17. August 2015

Mana Pools: A Hidden Jewel with Surprise Visitors / Mana Pools: Ein verstecktes Juwel mit Überraschungsgästen

At the entrance to the Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
An der Einfahrt zum Mana Pools Nationalpark, einem UNESCO-Weltnaturerbe
Ideally framed by Martin and Markus (right), this baobab tree
Perfekt eingerahmt zwischen Martin und Markus (rechts), dieser Baobab
We couldn't believe our eyes: the road was a meeting place for
hundreds of storks
Wir trauten unseren Augen kaum: Die Straße war Sammelpunkt für
Hunderte von Störchen
Fairytale forest in Mana Pools
Märchenwald in den Mana Pools
The mighty Zambezi river, with Zambia on the other side
Der mächtige Sambesi, mit Sambia auf der anderen Seite
Time for a sundowner
Zeit für einen Sundowner
Scenic spot for a campsite, directly on the banks of the Zambezi River
Malerisches Fleckchen für eine Campsite, so direkt am Ufer des Sambesi

Mana Pools is a "must" for safari enthusiasts. The park is located in the North of Zimbabwe, quite remote, far apart from settlements, even less any towns. It is one of the least developed National Parks in Southern Africa. You are allowed to walk unaccompanied (Really! Without a ranger! And YES: it is still - or as of 08.07.2015 rather again  (unguided public walking in Mana Pools reinstated) -  allowed)  in the park, in the flat "floodplain" area. There are no fences around the campsites, hence elephants wander through, as do buffalos, hippos etc. We had been there before and were fascinated by this exciting wild area. 


Sorry, dear EarthLoversOnTour friends, for having been quiet for such a long time. Everything is fine with us! We have recently been travelling by plane to Europe for a while, to visit friends & family. Before that trip we made a thrilling 4x4 tour through Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana, with an incredible experience. Stay tuned for more information about this hopefully once-in-a-lifetime incident!

Sorry, liebe EarthLoversOnTour Freunde, dass wir uns hier so lange nicht gemeldet haben. Alles ist bestens bei uns! Wir waren kürzlich für eine Weile mit dem Flieger in Europa, um Familie und Freunde zu besuchen. Zuvor waren wir mit unserem 4x4 auf einer aufregenden Tour durch Simbabwe, Namibia und Botswana, wo es ein schier unglaubliches Vorkommnis gab. Schaut bald mal wieder rein, um mehr über dieses hoffentlich einmalige Erlebnis zu erfahren!

22. April 2015

Why We Couldn't Leave the Western Cape / Warum wir das Western Cape nicht verlassen konnten

Camping on the Klondyke Cherry Farm near Cederberg Mountains...
Campen auf der Klondyke Cherry Farm in der Nähe der Cederberge...
... and in Matroosberg. A SNOWMAN in Africa?
No kidding.There is almost a guarantee of snow in the African winter
because of the altitude (highest mountain in Western Cape: 2 247 metres).
.... und in Matroosberg. Ein SCHNEEMANN in Afrika?
Kein Scherz! Bedingt durch die Höhenlage (der höchste Berg im Western Cape ist
2.247 Meter hoch) liegt hier im afrikanischen Winter fast immer mal Schnee.
SEXy: red grasshopper in action
SEXy: rote Heuschrecken in Aktion
Wild camping in Pearly Beach, South Atlantic Ocean
Wild campen in Pearly Beach am südlichen Atlantik

Initially we wanted to go to Mozambique, to drive a few weeks along the beaches, and from there heading towards Zimbabwe. However, you know our motto is "go with the flow". When we left Cape Town, our friend Klausi recommended to stay at least the first night at a cherry farm about 160 km away from the mother city, roughly in our designated direction. We went there, since we didn't know that site before. We loved the location and area. We stayed another night... well, and then it just happened. We got an insider tipp for another place, and there for a further unknown spot, and so on.

Once more we were fascinated by the scenic splendor of the Western Cape. We allowed ourselves to rediscover our "home" province: to find new locations and also to visit favorite

20. Februar 2015

Back in South Africa! And NOW on New Tour Again! / Zurück in Südafrika! Und JETZT wieder auf neuer Tour!

South Africa: Nice to be back from our long tour to East Africa!
Südafrika: Schön, wieder da zu sein von unserer langen Tour nach Ostafrika!
A special kind of covert advertising;-)
Eine besondere Art der Schleichwerbung;-)
Evening atmosphere in the Northern Cape
Abendstimmung im Northern Cape
One nicer than the other
Eine schöner als die andere

Namibias Fascinating South / Namibias faszinierender Süden

Namibian landscapes - beautiful land. The pictures speak for themselves.
Namibias Landschaften - traumhaft schön. Die Fotos sprechen für sich.

Aerial View Over Namibia: Simply Breathtaking / Namibia von oben: einfach atemberaubend

EarthLoversOnTour - this time in the air
EarthLoversOnTour - diesmal in der Luft
The Sossusvlei dunes are amongst the highest ones in the world.
Die Sanddünen in der Sossusvlei zählen zu den höchsten der Erde.
South of Walvis Bay, close to Sandwich Harbour
Südlich von Walvis Bay, in der Nähe von Sandwich Harbour
Approaching Windhoek
Im Anflug auf Windhoek

A scenic flight over some of Namibia's most spectacular and scenic areas: an experience on the bucket list of so many nature lovers all over the world - on ours of course as well. 

We were fortunate to fulfil our dream, even together with our close friends Markus and Nico from Germany. Windhoek, Kalahari, Fish River-Canyon, Kolmanskop Ghosttown, Lüderitz, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Sossusvlei with the huge red sand dunes, Skeleton Coast, the famous wrack of the ship "Eduard Bohlen", Walvis Bay and back: a day filled with unforgettable views of hauntingly beautiful landscapes. Enclosed please find some of the pictures we took ... relax and enjoy!!!

Western Tanzania and its People / West-Tansania und seine Menschen

The country and its people in Western Tanzania - here for you some of the many unforgettable moments we captured with the camera:

Land und Leute im Westen Tansanias - hier für euch einige der zahlreichen unvergesslichen Momente, die wir mit der Kamera einfangen konnten:

In the Footsteps of Jane Goodall / Auf den Spuren von Jane Goodall

Who is actually watching whom?
Wer beobachtet hier eigentlich wen?

Relaxed midday break
Tiefenentspannte Mittagspause
At the entrance gate to the Gombe Stream National Park
Am Eingang zum Gombe Stream Natioalpark

You certainly know Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist? In 1960, she travelled from England to what is today Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park (please also see "Gombe") and entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was the first one giving wild animals that were being observed names instead of numbers. And it was also she who discovered that chimpanzees make and use tools. Until then, humans were thought to be the only tool-users on the planet.

For a long time already Martin and I are greatly impressed by the animal rights activist, environmentalist, filmmaker and author, who even now, at the age of 80, is still active and filled with energy. Unsurprisingly, our next travel destination was the
Gombe Stream National Park in northwestern Tanzania, just south of the border with Burundi, picturesquely situated on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. 


Accessible only by boat

Even today the park is only accessible by boat from Kigoma, a little town about 20 km south. We stayed at the campsite of Jacobsen's Beach and Guesthouse, some 5 km outside of Kigoma: a secluded, relaxed hideaway with a little private beach direct on the shores of the pristine Lake Tanganyika. The owners, a retired Norwegian couple, had organized a boat which should bring us to Gombe the next day.

Again we were lucky with the weather. It was cloudy in the morning but cleared up soon. The water was crystal clear and calm, when the boat moved slowly 2 1/2 hours along the shore. It was like a meditative entry into a different world. I was thinking of Jane Goodall how she came to this nearly undiscovered place 54 years ago - accompanied just by her mother. Very brave. Very admirable!

On our way to the famous Gombe Stream National Park
Auf dem Weg zum berühmten Gombe Stream Nationalpark

Burundi, the Switzerland of Africa / Burundi, die Schweiz Afrikas

Bienvenue au Burundi - nice welcome at the border
Bienvenue au Burundi - nette Begrüßung an der Grenze
That is how the "Switzerland of Africa" is looking like.
So sieht die "Schweiz Afrikas" aus.
Typical street market in Burundi
Typischer Straßenmarkt in Burundi
Sewing machines you can find not just in Burundi, but all over Africa.
Nähmaschinen findet man übrigens nicht nur in Burundi, sondern überall in Afrika.
Effective use of transportation in Burundi -
multilayered, in the true sense of the word
Effektive Nutzung der Transportmittel in Burundi -
vielschichtig, im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes

Rwanda, or: What We Humans are Capable off / Ruanda, oder: Wozu wir Menschen fähig sind

Happy and surprised faces: It looked like tourists do not come
often along this road in Rwanda
Überraschte und strahlende Gesichter: anscheinend wird diese Straße
in Ruanda kaum von Touristen befahren
Carrot high season in Rwanda
Karotten-Hochsaison in Ruanda
Rwanda, "land of a thousand hills"
Ruanda, "Land der tausend Hügel"
Lake Kivu on the border between Rwanda and the DRC - scenic,
but the most dangerous lake on Earth.
Why? Please see below...
Der Kivu-See im Grenzgebiet zwischen Ruanda und der Demokratischen
Republik Kongo. Malerisch, doch der gefährlichste See der Welt.
Warum? Siehe unten...

Lucky Me! A Private Tour to the Mountain Gorillas! / Ich Glückliche: Ein Privatbesuch bei den Berggorillas!

Machati, the inquisitive cheerful juvenile
Machati, der neugierige Halbstarke
Impressive silverbacks, Ndungutse (front) and Mark (back)...
Beeindruckende Silberrrücken: Ndungutse (vorne) und Mark (hinten)...
... quite relaxed
... tiefenentspannt
Ndungutse - is he smiling?
Ndungutse - sehe ich da ein leichtes Lächeln?

Sometimes you just need to be favoured by fortune. That is what happened to me last year with the gorillas, even in several aspects!

The preciding day I decided to go to the
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Here you can visit just one gorilla family, whereas in the bigger Bwindi Impenetrable National Park there are even nine families habituated to humans. However, more families attract of course more tourists, and I was rather looking for being part of a small group of people.

How long....? How many...? Will we at all...?

The night before I didn't sleep well. I was way too excited and was wondering:

  • How long will it take our group to find the apes? (The gorillas are always moving, in searching for food. Hence the trekking can take a long time - even up to eight hours.)