More and more mud huts...and a killer snake

Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 13, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Namibia  , Caprivi,
Monday, August 2, 2010

Namibia was a short pit stop on my trip.  I never thought I would make it here because I thought it would not be logistically possible.  Just goes to show never know what's around the bend.....literally.  I rented a car in Namibia, and drove to the Botswana border which is roughly an hour and a half away.  Botswana was where I would spend a few days exploring game parks.   After my time in Botswana, I returned to Namibia, of course to renturn the 4 x 4 I had rented, but also to spend a night there to see what it was all about.  I drove around without any real clue as to where I was going.  When I rented the truck, Katy the lady at the tourist info had given me a few idea of places to check out, so I decided to just pick a random one and go.  Basically just throwing a dart at a map.  I had to cover over 120 kms to reach my destination, which isn't that far, but when you are racing the sunset, you have somewhat of a time line.  I had no camping equipement, but was fully prepared to sleep in the back of the truck if that was what it came down to.  Not exactly the most comfortable idea, but def. the cheapest.     I made a turn on to a long dirt road that seemed endless.  There were signs for lodges along that road, but many of them were very deep into the middle of nowhere.   I eventually came apon a lodge and just went with it.  When I arrived at the reception after my 4 km drive in,  they informed me that they had no space!   Shitty.  Now what?  The manager of the lodge, Brenda was very helpful and could see that I was extremely tired and just looking for somewhere to rest.  She asked one her workers to go and check on of the rooms for me.  She said that they did have one room available if I wanted it, but there had been a black momba in the room that morning that had been killed.  I asked her if they had really killed it, and she assured me they did.  At this point I was too tired to care about snakes, hippos or anything really.  So I took it.  I figured even if I get bit, i will have a few hours to get to a medical station to get some anti venom.   Little did I know, that black mombas are actually one of the most deadly snakes in the world.  You actually die within 5 mins of getting bit.  Thankfully I didn't hear that info until the next day.  I already had a hard enough time falling asleep.  When you are actually lying down in a dead silent room in the pitch black, your mind begins to wonder.  I guess I was Brenda's test guinea pig to see if the room was actually safe.  It was a beautiful lodge and I got one heck of a deal on the room, but knowing what I know now, I am not so sure I would have taken it.  Now I momba....stay the hell away.   In the morning I was up early to get the car back.   On my way back to Katima Mulilio, I had to drive back down the long dirt road to the main road.  On this road, there were many local people walking to the main road, where they would transfer to busses to get them into town.  The main road was 20 + kms away, which is quite a distance, especially when you are carrying many of your belongings, a child under your arm and barefoot.  Many of them were waving their hands at me for a ride since not many cars traveled down this road.  I felt like a little bit of a snob driving past them in a pick up truck with only myself in it.  I also had a few supplies, candy, food, bottled water, that  I would not be able to carry back into Zambia as my backpack was nearly full.  I figured I should give them to someone who would put them to good use.  I pulled over at the next batch of people I saw to give them a lift and to give my cadies to a group of children.  Well before I knew it, 10 people came jumping out of the bushes to take advantage of my ride.  I had the back seat pack with 4 ladies, 3 children, a mother and new born in the front seat with me, and 2 in the back of the truck.  A little more than I had planned on giving a lift, but they all seemed to be greatful for the lift.   Many of them were surprised to see a white person pull over and give them all a lift.  During the ride, I tried to make some small talk and ask how old the children were, but I think they were too shy to actually have a full out conversation with me.   I felt good to help them, even if it was just to save them a few kilometers of walking.  I wish I could have done more than just a lift.  At the main road, we parted ways.  I could tell that for many of them, this would be a story they would be talking about for a while.  How the Muzungu picked them up and gave them candy.  Some weird looking guy with a big beard that is.....     After returning the car , I was dropped off at the border.  When finished with the border documents, I decided to walk to Zambia.  There is roughly a 1.5 km stretch between the two countries.  I must have really looked like someone roughing it to have a backpack and walking between the countries, because I don`t think that many white people in the area do this crossing on foot.  It was a pretty cool feeling to say that I walked from Namibia to Zambia.  When reentering Zambia, I have about 4 different currencies in my wallet.  I was beginning to feel like a secret agent.  I had to stand outside the customs building negotiation with locals on exchange rates to get enough money to buy my visa that would allow me to re enter the country.   I barely had enough money to pull it off.  Or else I would have been walking back to Namibia, and even farther back to the town to the closest ATM, including filling back out all the paper work...again.  All in all, I would have to say that my solo excursion was a great success.  Now all I had to do....make it back to Livingstone and Crocodile creek.  But how.....I have no idea. 
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