Africa is a special continent. After nearly seven years, we thought we were somewhat used to it. Yet, these two Dutchies continue to be amazed. I don’t know if you followed any of it, but Malawi is going through an interesting period of democracy. In this blog you’ll read a bit more about the political history and especially about what made the past year so special. Read more
Malawi! Today is colder than we expected and certainly colder than we hoped for, but we made it! Ten days ago, we left Hartbeespoort in South Africa and 3356 km later we’re now in Lilongwe, Malawi. It was a beautiful road trip through Botswana and Zambia with ups and downs as always, but we never experienced any vehicle break downs or medical issues, so we are extremely grateful. Read more
Yesterday morning (Friday) we managed to survive the hectic traffic in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. Every roundabout was chaos and no one seemed to know what indicators are, so we were relieved when we drove between farmlands again.
Zambia offers stunning landscapes and the villages with mainly thatched huts create beautiful images. We passed indigenous bush, sugarcane fields, banana plantations and places with more churches than people. It was a long drive, but with great views, especially when the area turned more mountainous towards the East. Read more
Tuesday morning we unfortunately had to leave Kasane quite early, to cross over to Zambia at one of the most infamous border posts. On our way to the ferry (because the bridge is still almost finished) to leave Botswana, it all went smoothly and at 07:00 we stood on Zambian soil. And that’s where the trouble started… Our passports were stamped quickly, but there was confusion about the vehicle papers. Because of the chaos with many different little offices, tens of large cargo trucks and hundreds of people, we decided to get the assistance -at a fee- of an agent. One of those guys who knows everyone and quickly finds his way around the queues. It turned out to be easy to solve and driver Hessel had to fill out ‘’only’’ fourteen forms with all (yes all!) our details. Read more
Sunday afternoon we checked into Eselbe Camp, just outside Nata in Botswana. This property on the Nata River belonged to Rupert’s mother for years and since she passed away twenty years ago, he dreamed to turn it into a small-scale campsite with a few chalets. Last year this finally became a reality and in exchange for some maintenance work you can even stay for free, but for us it was just a stopover between Francistown and Kasane. We could’ve driven that distance in a day, but especially the dogs think the heat is quite unpleasant on the way. Read more
Today we traveled a little further north into Botswana from Gaborone to Francistown, which was a long, hot and boring road, except for the occasional donkey cart or cattle blocking the road. We’re staying at Woodlands just out of town and are enjoying the peace and quietness. Read more
It didn’t go smoothly, but we are ready for our second night in Botswana!
Howard and Dilo left with quite a delay from Hartbeespoort Thursday morning and finally at the border with Botswana there seemed to be all kinds of issues with Howard’s papers. We talked and talked and talked but eventually we had to give up. Meanwhile, Hessel had been waiting a while at the Gaborone airport, so Dilo went to fetch him and Howard unfortunately had to go back into South Africa to sort out his paperwork. We’re not sure how, when and where, but we will meet again in Africa! Read more
It’s really happening! Tomorrow morning we’re leaving South Africa after six incredible years to go build a new future in Malawi; the Warm Heart of Africa. We still don’t know exactly where we’ll be staying or what we’ll be doing and especially our mothers are getting a bit nervous, but we decided anyway to go for it. We’ve got quite a list of useful contacts in Malawi, mainly thanks to the efforts of Howard’s brother there, and from discussions with the Malawi government we understand that they’re working hard to develop ecotourism in the country and are welcoming people like us. But Africa is still Africa and it’s not easy to make proper arrangements at this distance, so we decided to ‘’just’’ go. It feels great and as something that really needs to happen and we have never regretted following our instincts! Read more