En so ry ons Serengeti toe...

Tell us about your recent trip. Please add some photographs.
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warthog
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:01 pm

(You will have to be very patient- this was a four week epic journey, and we only returned yesterday- 22 Jul 2012. There is, in between getting back up to speed at work, also the matter of some 8 000 photo’s to sort through. So patience, please… This is just to make you lus :mrgreen: )

It all started in the last days of the Namibia-Kaokoveld trip… when someone (I think it was bil Dewald) asked over the radio “so where are we going next?” The idea of a trip by road to Serengeti was born. That was 2009, three years ago.

Lots of discussions between various parties around braaivleis fires, and over wine, beer and JD took place over a period of about 2 years. Basically every time the family got together, the trip was a main point of discussion. Hannes from Canada at once stage contemplated flying into Dar Es Salam, picking up a vehicle there and joining us in the Serengeti, but was told in no uncertain terms they either do the whole trip with us all the way from SA, or they go alone.

Dewald put in an enormous amount of effort, investigating everything, roads, places, campsites, coming up with preliminary routes, ideas etc. His input and research was invaluable. First weekend in Nov 2011 we met at bil Jan’s place in Pretoria, and after quite a few glasses of wine and JD, a rough final route was decided upon.

We would drive up through Zim to Mana Pools, then through Zambia to Tanzania, drive up the west of Tanzania on the eastern side of Lake Tanganyika, enter Serengeti from the west (as that was where the migration would be), through Serengeti to Ngorongoro, down the eastern side of Tanzania into Malawi, drive down Lake Malawi and come back through the Tete corridor in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Bil Philip couldn’t go with this time, which left the following:

Bil Dewald, wife Lisa and sons Dewald (11) and Leon (9), driving a 70 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, towing his Echo Kavango caravan;

Bil Jan and Alta, driving a Toyota Hilux DC 4.0 V6, (loaded to the rafters (literally) with everything possibly necessary to fix anything that could possibly break on a 4 week trip to the Serengeti) towing a new Echo Kavango caravan;

Friend (and brother) Hannes from Canada with wife Louize, and sons Berin (he turned 16 during the trip) and Bennett (12), driving a rented 70 Series Land Cruiser, and towing an Echo Chobe (which he bought from Bil Jan);

Yours truly, with Swamb’s (Ansie) and daughter Liné (17) and son Hennard (13), driving Forest (Toyota Fortuner 4.0 V6), and towing an Imagine Comfortvan (the new Gump).
Hennie
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:14 pm

Hey Hennie, glad you are back safe :thumbup:

I have been waiting for this TR.....you won't believe :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

......so floor is yours - :writing:

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Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:19 pm

Tks Mark. Will try my best not to delay too much...
Hennie
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:22 pm

warthog wrote:Tks Mark. Will try my best not to delay too much...
OK, I understand... :thumbup:














.......not :wink2:
:mocking: :mocking: :mocking:

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Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:23 am

Looking forward...looking forward... :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:31 am

:reading: kan nie wag om hierdie een te begin lees nie.
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Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:39 am

OK ons sit en wag dit gaan interesant wees :boredom:
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Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:39 am

Welkom terug Hennie. Sien uit na daai verslag :D: :D:
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Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:29 am

Komaan Hennie, gooi ons met die kiekies en die storie :thumbup:

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Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:47 am

Jis Hennie.Gaan dit kwaai volg :thumbup: Gaan self daar uitkom
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Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:50 pm

We left Barberton on 23 June 2012, and met up late that afternoon at Jan’s place in Pretoria with Hannes, who had flown in from Canada early that morning to pick up his rental vehicle, do some shopping and start packing the Chobe. Some glitch prevented him getting the Chobe, but at least that meant he could do some shopping. We were packed, stacked and ready to go.
Forest voor Jan se plek.jpg
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Saturday was mostly spent with last minute shopping at Makro and the Men’s Pharmacy, and some packing for Hannes. We all went eating out that evening together. Sunday- Departure day- arrived. Hannes left early to fetch Louize and the boys from Oliver Tambo- they only arrived then as the boys had to finish exams and school on Friday. We waited on a bed of hot coals. They finally arrived, and after some real late minute packing by Hannes and Louize at Dewald and Lisa’s -which basically involved just dumping everything still left outside into the Chobe- we finally left Pretoria at about 09h30 on 25 June 2012.
Last Minute packing.jpg
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The trip up north was fairly uneventful. We stopped at Sis in law Heleen and Frans in Polokwane for her famous rusks (for early morning coffee on the trip) and some ground netting and a hosepipe for the Chobe- Hannes and Dewald had left that particular bag in Dewald’s garage…
By Hellen.jpg
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We arrived at Beitbridge and met up with Dewald’s connection- guy called Blessing- and a blessing he was. He helped us through the slippery bits and stayed with us until all were done.

It was only there that I discovered that both Forest and Gump’s registration numbers on my Carnet de Passage was wrong!! That caused me a lot of stress at all the border crossings, but my 17 year old daughter kept assuring me that all will be fine, as she prayed us through all crossings. And she was right. I’m quite sure that numbers were changed and eyes were closed thanks to her prayers, and we got through all border crossings without a hitch.

Speaking of which, I will not drive anywhere in Africa (apart from Botswana or Namibia) without a carnet. It certainly made life a lot easier, and although a bit costly initially, most certainly worth it.

After about an hour and a half at Beit, we left. It was dark then, and I had my first (of many) drives in Africa after dark. Not nice. I didn’t like, still don’t like it, and never will like it. But if you want to do what we did in the time that we did it, it’s part of the journey.

We arrived at the famous Lion and Elephant at about 20h00, and immediately went to supper, as the kitchen closes at 20h30. We met up with Alta’s bil Ampie and Wynand and their families (they together with another brother also shared a part of our trip to Namibia) who would stay with us until Mana Pools. Had our first Zambezi’s (a few), the chicken, pork and hamburgers were good, steak not.

We pitched camp with the Imagine for the first time. Easy. Got everything right- not immediately necessarily- but did. Slept right through the noise of trucks on the mains road some 100m away.
kamp by Elephant.jpg
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Monday morning: 26 June 2012. Left Lion and Elephant at about 07h00.
Ry by Elephant.jpg
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Hannes and Louize- although they booked into a chalet and did not camp- to give Louize a chance to sort out the Chobe- were last already…
Hanne laaste by Elephant.jpg
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The road and trip to Chinoyi was long and boring- must confess that it is not the most beautiful part of Africa. We had brunch along the way somewhere.
Piekniek langs pad na Chinoyi.jpg
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We decided to push as far past Chinoyi as possible, to make the next day’s trip shorter. Arrived at a camp site about 120 km past Chinoyi. Although nice initially, the grass (or scrubs) were very long, site untidy and bathrooms absolutely atrocious. Needless to say, no hot water. It appears as though it was quite good once, neglect has taken it’s toll.
Kook by Chinoyi.jpg
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(I will refrain from naming the bad campsites by name in this report, but will definitely name the good ones by name.)

Some local entrepreneurs sold hot showers for the next morning at a nearby lodge to some very gullible members of our party for if I remember correctly $2US – no names mentioned… Needless to say, they all left either cold or dirty…
Hennie
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:32 am

Excellent and tx Hennie :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

So far, I see you have not lost your writing skills :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

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Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:38 am

Excellent!!
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:45 am

Thanx. Good info about Carnet :thumbup: I will be getting one
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:18 am

Seems you were off ta a bumpy start......hope the rest got better :thumbup:

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Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:28 am

I like....
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:44 pm

Hennie, ek kan nou nie meer wag vir die volgende episode nie....... :mrgreen:

Werk jy nie halfdag Vrydag nie..... :mocking: :mocking: :mocking:

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Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:28 pm

OOOOMS wrote:Werk jy nie halfdag Vrydag nie..... :mocking: :mocking: :mocking:
Ek doen actually... :cool:
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:48 pm

warthog wrote:
OOOOMS wrote:Werk jy nie halfdag Vrydag nie..... :mocking: :mocking: :mocking:
Ek doen actually... :cool:
:shock: Ek ook..... :yahoo:

Wondelik, dan het jy mos heel middag tyd vir die TR skrywe :thumbup:

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Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:21 pm

Tuesday 27 June 2012: Target: Mana Pools. Short drive (km wise) of some 190 clicks, first 100 od km’s nice tar road- quite, and a nice drive... Overtaking Africa way... remember we had 2-way radios, so the driver in front guided the others through- those radios, man, they made half the trip...
Overtaking Africa style.jpg
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We got some last minute supplies as we went into the park some 15 km’s short of the turn-off.
P&P Kiosk.jpg
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Check the marking second from top left (and remember the fifth one from top left)
Jan & Allie.jpg
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In Africa, roads with steep gradients make light meals out of large, heavy trucks. This little pass some 5 km’s from the turn off brought the first of quite a number of truck carcasses we saw during the trip.
Truck on pass.jpg
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The last 90 km is gravel road… serious, bonecrunching, breastshaking, falseteethshattering sinkplaat gravel, especially the first 35 odd km’s after the turn-off. We took the tire pressure down to 1.5, but it didn’t help much.
Tyres down.jpg
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Thereafter it gets a bit better, but only a little bit. Awesome scenery. The first of very many magnificent Baobabs. I must say, that for me is the spirit and the essence of Africa, a Baobab tree. We saw thousands of Baobabs, and I think I will remember the Baobabs long after any lion, leopard, elephant, cheetah or anything else we saw and experienced.
Baobab 2.jpg
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We finally reached Mana Camp, and after pitching camp...
Resting-2.jpg
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Hennie
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:35 pm

warthog wrote:those radios, man, they made half the trip... Couldn't agree with you more (almos more important than a fridge I have realised)

The last 90 km is gravel road… serious, bonecrunching, breastshaking, :mocking: You should invest in a 4x4 bra :mrgreen:

Thereafter it gets a bit better, but only a little bit. Awesome scenery. The first of very many magnificent Baobabs. I must say, that for me is the spirit and the essence of Africa, a Baobab tree. We saw thousands of Baobabs, and I think I will remember the Baobabs long after any lion, leopard, elephant, cheetah or anything else we saw and experienced. Too true :thumbup:
[attachment=6]Baobab 2.jpg[/attachment]

We finally reached Mana Camp, and after pitching camp...
[attachment=0]Resting-2.jpg[/attachment]

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Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:40 pm

Manapools camping is open, meaning the campsites are not fenced. These are some of the spoor I picked up after the first morning... there was also some elephant spoor.
Hippo spoor.jpg
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Any guesses as to this?
Lion spoor.jpg
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On Wednesday eve we actually spotted a spotted hyena in the camp some 50m from where we were sitting around the fire… The next morning a baboon raided Dewald’s camp and took of with their rusks bin. We all shouted, and as Dewald explained later: he went from deep sleep in the Kavango to 100 yards in 2,3 seconds. Luckily they managed to save most of the rusks and their bin.

We also went out in canoes on the river- challenging for me and Hannes, especially upstream.
Your side!.jpg
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On our way to the riverbed, we nearly walked into a buffalo, but he guide saw him in time. This ellie on the riverbank was annoyed at our return.
Cheeky ellie.jpg
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Speaking of ellie, we saw quite a number of them in Mana, but mostly from some distance away. On our way driving there both Hannes and myself were chased by a cheeky elephant next to the road. Ampie was also chased, almost with disastrous consequences. They went driving in the reserve and at one point got out and relaxed on the riverbank under some trees while the boys did some fishing. Ampie wandered of towards some elephant in the distance to get some photo’s, when suddenly he heard people scream.

He looked only to find they were shouting at him, and when he turned, he saw why. There was an elephant coming directly for him from another angle. He started running towards the people shouting, who later turned out to be contractors building a lodge on the river bank. As he ran towards them, they came towards him, shouting, banging on their shovels and tools. Ampie says he remembers contemplating throwing his camera at the elephant which was gaining on him fast. His wife Chrisna, who sat reading under a tree, saw the whole thing from a distance and started praying for who she thought was somebody else’s child running from the elephant.

And then the elephant turned away. The workers afterwards told Ampie that it came so close to him that it actually started reaching out to him with it’s trunk… He suffered only some serious shakes and a sprained foot… Moral: stay well clear of the big fellas, especially the toothless ones.

Manapools were amazing- you have this awesome sights from the riverbank. and you're livin' between really wild animals... what more is there to wish for?
Mooi Mana.jpg
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Walking about.jpg
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Hennie
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:49 pm

Excellent advice of the ellies Hennie :wink2: Glad he came out practically unharmed :!:

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Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:45 am

Dankie virrie fodies Hennie... daai lauw spoor... how groot was hy? Ons het die eenkeer op 'n manne kamp by Sabie Sand (deel van die wildtuin) 'n voetslaan roete gedoen en op vars leeu spoor af gekom. Ek kan onthou hoe mens se sintuie op daai ooblik skielik in overdrive in gaan.... respect
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:40 am

Die is 'n pragtige foto :thumbup:
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:05 am

Great pics so far and the start of what is without doubt an epic adventure. I'm glued in for the long haul ..... might not comment all the way through, but I'm here.
Awesome stuff Hennie! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:12 am

Baie nice Hennie, dit lyk noggal lekker :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:14 am

lekker hennie great sover
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:29 am

Ek sien die olifant het nog net halfpad gelaai... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:58 am

Ja cassie, dis dalk hoekom hy so moerig was...
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:20 am

Love all the trip reports but always forget to post and say thanks!!

Looking forward to the next installment :thumbup:
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:55 pm

:wave: .....ek sit reeds voor my LT vir die volgende episode :reading:

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Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:24 pm

One need to understand that there it is not like the Kruger, where you camp and live behind fences. There you literally live right between wild (and dangerous) animals. The guides who took us out on the canoes confirmed that there were lion in the camp the previous evening. (Cassie, that spoor were about the size of a side-plate) Both guides were also armed with AK47’s, which they very consciously cocked, made safe and tied to the canoes before they got in. They also confirmed the story we heard that during last year a tourist was cornered and killed by a lion in a bathroom in one of the other campsites in Mana. A hyena had raided Ampie’s rubbish bin after they went to bed. Swambo heard and saw elephant in the camp that night. You don’t walk around alone at night, and keep small children close. (Note: take a sleeping pill, then the wee won’t wake you).

We left Mana quite early, after deciding to deviate from the planned route, and rather enter Zambia over Kariba. Leaving Mana Pools Reserve, we saw this oke digging in the riverbed. I told Hannes behind me about him over the radio. When they passed 5 minutes later, he was gone.
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After the initial bonejarring gravel road, the rest of the road was good.
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It’s an awesome sight when you come over the hill and Kariba unfolds in front of you. We drove up to Kariba town.
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Spent little time buying the first of plenty of “lappe”.
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The exit from Zimbabwe at Kariba was uneventful. However when we left the little building, we were summoned to the back where two guys were operating out of car. The wanted to see SA Police Clearances for all the vehicles. We duly presented it, but the other people behind us didn’t have…

We then drove over Kariba dam wall. Awesome sight.
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Then came the Zambian Border. First we presented ourselves to Immigration, a very nice and friendly lady. Then we went to Police clearance, where the policeman physically went outside, and checked all the vehicles’ VIN numbers against the Carnets (but not the registration numbers…). Then we went to customs, where we had to pay 20 000 kwachas, some $40 US. Then we went to pay Toll fees, which was another $20. This took very long, because there were two okes with one computer, typing with one finger and finally presenting you with a Toll Fee Exemption Certificate worthy of framing. When we went through the gate, we were summoned to the back of the guard’s booth, where another bloke wrote you a receipt on the wall for $10 for local toll- I nearly sent this guy somewhere, but then gave in- and I was actually asked for this specific receipt at a road block later…

And then just to put the cherry on top: another $60 for Third Party Insurance. This oke operated out of a pre-fab hut behind a gate for which he didn’t have the key- he came out to fetch your papers and money, then went back in, and returned later with a very ornate hand-written receipt. Jan nearly sent this guy to some warmer place, but was asked for his Third party Insurance receipt at another road block the following day.

More than 2 hours and $130 later, we were on our way. Not my idea of this sign...
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We had a nightmare drive into Lusaka in very heavy late afternoon traffic with trucks and busses driven by raving lunatics, and finally arrived at a very modern shopping centre, where we exchanged money, bought the kids Debonairs, did some shopping at Pick & Pay, and soldiered on. We arrived at Fringilla Farm, some 100 km’s north of Lusaka at around 21h00, too late for the restaurant. Made camp in a lovely campsite, people were very friendly, started the donkey and we had hot showers a short while later.
Hennie
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Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:35 pm

Nice Hennie, I can't wait for tomorrow's e x t e n d e d report :mocking: :mocking: :mocking:

Nice read :thumbup:

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Nice report Hennie - keep up the good work, just do it faster !!! :laugh2: :laugh2: :laugh2:
Q20 if its stuck, duct tape if it moves :shock2: :shock2: :shock2:

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:47 pm

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:D:

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:54 pm

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To God be the glory

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:56 pm

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Ek dink Hennie sit op sy stoep en drink 'n koue...... :twisted: :twisted:

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:07 pm

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Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:10 pm

Eish, I'm trying, I'm trying...
Hennie
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Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:04 pm

We left at about 8 the next morning. Fringilla, or rather Kambwese Farm, is an active farm, with a dairy etc run by George and his son Andrew. We really had an enjoyable stay, met George in the shop on the farm the next morning, stocked up on some fresh milk- still warm- and some fresh meat. Bought a homemade beef pie for breakfast- best pie I ever had. They were very friendly, went out of their way the previous evening when we arrived quite late, the bathrooms were very clean with hot water and they are definitely recommended for a stopover place or visit. They also have other overnight accommodation available if I am not mistaken.
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We again had a rather long drive of 700 plus kilometres ahead of us.
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We made a quick stop at The Fig Tree Cafe for some really good coffe- bought some beans to bring back as well.
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The road itself was mostly very good, as about 150 km’s from Fringilla we turned away from the very busy main road in Zambia, and were heading north-west.at that point I got a little ahead of the other three vehicles, and really had a very nice drive. Some bikers we met up with at a fuelling station.
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The other three however had a nightmare drive just a few km’s behind us- I heard on the radio about their literally constant battle the whole way jostling with trucks, busses and mini-busses. What for them was a nightmare drive was actually quite enjoyable for us.
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We finally reached the turnoff to the hot springs some 500 km’s and 7 hours later. It was very deflating to realise then that there were another 35 km’s of fairly bad gravel road ahead of us.
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We pushed on, through what was actually quite beautiful scenery.
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Hennie
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Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:29 pm

Baie mooi pics daai
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Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:37 pm

We arrived late at Kapishi Hot Springs. The owners were again very gracious and accommodating. Offered to prepare us supper while we put up camp, which idea went down very well. We put up camp in a nice site, with clean bathrooms and toilets.
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They again started the donkey for us, and by the time we got back from supper, there was some nice hot showers… Supper was just quite expensive, something like R800 for the 4 of us…

Next morning we spent some time in the hot springs…
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The 4 men in the group drove back to Shiwangandu farm, where the great grandfather of the 2 brothers currently running the farm and Kapishi started the farm ages ago. (I think he must have arrived there only shortly after Livingstone…) We walked around in the original mansion built by him, which is today occupied by one of the brothers. I just love old buildings and the history of places like this.
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We left late morning- another of the many magical places where we would have loved to have been able to stay longer… but, the Serengeti was calling.

On our way out on the gravel road, we came upon these blokes.
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It was four Aussies doing Africa on foot and by thumb. They were on their way to Kapishi Hot Springs- the way they looked, I suspect they might still be there…

It was again a quite longish drive. Dewald had sourced a campsite on Lake Tanganyika, but where we were to cross into Tanzania the next day, there are no customs or immigration, so you have to clear these before tackling the very bad 50 km drive to the border. Immigration and customs are in different towns, so we first had to drive to Mbala to pass through Immigration on the Zambian side. Customs is at the harbor at Mpulungu, but you cannot clear customs without clearing immigration first, and our campsite was near Mpulungu. When we got to Mbala, the whole place was just one huge party- some kind of local celebration. This local provided some good entertainment while we went through the rituals of immigration.
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Got our passports stamped, and passed these okes on our way out of town- they were washing their tarpaulin right across the main road, directing us to drive around on the shoulder. As we duly obliged, locals proceeded to just merely drive over their tarp…
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We drove on to our campsite, and turned of the main road into a village short of Mpulungu. Drove past a dusty soccer field,
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and then through the village.
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As we left the village, our GPS’s showed the campsite as 5 km away. The road got progressively worse, and as we climbed a little rise, we were forced to engage low range. It was very slow going with the light finally fading into darkness as we topped the rise. Down the other side was equally slow in darkness: low range in 1st. Some locals urged us to turn into a road going of right, but we were wary, and pushed on another 600m to where the GPS said we must turn right. The road was really, really rough in the dark, more a donga than anything else. We finally approached the camp, but as the GPS showed us nearing zero meters, there was nothing. We could make out some buildings, but there was not much else but dark emptiness… It seemed the campsite was abandoned…

It was nearly 20h00, in darkness somewhere in Zambia. The road was very bad back, and there was in any case nowhere to turn around… Everybody’s spirits just sank…
Hennie
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Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:02 pm

Eish....road to no camp site....at 20h00, know the feeling very well.....Nie lekker nie :evil: :evil:

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Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:00 am

and then what ?....we are really enjoying this..have the popcorn ready and we patiently wait for the show to go on...

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Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:19 am

Eish! That feeling .... even though you are not alone, you are a small group far from home amongst strangers whom you have no reason to trust ..... and it seems as if you've lost your way. :eh:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:50 pm

Yip, that exact same feeling...

Then in the darkness: a light ahead. Out came a man with a faint torch, and introduced himself as Augustine, and with him was his wife, Celestine. They were the managers of the camp, and lived on the site with their children. Yes, they were open for business, and we were welcome to camp wherever we wished. The bathrooms and toilets worked and were clean.

Now if Augustine and Celestine sound like the names of saints, it is for a reason, for that is exactly what they were to us that night. Saints. Angels in human form. Again, we were received with true African warmth. Some of us showered cold, but it was still good. The toilets flushed and were clean. It was only the next morning that I saw that every drop of water that was used and spilled by us in the bathrooms and toilets, was fetched from the lake by Augustine in buckets… Humbling, to say the least…
Augustine.jpg
Setting up camp took a while, as we did so on the boulders right on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, and manoeuvring the vans on the boulders was a bit tricky. But once we were set up, it was a truly magical evening.
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We had a braai with the lights of capenta fishing boats shimmering in the distance…
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We woke up the next morning to an awesome place. It was much better in the light.
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Again, we were sorry to leave so soon. The drive back over the hill was, although still tough, much better in sunshine, revealing another beautiful lake as we topped the raise.
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Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:43 pm

Awesome! ..... and the relief you must have felt when you encountered Augustine! :razz:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
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Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:52 pm

We drove the short distance to Mpulungu, and cleared customs in the harbor. While we waited for the Customs officer to arrive, we had a quick Codesa around Hannes' map
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Again, those carnets proved the point. I sneaked a pic of this boat in the harbor, check the lettering…
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We drove back to Mbala, and tackled the 51 km to the border. Bad, dusty, gravel road, full of deep holes, slow going. We eventually reached Kaseya Borderpost around midday.
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The gate was locked, and the guy in the little office did not have the key. While we waited, our vehicles were swamped…Must say though, this was one of the few times it really happened.
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The right guy eventually arrived, and shortly let us through, after checking that our passports were stamped. (Dewald told us about a trip report he read where the guy drove to the border only to be told that he had to clear customs in Mpulungu. He then had to drive the bad 50 km to Mpulungu and back again to the border…)
We then had to wait at the Tanzanian gate for it to be unlocked...
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Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:18 pm

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Entry into Tanzania was long and enduring, and fairly uneventful until the customs officials decided to inspect each vehicle. In the light of my little registration number problem on my carnet, this caused some serious nerves… Between Dewald’s talking and the Lord closing some eyes, they were very impressed with our vehicles, and did not see much more. I don’t think they see vehicles and vans like we had that often…

We, or rather I, left with relief. The condition of the road up to the border did not improve beyond it into Tanzania, in fact, if anything it got worse when we encountered.
We then had to drive next to miles and miles of a huge new Chinese road, unfortunately for us though, still under construction. The road next to it where we had to ride was really bad.
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At the border Dewald asked one of the officials how was the road, the answer was not too bad.
Wrong. For us South Africans, it was VERY bad.

When asked how long drive to Katavi National Park where we were headed, the answer was 3, maybe 3 and half hours.
Wrong again. It took us 7 hours.
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The sights were awesome. The colors and the people was an experience.
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Everything can be transported on bicycles, and especially in the western part of Tanzania and in Malawi ... "There are 9 million bicycles in (Africa)"...
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We reached Sumbawanga around 17h00, and stopped at a roadside pub for some refreshments. The locals were very friendly and happy. We were more subdued because we realised we still had more that 200 km to go…
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We eventually reached Katavi around 20h30, and our campsite at The Pools of 1000 Hippo’s at around 23h00. Dewald scouted ahead into the campsite according to the GPS, as we waited beside the road behind. Dewald doesn’t swear often, so for the second time in 2 days our spirits sank into our shoes as his words came over the radio: “ Hier is f…..l” (“There is f…..l here”)
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Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:35 pm

Nice report :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:28 pm

Mooi man :thumbup:

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Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:24 pm

And for the second time in 2 days… there was a light in the darkness. I saw the light on our right, and immediately got out while Swamb’s told the others over the radio. I shook hands with Mr Jooma, the guy in charge of the campsite. Yes, there was still a camp, and yes, although it was very late, we were very welcome. We could camp where we wanted, but should be aware that there were hippo’s around. There were bathrooms, and toilets, but unfortunately no hot water. That, at that stage, was really the least of our concerns…


We maneuvered the vans and vehicles, and that’s when Dewald realised something was wrong on his Kavango, as the one wheel was not quite straight... Three of the leaf springs on one side were broken. The road had taken it’s toll.

After a quick Codesa, it was decided that us and Hannes’ would carry on the next day, while Jan would stay with Dewald and get the Kavango repaired.

Mr Jooma turned out to be another angel in human form- he was actually a mechanic, and told us that we would be able to get what was needed to repair the Kavango at Mpanda, a town some 30 km away.
His help and assistance was invaluable. They managed to get some Land Cruiser leaf springs in Mpanda, which were heated and modified to fit. That's Mr Jooma left, Jan in the middle, and Dewald right.
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It's called the Pools of 1000 hippo's, and there were many of them, as we discovered the next morning. Although Mr Jooma assured me that the campsite is fenced and safe, and the hippo can't get in, there were some openings... especially right next to the bathrooms. On their way to the bathrooms, the kids saw a hippo in camp, and when we checked, it was so. When I told confronted Mr Jooma about this the next morning, he said no, it's all right, it's just one old lady hippo who comes into camp, but that she was harmless...

Again, we were in an awesome place, camping litterally 50 m away from a pool with at least 50-70 hippo in... as we discovered the next morning.
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We had to leave to soon, and after some shopping in Mpanda, we carried on with the road of the previous day. Some 300 kilometres were ahead of us. It soon became clear that the road was not improving, and at some points it was rather worse.
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The road even breaks these things...
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But the scenery was very nice. I remember telling Hannes that we basically had the whole Namibia-Kaokoveld trip in one day: bad corrugated parts, loose river sand, nice even red gravel, sections of freshly dozed road, serious parts of poepstof (very fine dust) beautiful river crossings, open plains, bosveld, the wholelot. So although the road was not good, and the going tough and slow at some points, I actually enjoyed the first 200 odd km, especially as the GPS promised that the last 130 odd km from Uvinza to Kigoma would be tar…
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Alas. We turned of late afternoon onto what soon turned out to be another Chinese road in various stages of construction. The road was being built from Kigoma towards the direction from where we were coming.

As we progressed slowly on the very bad road to the side of the new one, we at twice attempted to sneak onto the new one where it seemed drivable. Both time we were forced of it a little distance later, the second time me nearly getting into serious trouble, but Forest just growled in LR 1st gear, and pulled us and Gump over a huge wall of sand.

About 60km from Kigoma, a brand spanking new tar road beckoned on our right. I was very wary, but after another near miss with an oncoming bus, I saw a light coming from the front on the new road. We jumped on, and after initially taking it easy and stopping just to check if everything was good, we were soon doing 80km/h for the first time in what felt like ages on a beautiful brand new tar surface. Man!

We got to Kigoma late (as always- although this was our own doing, as we had only left Mpanda at about 11h00) and duly arrived at a wonderful place called Jacobsen’s Beach.
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Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:31 pm

Rightfully one easily misjudges km's / time and distance travelled in remote places ;-)

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Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:27 am

Amazing road trip. WOW. Great report.
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Know what you don't know.

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The Legend
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Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:24 pm

Hennie,

Dit is n baie mooi trip report met uitstekende fotos.
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“A BAD DAYS FISHING IS BETTER THAN A GOOD DAYS WORK”

“Do what you do so well, that the people that see you do it, will want to see you do it again,and will bring others to see you do it”

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Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:02 pm

Jis Thanks Hennie... stunning trip report.

Ek neem aan hierdie kamp is baie sentraal geleë
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Als is net 'n klipgooi ver :twisted: :D:
To God be the glory

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Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:31 pm

Ahhh. Jakobsen Beach.
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The drive to Jakobsen’s is through the outskirts of Kigoma, and like the drive to Tanganyika Lodge, a gravel road through a village initially. You then drive out of town, and following clear markers, reach Jacobsen’s. The last bit of road is quite hairy, especially the last 80 metres to the campsite, which is quite steep down.

The initial itinerary was for us to spend 2 nights here, but with Dewald’s Kavango’s leaf spring problem, they arrived a day later than us. Experience from Kaokoveld and Dewald’s insistence however made us build in two spare days into the itinerary. So when Dewald and Jan and theirs arrived and pleaded for one of the extra days to be spent at Jakobsen’s, we had no problem.
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With Serengeti ahead of us, it was a very welcome respite and stay after some serious and long driving. We did some very necessary washing and housekeeping (or maybe winekeeping),
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and had an excellent oxtail potjie (if I may say so myself) one night. We drove into Kigoma, saw our first serious capenta catches,
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did some shopping in the market,
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stocked up on some very important locally brewed liquid refreshments,
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and just for good measure went out for supper to the Hotel the next evening. This is Kigoma at night.
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Yes, off course Hannes bought some "fresh" capenta.
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He promptly had some (I think for the only time), and offered me some, which I took (definitely the only time!- it tastes like exactly what it is: rotten dried fish). He insisted on taking that capenta with for the next 15 days (the last 14 of which on the roofrack in the spare wheel bay) whereafter it got "lost". He then promptly bought some more at the next market he found... which if my memory serves me right, he stuck under Jan's windscreen wiper the last morning...
Hennie
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Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Jos 24:15: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"

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warthog
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Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:45 pm

Some more sights from Kigoma's market.
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Some of the locals do not like their pic's taken, to which Hannes too serious offence...
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Some more info and sights on Jakobsen's. There are 2 sites, Beach 1 and Beach 2. Beach 1 is for camping, with 2 showers (cold) and 2 toilets. We fitted 4 caravans plus vehicles with relative ease on the top terrace. On the bottom terrace there were place for a tent or 4 should it have been necessary.

The beach, facing west, is for the exclusive use of the campsite. About 120 metres of clean sand, clear water, with rocks on both northern and southern sides. Paradise. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life. My daughter said it was the best place of the whole trip- a slice of heaven.
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Beach 2 can only be reached on foot, and there are no amenities on Beach 2. It is available for day visitors and picnics, and has an enclosed beach of about 70 metres. See how clear the water is.
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The children had a ball. After 7 of the previous 9 days spent in the confines of a vehicle, they swam, played and ran themselves to sleep.
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A truly beautiful, awesome (and this word is unfortunately going to be used more and more) place!!!!
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Hennie
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Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Jos 24:15: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"

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warthog
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:42 am
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Real Name: Hennie
Location: Barberton, Mpumalanga

Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:48 pm

Lollie wrote:Hennie,

Dit is n baie mooi trip report met uitstekende fotos.
Dankie Dawie. Die foto's is 'n mengsel van almal s'n, en ek dink nie enigiemand gaan omgee as hy nie spesifiek krediet kry nie.
Daar was omtrent 9 000 foto's (90 Gig), en glo my, van die beteres en bestes kom nog...
Hennie
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Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Jos 24:15: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"

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