Month: September 2017

Some art, a lot of nature, but not much water

We have had two near misses in South Africa. One reason we planned our trip in the order we did, was to see the amazing display of wild flowers that happens each spring: except this year it didn’t! We went to Clanwilliam first in the hope of seeing this spectacle, but this third year of drought has meant the flowers haven’t really happened. Clanwilliam dam was at about 37% capacity, and the whole area around Cape Town and the Western Cape is suffering from drought. The town had cancelled its annual flower festival, and a lot of visitors were hunting the flowers in vain. So we will have to come back another year!

The kind of flowers we were hoping for – these were in the Botanical Gardens (where they get watered) so cheating a bit

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South Africa … 

We have been in South Africa all of 2 weeks now, so it’s time to blog about it. But where to start? And how on earth to make sense of it? We have only covered a small part of a large and varied country, and one which has undergone so much change in the space of my lifetime. As a child, I remember my family boycotting South African fruit, John actually came to visit relatives here in the 70s, when apartheid was in full swing, and I vividly remember, when my kids were little, the release of Mandela and the first free elections, a huge deal in the news then. The whole political upheaval of South Africa has always seemed very much in our consciousness in the UK. More recently, I have heard those who fought against apartheid, and people who love the country, in despair about how the South African government is going, about how all that Mandela achieved is being betrayed and hopes dashed.

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  Getting around Zambia

I’m doing a bit of backtracking here, but feel the need to write about how we arrived at South Luangwa for our safari. This involved getting across Zambia, which is a pretty big country. The quickest option from Livingstone to Mfuwe was to fly, which would take just under 3 hours and cost several hundred pounds each. We decided to take the bus.

Our first day involved a Shalom bus complete with luggage trailer

Or rather buses. In fact two buses over two days, with an overnight stay at Lusaka Backpackers. It was much cheaper (a total of about 36 pounds each), and offered an experience we certainly wouldn’t find by flying.

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