numbers, they were magnificent and came really close to us. You cannot believe that people are prepared to kill these wonderful creatures just for their ‘so-called’ aphrodisiac horn.[there is a big campaign going on for support to catch the poachers]

So that was number 4, of the big 5!!! Finally, we were about 5 or 6 kilometres from the park gate when we saw about 10 cars stopped on the side of the road…could this be a lion jam??? Yes, it was!! A lion and lioness were lying under a tree!!! She was lying right out flat, scarcely visible, whilst he was well into the shade, with just his shaggy head in view amongst the branches. However we were satisfied that we had seen all the big 5 in 24 hours…fantastic!!

The unfortunate thing about the lion and his mate was that they positioned themselves just behind a bush making it very difficult to get a clear, in focus shot of them.
Since all that excitement we have been in and around Johannesburg. We have been stating in a ‘country park’ about 20ks from the centre of town. We have visited some in-law relations of Michael’s, found someone to re-weld our water tank, lived through 2 enormous thunderstorms…they really are spectacular here!! And generally relaxed for a day or 2.

We went to the Cradle of Humankind, an area of limestone caves where many fossils have been found, most notably Little Foot and Mrs Ples who is 2.6 million years old!!!. Little Foot must have fallen down a hole into a cave below and was unable to get out again, so the whole of his skeleton was discovered intact. He lived up to 3.5 million years ago...too long for us to imagine…also found were fossilised remains of extinct animals, some plant material which shows that the area was once tropical. It was breath- taking to be in amongst such ancient artefacts. Needless to say this area is jealously guarded by archaeologists who are still unravelling the secrets that are buried in the caves and rocks. It was very impressive and the museum was extremely informative. We came away overawed by the antiquity and importance of it all.
This is the skull of a mammoth. Things don't get much older than that!

Our plans are to visit a small game park where we can do some walking for a day or 2….you are not allowed out of your vehicle in the Kruger…we really need some exercise…while we wait for our water tank to be mended. This should be done by the last Friday in September. But who knows. This is Africa.

Actually,  today is now the last Thursday in September and we are going to have the tank fitted tomorrow at mid-day! The last paragraph is the subject of "T.I.A" as we have not been able to get any internet connection for the last week so we could not publish the blogg!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Since we arrived in South Africa we seem to have spent most days in National Parks looking at/for animals!!! It all began in Mafeking where we stayed in a game reserve for several days, trying to get an extension to our visas to enable us to stay here for more than 3 months. The paperwork is in and we await the results!! We will be informed by text message, so let’s hope it comes in time to give us a chance to get out of the country if it is refused!!! We can’t believe that we have been here a month already!!

Pilansberg National Park, a park created about 30 years ago….the farmers were evicted and the animals all shipped in from other parks. It certainly seems to have worked well, with great hides, magnificent views and abundant wildlife including birds. It is only about 2 hours drive from Johannesburg and apparently is a popular place to camp at week-ends [we didn’t stay long enough to find out!]

We saw some brilliant hippos, fantastic elephants, tall giraffes, lovely kingfishers, cormorants, darters, and a rhino resting at the top of a hill about 3 yards from the truck!! Also, in the peace and quiet of a viewing hide we met a bunch of oil rig workers from Newcastle upon Tyne! Apparently they have been down here on the rigs for 5 months and this was only their 2nd day off.

We then drove over wonderful mountains to Tzaneen where we camped by a lake with some good boating entertainment and a few birds. Michael also caught up with an old college friend and we had a very pleasant Sunday lunch with Alan and his wife Ann.

Off then to Kruger. What an enormous park it is…the size of Wales!!! 414ks from north to south!! In addition it is linked directly to National Parks in both Mozambique and Zimbabwe, making it HUGE. Our first campsite gave us fantastic viewings of elephant at their water hole; a family arrived, from the big old “tusker” to a small baby elephant. It was great to see how they interacted and how the small ones were protected by their bigger brothers and sisters. They are incredible creatures…so strong and yet so gentle. We also had great fun watching elephants at a waterhole where they splashed about in the water, created mud which they then plastered all over themselves…apparently it keeps them cool and stops irritating insects!! When they came out of the water they covered themselves with dust…to give another layer of protection!! Although we had been told that the northern half of the park had fewer animals and we would probably not see any game our list comprised more elephants than we could count, a herd of 200 buffalo [plus several other sizable groups], giraffe, huge quantities of hippos, most of the antelope family, jackal; and wildebeest. Highlight, though, of the animals was a small family of Klipspringers, dad, mum and child. They were just outside the viewing hide, so close that you felt you could reach out and touch them. Magic.

 The birdlife in the park we find difficult. There are very few places where you can get out of the truck so this means that it is difficult to get close enough to study many birds. But there are plenty of birds about – they are just difficult for us to identify. One bird we didn’t find difficult was a little Scops owl that was sitting in a tree in the camp-site.
Camping in the park is all highly organised whilst at the same time, highly disorganised! The sites are well provided with electricity, water, ablution blocks, washing machines and even tumble dryers in some cases. Defining what is a powered site or a non-powered site is much more difficult, however. Basically, in the middle of the camping area are a number of power points, none of which is it easy to park alongside, so, as far as one can tell, you camp and if you want power you hook up and if you don’t want power, you don’t. Problem is that when you come to book a site there are never any non powered sites available! In the campsite there are plenty of spaces but the computer tells the little girl that there are no un-powered sites. On one occasion we were not even told that there were no un-powered sites, we were just charged the powered rate! On recounting this to someone they just shrugged their shoulders and said T.I.A. “This is Africa” it was explained.

We are just about to go back and “do” the southern half of the park and see if we can get a really good, close up of a lion. Wish us luck.

There are some more photos in the photo section above and the map has been updated.
Things we forgot to tell you about Botswana!

In Botswana the mobile phone rules. And the colour is Orange. As you drive across the country, outside each village, there are signs, which say something like Orange Welcomes You to the Village of …… The first, and the last building on the outskirts of the village will be a small wooden shack selling Orange Airtime. Larger villages also have one of these shacks in the middle of the village too! In larger towns it is not uncommon to see 4 or 5 stalls side-by-side selling airtime. It is quite amazing to me that in such a poor country so many people seem to be able to make a living selling airtime and a few sweets.

We had 3 attempts at off road driving whilst we were in Botswana, none of which can be claimed to be highly successful! We can claim that a significant improvement came with each attempt. The key seems to be letting air out of the tyres. How much air to let out is the question. The answer is more than we have so far! It also appears that as the sand gets hot during the day it becomes more difficult to drive on. Next time we go off road we shall be letting almost half the air out of the tyres and shall be starting the day before the sun gets up and finishing about mid-day. Watch this space.

Although we think of this as being a poor country it is home to the largest diamond min in the world. The mine, at Jwaneng to the west of Gabarone, produces 10 million carats a year. I really can’t visualise 10 million carats of diamonds but it is certainly enough to fill the windows of most of England’s High Street Jewellers! Despite the glamour of the end product, the mine itself is ugly, an enormous un-naturally shaped spoil heap [mountain] surrounded by barbed wire.

Readers of Alexander McCall-Smith will be glad to know that the pictures he paints of this country are entirely accurate. People do call one another Maa and Raa, [I must say I find it rather charming to be addressed as “Raa”], give and take things 2 handed, call out Koko when approaching your camps site, office or house and there are plenty of traditionally built women. It is,perhaps, a shame that they are often seen in their beautiful traditional dress carrying a large bag of maize meal on their heads whilst talking on a mobile phone or sending a text message on their Blackberry.

A wonderful country and we can’t wait to go back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

       or from Kasane to Maun via the Nata Pans.

As we left Kasane we decided that we would try to follow an old cattle trail across country to try our skills at off-roading. We were spared the test because the open range has now been fenced and we found ourselves driving along fence lines that just bought us back to the tarred road. A bit disappointing really.

Because of a lack of water in the pan our visit to look at birds on the Nata Pans was a bit of a non-event as well, although we did have a nice evening sunset on the edge of the pan with a South African family. It is certainly on our list of things to do another day as we could see the potential for several lovely days of bird-watching when there was water in the pan.

So to Maun, gateway to the Okavango Delta. After a day or two looking around, getting the truck serviced and changing the tyres we found a trip into the delta advertised at one of the back-packer places on the outskirts of town. The outline was that we would go up into the delta on a fast boat, spend two nights camping on one of the islands and go on a number of trips from that base. When we signed up there was one other couple. When we returned on the Monday morning to size of the group had grown to 4 couples. As it turned out a very well matched group and we all got along very well. The trip itself was a great success, although the camping was basic in that it was in tents on a mattress on the ground. The food was brilliant and only the toilet arrangements were questionable although there was a proper toilet seat! At night we could hear the hippos wandering around munching the grass on our little island. Slightly worrying to start with but we were so tired that we just forgot about them and went off to sleep. Our guide took us for a walk on another island on the 2nd morning and introduced us to the tracks and scats of some African wildlife. We now know how to identify the territory of a male rhino, which will be invaluable to us once we return to Wiltshire! Another highlight of the trip was the close encounters with elephants. Most of these were right on the side of the rivers grazing on the roots of the reeds. The locals seem very relaxed about what we see as the devastation that these animals cause to the local fauna. Many of the reed beds appear destroyed and almost everywhere that you look there are dead and dying trees showing clear signs of elephant damage. However, they eat the fruit of lots of trees and transport them around the countryside and deposit them, along with a large heap of fertilizer for the next generation of forest. So they are not all bad! Lovely to watch as well.
Also on the list of wildlife were 2 antelope new to us; the red lechwe and the tsessebe. Unfortunately, these are very shy animals and we were not able to get very close. [photos turned out to be a bit blurred] We went on a couple of walks through the bush, listening to birds and tracking animals both by footprints and dung!! We saw some great birds too.

Our evenings were spent chatting over a drink or 2, our companions were very easy to talk to and had lots of great experiences to share. We had a few ideas on the travel front to contribute too!!

On our way back to civilisation we stopped in a small village to go on a mokoro [a dug-out canoe]trip, we climbed into the mokoro and a local man stood in the back and “pushed” us along using a long pole. It was so peaceful and quiet that we almost went to sleep! Each poler carved his own mokoro when he became an adult…about 20,and hoped to use it for the rest of his life! We were also persuaded to go and look at some straw baskets that the women had woven. This turned out to be an embarrassing experience as none of us really wanted to buy anything and the locals were clearly fed up with us….maybe we were not the first to react the same way.

Our return to Maun was tinged with some sadness as we had to say goodbye to our new friends. They all came to see just where we live and we swapped e-mail addresses and swore eternal friendship…it has been done before!!! There is a good chance that we shall see some of them again..but who knows?

Our time since then has been spent watching Andy Murray {so near and yet so far} having a new solar panel fitted and also a ladder onto the top of our roof so we don’t fall off half way up! We are not sure where to next….watch this space! All still good and having great fun!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

We left you in Grootfontein although we did not actually post the blog until we reached Rundu. We’ve added a number of photos to the photo page [it should show the last photo we took first] and updated the map so that you can see exactly where we went.

The journey from Grootfontein to Rundu was simply a 300km dash along a straight road which looked as if it would be quite uneventful. In most respects it was; we had to pass through a quarantine gate, which was straight forward, but on the other side it was as if we had passed into another country all together. All the way along the road, on either side were small villages and farmsteads of mud huts and thatched roofs. The farms were surrounded by a reed wall and everywhere was tidy. Cattle were being herded about the place by young boys and the cattle looked extremely well. This surprised us as we had been told that the cattle in this area were very poor and that was why they needed the quarantine fence to keep these beasts away from the prime stock to the south.

There were some anomalies. In one place we saw a large group of people waiting for a water-tanker to bring in drinking water. All of them seemed to be equipped with one large bucket and a mobile phone. Waiting seemed not to be a problem as they simply spent their time texting and talking to friends! Very strange!

Wild camping is not permitted in Namibia so each night we have to find an official campsite. This is not really a problem as there are many and they are not expensive. We had been told of one at the western end of the Caprivi Strip that we should stay at if possible. After 4km along an off road track we arrived beside a large river and Ngepi Campsite. It was very picturesque with solar heated showers and “loos with a view” – no doors but a lovely view. There was also a bath with a view, but you had to buy wood and light a fire to get the hot water.

Its difficult to describe the wildlife in the area; its just there, everywhere you look, elephants, hippos, baboons, warthogs, birds of all description. The list goes on and on and this is before you get into a National Park. This is just “the countryside”.

We were fortunate, however, to camp, purely by chance, in Mudumu National Park. This Park is undeveloped and the campsite comprised of a flat piece of ground and a long drop toilet with two walls and half a roof! Throughout the day we watched hippo in the river right in front of us [and listened to them tromping around the truck during the night]. Elephants in large numbers came down to the river to drink, fortunately not exactly where we were camped, but the passed within 50 yards on their way to and from. It was a glorious day and such a contrast to the organisation and regulation that we had experienced in Etosha.

An attempt to go to the neighbouring National Park ended with our bending a few bits of the truck. Fortunately, nothing serious and nothing that we were not able to sort out ourselves. However, not our best day; particularly as we decided to drive to a campsite close to the border with Botswana, only to discover that we were too large to get in. There’s bound to be a campsite just inside Botswana, we said, so let’s just cross now even though it is almost 6:00pm.

Mistake number 2 of the day.

Crossing the border was easy but by the time we had it was after 6 and the gates on the Transit Road across the park were closed. You can guess where the campsite was. In conversation with a local man we discovered that wild camping is allowed in Botswana, but not in or close to a National Park. Drive 35 Km down the road away from the gates and we would find a place. We did, arriving at 7:15 in the dark and tired. At least we knew that tomorrow would be a better day.

Sure enough it was. We drove to Kasane, which is a tourist centre with lots of facilities and stayed for a couple of nights in the very smart Chobe Safari Lodge [campsite – not quite as smart as the Lodge]. The downside was that they did not have a TV, unless you had a room in the Lodge, so we were unable to see the rugby.

On Monday we had another small setback when we discovered that the entry fees for vehicles to Botswana’s National Parks are based on weight. So we decided to move to another campsite at the other end of Kasane [and at the other end of camping fee charges] and go on an organised trip into Chobe NP.

This was one of our good decisions! We had a fabulous time, starting with baby crocs on the riverbank and finishing with the most glorious African sunset!! Elephants of all sizes came down to the river to drink, splash and play…we were only a few yards from them! Crocodiles opened their mouths so we could look right down their throats…what HUGE teeth they have! They are not the greatest predator on man. Apparently the Hippo takes that honour, causing 75% of all the injuries each year!

The hippos we saw were basking in the sun when we first arrived, but gradually they began to move a little, then they stretched [as much as you can when you are rotund and sleepy !] and finally they yawned!!! What huge mouths they have!!!! The small ones looked really cute, but no doubt can still do a lot of harm. We often hear them during the night grunting and splashing around in the river!! We are separated from them by an electric fence, and we are quite high off the ground!!
Water buffalo were munching on grass and gazing sleepily at us as we passed, they were accompanied by lots of birds that wandered about looking for insects and hovered overhead too. Our trip ended with the boat stopping by an island with trees so that we could all take the same picture of the sun setting ….I wonder how many thousands of similar pictures to ours are being seen in all the countries of the world!!!

This has worked out very well and we are still here [Saturday]. This campsite has a bar with a very, very large TV screen and is where all the locals, it seems, come to watch sport. Any sport. We’ve had football from Europe, horse racing with Clare Balding and Willy Carson, Junior World Cup Rugby. Saturday we hope will see England at their best.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It is a month now since we arrived in Namibia and three weeks since we picked up the truck from the docks. Since then we have travelled some 1500 kilometres and seen lots of amazing places and animals. Our first animal encounter was with a Cape fur seal colony. When we arrived we were not sure if we were in the right place as it sounded as though there was a flock of sheep and not seals! As we got closer the noise increased and there were thousands of seals on the shore, in the sea and lolloping around generally. What a sight and what a smell…like dead or processed fish!! It was worth the smell to see the interaction between families and friends…they really are quite cute [when they are small]!! Next day was pretty hectic. We visited the Organ Pipes, rock formations as the name implies…Burnt Mountain, that looked a bit like a slag heap, as you see! Then pictographs, ancient carvings in rock, mostly of animals and finally a petrified forest with `logs` and chunks of `wood` lying on the ground completely solid stone, quite pretty too!!

Our reward for a long day was a really lovely campsite below a granite hill, where a woman came and lit the fire for us, which heated the water for a shower in amongst the boulders…outdoor showering at its best!! Etosha NP was our next goal. We were up early and at the gate into the park as it opened, 6.30!! What a day we had, in spite of having no map, we followed our noses and saw all sorts of birds, springbok, giraffe, a leopard in a tree, and at a large waterhole a whole herd of elephants who drank and splashed and interacted with each other as only elephants can!!! One little elephant got separated from his mother, and there was a tremendous trumpeting when she finally arrived and a drink of milk was needed before anything else! The other 4 days we spent in the park were equally exciting, kudu, lion, gemsbok, more elephants; giraffe that look so odd when they need a drink as they almost do the splits!! The bird watching has been good too, though we find it difficult to remember the names these days!! We treated ourselves to a night drive with a guide and watched 3 black rhinos getting quite excited about who owned the waterhole!! All ended peacefully with some sort of agreement…for that night anyway!

 After 5 days animal watching we felt all “animaled out” and some American friends of ours, Frank and Annie who we first met in Mexico10 years ago, were back in Namibia so we arranged to meet and had 2 great days sharing experiences, stories, wine, beer and food. It was great fun! The plan now, after Liz gets a tooth re-filled is to head north into the Caprivi Strip before heading into Botswana and South Africa. In addition to the photos here there are more on the photos page [above right] and the map has been updated [above centre]