Namibia – A to Z

A

Allgemeine Zeitung. Namibia’s oldest daily newspaper is still printed in German. One of the many German curiosities that Namibia surprised us with.

B

Brandberg-West. The non-existent Weiterlesen »

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Saitenwurst & Zebrastreifen

Unser Bus kommt in der Bahnhofstrasse an. Saitenwurst in der Auslage der Metzgerei. Fachwerkhäuser in der Fussgängerzone. In der Buchhandlung begrüßt uns Renate mit “Kann ich ihnen helfen?”. Man könnte denken, wir sind wieder zurück in Deutschland.

Nach Sambia ist die Ankunft in Windhoek, der Hauptstadt Namibias, fast schon ein Kulturschock. Eine Übernachtfahrt im Bus, und wir scheinen auf einem anderen Kontinent angekommen zu sein. Lektion Nr. 3972: Afrika ist nicht gleich Afrika. Dieser Kontinent hat an jeder Ecke eine andere Facette. Wir beißen zum Mittagessen in eine Bratwurst mit Wecken, und schauen uns verwundert um. Zwar wussten wir, dass Namibia vom späten 19. Jahrhundert bis zum ersten Weltkrieg deutsche Kolonie war, damals als ‘Deutsch-Südwestafrika’ bezeichnet, aber wie stark der deutsche Einfluss mehr als ein Jahrhundert später noch zu spüren ist, hat uns doch sehr überrascht. Weiterlesen »

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Stations #78

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Bahnhofstraße, Windhoek, Namibia

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This was Zambia

Cute encountersZambian villageOn the way to the Kalambo FallsKalambo FallsCrossing the river? No problem.Calm water
Water in freefallThe falls in their full heightExpanded hiking teamKalambo FallsKalambo Falls with AngelicaThe master of the entrance fees
Life in the countrysideLet's see who is in this carBlack & orangeGood newsSunrise in LusakaCairo Road, Lusaka
Zambian food: Nshima & vegetable stewFirst glimpse of the Victoria FallsOpposite Livingstone IslandThe End of ZambiaLivingstone statueThe Eastern Cataract

31 Zambia, a set on Flickr.

Africa’s most spectacular waterfalls…

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Stations #77

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Border crossing from Zambia to Namibia, Katima Mulilo

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The smoke that thunders

A big cloud of spray rises in the air like smoke, and our lunch box and us are sitting just a few centimeters from where the river thunders over 100 meters down into the vertical gorge. Locals call the falls “the smoke that thunders” (Mosi-oa-Tunya) but to the rest of the world they are better known as Victoria Falls. Sitting right on the lip of the most impressive of Africa’s waterfalls is a monumental experience. Anything even remotely similar to the hike/balancing/jumping from stone to stone through the currents of the Zambezi river just above this gaping gorge would certainly be forbidden in Europe, but as they say: ‘This is Africa’. Weiterlesen »

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This was Tanzania

Roaming around Kasanga harbourHitchihiking in a truckConversations at the roadsideHitchhikerLake TanganyikaMinor repairs needed
Fresh fish from the lakeEmbarkingStroll along the lakeshoreSunsetPlantains, beans & meatLeaving the High Tech Logde
Waiting to embark the LiembaPiles of pineapplesDuck in a bagJosephAnchor controlsLuggage on the head
Loading processKids on the boatOh well...Little passengerThe endless loading processStill space for more

30 Tanzania, a set on Flickr.

Unforgettable journey with a hundred-year-old German ship along Lake Tanganyika.

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“The survival of the fittest”

The journey from Tanzania to Zambia aboard the MV Liemba

In the middle of Africa, there is an old German ship traveling up and down a lake. It is sailing on Lake Tanganyika, from Kigoma in Tanzania to the port of Mpulungu in Zambia. It’s history is rather peculiar. Built in Papenburg, Germany, in 1913, the ship was disassembled and transported to the Tanzanian port of Dar Salaam, back then a colony known as German East Africa. From there it was transported on the newly constructed railroad to the lakeshore in Kigoma. It then served under the name of Graf Goetzen as a battleship to control the strategically important lake, but after only two years – this is towards the end of World War I – it became clear to the Germans that they were losing there colonial territories to the British, and they wanted to prevent at all costs that the Graf Goetzen would fall into British hands. So they sank the ship by filling it with sand at the mouth of the Magrasi river, but not before greasing all moving parts and the engines in the hope to return her to the surface at some point.

As we have been told ‘there are no secrets in Africa’, and Weiterlesen »

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Stations #76

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Bus station, Lusaka

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Stations #75

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Harbour, Kigoma

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The road to the middle of nowhere

The middle of nowhere – we’ve been here several times. However, getting there is often a logistical challenge. This time, the road first follows the main trade route from Kigali to Dar-es-Salaam and then road B8, notorious for armed robbery by desperate refugees from Burundi.

For us, it was the crucial link from fascinating Rwanda to Kigoma, Tanzania, where we planned to start our boat journey across Lake Tanganyika into Zambia. For others this stretch is a transportation nightmare – being the most expensive area in the world for cargo transportation and a headache for many travelers planning their road connections through East Africa. There is hardly any information about this route on the internet, which is why we put a bit more detail on travel arrangements into this blog post.

We had been to Tanzania before, back in 2009 when we Weiterlesen »

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This was Rwanda

Lake KivuEntering Rwanda at the Gatuna border postTee plantations in the mountain valleysKigaliGenocide Memorial, KigaliAt the Genocide Memorial
Mass graves at the genocide memorialTamarilloPays de mille collinesGenocide Memorial Church, KibuyeInside the Memorial ChurchView over Lake Kivu from Home St. Jean
Papaya treeSummer coloursTrail to the lakeCandelabra TreeRefreshing swim in Lake KivuPied kingfisher
Papaya...… and tamarillo picnicLocals returning home from the marketHome St. JeanSunset over Lake KivuPlastic bags are banned

29 Rwanda, a set on Flickr.

This small country may have been one of the biggest surprises on our journey – in the 18 years since the atrocious genocide, Rwanda has come a long way.

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Stations #74

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Rusumo Falls border crossing, Tanzania

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50 years of independence, 18 years of liberation

One of the biggest surprises on our trip so far was the little country of Rwanda. In the memory of most western people Rwanda is linked to a deathly conflict. We certainly had not heard much about the positive developments of the economy, fight against poverty, health and educational systems in the country during the last one and a half decades. When I suggested to Julia a little detour through Kigali, she first thought I was joking. I had not thought about it that much, I mainly saw it as being ‘en route’ to Tanzania.

So this is the excerpt of our history lesson that we took while reading for days online and at our visit in the Kigali Genocide Memorial:
The Rwandan genocide in 1994 was the mass-murder of ethnic Tutsi by the then ruling Hutu. Since independence from Belgium in 1962 the Hutu government persecuted the traditionally ruling Tutsi minority and came up with ever more racist ideologies. Many Tutsi fled to

Weiterlesen »

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This was Uganda

Baby rhinoThe Ugandan staple: PlantainsBabysitterSwimming monitor lizardTransport on Lake VictoriaAt the source of the river Nile
Openbill storkView over Lake VictoriaBranch networkSeek and findBanana vendorRoadside vegetable stall
Tires as toysArchitecture in KampalaPlaying music with the missionariesMusic teacher in actionUgandan marketRhino trackers
Rhino mum & babyNo big horns just yetWatching the rhinosThe hornsBeware of rhinosCountry Road

28 Uganda, a set on Flickr.

The greenest of all the African countries we visited.

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Stations #73

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Nyabugogo Bus Station, Kigali

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Zelt Nr.3

Ursprünglich sind wir bewusst ohne Zelt im Gepäck aus Deutschland aufgebrochen. Campingausrüstung wiegt zuviel, um sie durch die Gegend zu tragen, wenn man sie nicht täglich verwendet. Inzwischen haben wir aber schon mehrere Zelte besessen. Zelt Nr.1 haben wir uns auf dem “Black Market” in Ulanbaator, der Hauptstadt der Mongolei gekauft, um für unsere Streifzüge durch das Hinterland ohne touristische bzw. irgendeine Infrastruktur ausgerüstet zu sein. Leider haben wir damals am falschen Ende gespart, und das billigste einlagige Zelt gekauft. Die Lektion lernten wir, als der Regen irgendwo in der mongolischen Wildnis nachts auf uns niederprasselte, und wir versuchen mussten das Zelt mit unserer Rettungsdecke abzudichten, was nur mittelmäßig erfolgreich war. Als dann der Regen ins Zelt tropfte und langsam die Schlafsäcke durchnässte, war einer der wenigen Momente auf der Reise, auf denen ich mich einfach nur nach Hause in mein eigenes Bett wünschte.
Nicht verwunderlich dass wir es für unnötig befanden, dieses Zelt über die Landesgrenze der Mongolei hinaus mit uns zu transportieren.

Mit Zelt Nr.2 hatten wir schon mehr Glück. Wir kauften es Weiterlesen »

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Africa’s birds

In Europe, most birds seem to be the size of sparrows and are coloured in various shades of black, grey or brown, with the odd splash of rusty red, or dirty yellow. Even though we have come across quite a few cool birds along the way, I would not have described myself as a birdwatcher before we came to Africa. But here, we’ve seen pelicans sailing majestially between papyrus plants, a fisheagle flying off with a giant fish in its claws, weaver birds building their intricate nests, sunbirds sucking nectar with their needle-like bills, crowned plovers trying to distract a cheetah, kingfishers hunting on Lake Bunyonyi, turquoise starlings stealing our breakfast and giant Marabou storks wander the streets of Kampala. If you have the right specimens to observe, it is hard not to give in to the fascination that is birdwatching. Weiterlesen »

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Süßer die Glocken nie klingen

“Und was machen sie beruflich?” frage ich. “Ich bin Missionar”. Die unerwartete Antwort lässt mich für einen Moment stutzen. Missionar? Kommen denn noch immer Leute nach Afrika um hier arme Heidenkinder auf den rechten Weg zu bringen? Dabei scheint Kurt, so heisst der amerikanische Missionar, recht modern, und erzählt uns auch gleich von all den Projekten, die er weltweit betreut. Meine anfängliche Befremdung wandelt sich schnell in Staunen. Kurt wirkt eher wie ein Projektmanager, und Weiterlesen »

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Close to the chimps

Next up on our route across Africa was Uganda. If there was only one thing to say about it, it would be that Uganda is incredibly green compared to its Eastern neighbour countries. After a bumpy night on the bus from Nairobi to Kampala, which involved waiting forever in the dark at the Ugandan border crossing, we drove in the early morning hours through miles and miles of lush green plantations of sugar cane, plantanes and corn on the way from Jinja to Kampala. The country lies a bit higher, gets more rain and has the mighty river Nile running across its lands, from Lake Victoria to Sudan in the North. It’s a complete change in scenery from the dry savannah that we had experienced in the Masai Mara or Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Even though we had seen four of the Big Five already in the Masai Mara (only rhinos were missing) and despite a tight budget, we decided to do another safari in Murchison Fall National Park, Weiterlesen »

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Where does my money go

Traveling the world isn’t particularly cheap, but we will talk about some of our personal expenses in another post. This is about what happens to money after you’ve spent it. We generally try to question any organisation that collects entrance fees for tourist attractions or national reserves about what actually happens to that money – especially in developing countries, where general price levels are exceptionally low and tourist fees exceptionally high.

Pricing policies

It’s a fair assumption that tourist magnets like Macchu Picchu (Peru), Angkor Wat (Cambodia) or the Masai Mara (Kenya) are money making machines. Entrance fees for these examples range from Weiterlesen »

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This was Kenya

Panthera leoSykes' monkeyNational Museum, NairobiGreen Wood HoopoeWaterbucks at Sanctuary FarmStriped portrait
Difference in heightAfrican trafficMeet the giraffesWild animals have priorityCandelabra TreeEgyptian Duck
Our camp at Lake BaringoPelican sailing past papyrus plantsLittle EgretThomson's gazellesSafari excitementDriving through Hell's Gate National Park
Eastern Chanting GoshawkSky above Hell's GateMount LongonotHiking to Hell's GateGrazing warthogOlive Baboon

27 Kenya, a set on Flickr.

Wildlife at its best!

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Stations #72

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Bus station, Kampala

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Stations #71

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Easycoach Terminal, Nairobi


Easycoach | Nairobi, Kenya > Kampala, Uganda | 660km, 12hrs | KES2300/person

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Favourite Shot

Ready for the sunrise. Masai Mara, Kenya

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