Freitag, 24. August 2018 | Domenico Schiano Moriello | Afrika
And the tour is unfortunately over, today we reached our final destination, the magnificent Victoria Falls! We left our hotel in Kasane by bus and then we had to face a very long line at the border to Zimbabwe, but the waiting was well worth the wonderful sight of the Falls!
Thank you to this wonderful group, people from many different countries that created a great atmosphere and were always in a good mood! See you on another Edelweiss tour!
The day started with a beautiful offroad ride in the Nata Bird Sanctuary, the last "adventurous" ride of this tour! Then another endless straight road took us to Kasane in time for a great boat safari on the Chobe river. Many warning signs along the road "beware of elephants", but we did not see any... they were probably all waiting for us along the river, together with crocodiles, hippos, buffalos... well, enjoy the pictures!
Around 300km of a long and straight road, but avoiding potholes kept us awake! Along the road, we stopped at the neat Planet Baobab lodge for lunch and for some pictures with these impressive trees, and then finally reached Nata. Not many pictures for today!
Can somebody call it a rest day? Pick-up time at 6am, and 2 big jeeps took us as close as possible to the water in the Okavango delta. And where there is water, there is life! We saw giraffes, elephants, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, a leopard (!!!)... and many other animals, and of course too many impalas! We had a picnic in the Moremi Game Reserve and then we slowly started heading back to the hotel, where we arrived at 6pm! A tiring but unforgettable experience!
Another long and straight ride, but thanks to a veeery long police control and to our van that was digging in the sand, we have stories to tell also today!
Definitely the longest ride of the tour, more than 500 km and a border control to pass, so there was not really much time for taking pictures! Anyway we are in Botswana now, and looking foreward to seeing animals, hopefully all big 5!
Quite a long and busy day, so I don't have many pictures for today! The highlight was the Spitzkoppe, also known as the "Matterhorn of Namibia"! After that, a quick pit stop for gasoline and we rode to Windhoek, where we arrived just in time for dinner!
Around 220km of a great gravel ride took us back to the Atlantic coast, so we could see the ocean again! We first stopped at Solitaire and then crossed the Tropic of Capricorn before hitting the Kuiseb pass and admiring spectacular sceneries! We managed to reach Walvis Bay in time for lunch and then Swakopmund was just a few kilometres (of asphalt!) away!
Our "rest" day started very early! At 6:30 two big jeeps came to pick us up to take us deep inside into the Namib desert, to the Sossusvlei area where we could admire some of the greatest sand dunes in the world. Impressive sights! Sossusvlei nowadays is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia, and not without a reason! We came back to the hotel around 3pm and we had time to rest a bit, because tomorrow another long ride is awaiting us!
Probably the toughest day so far! We left Mariental and, after a short stop at the petrol station for buying water and snacks, a long straight road took us to Maltahöhe where we had an early lunch. And then the gravel began! Beautiful landscapes all the way to the Namib Naukluft National Park, that encompasses part of the Namib Desert (considered the world's oldest desert) and the Naukluft mountain range. After around 200km of gravel, we finally reached our destination... where a nice barbecue under the stars was ready for us!
Leaving the hotel, we first went to see the Quivertree Forest and the Giant's Playground, located at around 15 kilometres (of gravel, of course!) from Keetmanshoop. After that, we headed back to town to refill our tanks, because until we reached Mariental there were no other chances to find fuel. Fortunately the main road is paved! A little inconvenient (a flat tyre) slowed us a little bit, but after reaching Mariental we still had time to visit the Hardap Dam, the biggest dam in Namibia, and also for a ride in the intensively cultivated Hardap Scheme. And the fun was not yet over, to reach the hotel from the main road we also had to ride for 3 kilometres on the red Kalahari sand!
Leaving the hotel, in a few minutes we reached the magnificent Fish River Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world and one of the greatest highlights of this tour. We spent almost one hour there, looking for the best spots to take pictures, and then hit the "road" again to the Canyon Roadhouse, where we stopped for a coffee break and for refilling our tanks. A stunning harsh landscape around us made this ride look even more adventurous, and we also got the surprise to find the restaurant out of food, but fortunately we managed to reach Keetmanshoop not too late!
Time to enter Namibia! Leaving Springbok, we used to N7 to reach the border, and after some boring procedures to "import" the bikes into Namibia, we were ready to hit the gravel! Today the first 100 km (more or less) of white road, a good apetizer! We stopped for a break in Ai-Ais and then we reached our beautiful lodge, nested between huge rocks... what a place!
How to reach Springbok? Well, we could have spent the whole day on the N7, but this option did not look so exciting. So, we first rode towards the Atlantic coast at Lambert's Bay, where we also had a coffee break before hitting the gravel for around 50 km to reach Vredendal. And that was a good training, because Namibia is getting closer!!! After lunch, we finally hopped on the N7 again and reached our final destination. Now it's time to rest, tomorrow we leave South Africa and we need to be fit! Stay tuned!
Gentlemen, start your engines! Today we left Cape Town on a beautiful morning, but before entering the inland, we could enjoy a magnificent view in Bloubergstrand, and of course take lots of pictures! Our next stop was Paarl, where we visited the monument dedicated to the Afrikaans language. The curvy Bain's Kloof Pass was definitely the most beautiful ride today, together with the unpaved Middelberg Pass. Ah, and we can't forget a very tasty lunch in Ceres!
Cape Town, what a beautiful place! This thriving city dominated by the huge wall of Table Mountain is the perfect location to start a tour that in two weeks will take us straight into the heart of Africa. Lots of sights, different landscapes, wild animals... we are ready and looking foreward to that, stay tuned!