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Diary of an Adventurer

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(1)Standing on the edge of the bridge and looking far into the horizon before jumping (2)BUNGEE: The fl ight of my life with the Botswana flag on my back (3)WAITING TO TOUR: Some tourists at TAZARA waiting room in Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia (4)BLACK MEN CAN JUMP: Jump shots on the edge of the falls (5)Thalefang(L) and myself embarking on a journey themed “ Diaba on Livingstone’s trail”

In Part 1 of a two-part travel series, The Voice’s Photographer, Pako Lesejane takes you on a daring journey to Kasane, Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya.

Lesejane and his back packing travel mate Thalefang Charles retraced the footsteps of David Livingstone and beyond to celebrate Thalefang Charles’s 30th birthday in style.  They started their adventure in Kasane before heading for bungee jumping experiences in the world famous Victoria Falls.

Our Adventure begins
Our journey started by boarding an overnight bus to Kasane from Gaborone bus rank at the cost of P 250.00. The bus was fully packed and very uncomfortable, but for the budget traveler it is no big deal as it is always part of the package. We reached Kazungula in the early hours around 0530.

We dropped off in Kasane for a morning Safari in the Chobe National Park well known for great game and the great tuskers of Africa. It was after photographing the Sedudu Island that we passed through the town of Kasane to purchase last minute suppliers for our Journey to East Africa.

Through a ferry across the river to the border of Zambia, we connected a taxi and headed to the Livingstone. This is a place well known for its amazing adrenaline rushing activities, breathtaking scenic of the world heritage site, Victoria Falls and wildlife.

Walking on the edge of the Victoria Falls
The dry season in Victoria Falls gives one an opportunity to see the falls differently. It was after paying US $20 for entrance to view the falls that we met a local unregistered guide trying to make some money for him-self by offering to show us a different way to explore the beautiful landscape.

Though skeptical about having an unregistered guide with us, we thought the two of us outnumbered him should trouble come our way.

We had to take off our boots and fold our trousers as we crossed the river with our daypacks full of photographic equipment. We walked across the river holding hands to make a chain so that no one slipped and fell into the water. After trekking through the hillocks and calm waters of the Zambezi River, we finally reached the edge right where the water flows down. I had never seen so much beauty in my life. Rainbows, which are forever present, made amazing scenery. It was at this point that I sat and wondered what was going through God’s mind when he created the Victoria Falls. I still recall Thalefang’s words: “How come our forefathers missed out on making this a part of Botswana”.

The Victoria Falls is indeed some of the world greatest wonders. We got to witness a natural pool of water known as Angels Armchair, named after its shape right on the edge of the falls and only available during dry season because on a rainy season its usually covered by flooded waters coming from the mighty Zambezi river.

5.4.3.2.1  BUNGEE….!
To top up the amazing views of Victoria Falls, Thalefang twisted my arm and emotions by making me sign up for an extreme adventure, the bungee jump on the Livingstone Bridge bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe. I was all hyper and excited to see my self jump. Thalefang kept insisting that we start with the bungee, as it was the scariest activity. He did the first jump. My turn came around and I was comfortable while being strapped up. The moment of truth came when I was asked to stand and to start hoping to the edge of the bridge where I was to jump. I started to regret every minute of it. While the jumpmaster was counting down for me to jump, I only heard the first 5.4 and all went silent in my mind. I dropped from the bridge; free falling 111 meters down to where the waters were flowing. They say the jump takes about 6 seconds to fall 111 meters but it seemed like a lifetime. I was just waiting for that moment when the elastic cable would hold me back before crushing into the water. This was surely an activity that made me see life differently. I had flown an aircraft in very turbulent atmosphere and never scared but as for the bungee, it surely scared the big Jesus out of me.

PART 2
Next week we head to Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi to catch a 2-day train to Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya. What a blast we had in East Africa.

TRAIN RIDE: Dar es Salaam here I come

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