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TRAVELBUCKET

Tanzania

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker or… Read more >

GOING SOLO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK?

Going solo off the beaten track is not for every off-road traveller whether you visit Botswana, Namibia or venture further into Africa past Zambia, going north.  There are pros and cons to it so you need to consider everything.  If you are a social person and like the company of fellow travellers and hate being alone then going solo is definitely not for you.  Groups also provide some security and you can share costs of planned activities. If you like your own company and have some travel savvy then going solo is for you.  Going solo gives you freedom of choice and total independence to change your travel plans on the spur of the moment if something interests you on the wayside. Things that you need to consider when planning your next solo African trip are the following. You will need the ability to navigate.  There are not many countries… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART III) – ARRIVING AT THE BORDER

You have made it to the border post!  Now you need to keep calm and work through the process.  Remember each country has its own rules. Which border post? In all our years of travel we found that it is much easier to enter/exit at smaller border posts.  At the bigger border posts, the officials are sometimes tired and irritated and will take their time to work through the processes.  Our experience is at the smaller posts they are friendlier and welcome a chat while doing their work. When? Try to avoid peak times, if possible, like month end, late Friday afternoon or popular public holidays like Easter.  Everybody is in a hurry and the queues are longer, the tempers flare quicker and willingness is shorter. Be positive! No matter how frustrated you get, try to smile and be friendly.  They are only doing their job.  A positive attitude goes… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART II) – VEHICLE AND INSURANCE

This is probably the most stressful aspect of any border crossing, with the most variables per country, but if you stick to the following you should be more or less okay.  If your vehicle is still under a finance agreement, you will need to acquire a letter of permission from the applicable financial institution. Each institution has its own requirements and procedures to follow as to how to obtain it.  Allow enough time to obtain the required paperwork.  If you are planning to take a trailer or caravan remember to do the same, if financed. Make sure your ID number matches that used on your vehicle documents. If your registration papers show your RSA ID number, then take it with you.  Rather take too much proof than be in a predicament. Take a colour copy of your vehicle’s registration papers. This is very handy. It is a popular document and… Read more >

INCREDIBLE AFRICAN ANIMALS

AFRICAN WILD DOG The sound of an African wild dog will send shivers down your spine if you hear it for the first time.  One of it’s most striking features is it’s very large round ears. The ears are not only perfect for hearing calls over large distances but are also important for heat loss to regulate their body’s temperature.  They are very efficient and agile hunters capable of reaching speeds of up to 55km/h.  So watch out for them! Like the African civet, each of these dogs has a unique coat but they also stand out because of their interesting toes. While all other canid species have five toes, the African wild dog only has four. Bucket list:  Ticked  🙂 Status at the moment:   Endangered (estimated 5 500 left on the content) ooOoo AFRICAN CIVET These beautiful creatures are nocturnal and you have an off chance that you will… Read more >

THE GOOD OLD PAPER MAP

        Why still a hard copy map?  Yes, yes, yes I know all the modern technology is available – and I do own a GPS and a smart phone with navigational abilities, but I still love a good old map with all those red lines connecting places. You see this is where the practical me jumps in again.  I like it because: There is nothing more rewarding when you are planning a trip than to spread out the map on the table and say that is where I want to go. Yes, yes, I know the GPS shows me where I want to go, but sometimes we get so blinded by tunnel vision  focussing on what the GPS tells us what to do that we do not actually know where we are in the bigger picture. Driving in town that is fine, you can just replace/recharge the… Read more >

ELEPHANT 101

This post is not about travel as such, but seeing that we had several close encounters with elephants in Mana Pools, Matusadona as well as in many of the Botswana wild parks this may come in handy.  Even in lately in Kruger National Park there were some incidents/accidents. Let’s start off with some interesting and lesser known facts about the trunk of an elephant: Feeling the vibe:  Aside from smell, the trunk is sensitive to vibrations; from the ground it can sense the rumble of faraway herds and even far-off thunder. Mighty muscles:  An elephant’s trunk has eight major muscles on either side and 150,000 muscle bundles in all. It is so strong that it can easily push down trees or roll over a vehicle. Move it:  Like the human tongue, the trunk is a muscular hydrostat – a boneless muscular structure that allows for its excellent maneuverability. Phenomenal sense… Read more >

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