Lost Everywhere
 
The next bit of the blog may be a little confusing. It is now almost a year since we were in Malawi and Zambia, however we are commited to finishing our blog from our trip to Africa. In addition, Dan is currently cycling through Italy and is going to start posting his cycling blog concurrently with the african part.
Tom taking our security guards bow and firing it into the forest
Tom taking our security guards bow and firing it into the forest after a heavy night of drinking
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We were excited for our next leg of the tour as we transited across the border into the lovely little lush sliver of land known as Malawi. At this point we were set to meet Toms legendary friend Anders Karlsson (aka Son of Karl), a school-mate of Toms from his time as an exchange student in Korea last year. Anders hails from the cold and barren land of the Vikings, now currently designated as the country of Sweden, where people don’t really do much of anything, including the politicians. We got off to a raucous start at the Mzuzuzu Hostel in Northern Malawi. We were spending the night in a barn when a hot and heavy dance party broke out. It was an all night affair, as we sung along to Queen hits, and practiced our bow hunting skills by firing arrows into the campsite. Dan came down with a severe case of mass discharge (horrendous diarrhea with unstoppable vomiting). The next night started out similarily as the previous; heavy drinking and partying. We befriended two local police officers who insited on taking us around town to party. The officers, named Stanley and Douglas took us to one bar that was chalked full of prostitues. Stanley commented “First we arrest them, then we fuck them”, or “first we fuck them, then we arrest them”. Thankfully they didn’t arrest any hookers that night.
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The view of lake malawi from our cabin
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  We woke up early the next day and made our way to the little piece of paradise known as Nkhata Bay. Lake Malawi is an extremely deep chasm in the earth, as its formed from two tectonic plates moving apart, forming part of the rift valley that runs from Mozambique all the way up to Israel. We spent the days there snorkeling amongst the colourful fish of schistomiasis infected Lake Malawi, and living in a private chalet held up by stilts on the waters edge for less than $5 a night. We made new friends of various ethnicities including life long friends with our Japanese and Korean fellow travelers who we would run into many more times in our travels, as well as a little black cat that has a special place in our hearts forever. We made friends with locals with such names as Lemon Squeezy, Happy Coconut, Cool Breeze and Fresh Coconut. Anders adopted the alter ego of Coconut Biscuit, and Tom became simply Bouncer. We went for a late night fishing trip where we ended up putting more fish into the lake than we took out, in the form of bait. But it was a great time out in the moonlight on our bobbing little raft. Although we thought about stealing the cat, we thought it might pose too many problems at the border, so we opted to leave him sleeping on the porch. We left Nkhata Bay for the capital city Lilongwe. However we somehow ended up picking up a stray female German tourist, who scraggled along with us. However this turned out to be a poor decision, as we lost our seats in the car, and Dan and Tom ended up having to hitch-hike almost the entire length of Malawi, which involved an incredible amount of time sitting at the roadside eating semi-ripened papayas and banana’s with police officers. We were very happy to arrive at Mabuya Camp in the big city 18 hours later. We spent a few days in the city, attending the grand opening of the new parliament buildings; yet another project in Africa funded entirely by the Chinese government. It was a grandiose affair, however slightly bewildering and confusing. After a little R&R at the pool the four of us headed out for our next destination, Zambia.

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New, Chinese constructed parliment buildings
 Zambia

The trip into Zambia was rather uneventful with the usual cast of characters on the bus including a rather impassioned preacher who cursed our souls to damnation before we headed out onto the bumpy dusty roads of Eastern Zambia. After many hours by car we ended up in a place that cannot be described in words. We were staying on the banks of the Luangwe River, at maybe the coolest place we have ever stayed in our lives. We had accommodation in luxury safari tents where we were graced with the presence of 6,000 lb Hippos who would migrate out of the river every night and munch on the grass all around our tents. It was actually extremely dangerous, and Anders and Tom foolishly chased the hippos on a few occasions, and risked life and limb trying to inspect the hippos around the camp. The hippo is the most dangerous animal in Africa, killing more people than any other animal, especially when they come out of the water at night and become ultra aggressive. However, during the day they wallow in the river barking and bellowing all day long, providing endless entertainment for the humans on shore. The river is also full of Crocodiles, whereas the camp itself is inhabited with all kinds of animals. One day we came back to our tent to discover that all of our bags had been ripped apart, and our stuff was strewn everywhere, we realized quickly that the culprit was not a human but some baboons who jimmied the tent door, and proceeded to open every zipper on all of our bags, taking nothing but a little box of coconut biscuits from Anders’ bag. The camp also had a swimming pool with a slide where we spent many hours in the heat of the Zambian sun, drinking amarula’s and doing back-flips and dives into the pool. Our game drives through the park could not have been filled with more animals, and we all agree that this was maybe the most enjoyable game park we have been to in Africa as of yet. As previously alluded to in the blog, we managed to finally see the very illusive Leopard. Not only did we see one, but during our night drive, after seeing one leopard in a tree during daylight, we spotted another one thanks to the screeching of the baboons in a nearby tree giving the warning call for leopards. The cat ended up crossing right in front of our truck, and sat directly in front of us on the road. Then we noticed what the baboons were really screaming at, as we shone the flood light over to the tree and realized there was ANOTHER leopard climbing the tree to kill and eat one of the baboons. However, luckily for the baboons, leopards are extremely territorial animals, and the two of them, faced off in a challenge for territory. The larger one chased off the smaller one, literally no more than 15 feet from our car as they ran past. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any crazier, a lone Hyena came rushing into the scene to try and take advantage of the pandemonium of the whole fiasco. All of this while we sat in the back of an open top land cruiser with no roof, or doors. Our guide who has been doing this for over 30 years has never seen anything so hectic in his whole career.  As everything must come to an end, we sadly departed Flat-Dogs camp at South Luangwe park, and we were lucky to find a half priced flight clear across Zambia to Victoria Falls, the biggest waterfall in the world. Poor Anders was not so lucky, and had to take more than 30 hours of buses to meet us in Vic Falls more than 3 days later.
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swimming with Amarula's
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One of the leopards chasing the baboons
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Anders arrived all bleary-eyed just as Tom and Dan were departing for an all you can drink booze cruise on the Zambezi river, where we indulged ourselves in strong drink as we lazed past some of the biggest crocodiles and hippos we had seen yet in all of Africa. The skippers on board the boat gave us good company and scenery. They were blessed with the remarkable names of Carrington, Boniface and Greensons. It became a tumultuous night with our new friends, as we terrorized the town, and Jolly Boys backpackers where a few dozen of us whiled away the night in the hot tub and pool, coercing with local rastas and gypsys alike. Tom arrived home without his beloved sandals, however he was adorned with a new hat as well as some jewellery given to him by our rasta friends. We were all excited the next day to go with the now recuperated Anders to the incredible spectacle of Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls is a gorge where the Zambezi river flows with over 1 million cubic metres of water per second, and the mist rises far into the air like a towering skyscraper. Not only was the water at peak flow for the year, but freak rain-falls in Angola made the flow larger and stronger than it had been for many years, making the falls as spectacular as they ever get. The spray from the falls as you get close can only be compared to being doused with a fire hose, and within seconds you are drenched to the core. We were foolish enough to bring books and passports in our bags, and ended up leaving the area with many litres of water soaked into our various belongings. The border between Zambia and Zimbabwe is a bridge that straddles the Zambezi river gorge, where the adrenaline junkie Dan decided to bungy jump into the gorge. It is 110M high, and Dan did a combo of one bungy jump, and a gorge swing where you jump off the platform and then swing out into the gorge. After the excitement, we crossed into the fascinating country of Zimbabwe.

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Dan trying the gorge swing at victoria falls
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The top of victoria falls
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You are allowed to walk across the lip of victoria falls. We didnt.
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Victoria Falls



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