• Beers and braais on the Zambezi April 17th, 2012

    I saw elephants on the road out of Zimbabwe. They saw me too. First it was the back end of one, and metres later the front end of another. They were only 10-15 metres away, munching away where the edge of the bush met the roadside fire-break. I wouldn’t have seen them in a car, and it was only at the last second as I turned to make eye contact and receive a startled ear flap did I suddenly think “Shit”.

    Well I had been warned. There was plenty of fresh poop on the road and the folk from Vic Falls had told me to be vigilant.

  • Harare and beyond March 20th, 2012

    “Having sniffed the air south of the Zambezi I felt Zimbabwe to be not a continuation of black Africa, but – both historically and emotionally – the beginning of South Africa”. (Devla Murphy)

    I’m blaming the cold shower for causing the testicular torsion. Those who have commented on my last post, and others who have written to me by e-mail, provided a convincing consensus that it was the cold water on my hot body, rather than the friction between body and saddle that led to me experiencing probably the most painful night of my life. It’s easy to blame the cycling, and an obvious conclusion to make, but why would it happen on that particular day when it could have been hundreds of others which were far harder?

  • The Mambo Vipi test: Into Mozambique November 19th, 2011

    “Of the wide range of surface defects available in Africa, corrugations are, for the cyclist, the most uncomfortable though not the most tiring”. (Devla Murphy)

    There was no shortage of willing oarsmen waiting at the riverbank. This was the end of the road in Tanzania. Ahead lay the Ruvuma River, and beyond that Mozambique. Like many large African rivers it was difficult to see where the far side was. Islands of reeds, tall grasses and tidal sand bars made what was a massive waterway seem less dramatic. Seen from the air it would have been more impressive.

  • Anglophone Africa again May 30th, 2011

    When the traveller first enters Uganda, his path seems to be strewn with flowers, greetings with welcome gifts follow one another rapidly, pages and courtiers kneel before him, and the least wish is immediately gratified. (H M Stanley)

    Well that sounds very nice, but things have moved on a bit since 1871. Stanley would now just be another Mzungu in Uganda, and there are quite a lot here, comparatively speaking. But if 10 days in a country counts for anything, this one scores pretty high up on the friendliness counter.

    Banana boy