A Bicycle Safari – photos



A Bicycle Safari

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Southern Zambia brought several days of the kind of light rain that we are all too familiar with in the UK. We then spent a day in Livingstone and visited the Victoria Falls, which were amazing. So many famous landmarks seem smaller or less impressive when you actually see them, but the Victoria Falls were more spectacular than photographs tend to suggest.

We then headed into Botswana. The first stretch passed near to or through several national parks and there was only one settlement in the first 300km. We knew that people had cycled the route before, but were still apprehensive when locals asked us “are you not afraid of the lions?” as there are large numbers in the area. We were also warned about the elephants because of the risk that they could charge. Nevertheless, your intrepid adventurers pressed on…

Early one morning we set off, wondering what wildlife we would encounter. Then, after less than a kilometre we saw elephants by the roadside, which we slowly rode by – we had not expected a sighting so soon. In the first hour we saw around 30 elephants, most of which were very close to the road, eating on the verge. It was quite nerve wracking to pass some of them – an elephant, trunk a swingin’, tusks a gleamin’ can be quite an indimidating creature as it turns its head towards you. Fortunately elephants have bad eye sight, so by us stopping an elephant that looked at all unsettled would calm down.

(We have photos ready to post, but this computer won’t upload them – we’ll try to post them as soon as we can).

We saw a few more elephants in the next few days, but never as many as in the first hour, although there was plenty of evidence of elephants having been in the area along the route. There was plenty of other wildlife though, from snakes to gazelle and exotic birds.

We had been told that part of the road was being rebuilt and that there were compounds where the workers lived, where we might be able to pitch our tent. Fortunately this proved to be true, which enabled us to pace ourselves, rather than cycling a near impossible distance to avoid camping in the bush which would have been dangerous.

Botswana was also impressive for its vast flat pans and huge skies, which make Norfolk look mountainous. We also had some interesting experiences asking local chiefs whether we could put a tent up somewhere in his village.

We have now reached Windhoek, where we are taking our final rest day before pressing on to Cape Town. The end seems to be in sight!

P.S. We are a little way off our fundraising target for donations to the Red Cross and Street Child Africa. It would be fantastic to reach the target and we’d be really greatful for any final donations, which can be made through our fundraising page: http://www.virginmoney.com/cornwall-capetown