Dick and Irene Craig
Tue 23 Nov 2010 14:17
We have to thank Ocean Safety for the amazingly good support of their
product in the field. Despite having the product on board for 2 years, there
was no hesitation in replacing a faulty item which was sent to our friend
John, who kindly brought it with him from the UK, when he visited us. Thanks
also to John.
Thanks also are in order to Zululand Yacht Club who are hosting us here for
2 weeks, providing free mooring, water and electricity.
Northsails sent a team of three people to take measurements for the new
mainsail which they are making and which will be delivered to us in Cape
Arriving back from an unforgettable safari to our boat on Monday 15th
November, we could see that most of the rally boats had already moved on. Of
the boats still remaining, one had departed but returned to the marina as
the boat had a leak where an underwater light had perished. Once fixed, they
moved on to Port Elizabeth. Moe and Bev went with them to assist and plan to
get a bus back to Richards Bay. Jeannius was still waiting for the
replacement parts for the generator which was purchased new in Mackay,
Australia and worked for about a week. Unfortunately, the new part didn’t
rectify the problem and they left on the morning of the 19th, as did
Also on the morning of the 19th, we met our taxi which took us to the local
airport. The small 50seater plane was less than half full but took off on
time and we arrived at Johannesburg airport with ample time to get the
onward flight to Victoria Falls. We duly paid the $55 US for each visa and
on leaving the airport were entertained by local people, dressed in
traditional tribal costume.
We found that almost anywhere we went, local men, dressed in traditional
tribal garb, danced, sang and played music, for the entertainment of the
Any hard currency is acceptable in Zimbabwe although there is no guarantee
that change will be available. The local currency, having suffered terribly
from super inflation, is no longer legal currency, though a number of touts
try to swap 10 trillion dollar notes for
$1 US.
We were told by the representative in the coach that picked us up at the
airport and took us to our hotel, that the game park was unfenced and that
the wild animals had the right of way. This was substantiated by signs on
the roadside showing pictures of elephants.
Our hotel was splendid, in the middle of the bush overlooking a water hole.
I watched one morning as a crocodile caught an impala by its head but
fortunately the impala escaped, hopefully without any serious damage.
Another crocodile crawled out of the water and sunbathed for half an hour.
The day that we had arrived, a group had been for a walk in the bush
adjacent to our hotel, with a ranger, and spotted a leopard in a mahogany
tree, chasing baboons.
We could watch the animals as they came to the waterhole from the balcony
outside our bedroom, from the dining room and from several other terraces.
There were dozens of huge herons with a wing span of 2metres, guinea fowl,
vultures, impala, nyala, wart hog, monkeys, baboons, a herd of elephants
which included 2 babies.
The location was amazing, the accommodation good, the food excellent and the
service beyond reproach.
Everywhere we went, the local people could not have been more helpful.
We spent a morning walking along the edge of Victoria Falls. I have provided
several photographs though have to admit that because the wet season has
just started and there has not been much rain, it wasn’t as full as it will
be in another month or two. Nonetheless it is tremendous.
We went on a trip in a helicopter which flew over the falls. We were then
able to see this natural wonder, from both the Zambian side and the Zimbabwe
We took a river trip up the Zambezi and spotted hippopotamus and crocodile.
On the penultimate day, we walked with lions. Apparently, over the last 30
years, the lion population has diminished by 80% -90%. In order to try to
help rectify this situation, a local reserve is trying to reintroduce lions
back into Africa. In order to help fund this expensive venture, people like
us are able to visit the reserve during the early morning and walk with the
lions while they are exercising in the bush. At least eight handlers
remained with us at all times to ensure our safety, not just from the lions
but from the other wild animals in the bush.
During our walk, we came close to both buffalo and elephant but the handlers
guided us away from danger.
We also met a woman from Israel, while on this excursion, whom we met again
while at the airport waiting for the 'plane to Jo'burg. She was with a
friend, to
whom she had mentioned our meeting and that we were circumnavigating so we
immediately fell into conversation and we told them that we had sailed to
in 2008, while on the EMYR. In fact, we also told them that we have first
sailed to
Lebanon and then Syria and subsequently Egypt. The friend insisted that we
not have sailed to Syria as it was land locked and refused to accept that
there are
3 ports in Syria. We stayed at the main port of Lattakia.
To relax during the afternoon, we swam in one of the pools at the hotel. The
decking was so hot, it was essential to wear shoes when moving from the
water to a sun lounge. I found this out when I burnt my feet.
During the day we were serenaded by cicadas and during the evening by frogs.
The flight back to Johannesburg was delayed as there were storms on the
flight path. However, on approaching them, our pilot took avoidance action
and sensibly went round, rather than through the turbulence.
On touchdown in Johannesburg, we had forty minutes before our flight to
Richards Bay. The check in desk closes twenty minutes before take off and we
made it by five minutes.
The trip to Victoria Falls was brilliant.