Tuesday 12th July
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
On Monday we headed off west through Zimbabwe to the border crossing to
This is the north west of Zimbabwe where the Chobe River meets the mighty
Zambezi. At this point the frontiers of Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe
and Botswana come together. The Zambezi is the fourth longest river in
Africa after the Nile, the Congo and the Niger.
The plan was to cross the border and do a river safari on the Chobe in the
in the morning and do a land safari in the afternoon in the national park.
The border crossing was the stuff of documentaries and we pushed and
shoved at the ramshackle customs and immigration building with dozenes of
lorry drivers who were cued up for hundreds of metres and had been waiting
all night for the border crossing to open. Everyone however was good
natured and I got chatting to one of the lorry drivers who kept insisting
on calling me "boss".
As Africa is very rich in resources the frontiers traffic represented
this. The guy I was speaking to was carrying Cobalt concentrate and was
heading to South Africa. He had been on the road for a week and as he said
he just stopped to sleep a short while when he could not stay awake any
longer. He had left Congo, travelled through Angola, then Zambia from
where he crossed into Zimbabwe and now entering Botswana before heading
through the Kalahari desert into South Africa! It did not seem like a
direct route to me but I am sure it had more to do with the smoothness of
customs than road surfaces.
Anyway the safaris were fantastic and we saw large numbers of Hippo,
Crocodile and Elephant. The best of the day however was seeing a pride of
ten lions, five female adults and five cubs with fresh kills of young
Don't worry about images on this series of blogs you will be fed of of
seeing elephants and hippos before the week is out.
Botwana itself is often held up as a country in Africa which is doing very
well on its own. This is great to hear but on our short visit we could not
really learn very much about the country other than that its wealth
(though not too evidently shared by the people) is coming from Diamonds.
Diamonds. Just wait till you read my next blog though I don't think I will
post it until I leave the country..............