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Tracks of Giants

2,000 km to go!

2,000 km to go!

With 3000 km behind us and 2000 km to go, we are beginning to have a sense of being on the home run.  However there is still a long way to go and three southern African countries to traverse before our expected time of arrival at Cape Vidal on 2nd September 2012.

Since my last writing, we have kayaked the Okavango Delta, the Selinda Spillway and the Savuti Channel.  What is remarkable about the Spillway and the Savuti Channel is that they have only been flowing for the last three years – stark reminders that nature has rhythms of its own and we have been incredibly fortunate to have experienced this unpredictable relationship between water and land.  The Okavango to Kwando River system and the Savuti last flowed in 1983.  Winding its way through Leadwood forests and Mopane woodland, the Spillway was a magnet for elephant herds and with it, some wonderful photographic encounters with these grey giants.  I will relate the Selinda Spillway as one of the most beautiful bodies of water I have ever been on.   Ably led by John Sandenbergh and Jeff Gush of Kayaktive, this particular kayak stage will remain unforgettable for me for one special and personal reason – having my son, Murray, on the team.

We have since traversed part of Chobe National Park, Nambia’s Eastern Caprivi and the mighty Zambezi River.  This six day kayaking stage took us through flood plains and forests as well as hair-raising rapids.   We interviewed the very eloquent Paramount Chief of the Shesheke District in Zambia who soberly reminded us of the catastrophe of disempowering people of ownership of rivers, forests and wild animals.  This has happened in Zambia after political independence, he said – with the formation of Government departments – fisheries, forests and wildlife.  With good intentions, the Government inadvertently disempowered the local people of his region. Thankfully the situation appears to be reversing itself.

We have just cycled through Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and enjoyed some wonderful contact with giants of the human and animal species.  I continue to feel grateful and privileged to be on this journey.

With the exception of thanking Wilderness Safaris for their incredible hospitality and assistance,  I will leave my thanks to key individuals for my next contribution to this website.

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