A Travellerspoint blog

Jesus, Jesus, How are you?!!!!!!!


So, to the Rwanda/Uganda border to sort the visa i had to see 3 people and there was a queue for each one. The last guy was questioning me about everything in my passport. ‘’So, Mr Howe, I see you have been traveling for a long time without a working visa, this must cost lots of money. You must be a rich man’’. This basically means,’I want a bribe for your visa’. My answer was ‘’Yes it is expensive to do all this traveling, but i have to go home in two weeks as my money has run out’’. Eventually after a long silence, I got the next stamp in my passport. I entered Uganda.

First stop was Kabale. I got there at 9:30pm in the pi$$ing rain. A local guy showed me where to go but i had to go to the bank first as i had no cash. I couldn't even afford a boda-boda bike taxi (this would be about 25p) the 2k i had to go. Went to the bank and as i was soaked through already and it was only 1 k to go from the bank i walked. Bad idea. I tripped over a tree root and was on the floor. Uganda is famous for its red soil. I was now the same colour red and very wet all down one side. Got to the hostel and showered in the coldest shower i have had in Africa, but what do i expect for £1.25 a night. Next, I deserved a beer. Went to the hostel bar and met a group of volunteers who were all very drunk already. We finally went to bed at about 4am.

After this i moved on to Bunyonyi lake. Defiantly the most beautiful lake i have seen in Africa. The lake is filled with many small islands. The only way to get around is by canoe. I took a walk up to a hotel on the top of the hill to get the best view if the lake. It was stunning. I was lucky that i got there when i did. 2min after i arrived, the heaviest rain storm i have ever experienced hit. It was a solid wall of water for about an hour. I had lunch and then once the rain had stopped tried to walk back down the hill. The rain had turned the dusty mud to slush. I slid on my arse for half the way down. I felt like a naughty 5 year old getting covered in mud again.

Next i met a Italian couple Noemi and Michele and we moved to Lake Mburo National park. I had decided to go here as i had read that they did morning Hyena walks and i am a big fan of Hyenas. So we get the bus to the local town and then a cab to the park. We managed to get a room for 3 for 30,000ugx (about £2.50 each). That is an amazing price for accommodation inside national park. The next morning we were up at 6:30am for the Hyena walk..... The first thing the guide said to us was ’’We only really see Hyenas at night, very rare to see them at this time’’. I was quite annoyed at this as i had paid $30 park entry fee and $10 for the ‘Hyena walk’. The one thing i came to see. The annoying thing was that i had checked if i was likely to see Hyenas at the front gate and i was told, ‘’yes, it is very likely’’. I understand, it is nature but they lied to me so i paid the entry fee.

So we left for Kampala, the capital of Uganda. I stayed in a different site to my new Italian buddies as they were heading north and i wanted to hang in Kampala for a few days. The camp site was nice. All except one thing, there was a huge private party just behind that had music blaring till 6:30am. It wouldn't have been a problem if we could have joined in but we got thrown out twice for gate-crashing. That is very unlike Africans. They are normally the first to involve you.

The next day i went in to the city to do some shopping and just for a look round. It was dusty, littered, smelly, busy, hot, you got hassle on every street by taxi drivers and guys and girls trying to sell you things and just generally DIRTY!!! I LOVED IT! After Rwanda’s Clean efficient Kigali, Kampala felt like i was back in Africa again. It must be a very religious place because everywhere i walked they were shouting Jesus! Jesus! How are you?!!! towards me..... Or maybe it was because of the long hair and my big bushy beard. That may have had something to do with it. Well its better than the Italian chap i met, Alex, being called Osama bin Laden in Dar es Salaam isn't it? This name seemed to stick with me for the rest of my time in Africa. I got all the bits i needed and went back to the campsite and decided to go to Jinja (the source of the river Nile) the next day.

After falling asleep in about 5sec flat i woke nice and early. I got to Jinja on the bus at about lunchtime. Put the tent up and went to town to grab lunch. Then back to watch the lady's Wimbledon final. Had a few too many beers with some English people from Windsor who are just buying a house about a 3 min walk from my flat in Wokingham, and went to bed. The next day i decided to have a hangover day. I didn't really have a hangover but felt like a lazy day. I spent the day online, watching TV and having a lovely chat online with a very good friend of mine from home.

Next day spent the day wondering round the town and then i went to another campsite about 10k up the river Nile. This place was much better than the last one and a couple of dollars cheaper. I stayed here for a few days. The view over the Nile and the waterfalls. Next i moved back to Kampala. I met a few people who were going out to a Irish bar playing live music. We all ended up in a Reggae club after. I think every person in the club was stoned off there box. We finally got back at about 3am. The Next morning two of us went to see a few of the sights around Kampala, the palace, the tombs of the previous kings, and a few other bits that i didn't want to do with a hangover.

My next destination was to be my last in Uganda before, if you don't know, I flew home to the UK. But just for a month. In fact, by the time i upload this blog i will be home so i hope to see some of you soon. I moved down to Entebbe. Entebbe sits on the equator at the north of lake Victoria. So it is hot, and there are beaches. I slept in a wildlife education centre (a zoo). At night you can hear the lions roaring, Hyena’s laughing and the monkeys screaming. During the day, there were hundred of animals just wondering around or in a pen if they had sharp teeth. I got bitten by a Camel on my back and chased by a Ostrich here. Obviously used the wrong perfume that day. The rest of my time i decided to chill and do pretty much nothing. I sat on one of the many beaches and I found a good bar with sky sports so i could watch the British GP. The next thing i know, it is 3am and im just walking out of a club with a group of Germans and one Spanish guy. The next day i just chilled in the town as i had to get my flight at 4 am so i just stayed up and waited. And then, i left Africa. It was a sad feeling to be coming home but also a happy one as i was soon going to see my family and friends. And im only back for a few weeks before my journey continues back in Africa.

Ben and Sok. xx

Posted by benhowe2 09:27 Archived in Uganda Comments (0)

Tears for Genocide


So across the border I crossed in to Rwanda. It was the easiest border crossing i have ever made. Just had a chat with the guy and got the stamp in the passport. A big smile and off i went. There were two British volunteers working in Tanzania having a weeks break to Rwanda. So the three of us went to get on the bus to take us to Kigali. When we asked if we have time to grab a bite to eat, he responded with ‘’the bus leaves at 3:30pm’’ the usual, that normally means any time from 4pm–5pm. At 3:30pm the driver came in to the cafe and demanded that we get on the bus now as he was going to be late. Well that was new to me. Africa transport running to a time schedule? And, the bus only had 20 people on it. There are 20 seats on this bus. Every other country in Africa would have at least 30 people on the bus as a minimum. Its just not right, Its just not Africa!

So we got to Kigali (at the exact time he said we would) at 6pm, sundown. Jump in a taxi and get to the hostel by dark. Camping is $15 per night!!!! in Tanzania i was paying $2-3. I could get a plush (traveller plush, not 5 star) double room with en suite and a view for $10. So i was expecting a nice camping spot. Nope.... When camping without a floor-mat the one thing you want is good ground. Most camping sited rake the big stones and sticks and twigs off the ground. Not here. All in the dark, putting up a tent and then having to move due to a snake lying in the only good camping spot. Rwanda had not made a good first impression on me.

The next day i went in to the centre of the city. It was Sunday so Africa is mainly closed. I was so surprised in the city. It felt like i was back in Europe. Everything was so clean, so modern and efficient. Again, i wasn't impressed. I like the dirty, smelly, littered, dusty African city's. I wanted to get back to Africa. Another night in the tent after a few beers with the girls.

Next day was ‘The Kigali Genocide Memorial’ and then on to the south of the country. I got a ‘boda-boda’ (motorcycle taxi) to the memorial. The memorial was very busy as it was during the 100 days of mourning. Before i had even gone through the front entrance i had seen two hysterical women being carried out the door and one other woman had fainted and been carried outside. This was going to be hard work. I started outside. The gardens had been done beautifully in respect of the lost people. Then the last section of the gardens were the mass graves. Over 250,000 victims body's had been buried here, and every year more are discovered around the country and given a proper burial. Next i moved to the inside. This explained the lead up to the 1994 genocide, during the genocide and the aftermath. The the images and the testimony's were so hard to read and listen to due to the nature of the deaths. People weren't just killed, they were butchered. Men, women and children. There were hundreds of sculls and skeleton in display cabinets, and the clothing and possessions of the dead. The final part of the memorial was dedicated to the children who were killed. This was hard for me. It is actually hard for me to write about this now. There were life size pictures on the walls of the individual children with a small brass note below-

NAME: Odette Ndagijimana
AGE: 3
LAST WORDS: Who are the men mummy?
HOW THEY WERE KILLED: Thrown and smashed in to a wall.

By the second child i could not control my tears. I made it through to the end, but in a mess. I just could not stop crying.

I left the memorial and headed for the south of the country to go to the national museum and another memorial site. On the bus i met a Rwandan girl called Alys. She was studying at the national university in Huye. She got me a room on the university campus at half the cost of anywhere in town. That night we grabbed a bite to eat in the town and i got an early night as i was getting up early so i could get to Gikongoro Memorial and to the Museum in one day.

Next morning, got up and jumped on a bus to Gikongoro. The scenery along the 26k journey was absolutely beautiful. Rwanda is named ‘The land of a thousand hills’ and i do believe every one of them are stunning. Once off the bus i had the usual ‘’Mazungu!... Taxi!’’ but i decided to walk this time as it was such a beautiful area. It took about one and a half hours to walk through the hills and countryside to the memorial.

At the memorial new main building had been opened just two weeks before. It was much the same info in the memorial as Kigali, but based on the story of this site in particular. Gikongoro was a site of mass genocide murder. 50,000 local Tutsi people were told to go to the school to hide for protection. This was all a well organised massacre. This year, they identified only the 13th survivor of this attack. The second part of this memorial was the bodies of the dead. When the mass graves were exhumed, the non decomposed bodies were treated with lime and appear exactly as they did when the attackers struck in the rooms they were hiding in. There are hundreds of bodies of all ages. Babies to the elderly. You can still see where the machetes had struck them on those few evil nights. I left pretty soon after that and headed back to Huye to look round the museum.

The next day i made my way to the north of Rwanda. I decided i had seen enough death and memorials, so aimed for the Gisenyi beaches on ‘Lake Kivu’. I stayed and relaxed for a few days in the town but it was a bit cold, foggy and wet so didn't get in to the bathing suit this time.

I decided to get out of Rwanda due to the general cost of life here. I would love to come back with a holiday budget, not a traveling budget as it was one of the most beautiful places i have seen. I headed in a coach to the Ugandan border.

Please take one moment to read this final section i have written about what i learnt in Rwanda.

In the 1994 100 days of genocide, 800,000 –1,000,000 people were killed. The population of the whole country at this time was approximately 7.5 million. Over 10%, over 1 in 10 people of this country were killed, brutally, most by machete within 100 days. This was approximately three times the rate of the Jewish dead during the Holocaust. Why, because they were different tribes. The Hutu’s against the Tutsi’s. Looking further in to it, again it all started when the Europeans colonised the country and made a divide between friends. People who had lived in harmony and as family's together for centaury's before colonisation. Please take a moment to think about this.

With this in mind, and thinking it was only as recently as 1994. I'm sure most of the people my age and older remember the time that it had happened, the Rwandan people now all love one another. Hutu or Tutsi, it doesn't matter. There is one phrase everywhere you go and on everyone's lips throughout Rwanda.

‘Never Again’.


Posted by benhowe2 05:17 Archived in Rwanda Comments (0)

Finally Flavour


Not Tine's favourite country due to being ripped off, kidnapped and mugged last time she was here i could feel the mood within seconds. That all changed as soon as we got to Mbayer. Off the Dahla Dahla bus that tried to charge us double the correct price for the journey (welcome to Tanzania) and we found a guest house that worked out to cost 15,000Tsh (about £3 each) per night. Not happy with that, we moved to another place, just as nice and closer to the town for 7000Tsh (about £1.40 each) per night. Had a wonder round the town and found a couple of bars to eat cheap food.

We went to the train station to book our ticket to Dar es Salaam for the next day.

The train...

I love train journeys in Africa and i suppose, looking back, i love this one eventually. We are sat at the station, an hour early and we waited, and waited, and waited. eventually the train arrived. Not that that meant we could get on. Three hours later, after the train had been going back and forth in the station to tease us we finally got on. Another hour wait sat in the station and finally, we are on the move. We had brought cheese (the hardest and one of the most expensive thing to find in Africa) and biscuits and a box of red wine (my downfall). I got ....PISSED. A couple of beers to start and then the Red wine. I have to apologise to Tine at this point. Tine, I'm sorry, as she had to look after me and make me go to bed. I woke up at about 2am but the train wasn't moving. We were stopped in a station. And that is where we stayed for the next 20-22 hours. My god, how boring. Nothing to do apart from sit out my stinking hangover. Finally we got moving on to Dar but we had about 20 hours of the 24 hour journey left.

We all got to Dar es Salaam and again the mood between us all was very tight. Again i have to apologise to Tine. I was staying in Dar and she was going straight on to Zanzibar. So i just walked off to get a bus without saying goodbye to her when she had just arrived in a city she is shit scared of. Yes i am a bit of a shit. I did run back to say goodbye but by then, i had made a big boo-boo.

So Dar es Salaam. I loved it. I met an Italian guy called Alex, aka ‘Osama bin Laden’ to the locals. Alex has a long thin beard that slightly resembles Bin Laden’s. And every news paper had him on the front page as he had (apparently) been killed. So everywhere we went, Alex got ‘OSAMA!!! OSAMA!!’ (with a cheeky African smile) shouted at the top of there voice. Well, it made a change from ‘Mazungu!!!’ (white man) for us. The other part about Dar that i loved was the food. Finally Flavour! African food is very bland. Not in Dar. Due to the multi cultural community, African, Indian, Arabic, Asian and more the food was great. This is probably one of the main reasons i stayed there for several days. I just loved the food.

After a few days i moved on to Zanzibar on the ferry where i met up with Tine again. We spent a few days in Stone Town first. Stone town is a beautiful old cobbled street town. The wood work on the doors to the buildings is amazing. The craftsmanship must have taken them such a long time to do just a small section. I also visited the slave markets. Although it has been updated, it still had a upsetting feel to it. The way the slaves were treated was a disgrace. Next we moved on to the east of the island. It was deserted. we must have been the only two clients in the east of Zanzibar. Long white sand beaches to ourselves. The problem was, once you had seen the beach and been for a swim in the sea, there was nothing else to do. So we decided to move on to the next part of Zanzibar. Nungwe was the next stop. I had high hopes for here as i had offered to buy Tine a dive for her birthday. Three turtles, purple paper fish, shrimp, corals that were so brightly coloured. It was a good dive. Next we moved on to Kendwa, about 5k south of where we were staying. They had a full moon party happening in a few days so we stayed for that. I had such a bad hangover that i stayed in bed for the whole of the next day. So we made our way back to Stone town and Tine booked her flights back home to Belgium and off she went.

On my own again for the first time since Zimbabwe (about 4 months). I have to be honest, i got very lonely at this point. I went on to a couple of small villages but nothing too interesting to tell about them. So i aimed for a beach. Penganni, well, south of Penganni but i don't actually know what the name of the place is. I had a few days there and joined a couple of German girls, Stefa and Annika for dinner and they were leaving the next day for Moshi. So i got a lift with them to Penganni and then i jumped on the bus to Tanga as i had left my bag there. I had arranged to maybe meet the girls in a few days. I made a one more stop on the way to Moshi at a place with a view across the Tanzanian mountains and then on to Moshi. I think i spent about 2 hours here as the girls were wanting to move on to Arusha to get a Serengeti safari booked. So i saw Kilimanjaro and moved on. I had planed to climb Kilimanjaro but i had hurt my big toe and i don't think i would have made it to the top as it was black and blue and i was struggling to walk on it for more than 15min.

Got to Arusha, got the Safari booked, and went to bed. The next morning we were on our way to ‘Tarangire National Park’. We saw great wildlife here. Elephants, giraffe, Wildebeest, and of course, Stefa’s favourite, Zebra. But no wild dogs. That was what i wanted to see. We had the night in a plush camp site, it even had a pool. The next morning, we were on the way to Serengeti. The first animal we saw (apart from the gazelles) was a lone lioness. Just chillin out near the water. She wasn't bothered by us. Next a Cheater hidden in a bush. Serengeti just kept on giving more and more. So after the game drive we made our way to the campsite in the park. No fences, no guards, just easy access for any animal to just wonder in to the camp at any time. I was so tired that i was asleep in a few moments. Next day was a half day drive in Serengeti. Start early and we saw loads. Hyena, Golden Jackals, a pack of lionesses, Banded Mongoose, Vultures, Eagles, Secretary Birds, a leopard try to get a Thompson Gazelle and just miss by the skin of his teeth. But NO Wild Hunting Dogs . On our way out we found another pack of lions (male and female) with 8 small cubs.

Next stop was a night in Ngorongoro Crater for the night. We set up the tents. This time the girls set up their own tent.... It was good fun to watch as they didn't have a clue what they were doing. Eventually when the tents were up we went over to the showers, but we couldn't get to them. There was something blocking our way in the camp...... Nelly the Elephant was drinking our shower water straight from the water butt. Outside grazing in the campsite were Zebra. We managed to get within 5 meters of them. We could also hear Hyenas laughing all around the camp and they had already been spotted next to the showers. We all had a bit to drink and decided to get to bed as we were on safari again the next morning. The girls sat in my tent for 5 min before bed. Annika decided to use the pole of my tent to help herself up. Thin tent poles are not very strong and it snapped. So i had a sleepless wet and could night listening to Hyenas walking between the tents.

Next morning was Ngorongoro crater. The view from the top of the crater is beautiful in the morning. The mist is creeping over the edge of the crater. it looked like smoke falling out of the volcano. I wont bore you with the whole list of what we saw here but the highlights were the Rhino, Buffalo and well done to Stefa who spotted a lioness 10m from the side of the road. We stopped and saw about 30 Zebra coming towards her. Yes! We could be on for a kill! She was stalking them and just waiting for them to come to her. they got within striking distance and she bolted out of the grass and the chase was on. She missed! Bugger! Almost saw a kill. Soon after that we left the park and made our way back to Arusha for a night before aiming for Mwanza and lake Victoria.

It took two days to get to lake Victoria. The girls and i just chilled out and didn't really do much here. We ate, we slept, we walked, we ate, we slept. It was good. The girls then made their way back to Dar es Salaam and i jumped on the bus to Rwanda.

I will stop there as this was a long update.

Ben and Sok. xx

Posted by benhowe2 03:23 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

Relax in Malawi

That is about all I did in Malawi…… Well that was an easy blog entry.

So where do I start with Malawi. Lilongway, The capital. I had been here before so knew my way round. Last time I got to the camp site I was the only tent in the place. This time, there had to be 100 tents. And 100 bikes to go with them. The ‘Cairo to Cape-town’ cyclists were in. Have a quick look at the map on this blog just to gauge the distance. A bloody long way. The oldest was 78 years old, and he was always in early compared to the youngsters apparently.

They were a tad boring as they were in bed by 8pm so I found a couple of Scottish guys. Got to love the Scottish, always good for a drink.

The next day I was on my way to meet Tine in Blantyre, who I had got together with in Mozambique. We decided to go to Mt Mulanji and clime/trek it. So we get to the village at the bottom of the mountain and start out trek with out guide. Within min we had to cross a river. So we removed our shoes and the guide stood to give Tine a hand. Over the first bit no problem. On to the second section, this was a tad deeper than the first bit and it ran off a ledge with a small drop in to the main river. Tine went to step carefully... Not carefully enough. Woo Wuu Wou yaaa, 'slip' 'SPLASH' 'bump' second 'BIG SPLASH'. Not only had she fallen over and then in to the main river but see decided that she was not going alone. She took the guide in with her. I cant believe I didn't have a camera ready. So 3min in to the 5-6 hour trek and Tine has submerged herself in the river. Not that any of this mattered, it rained so much and we were sweating so that I was drenched by 20min. Several hours later after 4-5 more river crossings we had to pass quite a steep cliff edge (one of the don't look down types). At this point Tine decided to tell me that she is afraid of heights...... If you just thought to yourself,'if she is afraid of heights, then why is she climbing a mountain?', I felt the same. We got across and were only an hour away from our finish line. At this point Tine's shoes were really giving her blisters. I couldn't do anything to help but give encouragement. The last hour was agony for her and worse was probably the thought that we have to get back down tomorrow. We hit our goal. Cant remember how long it took but my god that was hard work.
We cooked dinner in our little hut. I took my knife to Tine's shoes to try to open the back of them up and we went to bed. Not a wink of sleep for me, Tine on the other hand was trying to talk to me all night... Oh no, that was snoring, not talking.
The way down was wet, could and hard work but by the time we got there we were relieved to have done it.

After that we decided to relax through Malawi from now on. We went to Monkey bay and Cape Mac Clear and did nothing apart from read, sleep, drink and eat. We then moved on to Senga bay where we had to stay for 5nights. Tine's blisters had become infected to the point that it looked like she had blood poisoning. Tine had to stay in the guest house as her feet had to be kept clean. One of the other guests decided to play nurse and wrap her feet like a mummy. There was nothing to do there, it was quite boring.
When we finally did leave, we decided to get the boat up the lake to the north. Not one of my best ideas. We were suppose to be on the ferry for one night up to Nkhata Bay. Two nights later we, and the big fat rats we saw running around our feet arrived at our destination. And it was worth it. A beautiful setting. I think my camping spot was the best view of the whole lodge. We stopped for a few days here. Went snorkelling, swimming, watching the African fish eagle catching his/hers prey. I also found a restaurant that put flavour in to their food (African food is very bland). So we ate there almost every night.

Next we moved on to Livingstonia. This was a small village 15k up the side of a mountain. Luckily we managed to hitch a lift up the dirt track. it took 45min to do 10k. Now I thought the view from Nkhata Bay was nice, This was stunning. You could see Tanzania over the lake the bay and the village below, just stunning. We got offered a few weeks work but my visa was running out and the place wa far too remote for what where I would want to work. You could go a week without seeing anyone easily.

So we decided to move on to Tanzania within the next few days and here I am now. I will update Tanzania when I move on to the next country.

Speak soon.

Ben and Sok xxx

Posted by benhowe2 05:31 Archived in Malawi Comments (0)

Nasima and Chicken.

Taken a bit longer to type my blog this time. Just can’t seem to find the time between relaxing and seeing new parts of the world.

So I think I last left off in Malawi on my way to Zambia. Zambia was great from start to finish. I met a beautiful German girl with blonde hair to her thigh called Sandi at the border town and we stuck together for about 3 weeks traveling around. First we had to catch a bus to the capital, Lusaka as all routes go via Lusaka. Its 4:30am, I pack up my tent in the rain and we head for the bus stop. We got there at 5am for the bus at 5 but it had already gone. We finally left at 11:20am…. 6h20min sat on a bus waiting for it to leave… then the 9 hour bus ride…. Got to love the African transport.

The next day we looked round Lusaka for the day to relax. I found the city to be quite fun and for once you could get pretty much anything you wanted to buy unlike other African cities

The next morning we headed for the dreaded LSK bus depot (ticket touts jump all over you as they see $ signs all over Mazungu (white man)). We went south to Siavonga on Lake Kariba. A beautiful spot. My first thing to do was to find a bar with the England Scotland six nations match on. Great, the posh hotel next door has it and all agreed to let me watch it as there was no English Premiership football on at the same time. It’s a shame it was such a bad game. Next two days were spent by the lake and walking round the huge hydro dam. Then back to Lusaka.

Next we moved on to Mpika where we tried to get to the hot springs. No chance without a 4x4. So we decided to carry on north to a town called Kasama. We hitched with a HGV truck playing Celine Dion

Kasama was a nice little town. We grabbed a bite to eat and went back to the guest house for a couple of hours. Then we decided to go for a drink at about 8ish. We asked a local guy where the good bar was and he took us to a tiny club with far too many people in it to move around. It was obviously the main spot in town. We met loads of people all wanting to give me there number and help us, and get us very drunk (they succeeded). We finally got in at about 3am.

The next day we went to see the local waterfalls and rock paintings. We were both very hungover and I don’t think our hearts were really in to it but we were both glad we had done something with the day. We then had to get to the far north of Zambia to a town called Mpulungu. No busses and lots of rain. We hitched in a small pickup truck. It was cold and wet but the guy was really friendly and dropped us just where we needed to be. The next day we made our way to Mbala to go to see the second highest waterfall in Africa. It was a hard drive in a mini bus then down a dirt track that most 4x4s would struggle with. It was really beautiful and I got some great photos of the falls (I will upload some soon, I promise). That night we went to a local bar for a bite and a drink….. that finished at 5:30am… ohhh that was a bad hangover. We got up at 9ish and jumped on a bus back to the south. The bus should have taken 12-14hours. 22hours later we finally arrived. A few days in Lusaka and one more big night out and Sandi was off to Namibia. We said our goodbyes and I went on to Livingstone/Vic Falls.

I found Livingstone a tad too touristy for my liking. I only stayed for 2 or 3 nights (cant actually remember). I had arranged to meet an English girl, Tamsin in Lusaka about a week later to go the National park. So I had a few days before I needed to meet her so I went up to the North west of Zambia (The Copperbelt) to get to a chimpanzee orphanage. Another nightmare bus ride arriving in the village at 2am and no places to stay. Shit… One of the guys on the bus, Vester, ended up offering for me to stay at his house. He said that he had a mattress that I could use. When we got back he woke up his wife and kids to meet me and she made me dinner. Although I was so very grateful, at 3am I was desperate for, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I finally got to bed at about 5am and I had to get up at 6am to get to the orphanage. Vester’s family waved me goodbye and him and I walked on to the bus stop that went past Chimfunshi.

The bus dropped me off at a small dirt track lane and told me that it was 15k to walk. I set off along the track. After a few K I saw a sign for the orphanage “18K” oh well. At about 16-17k my water ran out. When I final got to the orphanage, after crossing 3 rivers and walking 26k in the African heat, I couldn’t have been happier. Not because I had finally reached the place but because of the amazing place I arrived in. There were Chimpanzees, dogs, ducks, peacocks, chickens, parrots and a tame……Hippo!!! Billie the hippo was a 23 year old that had come to the orphanage at 5 days old. It was amazing. That night the owners invited me in for dinner and said that they would take me to the other area the next day to see the families of chimps. There are about 150 chimps in all and they all are fantastic.

The next day I made my way back to Lusaka where I met Tamzin at 3am at the bus station. We jumped on a bus to Chipata (8hours) then on to a mini bus 4.5hours off road. I had a very numb bum due to the seat and most people were very wet as Tamsin can’t hold a bottle of beer.

We got to the lodge next to South Luangwa Park at about 9pm and we arranged a night drive and a day drive for the next couple of days. What a great park. On the night drive we saw 2 leopards, 1 lioness with 2 cubs running along in front of us, Elephants, Giraffe, Buffalo, Monkeys and so much more. It was one of the best parks so far.

We then hitched a lift to the border and said our goodbyes as I was moving back to Malawi and Tamsin was off to Mozambique.

I will have to stop there and I will update in a few days about relaxed Malawi.

Missing home.

Would be good to hear from some of you.

Ben and Sok. xxx

Posted by benhowe2 06:31 Comments (0)

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