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Adventure Big Five ABF1801

Friday, August 24, 2018 | Domenico Schiano | Africa

Day 16, Kasane - Victoria Falls

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!

At the border to Zimbabwe
Loooong line...
Monkeys welcoming us at the Victoria Falls National Park
Finally the waterfalls!
Joern posing for the next brochure
and here we are!
The monument dedicated to David Livingstone, the explorer who "discovered" the falls in 1885.
viewpoint n.2
The main fall
we took a good shower at the waterfalls!
Sunset on the Victoria Falls
This bridge connects Zimbabwe with Zambia... and for the very brave ones, there is also a bungee jump!
goodbye!!!

Day 15, Nata - Kasane

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!

In the Nata Bird Sanctuary
Tiger
Some action!
That's why it is called Bird Sanctuary, unfortunately many of them flew away when they heard the bikes!
we like the risk!
Elephants on the road? Maybe another day!
Arrived in Kasane! A well deserved boot-beer, it's time to say goodbye to the motorcycles...
This is how we kept beer cold
The boat safari begins!
Bill
George and Giancarlo
Elephants, so fascinating!
It is not recommended to swim here...
Buffalos
A cute (but dangerous!) hippo family
Sunset on the Chobe river

Day 14, Maun - Nata

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!

At the Planet Baobab
Lunch
a huge Baobab tree, it was too hot to get closer to it
Sunset in Nata

Day 13, Safari in the Okavango Delta

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!

Entering the Moremi Game Reserve
Breakfast
Let's go!
Take nothing but pictures!
Leopard!
"Chasing" giraffes
Zebras
At our lunch spot
China corner
By the water... later we would have discovered how many hippos were hiding in this lagoon!
Lunch with a privileged view
I was not allowed to drive
hippos
Pedestrian crossing!
Elephant family
Still 99 km to go!

Day 12, Ghanzi - Maun

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!

Will, Domenico, George and Andreas at the Lake Ngami
Lake Ngami
We were maybe already missing gravel!
"coffee" break for Tiger
The van is stuck!
Fortunately some militars helped us!
Desinfection checkpoint against foot-and-mouth disease

Day 11, Windhoek - Ghanzi

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!

Entering Botswana
Will showing the average time it took to each one of us to pay the toll for entering Botswana by bike! Multiply the amount for 9 bikes, and 2 vans, and consider that we were not the firsts in line!
Jörn looks a little bored!
What a surprise! Domenico met Nancy and Sue from Texas. They were with him on the "Best of Europe" Edelweiss tour 5 years ago! The world is so small...
Dinner ready
Buon appetito!

Day 10, Swakopmund - Windhoek

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!

 

The Spitzkoppe
getting ready for the loop around Spitzkoppe
so beautiful
group picture after dinner

Day 9, Namib Naukluft - Swakopmund

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!

Early morning
At the gas station
Claude
Crossing the tropic of Capricorn
Jorge did not wait for us, but left a message
Cape to Cuba? Coool!
Andreas
Bill
Curves ahead!
Tiger
Walvis Bay
We have reached the coast!
The pier of Swakopmund
well done!

Day 8, Rest day in the Namib Naukluft Park

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!

Toe road that will take us to Sossusvlei
Sand dune
signs of life!
Claude and Jörn
Domenico
one of the dead trees in Deadvlei
Deadvlei, sorrounded by big sand dunes
George
Tired?
Will, Andreas and Bill made it up to the top of Big Daddy, one of the biggest sand dunes in the world!
Sossusvlei
Picnic
in the Sesriem canyon

Day 7, Mariental - Namib Naukluft Park

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!

Giancarlo
on the Zarishoogte pass
Andreas and Bill
Bin (Vivian), our official photo reporter!
some gravel...
where to go?

Day 6, Keetmanshoop - Mariental

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!

Group picture at the Giant's Playground
The Giant's Playground is a vaste pile of large dolerite rocks.
Ready to go again
Bushmen traditionally used the branches of these trees to make quivers, that's why they are called quivertrees.
Giancarlo
A young cheetah, very cute but already dangerous!
The Hardap Dam
David, George, Andreas, Enni, Jörn, Will, Tiger, Bill and Domenico
The red Kalahari sand

Day 5, Canyon Lodge - Keetmanshoop

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!

The landscape around Canyon Lodge
Direction Fish River Canyon
At the Fish River Canyon
other impressions
Claude, Bill, Will, Giancarlo, Jörn and George
China group!
At the Canyon Roadhouse
While at the gas station, we noticed that something was missing...
The edelweiss sticker was missing, of course!
coffee break, late breakfast or early lunch?
Andreas
George
Bill
At the Naute Dam

Day 4, Springbok - Canyon Lodge

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!

at the Orange River, thar marks the border between South Africa and Namibia
Entering Namibia
action!
somebody didn't make it...
sweet dreams!

Day 3, Citrusdal - Springbok

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!

Beautiful coastline at Lambert's Bay
David and Bin
Will and Bill
Training session
At our lunch spot (no, that was not our lunch!)
Last coffee break in Garies
Cleaning the windshield is also important...
we had to prepare dinner ourselves...

Day 2, Cape Town - Citrusdal

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!

Arrived in Bloubergstrand, from where one can admire Table Mountain
Here we are... well not all of us!
THe view from the Afrikaans language monument in Paarl
The Afrikaans language monument
On the Bain's Kloof Pass
Snow on the mountains!
And finally some gravel. It was a good training on the Middelberg Pass!
Beautiful road!

Day 1, Arrival in Cape Town

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!

a view of Cape Town
oh yes!
the Waterfront
Bikes are ready!
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Add a comment Rate this post
Birgit Ben Aoun
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 08:47

Hi Andreas, just wanted to let you know that I really envy you now after having seen all the photos of these wild animals that you got really really close to. Must have been an unforgettable experience just as the entire ride?! I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better... I'm now heading off to North Africa... Continue cruising and enjoying!!! By the way the photos are still incredibly beautiful!!! )
Birgit Ben Aoun
Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 12:14

Hi Andreas, I keep following you via this blog. Ingrid gave me the hint. I'm amazed and the photos are really awesome!!! You actually seem to enjoy every single moment! Keep on cruising!!!
Domenico Schiano
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 17:22

Thank you Birgit, for following our blog... and I am very happy that you like my pictures!
Friday, August 17, 2018 at 13:01

Hi Andreas,
Your ride seems to be fantastic. I follow your documentation with passion.
Safe trip!
Ingo
Domenico Schiano
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 17:23

Ciao Ingo, thank you for following our blog!
Kim
Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 19:01

Hello Domenico.
Nice pictures and perfect weather.Pls say hello to my Chinese friends.
Enjoy your trip!!
Domenico Schiano
Monday, August 13, 2018 at 19:30

Thank you Kim, I did! Keep following the blog!
Heinzgünter Pennekamp
Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 14:52

Nice pictures. Many greatings to my Brother Andy Pennekamp.
Domenico Schiano
Monday, August 13, 2018 at 19:35

Thank you, I will!
Heinzgünter Pennekamp
Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 23:00

My dayl's Highlight is to follow your Blog.
Where are the animalls. The cheetah DOS'NT realy counts. Keep on running.
Domenico Schiano
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 17:16

We are in Botswana now, soon we'll see many animals!
Björn Greibig
Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 14:15

Hey Domenico, the weather at the first riding day looks much better than last year!
Domenico Schiano
Monday, August 13, 2018 at 19:36

yes, it was definitely better!
Hug from Namibia Bjoern!

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