Bosmanís Bush Telegraph Ė February 2000††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

Hi All

 

Nev and I will be leaving Cape Town on 4 March on our "Bosmanísí Big Adventure" and I thought that I would drop you all a line to let you know what our plans are and how we will be able to be contacted etc. At present we are running around like mad trying to make sure that everything is in place before we leave.We are giving up our flat at 9 Firmount Rd (our landlord is still looking for tenants if anyone is interested - bearing in mind the Jacuzzi.......) so we need to pack up all our stuff and put it into storage.We are intending to return to SA at some stage and donít want to have to start a home from scratch especially since we got so many divine wedding presents.The whole packing and storage thing poses quite a problem as Nev is a world renowned "pack rat" and is still carting around stuff from Stellenbosch and before - however we will have to be brutal and keep only those things that we can afford to store (or are prepared to pay for to store).Nev finished work on 11 February and so is acting as chief trip planner at the moment.I am finishing off on 29 February - just in time to attend to a last few things before hopping into the Land Rover and leaving Cape Town on the 4th.

 

We are officially starting our trip at Cape Agulhas (the Southern most tip of Africa) and will hopefully finish it in Tunisia (one of the most Northern parts of Africa) later this year.It is expected that the trip will take about 8 months depending how "gat vol" we get.Although we will be on the road for about 8 months the trip will be split into two halves.The first part of the trip, which will take about 2 months, will involve traveling through Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.This two-month stint will act as a trial run and we will test out our systems etc.

 

After Zim we will return to SA to my folks in Pretoria where we will have the Land Rover serviced, stock up on food, and get visas for Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan etc We will hopefully see some of you Dee and Andrew, Pixi and Max, Riaan and Tahiti, Si, Ryan and Carmen etc while we are up in the Pta/Jhb region

 

We had thought that the first portion of the journey would be a breeze, as we would be going to all the more stable African counties.Things have changed somewhat over the last couple of weeks though.We have ruled out Northern Namibia (Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Kaudum) because of the recent attacks on tourists and the ongoing scuffles between Angolan soldiers and UNITA rebels that have spilled over into the Caprivi Strip.Botswana has also become more difficult as the recent flooding has changed the landscape somewhat and has washed away roads in many areas. Zimbabwe is also dodgier than it was, as it seems that diesel is very scarce and practically non-existent in the rural areas.We are however excited about these three countries as they promise to be beautiful - we will certainly be visiting Etosha, Swakopmund, Windhoek, the Fish River canyon and Sossusvlei in Namibia, the Okavango swamps (Moremi and Savuti) as well as Chobe in Botswana and Vic falls, Kariba, Nyanga, Harare etc in Zim.

 

After Pretoria we will head down to the Transkei with Nev's parents for a week or so and then on to Zinqwazi beach in Natal where we will stay with Zoe and Nic for a while (and relive our great week there over their wedding - hopefully minus the pushing into the pool aspect).Hopefully they will join us on our next leg of the journey into Mozambique.In Mozambique we hope to do lots of scuba diving - Nev having recently done his NAUI open water one course.It will be nice to dive in warm water as opposed to the icy Cape seas - there is of course in increased shark risk Ė hopefully however they will avoid us (professional courtesy - being lawyers and all) Mozambique is the most unknown/uncertain of the countries we intend to visit (although it is quite popular with SA tourists) - it seems to have suffered under the recent floods and there is a huge risk of Malaria - not to mention rogue soldiers who reportedly demand money for passage on roads and if refused seem to get a tad annoyed and have been know to retain passports etc.

 

Malaria is one of the scariest things about this trip (other than marauding bandits with AK47's), as it would seem to be rife - particularly in areas such as Mozambique.We have done a trial run on Larium and it was not a good experience - Nev lost about 2 kg's and was absolutely miserable.We will probably take a combination of chloraquine and paladrin and try not to get bitten which will mean using lots of tabard and drinking gin and tonic (a colonial myth I understand and not really effective in combating malaria - what the heck - I will try anything!)We have also been immunized against Hepatitis, Yellow Fever, Typhoid and Tetanus - sounds totally freaky!We will be religiously purifying water through our British Birkfield filter and hoping that we do not have weeks of dihorrea....

 

After Mozambique we will go up into Malawi where we will explore the lake area as well as the Zomba plateau and hope to visit Cape Maclear and Monkey Bay and various other spots.We understand that Malawi is friendly and cheap and it might provide quite a haven after Mozambique.We will then go on into Tanzania where we will visit the famous (and incredibly expensive) Ngoro Ngoro crater and the Serengeti - at this point hopefully I will look like Meryl Streep (it was her wasn't it?) in "Out of Africa" and be drinking copious amounts of gin and tonic whist watching the game on the plateaus!I might however have exhausted my stock of gun and Valium by then depending on how hair raising our experience in Mozambique was!

 

We will try and cross into Uganda at some stage, as we would like to go and do the "gorilla's in the mist" thing.We hear that Uganda is stunning and really civilized as it was never colonized and therefore does not have either French or English colonial history.We understand that they have Pick and Pay there and that MTN has towers throughout - sounds quite civilized really! Viewing the gorillas is expensive (about 200 dollars or more) but would seem to be a really worthwhile experience even if it is just to see the extent of the jungle!We might also venture into Rwanda which apparently has the best roads in Africa at the moment because of the UN having spent some time there - it would appear to be safe and peaceful, not to mention beautiful

 

My dad (and hopefully my mom) is joining us for a stint in Zanzibar - it has always been his dream - I think he fancies himself to be a bit of a spice merchant of old!As dad (with additional funds) will be with us we are hoping to be able to check into a hotel for this period.I think we will be so sick of living in our tent that this will be fantastic.We are looking forward to seeing the famous Zanzibar doors and the historic Stone Town. After resting up in Zanzibar it will be off to climb Kilimanjaro (Ha Ha!) - I am so unfit at present that I cannot imagine how I will ever manage Africa's highest mountain.I am really keen to do it though and will have to work on my fitness over the next couple of months.We expect to embark on our ascent of the mountain in about mid to end July after the end of the rainy season.

 

Everything going according to plan - and us not perishing on the mountain - we will proceed to Kenya and the Masai Mara which is apparently beautiful but exorbitantly expensive.We will spend some time in Kenya and will visit Mombassa and Nairobi where we will in all likelihood have to have our Land Rover serviced and stock up for the remainder of our journey.

 

After Kenya we will cross in to Ethiopia and will drive up to Addis Ababa. We will also visit Lalibela and the neighbouring areas to see the stone churches and temples.The history would seem to be amazing and it would seem to be a life-changing place to visit - I canít wait.We will also travel into the Ethiopian highlands and then on to the Ethiopian/Sudanese border.

 

Our original plan was to go from Ethiopia to Eritrea and then to take a ferry up the red sea to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) or to Suez (Egypt).This plan has however been scuttled by the ongoing war between Eritrea and Ethiopia which means that the border is closed and no one is being allowed into Eritrea - by the sounds of it we wouldn't want to go there anyway at the moment as the war is pretty bad.This is a real pity as we had hoped to dive in Eritrea and see the ancient Italian architecture etc

 

Plan B involves crossing into Sudan and driving through Sudan to Libya.We had hoped to be able to drive across Egypt (we will still try our luck on that score) but the Egyptians seem to be full of nonsense and will not allow you to drive across their country - you have to exit at your point of entry - not very helpful if you want to overland to London!The only other option

(barring an Egyptian miracle) is to cross from Sudan into Libya and then cross the Libyan Desert and enter Tunisia.Libyan's love South African's at the moment - after Mandela came out in support of Ghadaffi (I have pictures of both to wave, flaunt or hide at appropriate moments!)

 

Once we are in Tunisia we are almost home free and will take one of the regular ferries across to Italy and then drive through Europe to London.We still want to catch Morocco and it is easy enough to do so by ferry across from Spain (across the straits of Gibraltar) - we probably are not going to be able to do it overland though, as this will mean crossing Algeria - very

anti-Westerners and quite volatile!We also hope that we will be able to do a foray into Egypt at some stage but have been advised that it may be better to fly in for a package tour rather than drive through it.†† Other spots we will miss out include the DRC, Djibouti (fondly known as the armpit of Africa) and Somalia (no government at all!!).We will also not be visiting any West African countries on this trip and will confine our travels to East Africa.

 

We hope to be in London by the beginning of December all going according to plan.We then hope to fly back to SA for Richard and Ida's wedding at Great Brak in December.We wouldn't want to miss it for the world!After Christmas we will return to the UK to work and to earn back the capital that we have put into this trip.I have discovered that my grandfather was born in the UK and so I can get an ancestral visa and Nev can get one as my dependant.

 

We will be on email and will have a laptop with us for the duration of the trip.We are trying to wangle a satellite phone so that we will not be dependant on infrequent Internet cafes for our emailing.I have not sorted out an address yet but we will do so and send you details ASAP.We will be writing for South African 4x4 magazine during our trip and feeding articles, info and photos to them which they will publish.They are a bi-monthly publication - but keep a look out for it, as it will have regular bits and pieces of our trip.Next month's edition should have a photo of us with some basic info about our trip.SA 4x4 have also agreed to host a website for us - which is not up and running yet but once it is set up will have reports of our trip and photos.We will let you know the web address as well as our new email details in the next two weeks.

 

I will be using my folks address for all mail - they are P O Box 69, Irene - phone (012) 667 2254 - if there is no other way of getting hold of us!

 

We are still going to be around for a bit though and will have farewell drinks before we depart - probably at the Five Flies - predictable? Ė so hopefully we will still see you all before we go.

 

p

 

ps:the whole purpose of sending this to all of you was so that you could plan which portions of the trip you would like to join us for!let us know - we would love to have you join us at some stage or another - we will be all talked out by Walvis Bay I suspect!

 

Penny Bosman