A Taste of Africa 

So the past few weeks Steve and I have been enjoying an adrenaline filled march through a few of Africa’s countries. We rendezvoused in Cape Town, South Africa, traveled on to Zambia and Zimbabwe, then finalized our journey in Tanzania. 

(Not much beats a Cape Town sunset…)

In Cape Town, we hired a car for a day and drove the 14hr round trip to Bloukrans Bridge for the world’s highest commercial bungee jump at 216 meters. It was our first bungee jump and it was awesome. While we had safety harnesses on, the bungee was merely attached to a strap that went around 2 padded cuffs that velcroed around our ankles. All I could think was, ‘Velcro?! Velcro is what’s keeping me alive here?!’. Well it all worked just fine, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t flexing my feet in an attempt not to slip through while I hung there upside down for the guy to come and get me. 

(Bloukrans Bridge)

Since we survived the bungee and the road trip, the next day we went skydiving together. This was a second time for both of us. We’re very keen to get our skydiving certification now. Woosh!

(No skydiving pictures but here’s a scene from our laundry run later that day… taking in the mundane with the excitement. Viva travel life…)

We went on to Livingstone, Zambia for a few days to experience Victoria Falls (visa cost $80 each). The first day, we made our way to Devil’s Pool for little Zambezi fish to nibble our toes. Devil’s Pool is a 3 meter hole right at the edge of the falls where the water nearly ceases to rush over. We were able to jump in and view the falls from the very edge. 

(Devil’s Pool!)

Following that, we canoed alongside hippos on the Zambezi and threw ourselves off the Victoria Falls Bridge in the tandem bridge swing. It appears we enjoy throwing ourselves off of things. 

(Victoria Falls Bridge… this set up in Zambia was a little more primitive than Bloukrans, but we seemed to survive.)

On our last day, we walked across the border to Zimbabwe to get a better view of the falls. Locals will accompany you part of the way in an effort to buy your trust and in hopes that you’ll buy what they’re selling. Sometimes it’s hard to say no. I wound up with some copper jewelry and Steve, well he got some wooden animals. 

The visa to enter Zimbabwe for the day cost $30 each. And the Victoria Falls park entrance was also $30 each, but it was well worth it to see the sights from that side. The park has a beautiful walking trail with several view points of the falls. It was a nice way to end our time here. 

On to Tanzania (pronounced Tan-Zane-ya, locally). After traveling over 24 hours, we were picked up from the airport and immediately started our 5 day camping safari. So thankful for a shower at the first campsite. 

During our 5 days we visited and camped in several parks in northern Tanzania including; Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, & Arusha National Park. We saw 4/5 of the Big 5 (the rhinos seemed to be hiding) as well as wildebeest and cape buffalo migrating. It was so wonderful to see these animals in their natural habitat versus a confined area like a zoo. 

(Various safari shots…)

We’re now hanging out in Moshi for the last few days of our visit. We were hoping to do some hiking in the area as we’re close to Mount Kilimanjaro. However, we’re being dreadfully reminded of the risks of eating raw vegetables in countries whose population doesn’t have such delicate stomachs. Viva travel life…

(Mount Kili from the air)

As we lay here reading about animal populations on decline due to habitat loss and poachers becoming more high-tech in their evil efforts, the fight for them almost seems like a lost cause. It baffles me how people can be so greedy as to not care what is being done to the planet and all that inhabit it. 

America has just elected a new president, there are many things that can be considered concerning or controversial with this decision. But one I’m most concerned about, and one that is probably most poignant to this post, is the new leader’s disregard for scientific facts that point to climate change. 

Climate change is a world wide humanitarian problem supported by many decades of research. Our leaders should respect this concern, understanding that if we continue to do nothing the future of this world is left to nothing. I hope as people advise him, he will reconsider his current stance and appreciate what is at risk here.

When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

– Cree Prophecy 

Steve is headed home soon and I’ll be off to Madagascar to volunteer for 2 months at the Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute in Turtle Cove, Nosy Komba. These past few weeks have been a bag of mixed emotions from a lot of fun to a concerned outlook for our futures. In the end, it’s important we try and come together for the betterment of all.