You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...
Mar 30, 2012 12:00 AM Egypt - Alexandria...
I landed in Cairo at 3 am. They issue tourist via on the spot. What you need is to buy the sticker in the bank window and ti fill the entry card.
There are comfortable banks in the arrival hall so you can sleep till 5.30.
Then for the backpacker there is free shuttle bus "Terminal1" going to the bus station. At 6 am I had the direct bus from there to Alexandria (45 EGP).
On the way you will have a free tour to the cantral Cairo - I have been there twice but it is still worth to have a look through the window.
We took the desert road to Alexandria - 3 hours drive. The bus terminal in Alex is on the eastern outskirts of the city. Nasty taxi drivers will offer you the ride to the Corniche for 20 EGP. But there is also a minibus for just 1 EGP!
Queen hotel bookable through Hostelworld.com has grea location on the 7th floor just on the Corniche. I have a terrace with the nice view of the bay. They serve nice breakfast - it is included.
I took a long walk to the old fort where ancient lightouse of Alexandria was in the past. Then to the brand new Biblioteca Alexandrina.
A now I think then Alexandria is nicer then Cairo!
Mar 29, 2012 12:00 AM To the Oases Trail...
Sometimes the low price of the ticket can encourage me to take the new voyage. I know Nile Valley and Sinai, but I haven't been to the Egyptian Sahara.
When our airline introduced promotional price for Gdansk - Warsaw - Cairo route I said to myself: it is time to go! The situation in Egypt is... Well, we will see... I will try to stay away from the big cities.
Spring is still cold in Poland so it is good time to warm up for two weeks! My backpack is almost ready... Let's fly!
I am sorry that nobody from GS wanted to join me...
Mar 10, 2012 12:00 AM Namibia on a cheap?
It is the time for the little summary: Is this possible to travel around Namibia on a cheap?
Yes, I confirm! But you must be well- prepared and ready to travel in the non-a/c car. It cost us 500 euro per 22 days with basic insurance. Small car means low fuel consumption and lower cost.
Bringing your tent from Europe you can reduce the cost of acommodation: campsites (private and state-owned) are plentiful and charge only 100 - 150 NAD per person per day. Almost always you will get 240V power outlet at your site - bringing with you tea/coffee maker you can easily cook your breakfasts and soups.
South African canned food is available in the supermarkets. Beans costs 1 USD, the meat or fish - 2 USD per can. Better to buy it in Windhoek - in the province or parks it is up to 50% more expensive.
So book, pack your backpack and go! And enjoy the beauty of Namibia!
Mar 09, 2012 12:00 AM Namibia to Europe...
It took us only two hours to drive from Gobabis to the Windhoek airport.
We returned our small car - they checked everything, but after 22 days of driving on Namibian and Botswanian roads the was no scratches or damages...
Bye-bye our polo! We did almost 7300 kilometers, and the average consumption of the fuel was 6,2 l per 100 kms...
Air Namibia flight to Johannesburg was delayed 20 minutes, but we had to wait in Joburg 3 hours for the connection anyway - not a problem.
Then Lufthansa flight (10 hours and 10 minutes) to Frankfurt. Only 3 deg Celsius in Frankfurt in the morning! Brrr... But we are bringing very warm memories... It was wonderfull journey!
Mar 08, 2012 12:00 AM Across the Kalahari Desert
Desert in blossom? Yes - if you will come to this region just after the rainy season you will see the Kalahari in green and yellow colors... I just saw it!
We started early from Maun, Botswana to avoid the heat, but is was a long journey to the border of Namibia in Mamuno.
Very few settlements along... Strange names like D'Ker. Very few cars. But the road - they call it Trans Kalahari Highway - is surprisely good!
We saw again ostriches and the antelopes. But the real plague of the roads in Botswaba are donkeys and the cattle. Donkeys are predictable: they just stay in the middle of the road and do not move. You have to go around them! The cattle are unpredictable - you have to reduce the speed because you never know what they will do...
We crossed the borded to Namibia and found the place for the night on the outskirts of Gobabis. It is already more then 7000 kms on the counter of our small car...
Mar 07, 2012 12:00 AM Okavango, Okavango...
For me there is something like a "poetry" of the geo names. "Okavango" sounds very good nice, don't you think?
Okavango Delta in Bosswana is the world's largest inland delta formed by Kavango River. Swamps, islands, channels, great wildlife... I always wanted to see this place. Old Bridge Backpackers in Maun offers full-day mokoro trip to the delta. They took us at 8 am on their motorboat - we sailed on Tamalakani River almost an hour to reach the buffalo fence - built to prevent transmission of the diseases from wild buffalos living in the delta to the cattle. Mokoro - the dugout canoes were waiting for us there.
Two tourists and a black poler on the canoe. He took us through the narrows channels to the distant island. Thousands of water lilies around. Two-hours walk on the island to see the animals and birds. Then back on the same way - very hot but exciting day!
Mar 06, 2012 12:00 AM Corruption at the Botswana border!
Driving till the evening we reached yesterday Popa Falls in North Namibia - just at the mouth of Caprivi Strip.
Popa Falls should be rather named Popa Rapids. The highest "fall" I saw there is 1m high! But is is still lovely place and NWR has right at the rapids their resort with stylish bungalows. They charge 260 NAD per person and the breakfast is included. Mosquito nets too! :)
Today in the morning we said goodbye to Namibia again, crossing the border to Botswana in Mohembo National Park. We saw impalas, zebras and buffalo on the Namibian side.
It is very remote place: they had only 8 vehicles crossing the border the day before.
Once in Botswana we recognized that we have to pay the entry fees for our small car: three different fees, three receipts, 110 pula toogether. Nobody told me about that in advance.
We do not have Botswanian pula! No, no bank desk or exchange counter here! But you can pay me in Rands and I will give you the change in pula. OK! No choice!
How much rands? You will give me 200 rands and I will give you 30 pula change!- said official.
Then I started to count: 1 USD = 7, 60 rands = 7,40 pula
The net profit of the border official was not bad!
This is how it works in the African outback!
We were driving in the heat few hours across Botswana.
At the crossroad with the Windhoek road I found the filling station. No petrol! Maybe NEXT WEEK I will get some!- said the black owner...
We reached Maun - the capital of the Okavango Delta region. Old Bridge Backpackers is a nice place. Our tent stands on the bank of the tropical river. Birds are singing around. It is still hot, hot, hot.
We are getting ready for the tomorrow's trip in the dugout canoe (mokoro) to the Delta of Okavango. Wow!
Mar 05, 2012 12:00 AM Flying over the falls...
I flew over Iguassu - the most magnificent fall of the world. Now I wanted to fly over the greatest fall of Africa. Maybe the last chance in my life...
It is not cheap. 145 USD for the 15-minutes flight on the helicopter. Fully booked for this morning!
Another option is the ultra-light plane - 140 for a quarter. So I decided to take my chance.
On the airstrip I paid and then they said that I must take off everything from my pockets. But I want to take the pictures! CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED! CELLPHONES ARE NOT ALLOWED! They take your picture from the wing camera and you can buy them later. But I want to photograph the falls, not me! That's why I decided to pay such a price!
WARNING! - nobody will tell you when you book that you will not be able to take you camera aboard.
Judge me if you want: I smuggled my camera anyway.
The flight was nice and the views excellent until I took my camera off and started to photograph... The pilot turned back immediately. I am guilty. :) But what a views of the Victoria Fall from the air!
Mar 04, 2012 12:00 AM Magnificent Victoria Falls
Our car is not allowed to go to Zambia - rather unsafe country. We left it in Katima Mulilo guesthouse.
Early in the morning we went throuh the border formalities on the southern bank of the river and then crossed the bridge on Zambezi River by foot. It is like 4 kms walk to the nearest village of Shesheke. There we found the minibus to Livingstone waiting for the passengers. Ticket costs 60000 kwacha, departure time? Unknown... when it will be full. We were lucky to depart in 40 minutes.
Paved road is full of holes. The tyre exploded after some 80 kms. They found a spare one, but is was damaged - enough for the next 30 kms only. And it is 200 kms to Livingstone. We stopped another car - take us directly to the falls!
I saw Victoria 21 yars ago from Zimbabwe in the dry season. What I saw here and and now exceeded my expectations. Great power of the water, huge load, spray... Hope to show you the pictures in the future. They charge 20 USD entry fee to the falls and you can see just the beginning of the 108 -m deep canyon (Victoria is 1700 m long) but it is still worth!
Mar 03, 2012 12:00 AM Caprivi Strip - Zambezi River...
It is long strip of Namibian territory between Angola & Zambia (north) and Botswana (south). The only one like this in the world. Every 20 kms we saw the signs: "Elephants - 80 km/h". Normal speed is 120 km/h on this empty road.
In Kongola we turned to the gravel road (19 kms) to the "Living museum". Nobody from the staff was there - few tourists visit the place. But we enjoyed huge baobab trees and we visited two normal villages taking pictures and talking with the villagers about their hard life.
In the late afternoon we reached the border township of Katima Mulilo. It is the farthest town from the capital of Namibia. It is also the border town - since they built here the bridge to Namibia on Zambezi River.
It is worth to recommend "Fish Eagle Nest Guest House" - probably the only budget accommodation in Katima. Nice roomy rooms, little pool, breakfast included... They charge 660 NAD per double - in Namibia it is not expensive...
It is 4 kms to the border bridge from the town and we are getting ready for the border crossing to Zambia!
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