Susie Bruce

Joined February 2017
  • Day383

    Namib Desert

    April 17 in Namibia

    Our next stop was the Namib Desert and definitely the hottest place on our tour of Africa. We camped out in the desert and spent the next day exploring. Firstly we walked up 'dune 45' which is the 45th sand dune in the national park, and the only one they allow you to walk on. After spending nearly 6 weeks on a bus and barely doing exercise we found this much harder work than it should have been! Then we walked in the dead valley. There used to be water there until the sand dunes cut off the supply and this left all the trees in a fossilized state. It was nice to see but I was pleased when we were able to move on and leave the heat behind.
    The next day we visited the Fish River Canyon which is the second biggest canyon in the world and the biggest in Africa, we watched the sunset here and then continued our journey to South Africa.
    Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day381

    NAMIBIA - Etosha/Spitzkoppe

    April 15 in Namibia

    Next we crossed the border into Namibia. Our first stop was Etosha National Park for another safari. The main reason for this safari was the hope that we may get to see a rhino, as we had only managed to see one miles away in the Serengeti and we didn't feel we had don't the 'big 5 properly'. The safari vehicle was completely open and just as we set off on our day long drive it started to pour down with rain, luckily it didn't last too long and we managed to stay dry most of the time. We saw lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes and we were lucky enough to see a black rhino! As this was our last safari we were pleased to have been able to tick off all the animals we wanted to see. On our way out of the park we managed to get our lando (bus) stuck so we spent two hours digging it out of the mud. I say we, but I mean all the boys dug while the girls shouted words of encouragement out of the window.
    The next day we visited Spitzkoppe on our way to the Namib desert. Before we reached our camp site we visited the 'desert living museum' where we met the local people who apart from not really wearing anything taught us about their culture. They taught us how they made tools, wepons, how to start a fire and which plays they used for medical purposes. After this we carried on to the camp site, this was in the middle of nowhere where we were surrounded by extremely steep rock like mountains. It reminded us of central Australia and looked pretty similar to the Olga's and Uluru we saw when we were there. Naturally Doug decided to climb the biggest one he could find (which was deemed to be safe by our guide), in his words 'we will be up and down in an hour and a half' so only took a litre of water. When he wasn't back 4 hours later and it was starting to get dark the rest of the group were a little concerned, but he turned up in the end. It turned out the rock was bigger and a slightly more 'tricky' climb than he had anticipated. I took the sensible option and climbed a smaller rock to watch the sunset with a cider in hand.
    Read more

  • Day372

    BOTSWANA

    April 6 in South Africa

    The day we left the Victoria Falls we crossed the border into Botswana. It was the easiest border crossing by far and only took a few minutes, which was a nice change from the normal. From here we went straight to the Chobe National Park. We decided to opt for a boat safari here for something slightly different, it certainly wasn't a drunken affair like the previous two. It was a four hour boat cruise in the afternoon as the sun was setting where we saw elephants, baboons, hippos, a few mongoose, crocodiles and number of birds all coming to the water to drink. Nothing we hadn't seen before but it was very chilled and was a nice way to get to know our new group.
    We then had a few days on the road before heading to the Okavango Delta, this is the largest land based delta in Africa. This means that the delta or the river supplying the delta (the Zambezi River) never enters the sea or an ocean but rather floods forming the delta mentioned above. Therefore, it can grow or reduce in size depending on the season. On our first day we took a scenic flight over the Delta. Despite Susie's normal motion sickness she agreed to try again. After much planning and sickness tablets she managed to complete the hour flight unscathed!!! The scenery was amazing, allowing us to see all the animals from a better vantage point as well and the delta itself. I think Susie was just happy she wasn't sick!! The following day we took a local canoe along the narrow waterways for a two hour trip to what would be our campsite for the night. Again the canoe ride itself was extremely enjoyable, we were able to sit back, relax and watch the view while out local guide used a bamboo stick to navigate our route. Our campsite was typical bush camping, no shower and just a hole in the ground for a toilet which we used as little as possible. During the afternoon we were taken on a walking safari where we went into the delta to see the plants and any wild life we could come across. After sitting on a bus for hours at a time it was a nice change. We only managed to see some antelope and wildebeest but it was still a good afternoon. That evening we were given a show of local dance and music by our guides. It was .... Interesting, but a good laugh, luckily we weren't picked to get up and dance with them and it was more fun to laugh at the people who were.
    In the morning after another early start and a ride out if the delta we continued on our way towards Namibia.
    Read more

  • Day372

    ZIMBABWE

    April 6 in Zimbabwe

    Next we went to the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, where lies the Victoria falls the 'largest' (widest) waterfall in the world. Three quarters of the falls lie in the Zimbabwean side of the border and one quarter on the Zambian side! This is where we were to leave some of our first group that we had traveled with. Some were going home and some were heading down the Johannesburg rather than Cape Town. Therefore, on the first day, some we supported people who wanted to bungee jump, (I wanted to do it myself but as it was extremely touristy here the prices were astronomical so decided to pass). We then had a wander into town and had a look round the local 'culture' which was just shops aimed at tourists. That evening we all went on a sunset cruise to see the wild life in the zambazie river above the Victoria falls. However, given this was out last night together as a group (or the members of the group we liked anyways) and there was unlimited alcohol it turned into a rather drunken affair as everyone tried to get their money's worth. This night was also when we were meant to meet people in our next tour. So when we arrived reasonably drunk at the fairly upmarket restaurant our new guide had picked out for us.... I don't think we made the best first impression!
    The next morning after saying goodbye rather later in the morning that anticipated. We visited the Victoria falls national park. Again here our seasonal planning of this trip was thrown into question. It was the wet season. Not only did this mean we couldn't do the activities we wanted to before arriving. Such as white water rafting and the hells pool (basically a natural swimming pool on the top, at the edge of the water fall), but it also meant there was so much spray from the waterfall that we could hardly see it, except from a distance, oh yea and we also got soaked!! However, it was still a fairly impressive sight!! That night we prepared ourselves for the next leg of our journey which we left for the following day.
    Read more

  • Day370

    ZAMBIA

    April 4 in Zambia

    Here we went to the South Luwanga National Park, it was for another game drive. The camp site was nice with the pool over looking a water hole with countless numbers of hippos. We went on a night game drive here, more for the experience and we didn't expect to see many animals!
    We watched the sunset in the pool over the river with the hippos and then went off on our night Safari. We didn't get far, I'm not sure our driver had much experience driving a 4x4 and he loved trying to get through the muddiest parts of the track...it wasn't long before we got stuck. Our driver thought the best way to get out was to rev the engine and spin the wheels continuously until we were grounded!! With no phone reception had to wait half an hour for someone to find us and tow us out. After this slight inconvenience, the rest of the game we managed to see lots of animals, Leopards, hippos, antelope, elephants, zebras as well as some kind of bird that managed to fly inside our pickup flapping around for about 5 minutes. All the girls screams probably scared the rest of the animals away because we didn't see anything else. However, we all enjoyed the experience, getting stuck being the funniest thing.
    We got up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet, only to find a hippo chilling about 10 meters away from us, pretty scary after being told they are the animals that cause the most human deaths in Africa!
    We spent the next day chilling by the pool overlooking the water hole and then we headed towards the Victoria falls!
    Read more

  • Day365

    MALAWI

    March 30 in Malawi

    After another long day drive from Zanzibar and a overnight stop we crossed the border into Malawi and arrived at our campsite in Kande beach on the edge of Lake Malawi! We thought we would posh it up somewhat and paid for an upgrade from our tent to a beach front cabin for $10/night each.
    Most of the time here was spent relaxing, playing football on the beach and swimming in the lake. Our guide Wilson made us a alcoholic punch in the first night and we spent it chatting around a camp fire on the beach!
    The next day was another highlight for us on the trip, but was also very eye opening. We took a guided tour around the local village next to our campsite. Initially they tried to sell us stuff which was a bit annoying but when we got to the village they left us well alone. We met all the local children, they were so excited to see us and just wanted to hold our hand and walk with us. As 'payment' they just wanted to borrow our sunglasses, get their photos or videos taken and look back at them on our phone screens which amazed them. The concept of a touch screen meant I had about 6 children around me at one point all trying to play with my phone.
    It was also quite a sad visit, we went to the school where we learnt that usually there was 100 children/teacher. The small school had 1000 pupils in total and very little equipment mostly relying on donations for books, paper and pencils. We were told by our guide to ask before giving the children anything. When one child asked for our 2 litre plastic bottle we didn't know why, but we found out it was just so he could take enough water to school for the day. As the nearest water pump was over half a mile from the school. When we gave it to him a fight broke out between the children all trying to get the bottle off him so they could have it for themselves.
    We visited the local health centre (nothing like ours at home) which services 4000 people. At which there was not a single doctor, but a few health assistants (we think nurses) and if they needed any other healthcare they had to go the the regional health centre over 20km away, obviously none of these people had cars and the ambulances wouldn't normally do anything other than emergencies so they had to somehow get there themselves.
    That night we were cooked a local meal in the village, at the only house with electricity, which cut off after 10 minutes. Then the school children have us a display of African dancing and singing which we had to join in with. They were far better then any of us!!
    Read more

  • Day359

    Zanzibar

    March 24 in Tanzania

    Still in Tanzania, we then travelled to the island Zanzibar for some sun, sea and relaxation. We spent one day at the beach and we were invited to a sunset cruise in the evening. We thought this would be a very sofisticated event so were a bit shocked when we turned up to find an old wooden boat with around seven locals playing the drums and getting drunk. By the end of the trip we were all joining in with the African singing, dancing and jumping into the sea ( I think the strong drinks they were serving us helped!). Next we visited the main town - Stone Town. This was an old slave market - people would be taken from various countries in Africa and brought to Zanzibar to be shipped on to other countries to work as slaves. We visited the museum and also the chamber the slaves were kept in. There was up to 75 people kept in a tiny room ( see picture) which was so warm - many would die, and if they lasted a few days they were worth more money to sell as it meant they were strong.Read more

  • Day356

    TANZANIA - The Serengeti

    March 21 in Tanzania

    The first stop on our tour was the Serengeti in Tanzania. This is a national park best known for its wildlife. It's here we had a two day Safari and it was definitely a highlight. We had a 6 seater car with a removable roof and a very knowledgeable guide. We were lucky enough to see 'the big five' which is the lion, rhino, leopard, elephant and buffalo, along with giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, antelopes, warthogs and hippos. It was amazing - the photos just don't do it justice. The car was half a meter away from a lion at one point, and we had elephants almost as close too. We also camped inside the park, we were told to make sure we hid our shoes as the hyenas would steal them at night if we didnt, and were also warned about going to the toilet at night to look out for lions! Thankfully we survived!Read more

  • Day354

    KENYA

    March 19 in Kenya

    After flying through the night we arrived in Kenya to start a 6 week overland tour from Nairobi to Cape Town. We met the rest of our group of 22 people who all seemed very nice and all age 20-30 which was good. We had a briefing from our guide from the trip, Wilson from Kenya. Next we boarded our transport, basically a pumped up bus that can cope with the African roads and day one was spent crossing the border into Tanzania.Read more

  • Day352

    Sukhothai

    March 17 in Thailand

    Apologies for the delay in our next post, both phone signal and internet are harder to come by when we are in Africa. So our last stop before leaving Thailand was going to visit the kingdom of Siam's first capital. Here there were ..... More temples (because we hadn't seen enough yet). It was very nice, we spent two days here cruzing about on our scooter checking out the temples and the local museum.
    After here we carried on down to Bangkok, and spent a day organising ourselves before we jetted off to Kenya!
    Read more

Never miss updates of Susie Bruce with our app:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android