Driving 1000kms in one day to Cape Town

The second last day of our trip, Newcastle to Port Elizabeth, was an epic drive of 1100km. It took us about twelve hours, rising up through the Drakensburg mountains, past the entire country of Lesotho, and ending on the southern coast of the African continent. We’d been driving for weeks, and couldn’t wait to reach Cape Town to relax.

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Why Vilankulos is the most relaxing place in Mozambique

We entered Vilankulos around midday, one of the more popular tourist beach towns on the Mozambican coast. It was sunny and sandy, with lots of cars, lots of roundabouts and busy roadside markets. Vilankulos was bigger and more bohemian than Inhassaro, reminding me of a Mozambican Byron Bay. 

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How to find a hotel in Africa without a map

Wessel was complaining that he thought he had malaria. He felt feverish and nauseous. I said that that was highly unlikely; like all of us, he had been taking his daily Doxycycline, and we were in winter, not prime mosquito season. Besides, I imagined someone with malaria would probably feel significantly worse than Wessel.

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Buying fish in Africa without using language

Skeletal fishing boat shells were marooned on the sand, desiccating under the sun on the Mozambican coast. I took photos of them as they lay, serene and beautiful. The coast of Mozambique was a gorgeous aqua blue, the beach was perfect. Completely unexpected for a country I usually just associated with war. 

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My least favourite beach in Africa, and why

I wore my sunglasses as I drove. Zalala Beach wasn’t far. The last light of the day was filtering through the coconut plantation in flickers of soft orange. With the sun setting, we were driving hard to find a place to sleep. The road through the palms was long, narrow, and straight as an arrow, beautifully framed on both sides by soaring palm trees.

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Finding hidden mountains in Malawi

I want to start by talking about how absolutely amazing the African bottle recycling system is.

My bottle of Fanta was noticeably worn down and re-used many many times. The label was faded and the glass had been ground down in certain places, by a million tiny scratches, a result of grinding against other bottles being shipped around in boxes for many years.

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Our experiences road tripping through Malawi

I had no idea what to expect from Malawi. It was just a last minute route change driving south from Tanzania that took us there. So, we decided to find the local beer first. 

We stopped at a roadside bottle shop. The guy behind the counter dressed rather like a cool dude; he wore sunglasses and dressed like a rapper, whilst rock music blared as he danced along behind the counter, and the store was decorated with posters of soccer players. We ordered a dozen of the local Malawian beers, called Kuche Kuche.

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