Moz/Mal/Zam trip - A dream come true.

Tell us about your recent trip. Please add some photographs.
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Dowe Koos
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Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:09 am

15 June
After months of planning and preparation, we departed from Pretoria at 5 o'clock to Mozambique via Pafuri gate. We had to fill up again at Tshipise Engen filling station and arrived at Pafuri River Camp at about 4 o'clock. We had to pay the difference of the camping fees after having booked it about a year ago and set up camp for the night. The ablution block was primitive but clean. The hot water for the shower came from a donkey (water-filled drum heated by fire). In spite of how much I love to shower, I hate all campsite shower setups. Especially, those where there is a gap between roof and wall and the wind blows the cold air in. The cost for camping was R150 per person

16 June
We departed from Pafuri River camp at 6H00 and drove to Kruger NP Gate which was about 7km from the Pafuri River camp. Having paid our day visitors’ fees of R160, we entered the park. We saw elephants, giraffes and kudus on the way to the Pafuri border post. Needless to say we saw rooibokke and baboons, you find them in every park. Arriving at the border post, we took all necessary documents and passports with us, and entered the emigration office. I handed in my passport and the processing started. My passport was returned without a problem, then Sonja handed in her passport. After a few moments the lady behind the desk said that Sonja’s passport is not valid. It had expired. Immediately thousands of things went through my mind, how the hell had this happened? I wanted to blame her for not checking her passport expiry date, why did she keep her old passport and so on. I had to discuss with Edge what to do now. Option one was, that we all go back to Pretoria to get Sonja’s passport and then reverse our trip plan which would mean going through Botswana. Option two was that Sonja and I go back, get the passport and return to Pafuri. While we were driving back, we had to try and find somebody to bring us the passport halfway. Luckily for us, our son Allen was willing to do that for us. Sonja had told him where to find the passport. but he couldn't find it there. Then I realized that I had never given Sonja her passport back from our previous overlanding trip. Allen found it where I directed him and dropped it off at the Nyl Plaza Sasol rest stop. We picked it up from the manager and started driving back when we realized it would be dark when we needed to turn off to Tshipise, so we decided to continue to Musina which was 30 km from that turn off. We arrived there at 20H00 and slept over at Old Mine Guesthouse for R700. It was a very nice place.
001 First day to Pafuri.jpg
002 To Pafuri river camp.jpg
003 Camping at Pafuri river camp.jpg
004 Back after collect passport.jpg
005 Sunrise at Pafuri.jpg
006 Elephants at Pafuri.jpg
007 Nyalas at Pafuri.jpg
008 Pafuri border post.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
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Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:11 am

17 June
At 4 o'clock the next morning we departed from Musina to Pafuri gate of KNP and arrived there at 6H00, once again paying our day visitor fees. This time we saw nyalas on the way to the border post. We arrived at the border post early and it was still closed. While we were waiting, we chatted to a chap who had given us some tips about Mozambique. Luckily, this time everything went smoothly and we entered Mozambique without a problem. There were no ‘runners’ (chancers who prey on inexperienced visitors) at that border post. The officials themselves, showed us where to go and what to do. They understood and spoke English. Fast and efficiently, everything went smoothly. The cost of crossing the Mozambique border were as follows: R180 for 3rd party insurance and R25 for Council fees.

Now the first leg of our trip could start.
The chap we had chatted to earlier told us that directly after the Moz border post we could turn off to the left where we could cross the Limpopo river. I was not very confident about that turn off and rather chose the turn off that Moz Drive had suggested. After driving a few kilometers, we found the Dumela Missionary station where we stopped to ask about where we need to cross the Limpopo. The pastor confirmed the description Moz Drive had suggested. About 21 km from the Border post, we should find a small bridge and after that a small shop next to a big Boabab tree. Just before that bridge we should see a turn off to the left, a two spoor road that would take us to the ‘mighty’ Limpopo river. Crossing that mighty river at this time of the year is easy, because there is nothing mighty about it, as it is very narrow and shallow. The idea was to find and cross the river and then find the Cahora Bassa power lines which we would travel along to Massangena. With a bit of criss crossing we found the power lines and drove along the spoor - a nice sandy two spoor road. At a point we turned off onto a mountainous gravel road but then we got back to the power lines. Twice we crossed a wide empty river bed, the Nuanetsi river.
At a stage we crossed a tar road and I thought, wow, are we already on the tar road to Massangena? But Edge said no, we should turn left to Massangena. I replied that the map showed we should turn right and I showed him. I also showed him on the map that if we turned left we would go to the Zimbabwean border. He replied that his GPS showed that we should turn left and said something about R221. This is a problem I have with the Tracks4Africa GPS. More on this later. After some discussion we decided to turn right after all. According to the map, we were about 70 km from Massangena, so we turned off onto the road and drove, but after more than 70 km we arrived at a place called Madulo. I immediately knew something was wrong. We were not on the way to Massangena but to Mapai. So the tar road we had crossed was the first of two and this one led to Mapai. I consulted with Edge about this, but there was nothing to do but push on. For me it was an adventure. Whatever happened, I would just go on. We finally arrived at Mapai and turned off left to Machaila. The plan was that we would camp at Machaila or Massangena, depending on the arrival time. Now this specific tar road was one of those, where you drive 100 km/h, then 80 and then 60. Then 80 again, then 100. Not long after this down to 80 and 60 and so on. I realized that this is AFRICA or what I love to say, TIA Maria, This is Africa. The turn off to Machaila was a gravel road that was in good condition. We managed an average speed of 85 km/h. Here and there we needed to slow down as we passed a village and arrived at Machaila at about 4 o'clock. To our surprise, we found a lot of white people there doing upliftment work in the Machaila community. One of their purposes was setting up a community camp site. I had a talk with one of the chaps who was the pastor there and although the camp site was full, he offered that we could camp next to the church very close to the camp site. It cost us R100 per person for the night with no ablution block. I also got a sim card there with 250 mb data for twenty rand and gave the boy of about 10 years old R20 for helping to activate the sim card for me. That is really how cheap it is in Mozambique.
001 Crossing the Limpopo.jpg
002 Crossing the Limpopo.jpg
003 Typical vallige in Moz.jpg
004 Crossing the the Nuanetsi river.jpg
005 Along the power lines.jpg
006 Road to Mapai.jpg
007 Road to Machaila.jpg
008 Camping next to the church.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:12 am

18 June
The standard wake up time was 5 o'clock and departure 6 o'clock. We made our way to Massangena and arrived there at 7H40. I was looking for a place where I could get a bolt for my RTT cover as one of the bolts had snapped off. We found one shop that had either 6 mm or ten mm bolts but no 8 mm. It wasn’t serious, we filled up our tanks, paid cash in rands and took the road west of Machaila with the hope of crossing the river somewhere. If not, we needed to pay R750 to cross the Save river by ferry, just outside Massangena. With a bit of criss crossing we found a place on the river bank with a two spoor road. We crossed it to find a big riverbed without any indication where to go. Luckily there was a native who understood English and explained to us that there is no way to cross the river. I could see a two spoor road on the other side of the riverbank and when I asked him about that he ensured us there was no way we could cross it. Well, back to town for another 36 km to find the ferry. With another bit of criss-crossing we found the ferry. What an experience it was. You go down a steep incline to the ferry which was anchored by hands and ropes. There was nothing solid except the riverbank wall. Two ramps were tightened onto the ferry with ropes and the other ends were on the riverbank. Well, you drove down steeply and hoped everything would be okay. It was really primitive. The ferry itself is like a flat bucket with ramps on it, welded together with angle iron. Yes, really primitive. No ballast tanks to keep the ferry afloat. Just a flat rectangular bucket. From my engineering point of view and skills, I was wondering all time, how good this ferry was, would it hold to get us across. Because we didn’t have change, the ferry cost us R800 instead of R750 per vehicle. We thought they were trying to rip us off, but when I asked a local who was already on the other side, how much he had paid, he answered R1500; because he also had a trailer that had to be ferried across. We were both across by about 12H00. The road to Mapasse was really bad. Although the distance was 44 km, it took us about 3 and half hour to drive it. We decided to look for a camp site at Mapasse. After asking one of the locals where a this campsite was, he took us there. It was more like a building with a courtyard, similar to an old Roman villa. With this local as our interpreter, we agreed to a price of R250 each with the owner of the place. As we wanted to close of the deal, a young lady, probably the daughter, spoke to her mother and suddenly the price doubled. We decided that was a rip-off and got out there. There was nowhere else to go there, so we decided to move on and see if we couldn’t find a place somewhere else. We passed Machasi where there was also nothing and on to Espungabera. One problem in Mozambique is that on the western side next to the border of Zimbabwe, if there is an open space that one could hope to use as bush camp, there are villages, or the undergrowth is really dense. It started to get dark and Moz Drive had repeatedly warned, not to drive in the dark. We had no choice but to push on. Just before darkness set in, Edge got a flat tire. We changed it and inflated an another tire as well that had a slow leak. Twice thereafter we needed to stop to re-inflate that tire. There was a piece of a tar road that was barely visible from colonial times. We finally arrived at Espungabera at 21H00 and drove around hoping to find a camp site, but no success. Meanwhile I had seen a lodge just outside the town so I told Edge we had nothing to lose to ask if we could camp there. Miraculously, an old man, probably an owner was still awake when we arrived and fortunately he said no problem. When I asked the cost for a bungalow, the price was R150 per person, only R50 more than for camping. I decided that we would take a room as Sonja was not 100% well after she had caught flu just before going on the trip. It was not a 5 star lodge, but simple and clean.
001 Road to Massangena.jpg
002 Impossible Save river crossing.jpg
003 Crossing Save river with ferry.jpg
004 Edge crossing Save river on a ferry.jpg
005 Road to Mapasse.jpg
006 Old colonial tar road to Espungabera.jpg
007 Night drive to Espungabera.jpg
007 Night drive to Espungabera.jpg (8.52 KiB) Viewed 542 times
008 Lodge at Espungabera.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:14 am

19 June
The next day after we had packed up, we went to town to see if somebody could fix Edge’s two tires. It was just after ten by the time we left Espungabera for our next sleep over at Pungue Sul or Pink Papaya Overlanders camp just outside Chimoio on the way to Comacha. Espungabera is a border post town next to Zimbabwe situated on a mountain. We traveled down the mountain to Dombe and that area reminded me a lot of the Valley of a Thousand Hills in Kwa-Zulu Natal. It is really beautiful. There was a beautiful tar road all the way down to Chimoio. At Chimoio we went to the Spar and to fill up our tanks. In both cases I paid by card. Just 13 km west of Chimoio we turned north to Comacha. On this road we started to see a lot of potholes but they were manageable. Although the GPS showed us where Pungue Sul or Pink Papaya Overlanders camp should be, we couldn't find it. No signage or direction board could be seen. We decided to carry on hoping to find the camping site. At Guro, we asked the locals for a possible camp site and they directed us to a garage with a possible one. At the garage, they showed us a piece of land where we could camp. It would cost us about R100 per person and there was a security guard. It was a dirty stand surrounded by pubs and locals moving around there. The moment we set up the camp, many people would be standing around watching us. It also look like a dumping yard to me so we decided against it. Although it was late afternoon, I told Edge that I would rather go on to Tete, no matter what the condition of the road was. As I had said previously, there were a lot of potholes from Chimoio to Comacha. It was the same from Comacha to Guro. The next big town was Changara and it was getting dark. That was the worst piece of road we had to drive in Mozambique. There was also lot of heavy trucks’ traffic. At first we couldn't understand where all the trucks came from. But at Changara, we realized that they came from Zimbabwe. Every two or three minutes, I had to warn Edge over the radio of a big or bad potholes and this went on all the way from Guro to Changara. I had to concentrate very hard to miss these potholes but sometimes I hit a big one as there was nothing I could do. After Changara on the way to Tete, the road was okay with no longer heavy trucks’ traffic. We arrived at Tete around eight o'clock and I told Edge that they should go on and find a camp site for us, as we wanted to see if we could find a take-away place. I wasn't in the mood to start cooking so late after setting up a camp. After finding a take away, we radioed Edge to find out where the campsite was. It was Jesus E Bom camp site situated next to the Zambezi river. We had to cross a very long bridge to get there. I was very tired after 14 hours’ drive. We had also decided that we would only depart at 8 o'clock the following morning as our next stop was not very far. The camping fee was R150 per person and was owned by an Afrikaans speaking guy.
001 Fix Edge tires at Espungabera.jpg
002 Bridge to Dombe washed away due to Idai cyclone.jpg
003 On the way to Sussangdenga.jpg
004 On the way to Sussangdenga.jpg
005 On the way to Chimoio.jpg
005 On the way to Chimoio.jpg (33.68 KiB) Viewed 541 times
006 On the way to Catandica.jpg
007 Night drive to Tete.jpg
(12.34 KiB) Not downloaded yet
008 Oposite the Jesus e Bom campsite.jpg
(13.05 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:15 am

20 June
Today was the day I had dreamed of for many years and that was to see Cahora Bassa lake. Over that long bridge again and on to the road back to Changara for about 30 km from Tete where we turned off to Cahora Bassa. After about 120 km we turned off west for another 100 km where we turned north to about the middle of the Cahora Bassa lake. The place we wanted to go to was Nyamazaga. We drove according to the GPS and arrived at Nyamazaga, but there was no camping site, so we moved to the western side of the lake for few kilometers. We still couldn't find anything and then started driving back towards the eastern side of the lake. We kept hoping to find something near the lake, until we found a village. First we asked them where Nyamazaga was, but they had never heard of it. There was a beautiful view from this place, a 180 degree view of the lake. After talking to Edge that we should find out if we could camp there, we went to the village and I asked if I could speak to the chief of the village. I use lot of hand signs to make them understand what I want. They called the chief who was busy at the side of the lake. I talked to him most of the time using hand signs and he understood what we wanted. I asked him how much he wanted but also that I had only rands with me to pay him. He immediately asked for 800 rand but I told him that is too much and that I am willing to pay him R100 per person. He accepted it and we paid him R400 for the night. In the meantime, we found that there was a man who could speak English, whose name was Lazzo. Now the communication with the villagers got easier. We arranged a camping spot just outside the village and I started walking up and down along the beach taking photos and videos. I also talked a lot with Lazzo about this area. The funny thing that came to mind was the flat earth theory. Was the lake big enough from north to south to do such a experiment? I made an arrangement with Lazzo that the following morning he and a friend would row across to a designated point on the other side of the lake. They would row until they couldn't see anything of their village and then turn back. He agreed to do this project. We then set up camp -wild bush camp.
001 Crossing Samora Machel bridge at Tete.jpg
002 Road to Songa.jpg
003 Road to Cahora bassa lake.jpg
004 Two spoor road to the lake.jpg
005 The village at the lake.jpg
006 Makoro at the lake.jpg
007 The lake.jpg
008 Sunset at the lake.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:17 am

21 June
The following morning all the boats were out on the lake. Lazzo explained to me that he was waiting for a specific boat to come back and later on I understood why. In general, most of the boats are small with lots of patchwork to keep them afloat but this one was in a mint condition and was also the biggest boat of all. They started to row to that designated point on the other side of the lake. It took them about 2 hours of rowing there and back. One thing is for sure, these people are fit and healthy. We were packed up and ready to drive the almost 35 kilometer from the village to the tar road. From there we drove to Songa, where we went to the dam wall. Songa is situated on top of a mountain from where we drove down to the dam wall and at a certain point the road started zig zagging down very steeply which was a bit scary. At the gate to the dam wall, we found out that we needed a permit that needed to be obtained at the head office at Songa. When we asked what the possibility was that we could walk to the dam wall, the security guard insisted that we couldn’t go without the permit. All we could do was to take some photos along the road. We therefore had to turn back and drive back to Songa and from there back to Tete. At Tete I ordered a take away pizza and drove to Jesus E Bom camp site for the night. It was so good to have a clean toilet and hot shower again.
001 Sunrise ate the lake.jpg
002 A worn out makoro.jpg
003 Camping at the lake.jpg
004 Sonja  relax at the lake.jpg
005 Back after testing the Flat Earth Theory.jpg
006 ZigZag down to the dam wall.jpg
007 Cahora Bassa Dam wall.jpg
008 Downhill from Songa.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:18 am

22 June
The second leg of the trip was to Malawi and that was about 130 km away. Before leaving Tete we filled up again at the filling station, having heard that fuel in Malawi is very expensive. Tete is divided by the Zambezi river which you can cross by the old bridge, the Samora Machel Bridge which is 1 kilometer long. North of that road is another bridge which you could cross on the way to Malawi, but it was closed, probably due to the Kenneth cyclone in April. We had todrive back to the road that goes to Changara and turn north where we could cross a new bridge which was 1,8 kilometer long. Having arrived at the Mozambique side of the border post, it didn't take us more than ten minutes to finish the paperwork. But entering the Malawian border post was another story. The moment you got through the gate, the immigrant official gave us a book to fill our personal details in and an official runner was appointed to us. First I thought, what the hell, I don't need a runner and sort of ignored him. After parking the pick-up and walking to the immigration office, another official welcomed us asking us to wash our hands and made it clear that these official runners would help us with the process. What could we do? At the end of the day, it took us less than an hour to go into Malawi, but the costs were as follows: RAF = R350, TIP = R250 and 3rd party insurance = R1000 (what a racket!). Although, the runner said that the service was free, I gave him a R100 tip. From there we went via Blantyre to the Zomba Plateau where we would be camping. It was here that I realized that we are now officially in Africa. All along the main road there were stalls upon stalls, selling anything from tomatoes to charcoal to fish. In the town, there were no parking places due to stalls being so close to each other and people crowding everywhere. We arrived at Zomba just as the sun was setting down and found a camping site (which was not a real camping site) at Casa Rossa at the foot of the Zomba mountain. It was more of a lodge with a very cozy restaurant. The camping was R150 per person. Once again the toilets with hot showers were nice and clean.
001 Tete bridge 1,8 km long.jpg
002 On the way to Malawi.jpg
003 Malawi Mwanza border post.jpg
004 One of the many roadblock.jpg
005 On the way to Blantyre.jpg
006 On the way to Zomba.jpg
006 On the way to Zomba.jpg (31.71 KiB) Viewed 538 times
007 Casa Rossa Restaurant.jpg
008 Camping at Casa Rossa.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:19 am

23 June
From Zomba Plateau, we drove via Liwonde to Monkey Bay and Cape Maclear. Unfortunately there was nothing to get excited about. It showed us again, not to believe what the media and advertizing agencies sell us. They describethese exotic places as paradise on earth, when in fact it is very far from the truth. At Cape Maclear there is a gate that stops you from entering unless you pay a fee. It was a kind of immigration and custom area, probably for those who come from Tanzania with ferry boats. A little before the gate was a stall selling all kinds of 4x4 vehicles carved out of wood. The prices varied from R300 to R700. I bought myself one, because I couldn't resist the craftsmanship. From there we went via Salima to Senga where we camped at Sunbird Steps camping site. As it was Sunday, we found a lot of locals picnicking, but it was not overcrowded. Unfortunately there was blaring African music, but it mercifully stopped at about 5 o'clock. We were the only ones who were camping there, so it was quite peaceful. We walked along the beach and took a lot videos and photos. The ablution blocks were not so clean due to the picnic goers. There was also supposed to be hot water but there wasn’t any.
001 On the way to Liwonde.jpg
002 On the way to Cape Maclear.jpg
003 Hand crafted car models at Cape Maclear.jpg
004 Shortcut to Salima.jpg
005 Boats on the lake.jpg
006 My first sight of Malawilake.jpg
006 My first sight of Malawilake.jpg (31.98 KiB) Viewed 537 times
007 Big rocks at Sunbird Steps camp site.jpg
008 Camping.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:20 am

24 June
We filled up again at Salima and drew some cash in meticas at the bank and then departed for Nkhata Bay. From Nkhotakota to Nkhata Bay was hilly and mountainous. It also reminded me of the Valley of a Thousands Hills. About 29 kilometers before Nkhata Bay, we drove through Vizara rubber plantation where the locals were trying to sell rubber balls which can hop very high. Arriving at Nkhata Bay, we tried to find a campsite but Edge had warned us that only ground tents could be used and no rooftop campers or pick-ups with RTT. After driving a bit around Nkhata Bay you could understand why. The whole town is situated on the side of the mountain with no beach. I called it the Monaco of Malawi. From there we went to Mzuzu with the hope of finding a camp site. We found one at Macondo Camp which was full due to 30 American cyclers who were cycling the mountainous area of Mzuzu. The owner there referred us to a camp site behind Shoprite in town and with some difficulty we found it, but it was closed as it was the staff’s day off. Just around the corner we found Joy’s Place which was not really a camp site but had place for camping. The cost was R100 per person. Once again we were supposed to have hot water and didn’t, but at least it was clean, with clean toilets.
001 On the way to Nkhotakota.jpg
002 Driving nex to the lake.jpg
003 On the way to Chinteche2.jpg
004 Rubber plantation on the wat to Nkhata Bay.jpg
005 Market place at Nkhata Bay.jpg
006 Nkhata Bay.jpg
007 Scenic road on the way to Mzuzu.jpg
008 Camping at Joy Place, Mzuzu.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:21 am

25 June.
After filling up and drawing cash again, we left Mzuzu for Khondowe. It was very mountainous with lot of passes which were beautiful. I really love these hilly and mountainous roads, it is as if you are dancing with them. We arrived at Khondowe and at the centre of this small village, there was a turn-off to Livingstonia on the western side, where there was a waterfall mentioned as a tourist attraction. What started off as a nice and easy gravel road, ended up as a very steep, rocky, curving zigzag gravel road that you’ve seen in pictures of the Andes or Himalayan mountains roads. You needed to concentrate intensely on this road. And it just seemed to go higher and higher with no end in sight. The road was supposed to lead to the Manchewe waterfalls. At some point I was wondering, whether this waterfall really existed, because according to the map and GPS it was about 7 1/2 km from Khondowe and we had already passed the 9 km mark. All over Mozambique and Malawi, we had seen that people used bicycles and motorbikes as taxis. To see these motor bikers go up and down these neglected and abused roads while carrying passengers or other heavy loads was awesome. As we weren’t sure that we would find this waterfall, we decided to turn back down to Khondowe. About 1 kilometer from Khondowe in the northerly direction we found a nice camping site called Hakuna Matata Campsite. It cost R140 per person with a very nice ablution block. Here I spent a lot of money on souvenirs for family back in SA.
001 Scenic view on the road to Khondowe.jpg
002 Turning point  on Livingstonia road.jpg
003 View from turning point.jpg
004 Another view from turning point.jpg
005 Back to Khondowe.jpg
006 Casava plants.jpg
007 Camping at Hakuna Matata.jpg
008 Boats at the lake.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:22 am

26 June
This morning was the start of the third leg of our trip and that was Zambia. We departed from Khondowe to Koronga where we filled up our tanks again. The roads were mostly flat up to Koronga and as we turned off to Chitipa, but then it became very hilly with bushveld-like scenery. At the Chitipa border post, it took us less than twenty minutes to complete our paperwork. While we were busy with the paperwork, a couple with 4 kids came in and started chatting to us. They told us that they drove from Nakonde to Chitipa in 4 and 1/2 hours due to the bad condition of the road. They also told us that we needed to do our border crossing paperwork at Nakonde because the Zambian border post between Zambia and Malawi only stamped passports and issued council levies. When we arrived at the Zambian border post, we had to go to a small building where the officials were. While they stamped our passport, they explained that we needed to pay 400 Zambian kwacha for council levies. We told them that we hadn't had a chance yet to buy Zambian kwacha (ZK). After some negotiations they accepted the only Malawian Kwachas (MK) Edge had with him, amounting to 30 Zambian Kwacha for each vehicle. Later on we found that these guys had tried to cheat us, as the real cost for council levy was 40 Zambian Kwacha (ZK) per vehicle. To avoid the bad road to Nakonde, Edge and I discussed that at some point we would turn off to the main tar road to save some of the 4 and 1/2 hours’ drive. As I had said previously, Tracks4Africa GPS is not a good one, for we unfortunately missed the turn off point to the main road, because Tracks4Africa didn’t warn us. We didn’t have much choice but to carry on. What the couple at the Malawian border had done in 4 and 1/2 hours, we managed in 3 hours. This made me realize that people have different perceptions of what is bad or good. What was bad for this couple was not so bad for me. There were definitely certain sections that were rough, but not that bad. So we arrived at Nakonde just before twelve. What a chaos met us as we drove to the immigration and customs office 2 kilometers from where we turned off the gravel road. There were massive potholes everywhere, trucks crowding and queuing, crowds of people with stalls and spazas crammed all over. We found a parking spot next to the immigration office which was a distance away from the customs building. Immediately runners and money changers closed in on us. After our experience in Malawi, we were determined not to use them. When a guy showed me his card that he was an official runner, I told him, he could wait till we had recovered a bit after the long hard drive from Hakuna Matata that morning at 5 o'clock. So Edge and I walked across to the Immigration office to find out what we needed to do. The first thing we needed to pay was Carbon tax which amounted to 400 ZK. They wouldn't accept SA rand, so we needed to exchange somewhere. One of the money changers tried to negotiate with me but I told him directly what rate I would accept, as I had checked the rate the previous night. When he didn’t agree, I dismissed him and told Edge we would have to try and draw money somewhere. The ATM only accepted VISA cards while Edge and my cards were MasterCard. We then went to a bank where I had hoped to exchange SA rand to ZK, but found that they only exchanged Dollars and Euros. Thanks to Edge, who had made provision to have dollars, we could exchange them, but then the bank refused to accept the small denominations of1,2,5,10 and 20 and would only accept 50 and 100 dollars. Luckily, Edge had some of these that we could exchange and I could borrow some ZK from him. Now that we have ZK, we could pay the 400ZK carbon tax for each vehicles. By that time we realized that we had to use a runner, as there were so many requirements.So we used the one who said he was an official runner, called Charles. He guided us through the whole process. The next step was to get the 3rd party insurance of 200ZK. Then we need to pay 20 US dollars at the bank to get a receipt for the RAF. The next step was to clear our vehicles at the Interpol office against 100ZK. When we had all these papers, we needed to make copies of them, plus copies of our passports, vehicles registration papers and driver’s licenses. With all these copies and the receipt of 20 dollars from the bank, we get our RAF paper. Now we needed to take all these papers to the immigration office where we could obtain the TIP paper for another 5 US dollars. After inspection of our chassis number they finally stamped the TIP form and we could go. The whole process had taken us exactly 4 hours, believe it or not. Without Charles, it would have taken even longer to follow all the steps by ourselves. It was really a madhouse. There were people who had been there before us, who were still busy after we had finished. Meanwhile, Charles explained that with our RAF paper, when we came to a toll plaza, we wouldn't need to pay toll fees but must make sure they stamped the RAF paper. Now we needed a camp site, which Vivian found was about 60 km outside Nakonde on the way to Isoka. Sonja’s impression of Zambia was very negative due the bad conditions of the roads and the chaos we experienced in Nakonde. We arrived at the Kings Highway Lodge and campsite after the sun had set. We were all tired and again I asked for a chalet which cost 150ZK per person while Edge paid 100ZK per person for camping. I must say, if I had a camper like Edge, I wouldn't use a chalet. It is so simple and easy to set it up. The Kings Highway Lodge and campsite was like a lovely oasis after all the dust of the day and the ablution block was beautifully done in solid wood.
001 Sunrise at Hakuna Matata.jpg
002 On the way to Chylumba.jpg
003 The road to Karonga.jpg
004 Karonga.jpg
005 The road to Chitipa.jpg
006 Gravel road to Nakonde.jpg
007 Gravel road to Nakonde.jpg
008 Nakonde.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:23 am

27 June
Now we were on the way to Mbala, we needed to take the road back to Nakonde and just 8 km before Nakonde we turned off north to Mbala. Although it was very hilly it was a good tar road all the way to Mbala. Naturally, at every village packed with stalls, you needed to slow down to 60 km per hour and this happened about every 20 minutes. Just when you’ve built up a good speed, you needed to slow down again. We arrived at Mbala just after eight o'clock. The first thing I needed to do was find an ATM to draw money and once again only VISA card was acceptable. I then went into the bank to find out whether I can exchange Rand to ZK and was successful. About an hour later, I walked out there with decent amount of ZK for me and Edgeto keep us going for a while. The second thing I needed was to get a sim card and data, which cost us 40ZK including1 gig data. This just proved again how all the big cell providers in SA rob us. From there we departed to Mpulungu for Tanganyika Lake. On the way there we encountered our first toll plaza and they simply stamped our RAF paper. Our plan was to camp somewhere next to the lake. The first camp we looked at was Ngupe campsite which was very primitive and would cost 70 ZK per person. The second one was Lake Tanganyika campsite which looked more hopeful as the sign was smartly designed and quite new. After driving up and down for some time, we found it directly next to the lake, but at closer inspection it was an eyesore. It was a new campsite very much in the process of developmentand the whole area was not sandy, but large pebbles, all the way up to the water and for this they wanted 130 ZK per person. It certainly wasn’t worth it, so we decided to go back to Mbala and to try out the Lake Chila Lodge just to the north of Mbala. Again this resort did not really make provision for camping but they gave us some space for camping. I found out about the cost of a chalet as I needed more space for my camping setup than they had. The chalet was very neat at 150 ZK per person. Unfortunately for Edge and Vivian they had camped next to a venue where a band was practicing for an event the following day – so they had to endure hours of very loud African music. Sonja and I went to visit the Moto Moto museum just 7 km outside the town which was an eye opener. That evening we tried out their restaurant in African style which was quite tasty and very reasonably priced.
001 Chalet at Kings Highway.jpg
002 The road to Chosi.jpg
003 Misty road to Mbala.jpg
003 Misty road to Mbala.jpg (21.34 KiB) Viewed 533 times
004 Road to Mbala.jpg
005 Road to Mpulungu.jpg
006 Tanganiyka Lake.jpg
006 Tanganiyka Lake.jpg (31.29 KiB) Viewed 533 times
007 Tanganiyka Lake.jpg
008 Chila Lake.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:25 am

28 June
We left Lake Chila lodge at 5 o'clock for a long drive to Nchelenge which is situated on the banks of Mweru Lake. From Mbala to Senga Hill was a tarred road in good condition, but then we turned off into the western direction via Mporokoso to Nchelenge. This road was gravel, sand and hard baked worn out mud. It took us about an hour from Mbala to Senga hill, but then from Senga Hill to Nchelenge, which was 370 kilometers, it took 7 hours hard driving that required good driving skills at certain places. About 20 km from Senga Hill we needed to cross a small river where a truck was a stuck in the middle. The people trying to get the truck out threw some planks and branches into the water so that we could pass on the side. After 7 hours’ drive we arrived at Nchelenge where we filled up our tanks, hoping for a turn off to the Mweru lake. Believe it or not, for 80 km we couldn't find a turn off to the lake. It was a never ending row of huts and villages. All we could do was take some photos of the lake while we were driving, because there was no lookout point anywhere. It was tarred road from Nchelenge to Mansa which was a great relief. Meanwhile, we were also on the lookout for a campsite which we couldn't find. We then decided that we would push on to Mansa where there was supposed to be a campsite. About 60 km before Mansa we saw a sign board saying Dove lodging and something told me to try the place. I radioed Edge and we turned around. Yes, there was lodging and space for camping, but very primitive, African style. It was about half past four by now. We had a choice to either pushing on to Mansa and get there at about 6 o'clock or camp at the Dove. Edge negotiated a cut in price, so we only paid 50 ZK per person. After 11 hours of hard driving, primitive or not, we were just thankful to be able to set up camp. Although there was no ablution block, we could use one of the chalet’s toilet and hot shower. What more could a man need.
001 Senga Hill.jpg
002 To Mporokoso.jpg
003 To Mporokoso3.jpg
004 To Mporokoso2.jpg
005 To Mporokoso4.jpg
006 To Mukunsa.jpg
007 To Mununga.jpg
008 To Mununga.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:26 am

009 Mweru Lake.jpg
010 Mweru Lake.jpg
011 Mweru Lake.jpg
012 Mweru Lake.jpg
012 Mweru Lake.jpg (24.08 KiB) Viewed 530 times
013 Village upon village.jpg
014 Village upon village.jpg
015 Marshland to Mansa.jpg
016 Camping at The Dove.jpg
016 Camping at The Dove.jpg (25.25 KiB) Viewed 530 times
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:27 am

29 June
The previous night we decided that we would only leave at 7 o'clock as the day’s drive was only 350 km on tarred road. The first thing we wanted to do this morning was to go to Samfay where the Bangweula Lake was situated. What a sight it was. I think I could say it was the most beautiful of all the lakes we had seen so far. The beach had fine white sand with crystal clear water. After spending some time there, we pushed on. At some stage we passed a road sign that said, The Long Bridge 50 km. I wondered whether that was the name of a town or whether it was indeed a long bridge. The next sign was, The Long Bridge 10 km. Now, I was curious, which was it, a long bridge or a town? Interestingly at this stage, the landscape had changed completely from the usual endless bushveld scenery to flat, very much savannah landscape, later on becoming wetlands. Then we saw the bridge that we needed to cross. It was indeed a very long bridge - 3,2 kilometer in fact. It was the longest bridge I had ever crossed in my life. After crossing the bridge, we realized the area was a swamp very much like the Okavango delta - Zambia's own delta. It was spectacular. People were selling dried fish and other stuff they probably collected from the swamp, along the road. There were a lot of small islands with huts and people rowing makoros. I asked Sonja to take videos of the marsh with the cell phone while we was driving. The next moment she screamed as the wind had whipped the phone out of her hand. I thought to myself, oh no there goes my brand new phone, but I stopped and reversed the pick up to where the phone was lying on the tar road. Much to my relief the phone was not damaged and was still working. The most interesting thing I found later on in the swamp was the hundreds of ant hills. Wherever there was an ant hill, an island would beformed and people inhabited it. Once we were through the swamp, it changed to savannah again and then to the bushveld-like complex. At Pensulo we turned south-west onto the Great North Road down to Serenje. After we passed a small village, called Kalalawa, we found a turnoff to the Kalwa Farm campsite. It was not a campsite at all but an old colonial farmhouse with a big grass lawn around it. As there was no running water, the owner/manager had to be supply buckets of water for the toilet and hot water for washing. These facilities were available at 100 ZK per person. One major problem was that the house was situated between two villages and there was constant traffic of curious villagers.
001 Bwangeula Lake.jpg
002 Bwangeula Lake.jpg
003 Bwangeula Lake.jpg
004 Marsh land at Long Bridge.jpg
005  Long Bridge.jpg
006  Long Bridge.jpg
007 Ant Hills at Long Bridge.jpg
008  Potholes at Long Bridge.jpg
008 Potholes at Long Bridge.jpg (32.01 KiB) Viewed 529 times
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:28 am

30 June
Again we departed at 7 o'clock after a freezing cold night, the coldest on our whole trip. Our hands were frozen and our fingers felt as if they had frostbite. Normally I would start the pick-up after everything had been packed away and we are ready to go. But this morning I started the pick-up so that the engine could warm up, so that the heater would get hot while we finished. Sonja and I had to hold our hands over the heater for the life to return to our fingers. After about 10 minutes the cab was so hot, that all the cold disappeared. On the road to Serenje and from there via Mkushi to Kabwe, we saw much fewer villages and lots of big farms instead. It seemed likely that these farms were run by South African farmers and Mkushi and Kabwe were more prosperous than any other towns we had driven through. Also these two towns were relatively cleaner than any other towns we had been through. It made me wonder, how long it would be before Zambia became the breadbasket of Africa. I also wondered about the ANC government's plan to steal farms from farmers which would lead to poverty and destruction in South Africa. How long would it be before SA will be standing in line begging for investments that no longer come. If I had to compare what I’ve seen in SA to Zambia, SA is definitely going the same way Zimbabwe has. And it is just because of their hatred of the white man, nothing else. It is their hatred that will make SA fall and it will fall very hard. After 25 years of majority government, still everything that goes wrong is the white man's fault. I went through Mozambique, Malawi and now Zambia and did not see any hatefulness from the blacks towards white people. Up to now, all of them had been friendly. The same can be said of Namibia. An unpleasant thing happened to me just before Kabwe. After overtaking a car in an 80 km zone, as I moved back into my lane, suddenly a cop stopped me. They fined me 300ZK for speeding. There was nothing that I could do, for I had driven faster than the allowed 80 limit to overtake that car. Anyway, just outside Kabwe on the way to Lusaka, I drove 60 kilometer per hour as we were still on the outskirts of a suburb when some traffic cops stopped both me and Edge. According to them, we had driven 60 km/h in a 40 km/h zone. It didn’t help to tell them that there was no signage of a 40 km/h zone when we left Kabwe. According to them, there is no need for a sign because we should know, when driving in a township, we should not drive faster than 40 km/h. Edge had a persuasive talk to one of the cops who let us go off free. While Edge was talkingto the guy, I quickly googled to confirm that what the traffic cop said was true. Wow, what a shock when we arrived in Lusaka. We couldn't believe how big Lusaka was. We had entered on the northern side and at the centre we turned east to our campsite for the night. This had taken us 50 minutes including the 10 minutes for filling up our tanks. The big double and triple lanes were impressive. The only place where you could turn off out of the main road, was at circles or traffic lights that were spaced kilometers apart. Not like SA where a block is about half a kilometer, theirs are literally 3 to 4 kilometers. It was the biggest city I had seen in all my over landing trips. About 7 kilometers east of Lusaka we camped at Pioneer Lodge and Campsite which cost us 129 ZK per person. After the Kings Highway campsite it was the most beautiful one. The ablution block was very nice with really hot showers.
001 Road to Mkushi.jpg
002 Road to Kapiri Mposhi.jpg
003 Camping at Pioneer Lodge and Campsite .jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:29 am

1 July
This morning we departed at 5 o'clock as we had a very long way to go again. We were going to the Kariba dam wall and then to the middle of the lake somewhere at Sinazongwe. All the way to Kariba was a tarred road that was in a fairly good condition although a bit narrow. After crossing Kafue river, there was a road that turned off to Livingstone. When we pass that turn off, it started to get mountainous with lot of passes which were really beautiful. Here we dances again. The tarred road was not bad, but one had to watch out for potholes every now and then. At 9 o'clock we arrived at the border post between Zambia and Zimbabwe just above the dam wall. All we needed to do, was hand in our passports and pay 13 ZK for a gate pass before we could go down to the dam wall. What a view, the second last on the bucket list had come true. We crossed over the dam wall and parked our vehicles. Then we took a lot of photos and videos. Again, for me it was an amazing engineering feat these people had achieved in the 1950s. It was such pity that I couldn't cross the dam wall of Cahora Bassa. Anyway, we went back to the border post to collect our passports and then took the road to Sinazongwe which was 6 hours’ drive away. From Siavonga to the turn off to Sinazongwe was 60 km and from there to Gwembe the road was tarred for another 139 km. For me it was the most scenic drive I had had so far. Although it was very hilly, it was not a up and down,but hundreds curves which reminded me of Lesotho. After Gwembe to Sinazongwe, there was another 108 km of tough driving. This road was gravel, sand or rocky and very hilly and took us 4 hours to drive. How tired were we when we arrived at the Lake View Lodge and Campsite. It wasn’t a bad place but very expensive, the price for lodging started at 800 ZK per person. For camping, it was 145 ZK per person. This was the most expensive camping site on our trip. Again there was no real campsite, we could camp on the grass lawn and use one of the chalet as our ablution block. Here again, I took a lot of photos and videos as Lake Kariba was the last on my bucket wish list.
001 Road to Siavonga.jpg
002 Kariba Dam wall.jpg
003 Kariba Lake.jpg
004 Kariba Lake.jpg
005 Road to Gwembe.jpg
006 Road to Sinazongwe.jpg
007 Lake View Lodge and campsite.jpg
008 Sunset at Kariba lake.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:30 am

2 July
We departed at 7 o'clock from Lake View Lodge and Campsite to Choma which was a tarred road in a mountainous region, with a lot of potholes. As we entered Choma to turn off to Livingstone a traffic cop pulled me off. For the first time of our trip, we found an unfriendly cop. He asked for our RAF paper which I handed to him. He took it to his colleague where they had a discussion. When he came back he said that he had to fine me as my RAF paper was not in order. When I asked what he meant, he explained that my paper didn’t specify that I was permitted to travel throughout Zambia, it only stated Nakonde to Mpulungu as the extent of my visit, meaning that I was not allowed to be in Choma. I told him that we and our travel partners had travelled all over Zambia and this was the first time we heard our papers were not in order. At Nakonde border post we had used a runner and as a stranger I had totally relied on him to do the paper work correctly. How could I have known it wasn’t correct. He looked at Edge’s RAF paper and said that Edge’s document was in order. Let me explain what had happened at Nakonde. While applying for the RAF paper, mine was processed first and they printed it on an A4 paper, but when they processed Edge’s, the printer ran out of ink. So they write his one out in an A5 book which they tore out. On mine was printed that I was only going to Mpulungu while Edge’s stated throughout Zambia and yet we had paid the same amount of US$20. Take note, to make sure your RAF document states that you want to travel throughout Zambia. If you are in another area than mentioned, you are trespassing. This is what happened at Choma. Then the cop called me one side and said that he is going to fine me. I tried to explain to him again that I had use a runner and how should I know if it was right or wrong. He started to asked for my name to be filling on the fine paper. By that time I was weewee'd off for his stubbornness for not understand my situation. I take the paper from his hand and started to filling in the necessary. As I wanted to go to my car to get my purse for my driver license details, he stopped me and say it is not necessary. I told him that the paper asked for it and I leave him. After completed it, he write down the amount of 600 ZK. I asked him if I was getting a receipt whereby he said I must paid it at the office uphill. I told him I don't know where the office uphill is and he must sent someone to show me. He spoke to a guy and this guy wanted to get into my car which mean Sonja need to wait here with Edge. I told him that he can walk and I drive away uphill somewhere. After waiting for about 10 minutes, I drive down and asked the one who had fined me when is he going sent somebody to show me where the office is and drive away again. Waiting uphill somewhere and after a few minutes, we met another cop on this hill who was very friendly. When he also asked for my RAF paper, I remembered all the stamps on the back of it and pointed it out. He then immediately phoned the first cop and must have told him about it. With this, he returned my RAF paper, kept the fine and said I could go. He also apologized for the misunderstanding for which I was thankful and drove away.
Arriving at Livingstone, we stopped at Shoprite to buy some items we needed. Here I told Edge that I wanted to see the Vic falls from the Zambian side and as they didn’t want to go having seen them from the Zimbabwean side, we asked them if they could find a campsite for us as this was Vivian’s specialty. We drove to Vic falls, parked in the parking area and went to the office to pay the entrance fee. What a shock to hear it was 260 ZK per person. I walked straight out and radioed Edge for the address of the campsite. It was called Talita Falcon bush camp and we met Edge and Vivian there. Being a bush camp it was very basic and unfortunately it was also far from the Zambezi river and I told Edge I wanted to camp close to the Zambezi river. The other option was Maramba River Lodge and we went there. It was a rather grand place and the camping fee was 130 ZK per person. As it wasn’t too far from the falls, until nightfall all you heard was helicopters, light airplanes and micro-lights flying over the falls.
001 Road to Choma.jpg
002 Road to Kalomo.jpg
003 Road to Livingstone.jpg
004 Maramba campsite.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
Posts: 1012
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:44 pm
Town: Pretoria
Vehicle: Toyota Buschwagen 2.7 4x4
Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:31 am

3 July
We were ready to leave Zambia. In order to get to the ferry to Kazungula early, we left Livingstone at half past five that morning. The trip to the border post went well and we arrived there just before seven o'clock. Although we had passed a lot of trucks, queuing for customs, we were the third non-commercial vehicle in the row. Our paperwork was done in less than 20 minutes and then we had to pay the ferry fee of 200 ZK. Going down to the loading bay for the ferry to go across to Botswana, took less than 15 minutes. As we drove to the border post, we needed to drive through a dip for foot and mouth disease. The custom and the immigration went fast and I paid 180 pula road users’ fee. As I handed over the gate pass, we also needed to wet our shoes in a small dip. The customs official had a quick peek into our vehicles and off we went. The first thing we did was to fill up our tanks at Kazungula filling station. After this we drove off to the Hunter's Road which was very interesting. The fist third of the road was a normal two spoor road and we saw elephants. The second part was very sandy and here we met close to 20 bikers, with 1200 BMWs. As we drove along we found one by one struggling through the thick sand with their heavy bikes and slicks instead of knobblies tires - it could not have been fun. At a stage it was two-two. At the end we find about seven bikers resting under the trees waiting for the others to catch up. Very interesting was those last group was young guys, big and fit. All the others, probably some of them young but maybe inexperience while the last lot, all of them older than 40 with red faces and surely unfit, struggling through these tick sands. They had about 4 pickups backing them up. About half way along Hunter’s road (there is 70 km of it), the Botswana Army patrols stopped us explaining that we were not allowed to drive there as it was an international border. The last part of the road was that black kind of soil that becomes hard in the dry season and was very rutted and uneven, having been trampled by elephants and other animals. After having driven 8000 km through 4 countries with bad roads, I had had enough and didn’t want any more of the Hunter's Road. I radioed Edge and told him that there was an exit a few kilometers ahead.
We arrived at the main road between Kasane and Nata and turned south to Francistown. The road between Kasane and Nata was very monotonous, straight with flat landscape for hundreds of km - similar to the roads in Karoo. Obviously the monotony took its toll because we saw a number of burned out cars and trucks. Just outside Nata, while I was warning Sonja to slow down in a 60 km/h zone, the cops stopped both us and Edge. They fined us 300 pula each. I told them we had only arrived in Botswana today and didn't have any pula with us, so I was allowed to draw cash at Nata, while Edge stayed with them negotiating. At first they were prepared to drop the fine to 150 pula each, as we were driving together. Then Edge continued to appeal to them to let us off and the one cop asked me what I thought about it. I replied that we were visitors in the country and we knew we were at fault and they should forgive us. After giving the other cop a look, the cop returned my money and let us go. So, we continued to Francistown. About 12 km before Francistown we turned off to Woodlands Stop Over and Lodge for the night. It was a very neat camping site with a nice ablution block for 130 pula per person.
001 Crossing Zamezi at Kazungkulu.jpg
002 Giraffes on Hunters Road.jpg
003 Vultures on Hunters Road.jpg
004 Elephants on Hunters Road.jpg
005 Bikers on Hunters Road.jpg
006 Bikers on Hunters Road.jpg
007 Bikers on Hunters Road.jpg
008 Camping at Woodlands Stop Over and Lodge.jpg
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
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Real Name: Hennie

Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:32 am

4 July
Now the last morning of our overlanding trip had arrived. We greeted Edge and Vivian as we were going in different directions. We were going home and they were still on holiday. We filled up for the last time with cheap Botswana petrol at Sherwood, close to Martins drift border post. The exit from Botswana was easy and quick and just as quick our entry into South Africa. I decided that I would take the road to Mokopane (Potgietersrus) for I had never driven this road. It was a good tarred and quiet road until we passed Baltimore. From Baltimore to Mokopane was exactly the same we had experienced for the past three weeks. I told Sonja people don't need to travel thousands of kilometers to experience Africa, they can get it right here. I needed to go to Mokopane to draw money for toll gate fees. As I entered the town, I got exactly the same feeling as in Tete, Blantyre and Lusaka – crowds of people milling around and selling stuff all over the place so I decided to try Naboomspruit instead. The road was old but in good condition. From there we turned onto N1 on our way home. HOME SWEET HOME. What is better than that.

Summary of each country.
Mozambique.
As we only drove on the western side of Mozambique, we had no bad experiences with corrupt police or anything else we had heard happening on the coastal side of Mozambique. Generally the tarred road up to Chimoio from Pafuri entrance was relatively good with few potholes. The worst tarred road was between Chimoio and Changara with the worst between Guro and Changara. From Changara through Tete to Malawi the tarred road was good with few potholes. From Tete to Songa, the first half had bad potholes and cavities on the sides due to mining trucks destroying the road. The second half and turn off to Mague was okay. In general gravel roads were relatively good and one could maintain a constant average speed of 80 km per hour, only when you passed through villages you needed to slow down. The only bad gravel road was the two spoor road between Massangena and Mapasse.
The first police roadblock we found in Mozambique was outside Tete which we pass through without trouble. Then there were three more roadblocks between Tete and Mague where one asked Sonja for her driver license and the other one asked for the RAF paper. Otherwise the police were friendly. Lodging could be find everywhere we went through, Somewere good, others in the African style were not bad and then some that looked to me like complete dumps. Camping was difficult to find on the route we went through. Info from internet, IOverlander and Tracks4Africa showed camping places that did not exist anymore. An interesting thing was how many bicycles and motorbikes we saw on the roads. There were bicycles in small villages, bicycles and motorbikes in big villages and small towns, in medium towns we saw bicycles, motorbikes and Puk-Puk taxis and naturally motorcars. In all cases bicycles and motorbikes were a means to transport goods and not for leisure. Even in big towns and cities it was the same.

Malawi
In and around cities and towns tarred roads were in bad condition and overcrowded. The tarred road in rural areas were generally in good condition with not serious potholes. All the roads we travelled were tarred except the one from Khondowe to Livingstonia which was a gravel road. There are many lodges and camping sites along the lake but I cannot tell you whether they were good or bad. As wrote in the trip report, the ones we went to were good. There was twice more bicycles and motorcycles in Malawi than in Mozambique. Here they definitely use it to transport goods but also passengers. Without exaggerating, in the six days we were in Malawi, we passed through more than fifty police control gates. They were friendly and in most cases greeted you and sometimes asked questions like where we were from and where we were going. There were villages upon villages and stalls upon stalls all along the roads right through Malawi and all along the lakes.

Zambia
The northern part of Zambia was very similar to Malawi in terms of villages, stalls, bicycles and motorbikes, while it was much less so in the southern part. There were also more police activities in the southern part than in the Northern part as you saw in my report. The roads in general were better in the southern than the northern part, but the southern part had more potholes due to lot of truck traffic. Again there are many lodges all over in Zambia but very few camping sites unless you are willing to pay a fortune and camp inside the National Parks. Most of the National Parks are situated in central and western parts of Zambia which were not on our route.

We only passed through Botswana enroute to home, so I am not writing about it except to watch out for speed signs and follow them.

Tracks4Africa.
Tracks4Africa is not what I had expected to be. The GPS and the map is not up to date even it said it is a 2019 version. In both cases, it was probably updated somewhere in 2015 or 16. If I logged into my GPS for a place, no place such exits. It had happen that when I arrived at that town, I see that it is not spelled the same as T4A. As a stranger to each country, after put in a town name, how should I know what is the street names or suburb I was forced to enter. When I enter a town, the GPS was persistent to take me to that address while I was passing through. The speed limit was also not updated too. When there was no signage to say slow down, the GPS said to go on with the current speed. That was the reason for me to be pulled off by the cops twice. Or the speed signage say that I can drive only 80 km/h, T4A say that I can drive 100 km/h. And that 80 km/h goes on and on in an open road. Should I stay with 80 km/h or should I drive what T4A indicated me to. Meanwhile I had used my new cell phone which had a inbuilt GPS with Sygic Navigator at the same time as I had used the T4A. Sygic was more accurate and had more details for tar and gravel road. I wish that I could use Sygic Navigator with my Garmin GPS. That would be fantastic.

As part of the planning and preparations for this trip, I had fully serviced my pick up and had do some upgrading of my suspension system and services at a cost of R23000.00. Many thanks to Darryl and his team for the good work they did. Also many thanks to my brother Georg who had serviced and fixed several things on my pick up. It was a pleasure to drive, compared to my experience in Namibia. The Bilsteins shocks were worth the money.

We drove 9088 kilometers in 20 days. My fuel consumption is as the following:
Average was 8.2 km/l
Best was 10 km/l
and the worst was 7 km/l.

Medical kit
Naturally most of us have a First Aid Kit but what medicine do I recommend:
Headache and pain. = Mybulin
Muscle related pain and tooth ache. = Xefo (anti-inflammatory) which you need a prescription for
For cold and flu. = Med Lemon, Corenza and ACC 200
For scratches and burns. = Germolene, Bactroban and Zinc Castor oil ointment
Mercurochrome and Universal Eye drops are a must
For stomach disorder. = Adco Loperamide is the best
Mosquitoes. = No-Squito spray definitely the best for me and it is organic.
Muscle spasms. = Aloe Heat lotion, apple vinegar to drink and Saltabs
For spider bites, scorpion stings and any other insect bites and stings. = Fexo (can buy it over the counter), Activated Charcoal and tomatoes.
I always carry with me MMS and 3% Food grade Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle.
For allergy. = Allergex
For heart burn. = Baking soda or Rennies for quick treatment
For spider bites etc. Drink one tablet of Fexo (antihistamine) and Activated Charcoal every eight hours, cut tomatoes in small pieces and put it on the bite and place plasters on so that the tomatoes can stay there for the next 8 hours. Repeat for three days. Works like a bomb.
For asthmatic problem when your asthma inhaler is finished and you can't find it on your trip, 3% FG Hydrogen Peroxide is the solution. If you are coughing like mad and nothing helps, this will help.
MMS which stands for Miracle Mineral Supplement is an all purpose alternative medicine. Just read it up. I solely took it to purify water if necessary, but also as a antidote for snake bites until I can reach a hospital for further treatment. It is also an anti-malarial supplement.
This is the medical kit I always take on overlanding trips with me.

The total cost for this trip was R37400.00.

And lastly many thanks to Edge and Vivian who were our travel partners on this trip where my dream came true. And also to my wife, Sonja who had endured with me and helped me to realize my dream.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:05 pm

Thanks Hennie, a detailed and informative TR with useful tips at the end. :thumbup:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!
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Dowe Koos
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:14 pm

Thanks Andy
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:49 pm

Hennie, you, Sonja, Edge & Viv had an amazing time and thank you so much for such a detailed trip report!

You have now seen a great deal of Southern Africa and I am sure you will all enjoy many happy memories of this trip for some time yet. Your First Aid Kit is also an eye-opener and very valuable for assistance for future travellers anywhere.


-F_D
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
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Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:29 pm

Thanks Eric. Next will be Khalagadi, Kadoum and Caprivi. When I had my guts together, then Zimbabwe. Then, I could say I had done the whole Southern Africa.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
mingos
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:49 am

Hi Hennie thanks for the excellent trip report .
We going to Zambia in October, just wanted to know if anti malaria treatment is a must?
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Dowe Koos
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:22 pm

Hi Jose. I didn't take any anti-malaria pills with me. There are different opinions about it. Some make people sick, some of these anti- malaria is banned in certain countries and other stories. Even don't use the one that is manufactured in India. Many people go into malaria areas and don't get sick while others do. Certain anti-malaria pills suppressed the malaria symptoms which mean you could pick it up but will not know it until a time, you get sick and cannot understand where you get it.
So in my case, I don't take any anti-malaria pills with me if my overlanding is less than three weeks. We all know that the incubation period for malaria is three weeks. If overlanding is longer than that, you can always take with you Coartem which is a Malaria cure. The moment you had these following symptoms which are chills, fever and sweating, usually occurring three weeks after being bitten, you take Coartem and use it exactly as prescribe.
Sonja and me can sit together and the mosquitoes will come for me. For one or another reason they like my blood. So important thing is the next; spray yourself with what you like, make sure your tent is zipped close. If in a chalet, use the nets.
As I had said No-squitos spray is the best and organic, I had tried all the others spray which is not working well for me. What I do in this case is, I spray the No-squitos in my hand and grease it all over any open space on my body.
Hope this help.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
Johann Groenewald
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:20 pm

Hi Koos,

From your description I don't think you were using Tracks4Africa maps. When you switch to our maps on the Garmin it will not show any speed limits. If you saw speed limits you were using the map that came bundled with your Garmin.

I travel Zambia quite a lot and did a trip to Malawi in 2014 and our maps are being updated all the time.

Maybe you saw the Tracks4Africa lookup section on your Garmin and thought you had our maps loaded, but I am sure you would have had a better experience using our maps.

If you would like to check your maps you can contact us at sales@tracks4africa.co.za

Kind regards
Johann Groenewald
Tracks4Africa
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Dowe Koos
LR4WD, Lockers, Crawler Gears
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:51 pm

Hello Johann. When I buy my Garmin GPS, I had load it up via Base camp with the newest map from T4A. So whay else can it be then.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
Johann Groenewald
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:17 pm

Hi Koos,

Loading the map to the GPS is the first step in the process. But because the GPS came with a map it would now have two installed and you need to pick which one to use. The default seems to be the one that was there originally. To change the map go to Settings then Maps or MyMaps and there you would find the available maps. Tick the one you want to use and be sure to select only one else the GPS would give unpredictable results.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Johann
mingos
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:40 pm

Hi Hennie
thanks very much for the reply, and also for your medical kit advice. :thumbup:
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Dowe Koos
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:07 pm

:thumbup:
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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pieta.swanepoel
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Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:05 pm

Dankie, Hennie vir die moeite om dit te deel met ons
Groot berge en lang grondpaaie
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Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:19 pm

Great stuff Dowe Koos. Very informative, right to the detail. Thanks for the little tips. Seemed like a good trip as well.
Travel is not really about leaving our homes, but leaving our habits.
Adventure tends to magnify all human emotions.
It's only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.
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Dowe Koos
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Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:40 pm

Thanks Ricky. Yea, it was one of my best.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:06 am

Shoe, dankie dat jy dit gedeel het. Dit lyk na 'n baie lekker trip.
Baie goeie verslag.
Only Dead Fish Go With The Flow!
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Dowe Koos
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Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:47 am

Dankie Pieter. Ek droom al van hierdie trip vandat ek so twaalf was. Moes hele klomp kere kanseleer omdat iets nie uitwerk nie, maar nou is dit gedoen. Is een van my beste trip wat ek gehad het.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Haboob
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Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:34 pm

Hallo Hennie en Sonja,
Bly julle is veilig terrug.
Het Andy vandag gesien, wat my vertel het dat jou trip op die Forum geplaas is.
Hom sommer die fuel additive gegee.
Ek is baie beindruk oor die plaasing van die verslag in Engels en dat dit so gou gedoen is.
Baie mooi, nou kan die internationale leesers ook die storie volg. Baie insigwekkend en voleedig...
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HABOOB means "Dust Storm"
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Dowe Koos
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Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:42 pm

Hallo Edge.
Ek het dit in Engels geskryf sodat die mense van DriveMoz, DriveMal en DriveZam wat redelik internasionaal is ook dit kan lees.Ek het teveel dinge wat ek moet doen, so het die verslag eerste aangepak sodat dit agter die rug is dat ek kan fokus op my ander planne soos ek jou vertel het. Dankie weereens dat julle saam met ons die trip kon meedoen. Tough maar lekker. Andy moet maar weet dat die fuel additive vir 10000km die trip meegedoen. Groete daar.
Ecc 1:9 Wat gewees het, dit sal daar weer wees; en wat gebeur het, dit sal weer gebeur, en daar is glad niks nuuts onder die son nie.
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Haboob
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Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 am

Het hom dit meegedeel toe ek die goed vir hom oorhandig het. Hulle het sommer kom kuier toe hy die goed kom haal het...
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HABOOB means "Dust Storm"
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Mud Dog
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Real Name: Andy
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Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:50 pm

Weereens dankie daarvoor Hennie & Edge! :thumbup: (Het gister vir jou 'n PM gestuur, Hennie. :winkx: )
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!
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Haboob
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Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:10 am

No problem Andy...
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HABOOB means "Dust Storm"
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