My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.
The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.
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Wednesday the19th May dawned yet another magnificently hot clear day in Rundu. When you consider all the damage that was done in the area recently by the floods you can’t believe that this semi-desert area can get so much rain.
I had a wonderful time meeting and chatting to the Beares staff in Rundu and once again met up with the RAM (Regional Admin Manager) of Beares, Michelle Opperman, who presented me with a signed and noted Beares mouse pad for my computer as an early birthday present for the 24th, which I will celebrate in Katima Mulilo in a few days time.
After an attempt at getting someone from the police to talk to me about the child rape situation in the area and failing miserably once more, I headed back to my camp at The Ngandu safari Lodge to start preparing for my evening meal, curried chicken. I get to meet a lot of people on this project, especially foreigners and spend a lot of time chatting to them and obtaining their views and opinions, not only on the subject of child rape but many other topics as well and tonight was no exception.
Camped a few metres away from me was a couple, Sarah Woodward and Nick Hunt, who hail from the UK and have spent the last few weeks touring around the Southern African region and will be making their way to South Africa to watch the 2010 World Cup Soccer bonanza. So to Sarah and Nick thanks for the chat and friendship and I wish you well on the rest of your travels, and as you said you will be telling your friends back home to visit the ‘Buddy and Me’ website, so to all Sarah and Nick’s friends back home they are well and rearing to go for the next section of their journey.
Thursday morning I was up at 6:30am and after packing and showering met up with my host for the two nights at Ngandu Safari Lodge, Oswald Theart, owner of the magnificent lodge and his wife Corry and daughter Celesté, and after thanking them for their kind hospitality headed out of Rundu, destination Camp Hogo.
The drive to Camp Hogo involved a three kilometre drive along a rutted/corrugated gravel road, which Buddy of course really detested, and then a four and a half kilometre drive along a narrow bush road which was much better than the gravel corrugated road, and so the seven and a half kilometre drive took us forty minutes to drive.
This picture was taken on the bush road and was about three kilometres away from Camp Hogo. You can still see large pools of water in the area left over from the flood, this particular area, two kilometres from the river was a metre and a half deep in water a couple of weeks ago.
The camp is actually situated on an island, and a causeway was built, with large pipes to let the water through and this was covered with rocks and sand to form a road to the camp. Unfortunately the flood destroyed this causeway and Sarel, the owner of Camp Hogo only managed rebuild it with bricks and rocks over the past couple of days, and so it took ‘Buddy and Me’ quite sometime to cross this section of the road, very slowly.
But we arrived in two pieces, Buddy and me, and soon my camp was set up and I was ready to indulge in a cold beer with Sarel van der Merwe the owner of Camp Hogo, and by the way he is not the famous rally driver, he is just plain good old Sarel and a really pleasant chap at that.
So after the long drive and chore of setting up camp, it was time to relax over a cold frosty or two – In picture from left, yours truly, the ‘Me’ part of ‘Buddy and Me’, a local resident Schalk, Sarel behind the bar, Annie Symonds who came out to Namibia 20 years ago on holiday, met her husband Simon, who is a nature conservationist, and stayed in Namibia, and her three sons, Luke, Ryan and Aaron.
Being out in the bush meant there was no one, apart from the guests, that I could discuss the topic of child rape with and after a couple of hours bending the guests ears on the topic, the rest of the time, including Friday, was spent catching up on washing, cooking and of course trying to catch the proverbial and elusive monster Tiger fish. I did however hook into one monster but within a few seconds of hooking it, it snapped me off and escaped with my prize Rapala (Lure) never to be seen again
Saturday morning, I was up early, hoping to get an early start for my drive to Katima Mulilo, it being a drive of about 550 kilometre which I expected ‘Buddy and Me’ to do in about 7 hours and in fact it took us 7 hours 40 minutes and we arrived at the Protea Hotel in Katima Mulilo at a little after 6:15pm in the evening. Once again Jacque de Jager, the General Manager of the Walvis Bay Protea Hotel and been good to his word and had kindly arranged accommodation for me with Marcel Coetzer the General Manager of the Protea Hotel in Katima Mulilo and so when I entered my luxury room soon after booking in man did I get a surprise and welcome of note.
This is the point where the one hour time difference in Namibia changes back to South African time.
At the bridge there is a sign which states that “One must expect to encounter ‘wild’ animals”…
…the only animals I unfortunately saw was a dead Hyena which had been hit by a vehicle and a few ‘buck’.
Sunday morning I woke and moved my accommodation to my tent in the Protea Hotels lovely camping facilities. The camping facilities are right alongside the hotel facilities and so it is really comfortable.
Really lovely camping facilities right on the edge of the mighty Zambezi River
As usual I met a lot of fellow travellers and amongst these was a very friendly South African couple, Peter and Norma Barclay. Norma gave me a book to read which I am sure I am going to get many interesting hours of reading from it, it’s called ‘The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest’ by Stieg Larson.
I have, as I have said before, gotten into many discussions with fellow travellers on subjects totally unrelated to the topic I am involved with, namely the rape and sexual abuse of children, and one of those topics was the fact that here in Namibia all advertising, TV and signs is in English, yet everywhere one travels, the only language spoken is Afrikaans, this phenomena has been mentioned by many travellers in the country especially foreigners.
The other fact that has been raised a few times, is the fact that the governing party here in Namibia, namely ‘SWAPO’ which stands for ‘The South West Africa Peoples Organisation’, on gaining independence from South Africa, changed the name from ‘South West Africa’ to Namibia. The question being asked is, “Why, if they were going to change the name of the country on gaining independence to ‘Namibia’ did they not name their Party, ‘NPO’ (Namibian Peoples Party)?
And so that brought a close to the last four days in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’. Hopefully tomorrow, being Monday the 24th, my birthday nogal, when I hope to catch a monster Tiger Fish as a birthday gift to myself, I will also be given the opportunity of talking to some of the local authorities on the topic of child rape, but with that wish and hope in mind, ‘Buddy and Me’ will leave you with this picture of a magnificent sunset over the mighty Zambezi River, taken from the front of my tent.
So with that tranquil thought, ‘Buddy and Me’ will wish you a good night, keep well, stay well and as usual keep all children safe.
Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
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