After our boat safari with Dan from Mashi River Safaris ended, everything happened rapidly. As if we had ignited the turbo, our trip was already over. We drove to Swakopmund, tried to find our way back to civilization and did what was necessary. Swakop made it easy for us through unbelievably bad weather to detach ourselves and to realize that our time-out was fast approaching the end. Now it is time for a conclusion!
Like on rails
We drove a total of just under 32,000 km through Southern Africa in just over 6 months ‘on pad’. The car sat untouched in Mashatu, Botswana for 27 days during our Trails Guide course. We spent about 90% of the time in the bush and away from towns.
Our car had, apart from the broken battery at the beginning of the trip in Namibia, no defects and/or failures. We did not even have a flat tire, which is virtually a small sensation. Our Land Cruiser Bilbo was absolutely reliable, and it hurts us that we decided to sell it. However, we will not have the opportunity to travel extensively in Africa in the next 1.5 – 2 years, so it does not make sense to keep it.
How do we convey the emotion?
We feel, when we look back, as if we had been sheltered. There was not a single real dicey situation. We had neutral to very positive encounters with people, felt integrated and part of nature, and were more than spoiled by wildlife. The encounters we can look back on are burned into our hearts. We understand today, three weeks after our return home, that these experiences are difficult – if not impossible – for third parties to convey.
Many people we talk to already don’t understand that we miss living in a tent. After all, we were never campers before we started this trip. But we have come to love the intensity of camping in the wilds of Africa. We have become accustomed to being separated from the outside world only by a thin layer of canvas, the tent wall.
Living in a big stone house is something completely different, and we feel separated today. We accept that this is seemingly difficult to understand, and yet we feel this way. We also miss those intense encounters with elephants. Undoubtedly, the elephants were the stars of our trip. With them, we experienced the most incredible moments, and we became hopelessly addicted to these wonderful animals. If there is a possibility to exchange all luxury for a life among elephants, we will do it immediately…
3,2,1 and go
Our reports of the individual country trips – even when viewed from a distance – remain unchanged. In this respect, we can not and do not want to add so much more. Grateful we could experience fantastic moments, and we are happy that we had the courage to just lock the door and go on this trip.
All conceivable eventualities for which we were prepared fortunately remained pure theory. We did not need our satellite phone to get us out of an emergency, nor our talking stone to resolve a conflict, and certainly not our acquired defense skills to defend life and limb.
Furthermore, we are happy and fortunate that we did not argue once during the entire trip. Even though we were together 24 hours a day and mostly lived in about 4 square meters. From our point of view, mutual respect and consideration were the decisive reasons for this great experience.
The map below shows once the entire course of the trip. Thank you for reading our blog and sharing this exceptional journey with us.
See you next time!
Sonja and Guido