Friday, November 26, 2010



18th November 2010 – 21st November 2010

Sean and Nic house – Johannesburg

We are coming towards the end of our 5 month adventure, can you believe it?

On Friday with looked after the children.  Trace did some baking with Caydee which she loved.

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Saturday night we watched the south African rugby team lose to Scotland and then followed it up with the All Blacks beating Ireland!!  If it wasn’t for our Cricket team doing so badly we would have kept the south Africans quiet…

Sunday – it was time to pack all out stuff up, this was a mission!!  We are both not looking forward to our 28 hours of travel to get home but it will be worth it!

Mike’s 2nd pair of trip jandels hit the dust . . . . They are so thin if you hold them up to the light you can see through certain areas!

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Our 5 months of travel have seen so many highs and lows, we have loved every minute of it but are both looking forward to seeing all our family and friends. 

After all this travel we have concluded that we didn’t realise how good we have it back home in New Zealand!!


To Be Continued . . . . . .  We’re on a funding related break

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cape Town


15th November 2010

Cape Town – Cape Diamond Hotel

After Nic dropped us at the airport we boarded out flight for Cape Town at 9am.  It was a smooth flight and very scenic coming into Cape Town.

Once we had checked into our hotel we explored the town and did a bit of shopping.

At 5pm we caught a taxi to Table Mountain and caught the gondola up.  The view was absolutely amasing!

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The view of Table Mountain as we went up

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The view of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain

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The amazing view

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We watched the sunset and ate dinner up on Table Mountain.  It was a beautiful night

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16th November 2010

Cape Town – Cape Diamond Hotel

We had a lazy day today, looking around the shops and then we walked down to the water front.  It got so windy in the afternoon, some of the strongest winds we have been in.  Mike wouldn’t even consider taking his kite out if he had one… Well probably wouldn’t anyway…

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17th November 2010

Cape Town – Cape Diamond Hotel

Today Dawn (a friend of Nicola and Sean’s who we had meet while staying with them) picked us up and toured us around Cape Town. 

We started by visiting Spear’s Winery.  This was such a funky place, it had little tree type houses – minus the roofs scattered around to have dinner or lunch in.  They also had a great idea of having a little store which you purchase gourmet food and wine from and then were given a picnic basket and blanket to have a picnic around there beautiful grounds.

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There was also a cheetah and bird sanctuary on the ground which we had a look at.  This was good but nothing compared to what we have seen while travelling Africa.

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We then headed out to Cape Point, this reminded us of New Zealand scenery, so beautiful.  On the way we stopped at a stunning spot to have lunch, this was our view from the window as we sat and ate lunch.

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After lunch we headed to the point, we walk up about a kilometre to the lighthouse at the top of the point.  It was so windy up here!!  But the view was well worth it.

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We headed back up to Cape Town city via the coastal road, this road was amasing the view were spectacular.  That night we had dinner with Dawn, her husband France and some of their family in Hout Bay.

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DAY FORTY-FOUR – 7th November 2010

Nkwathle Bush Camp

Up at 5.30am and on the road at 7.  We stopped at the border crossing to get stamped out of Botswana and into South Africa – No fee.

It was a long drive to Nkwathle bush camp , it is a really nice place, great atmosphere.  The camp opened in June this year

They have open air toilets and showers but they’re modern and somehow really cool!

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The outlook from the bar area

25 Africa 218 The Bar – Mike in his favourite spot

That night we had a cultural night with dancers and tried the local beer (this tasted like yeast, we didn’t like it much).

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Our meal being cooked over the fire

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Mike trying the traditional beer (note normal drinks to the side)

25 Africa 050 The dancers

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Dinner was amazing with lots of traditional food, we had Koru (a large antelope) as the main meat dish.  It was good to try some of the African game.

We slept well as it was a bit cooler here.


DAY FORTY-FIVE – 8th November 2010

Nkwathle Bush Camp

Up at 5, we had a breakfast of fresh fruit, museli and yogurt – yummy!

Then we were picked up by Kurt Safari in an open safari vehicle and taken to Krugar National Park.  We're a little difficult to please on safari now as we’ve been spoilt so much already.  But, we had a really good morning drive, spotting all the big 5 plus a giraffe or 2 before midday!

Our first significant sighting was a baby leopard which was special as these are very rarely spotted.  Even our driver said it was the first leopard cub he’d seen! Trace wanted to take him home! 

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Next we passed a few kills sitting in trees from leopards around the area.  One was more or less untouched and we waited for a while hoping the leopard would return to dine out… Unfortunately not.

After an hour or so we come around a bend and there were a herd of elephants crossing the road.  One of them didn’t like the sight of us and was a little moody, he eventually quietened down.

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Later into the morning we got our photo of a rhino! We’ve now had really good clear sightings of all the big five… Although we’d just as sooner watch Cheetahs or Giraffes it’s good to tick them off.

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We had lunch at a picnic area in the park which was nice.

In the afternoon we didn’t see much as the sun came out and all the animals were hiding in the shade.

A huge giraffe crossed the road in front of us:

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We arrived back at the camp by 4 and had a few drinks and played five hundred, Trace is getting better and making it a bit more of a challenge for Mike!

Had another yummy dinner at the campsite – the food is amazing!

Our last night in a tent . . . . . We are rather happy about it!


DAY FORTY-SIX – 9th November 2010

Johannesburg - Nicola and Sean’s House

Up at 6am for a yummy breakfast, we left camp at 7 for Joburg, our last day on tour. . . . . Can’t believe it!

We arrived in at Joburg about 2.30ish and waited at the hostel for Nic (Trace’s cousin) to pick us up.

Acacia Africa Tour has come to an end, after 46 days in a tent, too many long drop toilets, cold showers and too many creepy crawlies we have survived and live to tell a few tales of our adventures.

That night we enjoyed catching up with Nic, Sean and the three girls, they are adorable!


10th November 2010

Johannesburg - Nicola and Sean’s House

After a bit of a sleep in, in a nice bed with pillows, Trace decided it was time the braids came out!  Mike gave her a hand, it took forever and the result was  . . . .  terrifying!!

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After a good shampoo and conditioner the hair is back to normal, well as normal as it can be after 5 months of travel!


11th November 2010

Johannesburg - Nicola and Sean’s House

Nic dropped us off at a shopping centre on her way to work so we could do a bit of shopping for the day, Trace was excited but Mike was not enthused. 

It was a good day shopping, Trace didn’t see anything she particularly liked.  Mike bought quite a lot! the majority of our clothes have all but fallen apart through Africa!


12th November 2010

Johannesburg - Nicola and Sean’s House

We looked after the kids today, Caydee who is 4 and the twin girls, Maddison and Georgia who are 18 months.  They are all so cute!

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 26 South Africa 081Georgia and Maddison playing in the water


13th November 2010 and 14th November 2010

Johannesburg - Nicola and Sean’s House

We relaxed at the house with Nic, Sean and the kids.  Going to a Portuguese Festival on Saturday and Sean’s brothers for a barbe or in South African terms a Brie on Sunday.  It was great to be able to spend some quality time with the family.

Nic also spoilt us with Kiwi dip – yum! and “coffee and milk”, we had one for you Pop.



DAY FORTY - ONE – 4th November 2010

Thembe River Safari Camp

Up early to get a few last minute snaps of the Waterfront campsite and the blue balled monkeys – see below they are florescent blue, you can’t miss them!

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                         Mother and baby                                             This female monkey posed for Mike all morning

The morning we crossed over into Botswana.  We had to do this on a ferry as there is no bridge across the Zambezi River.  They are said to be building one, but this has been on the agenda since 2001!  The reason for the bridge not being constructed is due to an island being owned by Zimbabwe which one of the centre poles needs to be erected on.  This has caused huge debate with the Zimbabwe president wanting to charge a Zimbabwe visa for crossing the bridge.

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The motor of the ferry, note the electrical box!

 25 Africa 592Our truck “Wami” on the ferry

It was a pretty smooth boarder crossing and no fee!

We had to step through a disinfectant on our way through the Botswana as they have a huge foot & mouth problem at the moment.  We arrived at Thembe River Safari campsite in time for lunch.

At 3pm we went for a Safari River cruise on the Chobe River.  We saw loads of elephants, this is apparently the most highly populated area for them.25 Africa 611

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25 Africa 638A Black Kite swooping for fish

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We arrived back at the campsite for dinner about 6.30ish.  Later that evening we had a few farewell drinks with the others as we would be splitting with them heading to Cape Town and us down to JoBurg.  To be honest this is one part of our trip we would have planned differently, and headed to Cape Town on the tour.  One part our of a 5 month adventure is not to bad . . . .


DAY FORTY - TWO – 5th November 2010

Elephant Sands Camp

We got to sleep in this morning and left the camp at about 9ish, stopping in town for a few minutes to pick up supplies we then headed for Elephant Sands Camp in Nata arriving at about 1pm.  After a quiet lunch we sat and chilled in the extremely hot and muggy weather.

This camp is well known for Elephants walking through it as there used to be a watering hole just to the side of the bar.  With the extremely hot summer they have had, the watering hole is currently dry and the elephants have destroyed the camp looking for water, trees have been ripped down along with buildings demolished, it looks like a hurricane has been through.  Below are photos of their destruction.

25 Africa 022  A baby elephant fell into the pool looking for water and it’s mother helped it out destroying the pool completely.


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This is all that is left of the toilet block

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An elephant footprint, absolutely enormous!

That evening there was a huge thunder and lightening storm.  We attempted to take photos of it but unfortunately we’d just worked out the best settings as the storm was passed.  Here’s our best efforts:

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25 Africa 013  The sunset at Elephant Sands

That evening an elephant came through the camp looking for water, we were at the bar and got within about 5 - 7 metres of it.  They move so gracefully for such big animals, you can’t hear them coming, we make more noise than they do! 

That night we slept in our tents with one eye open!


DAY FORTY - THREE – 6th November 2010

Kwanokeng Campsite

Up at 5.30am we left camp at 7.  It was a long day driving, we arrived at Kwanokeng Camp at 2ish and had a late lunch.  That afternoon we spent by the pool and then watched the All Black take on England – Go the ABs!!!