Grant and Susan in Africa

Africa Route - 1997Summary

We arrived in Africa by overnight ferry from Marseilles, France in early March, 1997. Although we greatly enjoyed touring through Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, for us the REAL Africa began in Kenya.

Stymied in our attempts to travel overland south from Egypt, at the end of June we flew from Cairo's sweltering heat into the green and temperate East Africa dry season.

Capitoline Temple, Roman ruins at Dougga, Tunisia

Close up, camels are cute - and this one didn't spit!

Reports of unrest and criminal activity in Kenya prompted us to leave for Tanzania fairly quickly. As it was, we left Nairobi only a few days before their riots. In Tanzania, we went on safari to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, and had our first taste of African wildlife. Lions (and adorable lion cubs), hippos, giraffes, zebras and numerous species of antelope (especially dik-diks) - all up very close and personal. We were hooked on animals, and couldn't get enough until Namibia, over 160 rolls of film later!

Elephants on the Shire River, Malawi

From Tanzania, we drove south through Malawi, where the people charmed us and which lived up to its billing as 'The Warm Heart of Africa'. Here we also found the most challenging roads in Africa. We spent several days in Liwonde National Park appreciating the views of elephants, crocodiles and numerous water birds.

A quick run through Mozambique to Zimbabwe, where we indulged the cravings for western food which had been building since leaving Europe, and toured the Ruins of Great Zimbabwe, massive stone enclosures built many centuries ago by the indigenous peoples of Africa.

Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe was also far and away our best elephant viewing - reputed to have 30,000 elephants, you can't miss seeing them.

After an exciting (read terrifying) run through the Caprivi Strip, in Namibia we encountered the most spectacular landscapes in Africa, and, in Etosha National Park, the best animal viewing so far. Here, the zebras were in your face, along with giraffes, kudu, hartebeest, wildebeest, gemsbok, and the ever present springbok.

And then there were excursions to Okonjima for big cats and Sossusvlei for big sand dunes.

Trees dwarfed by sand dunes, Sossusvlei, Namibia.

Trees dwarfed by sand dunes, Sossusvlei, Namibia

We spent 6 weeks in Namibia, then reluctantly pushed ourselves south to our final objective, Cape Town, South Africa and Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa, where we arrived on 13 October, 1997, seven months after landing in Tunisia.


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