Return to GlobeRiders Home Page

Africa Adventure 2007 Live!Journal

GlobeRiders Africa Adventure 2007 Live!Journal Chapters Menu

Week 03 Chapter - 16 Oct ~ 22 Oct - South Africa, Botswana, Zambia

National Flag of Turkmenistan
National Flag of Turkmenistan
South Africa

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." - G. K. Chesterton

"The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them." - Denis Watley

"Your travel life has the aspect of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it. It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again. It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing... But you are like the Vikings who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return." - Agatha Christie

Start Location for This Week: Tzaneen, South Africa
Ending Location for This Week: Livingston (Victoria Falls), Zambia
Planned mileage for This Week: 788 miles 1,260 kilometers)

There's saying here, "The Swiss nvented watches, but Africa invented time".  There's lots of it, and it moves at its own pace. You can't hurry it, or the front desk staff, along. Patience is key, flexibility a survival trait. In this (delayed) Week Three AfricaAdventure Live!Journal Chapter, we'll spend time at borders as we cross from South Africa into Botswana, then from Botswana into Zambia.

Clearly the "highlight week" of the entire tour, the group will begin by boarding bush aircraft for a 4-day fly-in tented safari into the Okavango Delta, the world's largest wetlands game preserve, and end it with the roar of Victoria Falls, locally known as Mossi Oa Tunya (or, the Smoke That Thunders) in their ears. "Mossi" is also the name of a fine local beer. . . .

As a group, this year's participants continue to get along remarkably well.  The biggest source of friction seems to be the nightly arguement over who gets to pay for the bar bill. We're now heading into the "real Africa", where humans drop from the top to the bottom of the food chain. No longer bound by fences, herds of elephants and other animals roam freely, a times, across our path. Re-fueling points become further and further apart. As temperaturs rise, our riders will consume 4 to 6 liters of water in the course of a day's ride.  The gravel roads of Africa, some of the finest "off-tarmac" riding in the world lay ahead.  Welcome to Week Three.

Be Well, Safe Journeys,

Mike M. Paull - Partner, Guide, Webmeister

Day 16 - 17 Oct 2007 - Kasane, Botswana

On to Chobe where Liz Taylor and Dick Burton had their second marriage.  We rode FLAT OUT today in HOT temps on sealed roads trying to avoid the potholes.  The faster you go the better it seems unless you hit that ONE BIG ONE!

A few of us were seeing how fast these bikes could go, and they can GO.  Lest we make those loved ones fear for us, suffice to say we are all fine and had some thrilling passes.......

The roads were mainly straight and allowed for some great 'in motion' shots of our group.  The air in Botswana is considerably less smoky.  The countryside is chock full of termite mounds taller than men.

Once we arrived and after a quick lunch, we were on a river boat seeing elepants, buffalo, crocs and hippo from the comfort of the steady craft.  A warm breeze and a cold beer helped ease us into the scenic and wonderful area.

Our captain, Moses, brought us close to all the animals and even steered us perfectly into position to view our first elephant crossing a river.  It was a mature bull and he waded in, then swam, trunk up like a periscope to get across.  The sunset at the end was exquisite.  Elephants sitting in front of the setting red sun.....


Day 17 - 18 Oct 2007 - Okavango Delta, Botswana

Flew to the Okavango Delta and got on another small boat that took us up a tributary where we encountered elephants in the MIDDLE of the waterway.  We had to skirt them and got some incredible pics and video, up close and personal.

The weather is hot but not unbearable.  Unfortunately, the beer chiller was not working so the beer was warm.  Only Bill and I could choke one down.  I should have had water.  We stayed in a tent camp with hippo, buffalo and elehant sign all around us. 


Day 18 - 19 Oct 2007 - Okavango Delta, Botswana

I woke at 5:15AM to a rustling in the bushes behind the tent I shared with Mac.  It was a hippo on it's way back to the water after a night on land.  As it walked I could see Debbie headed to the tent restrooom and called out to her to be careful.  The hippo continued on without bothering us. 

We took a morning nature walk and encountered four Cape Buffalo heading toward us.  Marius situated us next to a termite mound and we sat ther as these four bulls came less than 100 yards in front and downwind of us.

Once they picked up our scent, they became alert and stared in our direction wondering what we were.  I can tell you I was a bit nervous, as these are considered the most dangerous of the Big Five game animals.  We backed away behind the mound and left without incident, everyone having a good adrenaline rush.  Who needs coffee?

We rode the safari trucks throughout the delta seeing lion, elephant,, birds.  The highlight was Buxton, our driver/guide spotting a leopard on a termite mound.  It is quite a place.

Dinner was great at the Mokwne Tent Lodge.  Bill regaled us with a couple jokes about Lorena Bobbitt and a German Shepard.  The Morembi game reserve we drove through is the first set-up by a tribe and it is full of wildlife.



Day 19 - 20 Oct 2007 - Okavango Delta, Botswana

A LONG, DUSTY, HOT, SANDY DRIVE TODAY.  We saw little in the way of wildlife.  The area has been overgrazed from too many elephants.  One of our gudes, Wilton, spoke of the need to cull the herds for their own good.  Wildlife management big game style.

The park we camped AT had a hyena attack a human two years ago; the first recorded instance.  we were warned to not go out after dark to the bathrooms.  The ablution areas (showers and toilets) were bunkered against elepants seeking water.  The wall protecting the area was concrete, high and thick.  The eles kept some up with their grunting and shuffling in the nearby water hole.


Day 21 - 22 Oct 2007 - Livingston, Zambia

Imagine being half way around the world and seeing a neighbor!  At Chobe Safari Lodge for our second night, we were readying ourselves for the road when Jerry spotted some people on a tour bus that were from Shoreline, Washington.  It turns out they are the father and mother of a guy that lives across the street from me.  The world is SMALL!!

We crossed the Zambezi River on a small "ferry" that allowed all our bikes and one semi-truck aboard, our chase vehicle had to wait for another crossing.  We hired a "runner" to smooth the way, good thing!  The driver I spoke to on the other side was next to board on the return and he had been in line for TWO DAYS!!!! 

Arrived at the Zambezi Sun resort to some 'warriors' dancing and chanting in front of the lobby.  This is a tourist place for sure.  But it holds one of the Seven Natural Wonders: Victoria Falls.  What an amazing sight.  It is a chasm where the water creates a huge spray that can be seen for miles when the water is flowing at full force.  Dustin did a bungee jump off the bridge and lived to tell the tale.  We rode a boat on the mighty Zambezi during the evening and caught the sun setting.  Calm, peaceful and the cameraderie of the GlobeRiders was icing on the cake.


Day 22 - 23 OCt 2007 - Livingston, Zambia

Helicoptered over the falls and what a view!  It is stunning.  I try to imagine how Livingston might have felt coming across this area for the first time.  Hearing the thundering falls from afar and then getting closer and finally cutting through the brush to view the cascading water must have been exhilarating.  The sight from the 'copter allows one to really see how flat this whole landscape is and the cleft that has allowed these falls to develop seems all the more strange and special.

Mac, Fred and I walked to Zimbabwe.  Crossing the border we were besiged by street hawkers plying their wares.  Once through the gauntlet we went to the park to view the falls from the GOOD side.  It was well worth the hassle.  The vista of Victoria Falls from here is spectacular.  We are here in the low water season.  In a few months the sound will be deafening and the volume flowing over unbelievable.

After our walk, Mac and Bill and I took a ride on elephants.  What a beautiful experience.  They are so sure footed and have an easy gait that rolls from side to side.  My cow had a 1.5 year old baby that folled her around and was still nursing.  She stopped once to allow her baby to suckle and she gave off a deep vibrating purr that reverberated up into my bones.  Magical.


Images from the Africa Adventure 2007

Africa Adventure 2007 Live!Journal Chapters Menu

Copyright © 2009 GlobeRiders, LLC ®.  All rights reserved.