Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. Christians all over the world remember this day. This photo was taken in the main cathedral in Maputo, Mozambique in southern Africa. I, Zeb the Duck, was there for this photo July, 2016.
Zeb the Duck Remembers Africa
I, Zeb the Duck, really loved my summer in Southern Africa. I wanted to show you some of my favorite memories, but there were so many. Remember this trip started with us volunteering for a couple weeks with Ripple Africa in Malawi.
The students were so friendly and eager to learn.
We saw this all over Southern Africa. Living on the shore of Lake Malawi, we appreciated the sunny days and the evenings watching the moon rise over the lake.
We saw people everywhere carrying items on their heads.
The humans walk so gracefully and have beautiful posture. These changu changu moto stoves save so much wood and requires so much less work to use.
They are a huge improvement over the traditional three stone stove. Men stack wood on frames on their bicycles.
Seeing them ride with all the wood was fascinating. We smiled at this sign, but it was true.
The monkeys will pick up most items and the items may be gone forever. Victoria Falls is so big and so powerful. It really is a sight for all to see.
This is Rainbow Falls on the Zambian side. The rainbow seems to be there almost all the time. Male dancers and singers in the Kingdom of Swaziland entertained us.
Many humans think of large animals and safaris whenever Africa is mentioned. We loved our safaris and the animals are so majestic, and in many cases, they were playful and entertaining. Impalas are so plentiful and also so delicate and graceful.
We never tired of seeing them. We love the zebras.
The stripes are so exotic to me. And the massive elephants, especially in groups always take your breath. And there is nothing like a baby elephant to soften your heart.
Cape Buffalo always make us smile.
The Swazi candles were some of our favorite souvenirs. Packing them was a challenge!
This monkey candle is bigger than I am. I loved seeing the Indian Ocean from Bonnie, our horse. The money in Africa was very colorful. We like each denomination a different color. Makes things easier for humans. Each country used a different currency, but US dollars were accepted most places.
Zimbabwe did not print their own paper money. The official currency of Zimbabwe is the US Dollar. We did bring a little local currency home, but most of the left over money is donated at airports to help the local people. If everybody gives a little, that equals a lot of money and a lot of local help. We did purchase many Visas, each time we entered a country, and flights between countries in Southern Africa were expensive and not always convenient. But the experience was unforgettable. The people–so friendly and helpful. The land and animals are beautiful. We were able to visit Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Kingdom of Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique. We hope you visit these countries soon. You will never forget the experience.
Macaneta Island, Mozambique with Zeb the Duck
Today is our last full day in Mozambique and we are going to an island. I, Zeb the Duck, love water, so I really love islands. Alfonso picks us up at our hotel and we start driving, passing along the coast of Maputo Bay.
Leaving the city, we turn from the coastline, and continue driving in rural Mozambique.
After 40 minutes of driving, we encounter the town of Marracuene, walk 10 minutes to the Nikomati River. We wait to get on the small Nikomati River Ferry.
Our ferry takes six cars and many people. The bridge you see on the left is not completed, so driving is not an option to cross the river. We watch these people cleaning and cutting fish by the Nikomati River.
We stood on the ferry with many other people and watched the town of Marracuene fading away.
The cars in line are waiting for their turn to cross the river. On the other side, we are met by a truck from the resort. Driving on these roads is exciting.
Everything is so sandy here. Afonso said many years ago crops were grown in this area, but the ocean gets too high in the rainy season and the ground has too much salt to produce crops now. Perhaps this is our welcoming committee?
Or is this immigration,checking our passports? But I like cows, so I, Zeb the Duck, am happy to see them. Here we are. This was our transport and we have arrived at Tan ‘n Biki Resort.
We will have lunch here today. This pool certainly looks inviting.
But mom says no swimming today. After ordering our lunch, we returned to our transport vehicle.
Now we are visiting another resort.
Mom, why does this resort say horses? We are riding horses today? Here I am, Zeb the Duck, in the saddle of a very big horse.
You will notice the top of the ladder. The ladder is for mom and the other humans to mount their horses. OK, mom’s on the horse, too.
We are ready to head to the beach to ride along the Indian Ocean. This is so exciting. This photo was taken from the back of Bonnie, our horse.
The beach and the Indian Ocean are beautiful. I love this. We rode our horse on the beach for more than one hour. I, Zeb the Duck, did not want to get off this horse. Her name is Bonnie. But we did get off Bonnie. Our driver took us back to Tan ‘n Biki Resort where our lunch was ready. Because we are eating by the Indian Ocean, mom ordered line fish. That is whatever fish they catch on the fishing lines today. That is really fresh and tasty. Our fish was so good. Of course, we did get the whole fish again. I am getting used to fish with heads on our plate. We don’t eat the heads, but many people do. After our delicious lunch, we wanted to walk on the beach. Each of the resorts we visited were beautiful. These are steps going over the sand dunes and on to the the beach.
Let’s go mom. I am sitting on the beach and the waves from the Indian Ocean did reach me and I got wet.
But the water did not pull me out to the ocean. And mom’s right there to protect me. Here I am sitting on the boat.
These picnic shelters on the beach protect humans, and small ducks, from the intense tropical sun of the summer. Even now, during winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun is intense. Too soon it is time for us to get in the resort truck, drive down the sandy roads and get on the ferry.
After the Nikomati River Ferry, we took the same route, through the country side, along the Bay of Maputo and into the city of Maputo to our hotel. This was a wonderful day and a great end to our time in Mozambique. If you go to Maputo, Mozambique, call Afonso to go to Macaneta Island. Go for the day, or stay longer at either of these resorts. You will love it.
Swaziland’s Culture and Shopping with Zeb the Duck
We are enjoying our time in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Now it is time for lunch. This is the place.
While eating we can gaze over a pretty lawn, into a valley with pretty mountains behind. Lunch was delicious. But, now there are shops to visit. But mom! First let’s go to the House on Fire.
What?? Go into a house on fire? This means that it is a hot place, or a very popular area. I, Zeb the Duck, was getting worried. Inside the complex is a stage.
Perhaps I, Zeb the Duck, should perform on this stage? Maybe not. This is where future performances are announced.
I did not see a sign for me, so I will not perform here. Soon we went into a nice store that specialized in basketry and woven things. Yes, she did. Baskets? Suitcase packing tomorrow night will not be good. I really like these trees, and look at the unusual plants. They are bent like candy canes.
I, Zeb the Duck, am in the leaves of the plant on the left. Very nice in here. Another store? Let’s enter Swazi Candles.
Oh, I like this place. This man is making a candle.
He stopped to tell us how they are made and show us how the wax is kept warm to shape it. This man is adding more wax to a head to make big hair.
Look at these candles.
We love the safari animal candles. After working on candles with warm wax, the finished candles must be cooled in cold water.
These giraffes are cooling now. Our friendly candle maker has just finished this elephant.
Wow! I love these candles.
Of course we purchased some. They will be so much fun to have at home. I will be reminded of Swaziland every time I see them. It is now time to return to Mozambique for the night. Samson takes us through the city of Manzini.
We really like Swaziland. Everything is so clean. The people we met were all so nice. We even met Samson’s sister today. Almost everybody we talked to spoke English very well, so our trip to the Kingdom of Swaziland was easy and very enjoyable. If you ever want to go to the Kingdom of Swaziland, call Samson at Dug**** travel. We think you will love your visit. We did.
Swaziland Cultural Morning Tour with Zeb the Duck
Mom and I got up early again this morning Samson picked us up and we are going to visit the Kingdom of Swaziland. A Kingdom? The King has absolute power here. Samson used to live in the Kingdom of Swaziland, so he is our perfect guide. I am riding through the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The country is pretty and everything is very clean. The roads are good, also. Our first stop is the craft center.
Oh no! Mom, the suitcase is already full. There is no room for more. But it is OK. She did not buy anything big. She hardly bought anything at all. We had to leave to see the cultural village. Here we are.
This is the Mantenga Nature Reserve and Swazi Cultural Village. First we are entertained by dancers performing traditional Swazi dances.
Toward the end of the performance they sing. We really like these dancers and singers. The performance has ended, so we visit the cultural village. This is the home of the medical healer.
Traditional medicine and herbs were used to heal most illnesses. Here is the fire area.
This is not the kitchen. The fire area is for men. The kitchen is for women. Mom reacted to that, of course. So did all the other female tourists. But she liked this one. This is a house of a grandmother.
Grandma’s house is probably the most important house in the village. Women marry when they are about 18 and men marry when they are about 35. The men need to work to have enough money to buy cows for the dowry of the bride. So, husbands die first and the widow is considered the wisest now. When there is an important function in the family, the grandmother even cooks and supervises the special food preparation.
This is another grandmother’s house and we went inside.
After entering, men stand on the right and women on the left. The door is low for safety. If an enemy tries to enter, he must bend low and his head enters first. The men will simply club him on the head and the problem is usually solved. In our society, when leaving a building, it is ladies first. Here it is men first. The same reason. When leaving, you bend low and your head leaves the house first. The men go out first to be sure that it is safe for the women. After the cultural village, we went to Mantenga Falls and Picnic Site.
We love these waterfalls. It would be so nice to have a picnic here. Many people enjoy the falls and picnic site. There is a stove and wood for your fire. The picnic tables are big and in great locations. Aren’t these stairs great?
They just look like waterfalls and beautiful scenery should be near. Leaving the nature reserve and cultural village, we saw this aloe plant with pretty yellow flowers.
At home, in Colorado, we have aloe plants in the house, but we never have flowers. The yellow is very cheerful. Continuing on the road, we passed the mother cow with a calf.
I love cows. They seem to make everything peaceful. Next time I will show you how we spent the afternoon in the Kingdom of Swaziland. We like the Kingdom of Swaziland, and Samson is telling us so much about the country. This is a great day.
Zeb the Duck and Mom Explore Maputo Bay Coastline
Today we will see if Mom can lead us through Maputo. Isaac is no longer with us. First, a taxi to Hotel Terminus to sign up for a tour to Swaziland. Now Mom thinks we can walk along the coast of Maputo Bay and find someplace, with a water view, for lunch. We love seeing these ships on Maputo Bay.
We stop here and admire the view above Maputo Bay.
Isn’t this beautiful. We love to just sit and watch the water. This bird seems to also enjoy watching the water.
I believe he has the best seat on the coastline. Small boats are used by fisherman.
Being in a small boat is my idea of a perfect day. This is a really old, original waterfront building in Maputo.
A great thatched roof. I, Zeb the Duck, am sitting on the ground by the giraffe. Continuing along the coastline, this pier calls us.
Let’s go, Mom. The end of the pier consists of rocks.
Very interesting to this duck. Looking back, we gaze at the waterfront hotels.
Now I see another boat with more fishermen.
This is a little different from what we usually see here. We walk to the Southern Sun Resort. Looks like a good place for lunch, I think. I, Zeb the Duck, have never seen a sandwich with so much inside and even bacon on top of the sandwich.
During lunch, I really enjoy the view of Maputo Bay.
I have been watching this fisherman gathering and moving his nets.
This is a very nice pool, but mom says we cannot swim in it because we are not staying here.
That is fine with me. I want to watch the water. We stroll along the sand for awhile. Mom says it is time to go back to our hotel, but we don’t want to walk back. Our lunch and earlier walk seem to make us have less energy. This man drove us back to our hotel.
He was very nice. While in Maputo we have talked to so many very nice people. We are glad we decided to visit Maputo, Mozambique.
More Maputo with Isaac for Zeb the Duck
Near our hotel, Isaac shows us the Praça de Independēncia, or Independence Plaza. On one side is Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceiçāo. (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception)
We enter the cathedral and I love the windows.
Each view is spectacular.
Aren’t they beautiful?
Leaving the cathedral, I, Zeb the Duck, am surprised to see cars parked on part of the sidewalk.
In front of City Hall we see this statue of Marechal Samora Moises Machel, the first president of the Republic of Mozambique.
We like the City Hall building.
Isn’t this stone work nice on the sidewalk by City Hall?
Maputo was a grand city when it was built by the Portuguese. Inside City Hall, we admired the classic architecture.
Love stairs going up each side. Outside we admire the view of Maputo Bay from City Hall.
Near Independence Plaza we see the Iron House.
The Iron House was designed by Eiffel in the late 19th century as the governor’s residence. The house is made entirely from iron. However the iron house was unsuitable for the tropical conditions. The hot building is now used by the Minister of Culture. Nearby we appreciated the Municipal Gardens.
I, Zeb the Duck, am on this tree trunk, but it is so big you can hardly see me.
The flowers are colorful and pretty here.
We liked just wandering around the streets of Maputo with Isaac. But I, Zeb the Duck, am worried now. I heard mom say that this was our last day with Isaac. We will walk around on our own for a day. Oh mom, I hope you know what you are doing.
Exploring Maputo, Mozambique with Isaac
Today Isaac first took us to the fishing museum. We were not allowed to take photos in most areas. But we could take photos of the fish in this large aquarium.
We love to watch fish.
We enjoyed seeing this fishing boat up close.
Next Isaac showed us the train station.
This train station is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. Let’s walk here, as if we were waiting for a train.
I am enjoying a rest on this model train engine.
This is an example of statues to enjoy while waiting for a train.
Further on our exploration of Maputo we passed this mosque.
Here is a typical street in downtown Maputo.
Our next stop was a craft market. We did purchase a few necklaces here.
The display of cloth was colorful.
The metal items were nice, also.
And look at this, even the trash cans are decorated.
I am happy with Isaac and the places he takes us. We did not see many other tourists in Maputo, and I did not see any other yellow ducks. Maputo is an old Portuguese city and we are enjoying wandering around town. We think you would enjoy Maputo also.
Zeb the Duck Continues Exploring South Africa’s Kruger National Park
Welcome back. I am still showing you what I discovered in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Chris is our guide and driver in the part, and Samson is our guide and driver outside the park. Samson got us at our hotel and will return us there tonight. Rhinos are really huge.
Rhinos are endangered because they are poached, or killed illegally. Chris says that if the current rate of rhino poaching continues, Kruger many not have any rhinos in 3-5 years. That would be sad. The rhinos are poached, or killed, for the horn on their nose. These elephants are really close to us.
Mom let me sit on the vehicle to see them. We are really close now. Cape Buffalo are also in Kruger National Park.
So big and their horns are against their head, rather than in the air like animals that live by me. Always something different to see and learn. I love to travel and learn. Another fabulous zebra.
This rhino crossed the road right in front of our vehicle.
So big and so massive. OK, this is what the humans have been looking for.
This lion just finished breakfast and is relaxing and enjoying the shade of this tree. He is majestic! This giraffe is resting also.
Even lounging on the ground, he is very tall. The monkey also wanted a snack.
We saw many large elephants.
This one is also eating. Elephants are vegetarians, so they eat most of the day. Remember the kudu from Chobe Park in Botswana?
Here is another kudu. The twisted horns are very distinctive. We admire those horns. OK, mom said I should put this photo in here. I am not sure. This is droppings from a hyena.
The hyena eats many bones and his droppings are almost all calcium. Chris told us that. The giraffe also wanted a snack.
I love to see giraffes eating leaves. The are so tall and regal. We stopped at the lodge on the river and I enjoyed the view.
There are hippos in that river also. We are heading to the exit of Kruger Park, but look at this.
These elephants by the river could be an advertisement for Kruger Park. And about elephants. You know they are very big and they can do what they want.
There were three large elephants in the middle of the road, stopping traffic from each direction. They are close to us and so much in charge of the situation. We loved watching them before we left the park to go back to our hotel in Maputo, Mozambique. This was my last African safari for this trip, so I, Zeb the Duck, am very happy that we saw so many wonderful wild animals. We hope you go on an African safari. The animals are so majestic. I love safaris.
Zeb the Duck Visits Kruger Park in South Africa
This morning Samson picked us up really early. We are driving to Kruger National Park in South Africa for the day. Driving, the sun came up and we reached the border between Mozambique and South Africa.
We cleared immigration to leave Mozambique and then cleared immigration to go into South Africa. Minutes later we enter Kruger National Park.
This is our safari vehicle.
I am ready to find big animals. As you know, I, Zeb the Duck, have been on safaris so I know that I stay in my traveling bag or sit on the vehicle seat most of the time. Our first animals are impalas.
Chris, our guide, says there are more than 150,000 impalas in Kruger Park. That is a lot! These hippos know we are here.
They are watching us. Guinea Fowl or Guinea Hens are rather plentiful and they have a beautiful blue neck and head.
This is a brown snake-eagle.
Glad he wants to eat brown snakes, and not yellow ducks. I love zebras. Look at this one.
I believe this is a Burchel Zebra. They crossed the road directly in front of our safari vehicle.
I love to see big animals this close. Chris showed us this owl.
He sure has big eyes. This bird with a bright red neck caught my eye.
We love birds, but I prefer big animals on safari. Here is a warthog.
Warthogs are rather plentiful also, but I, Zeb the Duck, love to watch them.
They eat a lot and often. The top tusks are not very sharp, but the bottom tusks are very sharp. Don’t you just adore giraffes?
Mom and I really like to see them. This is an animal we have not seen yet.
Chris says this is a Blue Wildebeest. He also calls it a gnu. We are seeing so many animals and I want to show them all to you, so I will finish this next time. We don’t want these posts to get too long. Remember, next time, more big animals.