AFRICAN ADVENTURE Hakuna Matata! Karibu! Jambo! Jambo! An amazing adventure with Rosa Bussarna/The Pink Caravans – a Swedish travel company where you travel in a pink bus all over Africa! 5 weeks. 6 countries. 5000 kilometers and 26 new friends!
Zimbabwe – Zambia – Malawi – Tanzania & Zanzibar – Kenya – Ethiopia
ZAMBIA TO ZIMBABWE. Day 1-6. Arrived in Lusaka, capital of Zambia. Great welcome by a massive rain attack. Went by car to Pioneer Campsite, checked into a gigantic bungalow, drank beer – fall asleep to the sound of the jungle – and one anoying mosquito. So excited for this adventure! Woke up early, had a great english breakfast – with tasty bacon! Off to cross the border to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls! 8 hours by car throught Zambia to Livingstone in Zimbabwe, next to the Victoria Falls. Meet up with the rest of the Pink Caravan tour – who I’m gonna travel with for the next month.
Off to a full day of rafting in Victoria river (which is something I said I never would do). Anyhow. That was an adventure – and a nearly death experience (will never do that again!). We totally flipped in the crazy waves and swirls way too many times – and nearly died during the painful hike up the hill in the end. But we survived! Celebrated by going to the epic nightclub – Shoestring. EVERYONE who’s been in Vic Falls knows about this place!
Victoria Falls. Most of the group went bungyjumping and other active stuff, me and another girl went hiking in Victoria Falls – one of the seven (nature) wonders. It was magic! After, relax by the pool area in our camp. Sunset cruise on Zambize River – free booze. After an hour they where out on both coke…and rom. Spent the rest of the night at the Shoestring nightclub – again – until they kicked us out and closed the door. Five hours sleep – then off to say hi to 18 month old lions – soon ready to be free in the wild. Went for a walk with them. Brother and sister. It was incredible, big beautiful cats! Pool hangout the rest of the day – and some bus cleaning before take off to Zambia tomorrow. Some beers, some african traditional music – ending up partying at Shoestrings like every other night.
BACK TO ZAMBIA. Day 6-9. Bus day! Crossing the border over to Zambia. Started by 7 in the morning, checked in at Camp Eureka, Lusaka just before sunset, 6-ish. On the way we said hi to giraffes and zebras – and a bunch of dogs. And then we had an bbq party! (…the meat came from the store haha). Discovered the city of Lusaka. Had the best indian food since I went to India. Back at Pioneer Camp (same place we stayed the first night). My team did tonights cooking, super tasty. Slept on the bus roof under the stars. Woke up around 6 – time to hit the road again. 10 hours driving, then beers, food and sleep at a camp in Chipata, close to the border of Malawi.
MALAWI. Day 9-15. 3 hours border control – many many hours of bus riding. Hello Malawi. Playing soccer with local kids. Food stop in Lilongwe, the capital. Bus party! The road to Lake Malawi and Kande Beach went throught small villages, cows, goats, mountains and red sand. Arrived around 10 in the evening, late snack and then bed time. Under the night black star sky on the roof top of the bus. Woke up when a tiny thunderstorm hit us in the early morning. Our camp is situated on Kande Beach, parked the bus 20 meters from the water. Pancakes for breakfast, our chef is the best! Village tour with some locals Mr Slim Shady and Mr Popcorn. Visited the hospital and the school, got (at least) hundred new friends. Went swimming in Malawi Lake, was promised – no worms! Banana beer (taste like yoghurt gone bad – blended with sand) beach party with Mr Slim and co. Bbq party with our crew, back to beach – bonfire party with drums and singing – and then beer party until the bar closed with my two beer drinking friends M & J.
Hakuna Matata. Jumped into a boat to a little island in the lake outside Kande beach, great spot for snorkeling – they said. I would say not that great – but still, every kind of adventure is an adventure! Lazy lazy day. Changed all my malawi-money into beers – cheers. Bus day. Arrived at Chitimba Camp, north side of Lake Malawi. Bus party, springbock shots and rum & coke (mostly rum) party at the beach with millions and millions of flies – until 4 o’clock in the morning, the fantastic four – me, M, J & E. Slightly tired the day after, skipped the 8 hour walk to Livingstonia – relaxing in the bar instead. Best idea ever – and the best nap ever. Went into ”the real african village” got run over by a bike. Ouuch! Beach, beer and home made langos. Woke up around 5, got the bus ready for new adventures – five hours later we crossed the border to Tanzania. Karibu! Driving all day, lunch & dinner cooking by the road with locals and various animals. 16 hours later we reached our destination for the night – Crocodile Camp – more like scorpion camp.
TANZANIA. Day 15-17. Off to Dar Es Salaam. Spotted my first wild elephant, got so happy that I started crying – everyone laughed haha. In the middle of nowhere, our pink bus went out of gas. Luckly we were prepared for that kind of emergency. On the road again after one hot hour that also turned into lunch break. Our camp for the next couple of days, Sunrise Beach in Dar Es Salaam – beach bar and kitty cats, welcome to paradise! Two days of bus cleaning, beaching, beer-drinking, partying! Pink party! Jambo jambo. Bad bad hungover. Stupid champagne, wine, beer, rum & coke, smirnoff cocktails and salmiak shots. But we had a lot of fun! Took the boat from our camp to Dar Es Salaam and then the fast ferry to Zanzibar. Staying at a great place right by the beach – Ocean View Resort. Feels good to sleep in a real bed after 16 days on the bus roof. Had sunset mojitos at Africa House in Stone Town – and then the best chicken kebab ever at the city night market. In bed before midnight, can’t be party queen every night.
ZANZIBAR. Day 18-22. Omelette and water melon breakfast. Stone Town city tour. Boat ride to Prison Island – an island that was suppose to be a prison – but it was to beautiful so the prison turned into a vacation house instead. Now – hotel for rich people. Giant turtle safari – the oldest one, 192 years old – oldie but goldie. Balcony drinking party. Wierd special indian kebab dinner in Stone Town + a lot of drinks and desserts. Late evening mission: finding the Freddy Mercury Bar – found his house but the bar where nowhere to be found. Instead we found a sleeping taxi driver and woke him up. Ocean View please.
The day my belly crashed. Went on a spice tour in the forest. Puked behind a tree and almost died. After the nearly dying experience we jumped on a bus and went from Stone Town to the other side of Zanzibar – Nungwi Beach. Heaven on earth. Our hotel is the shit, spent a few hours until sunset by the pool – and then went to sleep. Needed to take care of this crashed body. Tomorrow is another day. Back on track after 14 hours in bed and three bottles of coke. Spent the day by the beach, walk & talk with local guy Harry, mojito by the pool. Celebrating two birthdays, calamari dinner, got another cat bff, searching for a raggae bar – ended up in a place next door to our hotel. The day after we took a swim with 30 turtles, playing on the beach and some Ndouvo-beer drinking by the pool. Life sucks.
TANZANIA. Day 22-26. Bye bye paradise island Zanzibar with cold beer, comfy bed, air condition, turqouise ocean and swimming pool. Hello pink bus and hot dirty roads. Happy to be ”home” again! Spent whole day and night on a roadtrip through the beautiful Tanzanian landscape. Way past midnight we decided to camp at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Woke up on Christmas morning with the snow covered peak of Kilimanjaro as view. Pretty magic. Snow on Christmas! Another bus driving day to reach our destination and meet up with two other Pink Caravan buses – let the x-mas party begin! But first – food & booze refill in Arusha. Taco night at Camp Kudu Lodge in Karatu. After a good but pretty cold nights sleep – all day pool party and then celebrating with 60 swedes.
Safari day! My first safari – ever! The Ngorongoro Crater in karatu. First thing we learned Pumba from Lion King means zero brain because they have so short memory. Our driver called me Pumba – no comments. Awesome day, the view, the nature, the animals – undescribable! Game viewing: baboons, waterbocks, donkeys, eagles, shakals, buffalos (soooo many!) wildbeasts, ostrichs, hyenas, springbocks, gazelles, a wierd big grey bird, storks, hippos, uganda cranes, 1000 pink flamingos, 1 hat beast, 2 black rhinos, 8 elephants – and 26!!!! lions. One of the best days so far! Spotted 4 of 5. The Big five: elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion. Check! Ugly five: Warthog, wildbeast, hyena, gam (dead meat eating bird, name?) check! Next safari mission: leopard & marabou stork.
KENYA. Day 26-31. Another bus day, from Karatu, crossing the border to Kenya and Nairobi – 10 hours of sleeping, reading, talking and singing The Lion King soundtrack, trying to sound like a zebra. Funniest sound ever. Put up our camp at someones backyard. Surprise: Free wifi in the livingroom. Pancake breakfast! Visited a giraffe center, gave them food and trying to avoid blue tongue giraffe kisses. Then we visited a center for baby elephant orphans, there was 25 of them, from 3 month up to to 2 years old. Sad baby elephants that lost their mommy in one way or another. Cruel world. Lunch at a mall then back on the bus for a few hours from Nairobi to Naivasha. Instead of safari animals I did my own bus game viewing. Spotted Kenyan bus names: Angel, Guardian, Only prayers, Sparkles, Martial, Blessings, Digital, Pirates, Glorious and God’s powder. Our camp, situated by Lake Naivasha, Camp Cannelys. Beautiful place, cozy bar – but also home of a million mosquitos. Fall asleep to the sound of motorbikes – turnes out that’s how hippos sounds. Elephants, giraffes, one sheeta and hundreds of other animals. Then the real adventure started – one of our cars got stuck in the mud – and the rescue car did the same. What to do? The park was closing and it’s really dangerous to be in the park at night. So – 16 people in one car. Hey ho let’s go! Before we left the park, we where so so lucky, a lion mom and her two tiny lion babies walked (and jumped) in front of the car. Amazing!
Left the bus and our bus driver Gunnar at the camp in Naivasha – two vans picked us up -next stop: Maasai Mara for a couple of days. Went off road for a couple of hours until we reached our tent camp in Maasai Mara, close to the national park. Before sunset we took the cars to the park for some game viewing. Elephants, giraffes, one sheeta and hundreds of other animals. Then the real adventure started – one of our cars got stuck in the mud – and the rescue car did the same. What to do? The park was closing and it’s really dangerous to be in the park at night. So – 16 people in one car. Hey ho let’s go! Before we left the park, we where so so lucky, a lion mom and her two tiny lion babies walked (and jumped) in front of the car. Amazing! The rest of the evening we spent around the bonfire at the camp listening to a few maasai men telling us about their culture. Very interesting. So diffrent from the world we live in. Makes you think about your life – and wondering if they really telling us the truth. Update: later we where told another version of their reality. Early morning safari time in Maasai Mara National park. On a cliff we saw a lion mommy and her three one-year old babies taking a nap in the morning sun. So many elephants, big, small and everything in between, so close you could almost touch them. We went all the way down to the border where Maasai Mara in Kenya becomes Sarangeti in Tanzania. Took a short walking safari trip. 40-ish happy hippos and two happy hippo babies sunbathing on the rocks in Mara River. Wow! On the way back to our camp we stopped at the maasai village for a guided tour. Can’t really describe it by words. I just hope they are happy.
Happy new year! Woke up super early, 4 o’clock in the morning – hot air balloon safari over the landscape of Maasai Mara. Super expensive (425 usd) but worth it! Magic view and after 2 hours up in the air – we was invited to a luxury champagne, bloody mary & bacon breakfast. Could there be any better way to start the last day of 2015?! After the great balloon adventure we packed our bags and jumped into the cars – back to Naivasha and the pink bus. Let’s celebrate new years! And we did – almost all of us was awake until midnight (record of this sleepy group) – two minutes after we where only four left haha. But we celebrated for all of us. Springbock & pimms, good combination. The day after I slept til 11, woke up, cleaned the bus and spent the rest of the day by the next camp pool. Lazy day. Great start of 2016! Bye bye Africa (at least that was the plan). Drove from Naivasha to Nairobi. Was suppose to visit an orphinage, on the way to the slum we ended up in a middle of a riot – or it had just been one. Two motorbikes was burned and we decided to turn around. After less then an hour or so our excellent driver made it happened and we could continue to the airport. Just to figure out our flight was delayed 3 hours – and 3 hours became 4…and we totally missed our connecting flight in Addis Ababa. Africa didn’t want us to leave – so we checked in to a luxury hotel and stayed 24 more hours.
ETHIOPIA. Day 32-33. Woke up in my super comfy giant hotel bed. Hotel breakfast, sadly no bacon. But pancakes make me happy! Jumped in a cab that took us to National Museum of Addis Ababa – so we could say hi to Lucy – the first human (found) on earth. 3.2 million years old. Only 105 cm short, I win for once. Our guide told us about the history of human kind and the culture and art work of Ethiopia. Interesting! We learned that Addis Ababa means new flower. But the city is more about construction than nature. I would say. What to do when you need to kill time in Addis – go and see the new Star Wars movie of course! Double premiere for me since I haven’t seen a single one of them. Around midnight it was time to do a new attempt to get home by air. May the force be with us.
…we came home, safe and sound – after one of the best experiences ever. Africa always wins!