07 November 2009

the now-defunct african z train adventure

We camped for a week in the Serengeti, on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater and next to Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. It was amazing, and we now have about a zillion photos of animals to go through.

So, the good news is we are now done with all of our work and can travel for pure fun. The bad news (for the blog) is that we’re leaving our computer behind and will be returning to our tech-free hobo backpacking ways.

We were going to embark on what I called the African Z Train adventure, which would have been really awesome. We would start our journey in Zanzibar and then take trains wherever they were available to Zambia, where we’d visit Victoria Falls and cross into Zimbabwe, go through Botswana (not a Z but still cool) and finish in South Africa (ZA). The only problem was that the train across Tanzania was booked until December 25th, the train that ran down Botswana is no longer running, and the very cool historic ferry, the MV Liemba, that we were going to take down into Zambia runs sometimes and sometimes not (and you can only buy tickets at the shore). So, with about a month left, we didn’t want to get stranded somewhere and scrapped that idea and hope to resurrect it in the future.

Our new plan involves traveling down the Mozambican coast through Swaziland and into South Africa. We were going to add in a Malawi detour, but it would add a week, and we decided we wanted to spend more time exploring Mozambique rather than scurrying to catch the next bus/train/ferry/bicycle taxi (seriously). In almost comic fashion, the process for crossing into Mozambique from Malawi is something like this: take a bus to a small town one kilometer from the border; walk one kilometer to the border; catch a minibus to this passport check station; and then you can either walk or pray someone will give you a ride about 25 more kilometers to the nearest town. Crossing into Mozambique from Tanzania requires a canoe because there is no bridge across the river along the border. (We’ve decided to take a tiny plane across the border because that 1+ hour on a plane saves us about ten days of travel.)

So! We’re off to Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa (and maybe Lesotho, but we’ll see how time goes) and will return with lots of stories and photos from all of our travels in December. Happy Thanksgiving!