Arriving in Botswana is not like arriving in other African countries; it’s quiet. Usually, border crossings are a hive of activity with vendors selling everything from fruit, gum, water, wooden statues, clothing, all the way through the list of life’s necessities to include accommodation. Before arrival you prepare yourself to be followed and excitedly chatted to in broken English as the sales pitch of the “simultaneous many” flows into your head and overwhelms your senses. This is not the case in Botswana…think crickets.
Hitch-hiking in Africa is as normal a mode of transport as walking and this is especially true in Botswana. Specific road-side areas, miles apart, are delegated as bus stops and come with a small red-roofed shelter for the comfort of intended passengers.
The actual bus infrequency however, paints a whole other picture of public transportation. Just because the bus schedule, if one is available, says the bus will be there at 9:00 am that does not mean the bus will be there at 9:00 am, no. What this nugget of information means is that the bus will be there, at this stop, where you are standing, somewhere between 9:00 am today and 8:59 am of the following morning. Continue reading Everyone Loves Falling Water
Four days in a canoe on the mighty Zambezi River is an experience I will savor forever. It was one of those adventures where everything fell into place and although not all the experiences were positive, they did enhance the overall excitement and awe the river provided each of us.
The Zambezi had shown us wildlife in all its glory; playful, caring, and dangerous. It had offered us a seminar, with examples, in the appropriate amount of respect that it expects from those accessing her current.
We felt schooled not only in how to behave in an element not our own but also in how to carry those lessons back to a more familiar environment. They were lessons in basic awareness, compassion, and understanding that is so often missing in the modern world. Continue reading Zambezi Moonlight
These days people call it their “Bucket List” however this is a relatively new term and in the days before the movie the items that now make up a bucket list were simply things you wanted to accomplish; whether that involved doing or seeing the ultimate goal was to have the experience.
Today I started a journey; canoeing down the Zambezi River. I had been thinking of doing this ever since first deciding to circle the globe. I kept a journal as I traveled from place to place, country to country, in order to record everything in detail. The kind of detail only words convey. The following is an excerpt;
“Pack the canoes and off, down the river that separates Zambia from Zimbabwe. We will be traveling on both sides but camping on the river beaches only in Zimbabwe.
We canoe for five hours past crocodiles and hippos and make camp at 5:00 PM on a secluded island with absolutely no shade. It is boiling hot so we all huddle alongside the canoe to seek relief from the heat until the sun goes down in a glorious red and orange descent. Continue reading The Enticing River
Traveling by train is a luxury that I rarely pass up. In Zimbabwe these opportunities are few but I managed to confirm a second class ticket on board the “express” train from Bulawayo to Harare. Five of us crammed into the small cabin meant to hold one more, with me being the only foreigner.
One guy, an older gentleman, was hammered and through slurred speech and wobbly hand gestures he tried to explain to me the back story of British rule in Southern Africa.
At the same time one of the other guys, also well on his way to being drunk, wanted to regale me with stories of his brother who now lived in Wellington New Zealand. He seemed to find it unusual that I did not know his brother.
Eventually the sixth and final member of our Harare bound band enters the cabin. Realizing the festivities ongoing he quickly joined in with the idea of catching up. Continue reading Zambezi’s Will