On 8th April 2019 I flew to South Afrcia to spend 6 days in Cape Town before starting my overland trip to Namibia.
I had a great 6 days in Cape Town check out my blog for my 6 day itinerary.
Cape Town started with my bag having an extended visit to Doha, but luckily it arrived the next day and if I’m honest I think my Mum was more worried then I was!
I met some nice people in my hostel and hung out with them throughout the week I was there. One of my best days was the day trip to the cape peninsula, where I was able to see Penguins. It was also the best day of the week weather wise. After I went to watch the sunset from table mountain with one of the girls on the trip which was defiantly one of my favourite nights of the whole trip.
Another of my trip highlights was seeing a White Squirrel!
I also did a really good food walking tour which I recommend to anyone who goes to Cape Town. You can check out my blog here.
South Africa isn’t the safest country to be in but Cape Town is beautiful and you can’t get bored of seeing table top every day.
When it was time to go to my new hostel to met my group it was weird saying goodbye to my friend Katie. Katie was doing the same tour but with a different company so our paths would cross as we went north through Namibia.
Over landing from South Africa to Namibia
My over landing tour with G Adventures started on Sunday 14th April.
The tour started with a welcome meeting and group dinner. We met our CEO (Chief Experience Officer) Prince, he said our driver would met us later as he was working on the Lando. G Adventures use converted buses to travel in, they are pretty cool because most companies use lorries that have been converted. The CEO’s are very strict that you have to call it a Lando and not a bus!
When we went for dinner I was sat with Brydie who would become my bus buddy (opps we called each other a bus buddy!). My 2 overriding memories from that evening are Welly (the other CEO / driver) coming to the meeting in his overalls and apologising for being late and saying he smelt natural as he had been working all day. I remember thinking who on earth is this clown! But as the tour went on I learnt to understand and appreciate him.
That night we were in a tiny dorm room, there was 4 of us with all our bags there was not much room for manoeuvring! But it gave me the chance to get to know 3 of the other group members.
Next morning we were up early and off to our first stop.
Brydie and I were officially bus buddies and every time we got on the bus we would look at each other and say bus buddy to ensure the other one was present! Even if we weren’t sat together (a few times Brydie moved due to motion sickness, well that’s the excuse she gave!) we would still look for each other and do our bus buddy check.
Having Brydie as my bus buddy defiantly made my trip more fun.
Jodie was my tent buddy, luckily she only had a carry on bag so we fit perfectly in our tent with my giant bag!
We spent the next 2 weeks travelling through Namibia.
There were no major insect dramas, apart from our second night camping we saw a massive spider and a few people freaked out. Welly and Prince were like, stop panicking silly tourists! Then they saw the spider and were like ohh yeah that’s actually not a very nice spider you were right to be worried! After that as far as I am aware we were spider free!
There were 3 main highlights for me on the trip, the first was Soussusvlei and being in the dessert. I loved being in the dessert. The views were incredible. The day we went to Deadvlei we also climbed Dune 45 which is a giant sand dune in Namibia. It was so tall that I freaked out and had to walk back down!
It was so hot at Deadvlei, and I did it in sandals as I had a really painful mosquito bite on my foot and couldn’t get shoes on. It was advisable to have shoes on as the sand gets really hot in the sun. We tried to find some shade in the trees, as you can see from the picture the trees are pretty much just sticks!
Next up was Spietzcoppe, it has the best stars. It is basically in the middle of nowhere with no light so it has the best view of the stars. As I first looked up to the sky it genuinely brought tears to my eyes. That was one of the best nights of my life and not just the trip. I couldn’t get enough of the starts in Namibia, or any country actually. Especially when camping, as generally there isn’t much light so star gazing is beautiful.
Next up is Etosha, we saw so many animals. The first day we arrived we walked to the watering hole and there was an Elephant!
Then on our game drive we saw all the animals! There was a lion who roared in mine and Jamie’s face! That was not a highlight! Basically we scared the Lion and to show us who was boss it then roared at us. The driver then refused to leave and even waved a rag at the other end of the tunnel it went into to get it back out! I was so scared, Marcus who I was sat next to on the bus had to ask me to stop moving so close to him! It’s okay as when we got back to camp one of the girls had liquor and we drank that to calm our nerves!
Both nights we saw lots of animals at the watering hole and one of the nights at 3am we saw Rhinos fighting. During the lunch stop on our game drive we went to a different watering hole and saw 18 Elephants there having a bath!
I was so happy at Etosha we were super lucky with everything we were able to see.
All to soon our trip came to an end. I loved every minute of it and my group were fantastic. I also feel in love with Sandboaring but more on that in the next section. If you want to read my blog on Sandboarding in Namibia you can find it here.
The tour ended in Windhoek Namibia, not going to lie I cried when the group left the next morning to go onto Botswana.
Workaway in Swakopmund Namibia
The day after the tour ended I got an inter-cape bus from Windehoek to Swakopmund. What was slightly annoying about this is that I could have got a shuttle from hostel to hostel for about the same price, which would have saved the taxi in Windehoek and the walk in Swakopmund. But never mind there’s a lesson I learnt for the return journey.
I spent 6 weeks volunteering in a hostel called Salty Jackal. I basically planned my whole Africa trip around this hostel as it is a surfing hostel. Now don’t get me wrong I had a great time but I also had a difficult time and it didn’t work out exactly as expected. Plus no surfing.
When I first got to the hostel there was another volunteer who we will call Bob! Now Bob was a bit odd! Bob had just had an operation so wasn’t fully fit therefor myself and the other volunteer ended up doing a lot of the work as he was struggling. Bob was not very good with personal boundaries, there were a number of times I had to ask him to give me space! He even bite me once which was super random! Yes that’s right he bite me! The hostel had a cat and dog, sometimes the dog would get excited if she wanted to go out or wanted food and would put her mouth around my wrist. I don’t want to say bite as it wasn’t vicious. Then one day after the dog doing this Bob also put his mouth on my shoulder! I have to say I was to shocked to actually do anything about it.
Anyway long story short Bob was very annoying, he drank from 9am and was generally a bad fit so he was asked to leave. If you want more Bob stories then contact me!
Antonia however was a legend! Antonia was my 19 year old German room mate. She was great, we had an amazing time together. I’m sure I annoyed her at times but generally we got on really well.
We went on a 3 day road trip which was an adventure especially when I played my amazing playlist with songs that possibly weren’t even released during her life time!
We worked really well together, we drank wine well together and we gossiped about boys / men. I have Antonia to thank for making my stay more fun. I made friends with a friend of the owner of the hostel and he said he used to love coming to visit us as we were so entertaining. For example, Antonia explaining to the cleaner that the knives needed sharpening. I had explained this and he had said yes ok, then looked at me and said I don’t understand. Antonia took him to the kitchen showed him a knife and said the knives need to be more knifey! See this one wouldn’t kill you! Then when she got home to Germany she sent me a video of her chopping tomatoes showing me how proper knives work! I am thinking about writing a post just about living with Antonia!
Antonia left before me as she decided to go on an additional trip, I was very sad when she left. If your reading this Antonia, thanks for the fun and giggles!
We went on a small 3 day road trip in a tiny ford car that we called Adele! She was a little legend that car. I was taught how to change a tyre by the car hire man but luckily I didn’t need to, I say luckily I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to prove that I could do it! On our road trip we sent to Uis, Sousosfli and Cape Cross. Swakopmund is a weird place it’s so cold! But Uis was so hot! We were both super excited.
Then there was a drama with the car hire company and them taking to much money which meant I had to go back numerous times and complain but eventually I got my money refunded.
I did quite a lot of sandboarding in Swakopmund which I loved.
As I said above we had a dog called Signa and a cat called Nami. Both of which were amazing and I loved spending time with them both. I was really sad when I had to leave them both. I’m allergic to cats but Nami decided she didn’t care and would sit on my lap regardless which meant I would then sit still for as long as she wanted snuggles!
I spent about 6 weeks in Swakopmund, I made some lovely friends and have some memories that I will cherish forever. A place is definitely made better by the people you met.
G Adventures tour Windhoek to Vic Falls
Then it was time to move on from Swakopmund and go on the next part of my adventure. I had always said I would do the second part of my first tour.
The tour started in Windhoek and made it’s way to Botswana.
We were in Botswana for about 4 days, we visited Chobe national park which was amazing the animals were so close. An Elephant walked past me and I thought he was going to touch me with his trunk.
We camped in the Delta, taking a tiny boat called a Mokoro. Initially I was really scared but as the ride progressed on I actually really enjoyed it. We saw Hippos on the ride along the Delta. That night was proper camping, in the middle of nowhere with a hole dug in the ground. We went on a afternoon bush walk and saw Elephants, Warthogs (Pumbas!), Giraffe and Zebra. One group had a bit of a scary encounter with a Buffalo. It was a lone male and they were told if it wants to charge them then it won’t stop until it has killed them and their only hope would be to climb a tree and even then it would keep hitting the tree to get them down! Luckily they managed to get away with no one getting hurt and the Buffalo didn’t decide to charge at them or any of the other groups.
That night the Mokoro drivers sang songs to us and played games with us. They told us we were going to become a zebra which meant standing black person, white person. I’m not sure how politically correct that was but it got the point across.
The Mokoro ride home was interesting! The Hippos seemed to take a bit of a dislike to us being there and the Mokoros got a bit faster as we went past! At this point I was now willing the ride to end!
Some people went on a aeroplane ride over the Chobe but I had been glutened so felt to ill to go.
On the last night in Botswana we went on a cruise along the Chobe. We were allowed to take our own alcohol, I had bought a 1.5 litre bottle of wine as this is far more economical then a small bottle! But I didn’t have a cup so wandered around the boat swigging a giant wine bottle!
We saw a crocodile stalking 3 Pumbas, the Pumbas managed to get away so no dinner for the crocodile that evening. We saw Elephants and Hippo and Water Buffalo. There was even a Leopard but only the guide saw that!
I had a small incident in Botswana I managed to fall off of the last step of the Lando and hurt my foot, no I wasn’t drunk! No idea how I did it but weeks worth of pain after!
Then it was time to go to Vic Falls, WOW!
I loved Vic Falls it is absolutely stunning. I did a 15 minute helicopter ride over the falls which was expensive but worth the money.
I plan to exit Zimbabwe via Vic Falls so that I can go back and see them again.
I also went on a Zambezi river cruise, if I’m honest this was more of a booze cruise, we didn’t see as many animals but it was still a lovely evening.
I couldn’t go white water rafting as my foot was to bad and you have to trek down the gorge to get to the water. But the friends who went said it was amazing. A couple of people bungee jumped which they said they were glad they did, it seemed to take them a few hours to get to that view!
The town of Vic Falls is so touristy, I felt like you could be in any town in the world but it’s worth it for the falls themselves.
Then the tour ended and I was back to solo travel!
I stayed in Vic falls for a few days mostly chilling, then I got a plane to Harare.
Solo travel Zimbabwe
I flew to Harare in a small plane! The airport was even tinier it didn’t even have a cafe in the domestic lounge! Luckily I had my fancy water bottle.
I spent 5 days in Harare, I’ll be honest I didn’t love it! But it’s a big city and I’m not a massive fan of big cities.
I went on a free walking tour which was interesting. Always love a free walking tour!
I went to Lake Chivero national park, which was a great day I got super close to Rhino, Giraffe and Zebra. I was on a private tour so we could stop at whatever I wanted to look at and I could indulge my new found love of birds!
I also did a local cooking course which I wasn’t overly impressed with it was over priced and not the best cooking course I’ve ever done.
Then I caught a bus to Bulawayo. I stayed at the same hostel as someone I met in a Africa facebook group. We went on an overnight trip to Great Zimbabwe which was really good fun and I’m glad I made the effort to go and see it.
As I write this I am still in Bulawayo.
I also went on a day trip to Matopo national park and saw more Rhino including 2 babies. There was just 2 of us so again we got to stop at the things we wanted to see. We saw 2 lots of cave paintings and went to the grave of Cecil Rhodes which has the most amazing views.
There was a local theatre production of Grease so of course we went to watch that! It was fun, pretty good for a mostly youth production, full of locals and we definitely got looked at!
As is common when travelling I met someone who knew someone, and on Tuesday I am off to live and help out in a local orphanage which I’m really looking forward to. It’s out in the bush so no signal which I’m actually really looking forward to.
That’s a wrap
That’s pretty much where we are now!
I’ve met some lovely people along the way, Bob doesn’t fall in that category!
I’ve seen some amazing animals and scenery, I’ve been moved to tears by the stars.
I’ve generally had a bloody good time!