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Week Four Chapter: 25 October ~ 31 October - Zambia, Namibia

National Flag of South Africa National Flag of South Africa

"A strong man and a waterfall always channel their own path." - Anonmynous

"I was disappointed in Niagara - most people must be disappointed in Niagara. Every American bride is taken there, and the sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life." - Oscar Wilde (Irish poet, novelist, dramatist and critic, 1854-1900)

"I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such a mob--would have embraced him, but that I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what moral cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing--walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said:


"Yes," said he, with a kind, cordial smile, lifting his cap slightly. -
From How I Found Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley (American journalist and adventurer, 1841-1904)

Map of South Africa

A spectacular composited image of Victoria Falls in "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?", Zambia taken from an altitude of 1,305 meters (4,284 feet) The riders will layover at Mosi-Oa-Tunya (local name for Victoria Falls - "The Smoke Which Thunders"), a United Nations-designated World Heritage Site.
(Image courtesy of  Google Earth)

Starting location for this week: Livingston (Victoria Falls), Zambia
Ending location for this week: Swakopmund, Namibia
Planned mileage for this week: 1,160 miles 1,850 kilometers)

Mwapoleni ("Hello" in Bemba)
Mwabonwa ("Hello" in Bemba)
Monire ("Hello" in Chitumbuka)
Moyo ("Hello in Chokwe")
Mwapoli mukwai ("Hello" in Mambwe
Howzit? (most common form of greeting I heard when in South Africa)

Africa!  Whether

Welcome to the Cradle of Mankind!

Mike, Your Webmeister

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Unless otherwise noted, all photographic images on this page were taken by Helge Pedersen.

The many forms of "Hello" in over 800 languages and other useful words and phrases are courtesy of Jennifer's Language Page.

To find out what time it is there (or anywhere!), visit The World Clock.

To see where they are now, visit the Navigation Technology Chapter.

For more information about the countires in southern Africa that the riders will travel through, please visit the resources listed below:

- The World Factbook, maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States:

- The Consular Information Sheets, provided by the Department of State of the United States:

- The web-based, free-content encyclopedia entries at Wikipedia, maintained by "GlobeWriters" everywhere":

Our most expensive photo op...cost us a bag of cashews, a bunch of bananas, 3 Orange Fantas and about $2 USD...the old man was a tough negotiator...just north of Chalinze heading toward Kilimanjaro.

[All photographs and story courtesy of Cap Horning of Cape Horn African Adventures.]

26 OCT 2005 - Seattle, WA USA

[Editor's Note: In last week's Update Newsletter, I shared a story about Helge and his photography. I've cut and pasted it between the asterisks below. I received several emails about this, and have re-published one of the best one below, with pictures.]

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Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints, Make Only Memories....

Helge is one of the most sensitive people I know in his deep respect of others and in his profound love of the environment. Some of his best images are those of people from all over the world.

Unlike many photographers, through sign language and mime, he always seeks to "ask" permission before snapping a picture of anyone. It is a gesture of courtesy and respect that usually wins a heart warming-smile, unlike the hoards of photo-snapping tourists that usually leave nothing but discomfort and disgust in their wake.

When re-visiting a town or village, Helge often takes along large color prints of people he has photographed on previous trips. He brings these along as gifts, a beautiful "thank you" for those who have graced his viewfinder.

It would seem a daunting task to find someone who you met only briefly a year or more ago in a foreign country. But all Helge has to do is ride into a village or town and show the pictures to the first people he meets, and it is almost certain that they know the person in the picture, and can round him or her up in short order. On this trip, Helge returned images of a beautiful girl in Lesotho to a grieving mother whose daughter had passed away since Helge photographed her a year ago. In a more joyful re-encounter, he returned pictures to handsome young for a "picture perfect" reunion - with himself !

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From: The Hornings
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 1:25 PM
To: Africa Live!Journal
Subject: Taking Pictures


I was heartened by your comments about Helge. Barb and found people in foreign lands (and domestic) enjoy having their pictures taken almost has much as receiving some token of appreciation. WE ALWAYS ASKED FIRST, and ALWAYS OFFERED some kind of compensation. It usually doesn't take much remembering that a bunch of bananas in Africa may cost as little as 5 cents, or a loaf of bread 5 cents. In our Land Cruiser we always carried bread, Cokes, bananas and a couple of hartebeest legs or a hind-quarter of buffalo. Additionally, we always had a slide show ready on the ubiqutous laptop.

I wanted to take a picture one day of a man spear-fishing in the Indian Ocean. I yelled down the side of the cliff my intentions and offered to pay him. He graciously consented. However, after staking several pictures, I reallized that the smallest currency I had was equivalent to $1 USD...much more than is the custom. Because he realized this also, he insisted that I allow him to climb the cliff and take all of his fish filets (even though I said it wasn't necessary)...probably 3 kgs. Please see attached picture. What a guy!

While we were on our trip this fall we passed a gentleman making his way up the hill with all his worldly possessions. Although you only see two vehicles in this picture there was actually a third about 50 yards up the hill. He was using the piss-ant method to move vehicles, i.e. move one, come back, move the other and so on. This shot was taken outside of Estes Park. He was on his way to Arizona.

Anyway, after we passed him I told Barb we needed to go back and talk to this guy. The first thing Barb did was ask permission to take his picture and of course he said "hell yea". He nearly told us his life story and was determined to give us lots of travel advice. He didn't ask for any money nor would he accept any. It just amazed me that here's a guy on his way to Arizona from Colorado, piss-anting his worldly possessions all the way there, wearing knee-pads to protect his knees if he fell and all he could talk about was where WE could get the best hamburger.. It also occured to me that we bike riders just think we see more of the world than the cagers...this guy must really have us beat.

See Ya, Cap

28 OCT 2005 - Outjo, Namibia

From: Roger Kersch

Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 8:26 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: More Adventure

Here I am in Outjo, Namibia, where you can meet some nice Germans, they own all the stores and lodges. I type from a German bakery (wow, real western stuff!) Two of the riders crashed in the first soft sand we ran into and bopped their noggins pretty good and rendered their bikes unusable so we are now down 37.5% of our group, 3 of 8 are on the wagon. I forgot to bring enough beta-blockers so Mike, who complained of vertigo from his crash, and I went to a private physician this morning in Ronu. He got an appointment in Windhoek for a scan and I got some pills to do out the trip. Bushtrackers pulled out the plug and found a rental car for our damaged travelers as well as reasonably priced transport for the bungled Beemers back to Cape Town. Good thing they bought the full coverage insurance there.

Lodges abound in southern Africa, and there is a big difference from being within or without its confines. Outside are the poor and black, inside are us, the tourists in luxury accomodations dining and drinking, who go back to our rooms barefoot through the lush green grass to stonily watch CSI, a movie like "Matrix" or a crappy sitcom. Security guards watch our bikes and the cars outside.

We leave in the mornings about 8, the last few days being straight roads with burned and charred bush nearly everywhere and totally dry, awaiting the summer rains that are just about to burst upon everything and completely change the places we pass. Natives balance 10 liter jugs on their heads, coming back from wells, others carry tightly wrapped bunches of reeds, sacks of maize meal or whatever else, almost always on their heads, on the sides of the roads. Tiny villages one after the other, each named with a sign by the road, villagers about, mostly in the shade, and many, many babies and small children. And HOT,very HOT with 100+ for several days running.

It hasn't been convenient to get on the I-net and this session is about to end as the little office is closing at half-past 5 as they say, open at 7 tomorrow, a Saturday and we are having a tire changing fest close by for fresh knobbies for the all-gravel distance back to Cape Town at 8am so maybe I can say a little more before the plug is pulled again.


22 JUN 2005 - Khorixas, Namibia

From: Helge Pedersen

Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2005 11:56 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: Pictures from Helge

I have to run, Bob just discovered that he has a pinched inner tube slow leak from the tire change this morning and it is now 9pm.

Harrison and Michael plus Debbie drove in rental to Windhoek today, and I just talked to Debbie. They had an MRI taken of their heads and everything looks good. Michael might go back home, but Debbie and Harrison will meet us in Swakopmund tomorrow.

I will write more from Swakop.


Helge P.

30 OCT 2005 - Windhoek, Namibia

From: Michael Kranefuss

Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 5:26 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: [GlobeRiders-Africa] premature ending

Hi all,

As I'm certain most everybody knows by now, Harrison and I went down in northern Namibia on our way to the Namushasha Lodge. Both bikes are easily repairable but the BMW dealer in Windhoek doesn't seem to store any parts whatsoever - so, our trip is over because by the time the parts required have been located and shipped to Windhoek we would have missed Christmas never mind the last week of the tour.

All in all, I had an unbelievable time and will never forget the many moments of joy, fun, wonderment and friendship I've found during these past four weeks.

Unfortunately, I had to go to Windhoek to see a doctor and then decided not to continue so I didn't have the oppotunity to say good by to Helge and all my riding buddies and "the ladies of the trip" - which is what I'm doing now.

Thanks for a great time, see you soon!


31 OCT 2005 - Swakopmund, Namibia

From: Joe Hutt

Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 2:24 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: GlobeRiders Africa Adventure

Helge and I took the desert route to the sea yesterday, October 30. We went from a place called Burned Mountain to the sea - a distance of about 200 Km and with no other human sighted for the first 140 Kilometers of the trip. The terrain varied from round rocks, to sharp sandstone, to sand and gravel, to river beds, and long dusty washboard and sand streches of unmarked roads.

Every corner and every hill presented some of the most dramatic scenery I have ever had the opportunity to see. I've traveled all over the world and ridden bikes in mountains and deserts but I have never seen the variety of shapes, textures and colors that were available in this special place.

The mountains were red and vermilion. The ground was white and red and tan. We saw Springbok racing across the desert and climbing steep mountain outcroppings. The river beds were narrow valleys with jagged rocks on both sides and sand and boulders littered everywhere. One of the boulders snapped my bash plate off and a bungee cord was employed to secure it.

One of the highlights of the trip was our lunch stop. Helge suddenly turned off course and rocketed up a pure red hill, spewing white sand in his wake. I followed and he announced it was time for lunch and he had a special treat, which turned out to be Sardines in Mustard sauce, an apple and an orange.

No expense spared on this trip.

So we dined in elegant surroundings - red rocks on the ground, mountains and plains as far as the eye could see and heat shimmering off the ground. Pretty neat for an old retired engineer.

By the way, riding with Helge is a privilege and a pleasure. This was one of the special days for me. Thanks Helge and to all of the GlobeRiders group.

Joe Hutt

31 OCT 2005 - Swakopmund, Namibia

From: Helge Pedersen

Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:53 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: New stories

Border Chaos and Luxury

Checking out of Botswana was an easy task, getting into Zambia was more of a chore. The Zambezi River forms the border between Botswana and Zambia and we had to take a ferry to cross. At the Zambia side we had to run from one office to the other filling out papers and paying fees. In many ways this was the way we had expected all border crossings to be, so in many ways it was just OK to experience the feeling of chaos.

Riding on to Livingston we were greeted by kids and grown ups waving and smiling to us as we sped away. It feels quite unreal when you think about it. There we were, riding on our expensive motorcycles, heading for a luxury hotel and the ones that are cheering us on and greeting us with the biggest smiles are people living on a minimum budget in mud huts, no electricity and carrying water from a well on top of their heads.

The Zambezi Sun is one of the most luxurious hotels that I have stayed in and on top of it all it is situated next to Victoria Falls. For two days we wined and dined, swam in the pool and participated in activities ranging from helicopter rides over the Falls, to elephant rides.

Timing would have it to be Steve’s birthday on our second day in Livingston. At any other place it would have been a treat to have a chocolate cake served to mark the occasion. At this place we had an overload in choices and felt totally spoiled. But it was the thought that counted and having the servers come and sing Happy Birthday was a treat in itself.

Helge P.

31 OCT 2005 - Swakopmund, Namibia

From: Helge Pedersen

Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:53 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: New stories

Leaving Zambia was easy; only one book to fill with data and after the return of our bike documents, Namibia was our next new country to enter. The brand new bridge over the Zambezi River took us in to Katima.

It was here that I had an address to visit, or to be more accurate a waypoint, for a friend of Thomas and Herbert at Touratech in Germany. If you do not already know it, Touratech AG is our sponsor for the GPS transponder that we use to keep you all up to date of our position. You can read more about this at the Geek Page.

Here is the email from Thomas Fleming:

[start email]

Hello Helge,

these are the coordinates of his house in Katima:

S 17°29.438 E024°17.067

There is a silver Landrover Discovery in his parking lot.

Have fun,


[end email]

I entered the waypoint into my GPS, and five minutes from the border Bob, Joe and I parked our bikes in the yard of Dr. Andreas Schulz's home.

I love my Garmin GPS! Thomas could have given me just an address and I would still be looking. With the waypoint there, was no other place on earth that this place could be, what a wonderful tool this is to find our way around.

It was a hot day in Katima, in the 100F, refreshments and a super good home-baked cake made for a great meeting. Not to mention stories of Herbert and Thomas' bike accidents, where Dr. Andreas was their medical support. As we discussed Andreas’ role on previous bike tours, little did we know that his stories would soon be our own destiny.

Bob took the sealed road while Joe and I opted to do some back road riding to get to our destination.

Helge P.

31 OCT 2005 - Swakopmund, Namibia

Namushasha Lodge

Both Joe and I love to ride on dirt roads and it had been a few days since we had seen dirt under our tires. Well, this was the day, so we chose the long way around to the lodge, while the rest of the group took the main sealed road, which would only include a short ride on dirt road to get to our destination. The terrain where we traveled was pretty flat,with the occasional village. Vegetation can be thick with trees and brush, the soil is very sandy and at this time of year, very dry. The road was not too bad, but at times there were pockets of sand that could take one by surprise.

Namushasha Lodge had gone through an incredible change since we visited this magic place two years ago. Joe and I jumped in to the pool to chill down while we waited for the rest of the group. Bob reported that they should be right behind him since he left them at the main road in Kangola, where the dirt road starts.

I knew something was wrong when I saw the face of the reception girl as she ran to the pool and reported that we needed to hurry to reception. Two bikes had gone down in the sand was the report from Marlene. She had just arrived with Pam and Michael. They were brought to the lodge by a friendly local in his pickup.

Michael had gone over the handlebars when he lost control of his bike in the deep sand. Despite bruises, Michael did not look too bad. Harrison had a rougher encounter with the sandy road and needed to go to the hospital in Katima. Marius and Debbie made sure to have Harrison checked out properly before returning to the lodge later that night.

It was sad to see the group go from a happy-go bunch of bikers to a group that had to put all their resources together to make it possible to continue the journey. Both damaged bikes were loaded on the trailer of our chase vehicle. To make room for the injured guys, Marlene went as passenger on Joe’s bike and Debbie as passenger on my bike. Our small caravan moved on like this for two days before a rental car with Debbie as the driver took Michael and Harrison to a hospital in Windhoek , the capital of Namibia . The two damaged bikes will be shipped back to Cape Town .

I am writing you from the coastal town of Swakopmund , Namibia . Debbie and Harrison have joined us here and will follow the group in their rental vehicle. Michael chose to return home after the visit at the hospital. Despite these setbacks we had a great riding day yesterday. The terrain changed dramatically as we came closer to the Skeleton Coast . From very hot and dry we all of a sudden found our self in a cold and humid climate. That will however change very soon as we once again travel in to the desert.

Until next time, take care and ride safe.

Helge Pedersen

Images from Africa, by Helge Pedersen

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