African diaries (or When we were young)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thomas B., Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    The route around Lake Victoria went through a lot of rural undeveloped countryside and the tracks were often in a bad state, but for us the riding was great. We had to do a one day dash through Ruanda to get to Tansania and carried on to Arusha to meet up with our friends from the campsite on the beach. We wanted to split the costs of a tour into the Ngorogoro Crater to see some more wildlife.

    Leaving our vehicles in Tansania we then all took a boat to Sansibar to take a few days off from traveling. Beautiful beaches waited for us.

    onward tracks

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    in the Ngorogoro Crater

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    Sansibar - Stone town

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    and some relaxing on the beach

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  2. NoelJ

    NoelJ Long timer

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    What happened to your photos, Thomas?
  3. Lone Stranger

    Lone Stranger Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have a photo of me near a Ugandan equator sign much like the one in your photo but without the brick wall so possibly on a different road. Mine was taken in 1991; 30 years ago.
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  4. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Thank you very much for the link. Very informative, entertaining and inspiring.

    This Africa back in the Day stuff is kick ass too.
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  5. Mcahron

    Mcahron Love is "THE" Answer. Foolish bags of mostly water

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    Loving the photos and naration. Is this from memory or notebooks?
  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard Supporter

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    Man, I miss Africa! :thumb
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  7. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Me too and we were almost there last year. Plans were made, bikes rebuild and then this!!! Now we're still here stuck at home.
    But we will be back!!!!
  8. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Glad you like it. Its all in my head and I remember it quite well.
  9. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Somehow when ADV changed to only admitting pictures from a storage my pictures went down the drain. Sadly.
  10. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    andra and I then went trough Malawi and did a short trip to Mozambique, but turned around to get to Simbabwe and onwards to the Victoria Falls. There we met the rest of the gang again and had a couple of relaxed days doing all sorts of dump stuff like another rafting trip on the Zambezi, tying a rubber band to our feet and jumping off a bridge, doing a „booze cruise“ for sunset on the upper Zambezi with free alcohol. We got completely waisted as you can imagine.

    Break with a Baobab

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    Around Lake Victoria

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    In Malawi

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    Lake Malawi in the distance

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    the Malawi leg

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    The only picture of Mozambic

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    and as far as we got

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    Simbabwe in better days

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    Great Simbabwe

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    look at that nice couple :-)

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    The Sambesi after the Victoria Falls

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    And the Falls

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    Jumping off a bridge (Sandra at it)

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    The full view

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    on the booze cruise

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    Sandra at the beginning of a long evening

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    the way to the Victoria Falls

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  11. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Long timer Supporter

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    Ok, I have a question,

    Is jumping off a perfectly good bridge with a rubber band around your foot anything like jumping out of a perfectly good working aircraft with a bag of cloth and string on your back? :hmmmmm:lol3
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  12. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows

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    You’ve got a heck of a good memory, and wife, Thomas. Hope you hold onto both of them for many years to come.
  13. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

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    Impressive pictures for the day. I was surprised to see " Modular Helmets " were used in the photos at the start of your report. Probably not as beefy as today's Modular helmet, but probably made life nicer in the heat.
  14. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hey Steve, not at all - from a bridge the ground is at you within seconds and from a plane you have way more time to scream. :D

    Yeah, my longterm memory is still quite good - the shortterm sometimes lacks a little. No plans on letting either of both go any time soon. As long as Sandra is still willing to get on a bike and travel with me there are still some years to come. (Although she has been looking at vans lately - we'll see where that leads to.)

    It was a BMW helmet and one of the first modular helmets on the market, but you had to use two hands to open it. For traveling I won't buy anything else. Easy to talk to people and to get the face cooled off.
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  15. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    We then split up for good and Sandra and I rode through the Caprivi Strip to get to Namibia. On the way we turned off and did a short trip into the Okavango Delta. A canoe trip with overnighting with our own gear and again some wildlife.

    Namibia was great. More dirt riding again and lots to see. Our first stop was the Ethosha pan. Of course wildlife again and of course no bikes, but you could go in your own car so we rented one and off we went. We found a great campsite at one of the lodges in the park that had a waterhole that they would light up at night where a lot of animals came to drink.


    In the Okavango Delta

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    on foot near so many elephants is a little scary

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    some meteor along the way

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    At the waterhole in the Etosha Pan

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    and at night

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  16. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    We took a route following the Angolan border. It was easy at first, but we knew it would be a small track when we got closer to the Epupa Falls. We stopped in a lodge for a drink at the start of that section and asked the guy behind the bar how the way to the falls was. He said it was a bit rough, but ok. I thought we would be at the falls in the evening. We were there the next evening. For a 4x4 with a slow gear it is not that bad, but for us it was very slow going. I remember saying that even after 5 times in Africa this was the hardest track I ever did. The „normal“ riding was ok, but the up and down hill parts were steep and consisted out of big rocks. We had to ride - push one bike after the other up those stretches. Very time consuming. And it was hot. At some point we were running low on water and when we realized that we would be spending the night out there we needed to fill up. The route was following the Kunene River that is the border between Namibia and Angola. But the river is known to have crocodiles. So I would take a bottle go to the shore and Sandra would watch the water for any sign of a croc while I pressed it under water and waited for it to be full. In the afternoon while we were taking a break I heard some distant engine sound coming our way. Shortly later a pickup pulled up to us and a German couple got out. The pickup belonged to her relative that lived in South Africa and they could borrow it for a vacation. They opened a cooler and we had a cold drink in the hand. How nice in that heat. After talking to them for a while they decided to join and help us and spend the night out there with us. Watching the pickup with four wheel drive an reduction gearing slowly crawling up the rocky hills where we were struggling made me realize once again that there are places where a 4-wheeler has it easier then us bikes. The guy would always come back and help us get the bikes up those parts what was very welcomed. We finally did make it to the Epupa Falls and had a much needed rest day there.

    on the easy part (there are no pictures of the hard part unfortunately)

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    the Epupa Falls

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  17. Gedrog

    Gedrog 1000 mile stare a 1000 stories to tell

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  18. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    We're in 1999 at the moment.
  19. jaratr

    jaratr Without a ride

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    I'm only on post 117, and did a search, for no luck. So if you have answered this forgive my missing it.

    What cameras and films did you use on your trips?
  20. Anby

    Anby Been here awhile

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    What a wonderful trip report, thanks for sharing your memories. Can I ask what kind of film you were shooting during the trips? Was it slide film? The colors in the photographs are surreal.