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.

Ripple Africa

Ripple Africa

The students were so friendly and eager to learn.

Students

Students

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.

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

We saw people everywhere carrying items on their heads.

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

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.

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

They are a huge improvement over the traditional three stone stove.   Men stack wood on frames on their bicycles.

Loading firewood on bicycle

Loading firewood on bicycle

Seeing them ride with all the wood was fascinating.   We smiled at this sign, but it was true.

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys do take things

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.

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

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.

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

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.

Impala

Impala

We never tired of seeing them.   We love the zebras.

Zebra

Zebra

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.

Elephants

Elephants

Cape Buffalo always make us smile.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

The Swazi candles were some of our favorite souvenirs.   Packing them was a challenge!

Candle from Swazi Candles.

Candle from Swazi Candles.

This monkey candle is bigger than I am.   I loved seeing the Indian Ocean from Bonnie, our horse.  p1000388The 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.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

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.

Lilongwe, Malawi with Zeb the Duck

All of our traveling companions have left Malawi now.   Mom and I, Zeb the Duck, have one more day here.   We have been to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, a few times, but never for very long.   Today I want to show you some of what we saw here, in Lilongwe.   When we first arrived in Malawi, we walked to this shopping center.

Lilongwe Shopping Center

Lilongwe Shopping Center

You can see it is very nice, but not like our shopping malls.   There is a Game Store.   That is where we purchased sleeping bags for our safari.   We did leave the sleeping bags at our hotel so others can use them or they can be sold to help other people.   Remember our first trip was to Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary where we hiked and saw some animals.

Monkeys by road in Lilongwe

Monkeys by road in Lilongwe

This was our taxi.

Taxi in Lilongwe

Taxi in Lilongwe

I, Zeb the Duck, like these kinds of taxis.   A couple times we had dinner here, at the Bombay Palace.

Bombay Palace, Lilongwe, Malawi

Bombay Palace, Lilongwe, Malawi

The food was good and the people were nice.   This was a nice dessert stop.

Here for dessert, Lilongwe, Malawi

Here for dessert, Lilongwe, Malawi

We stayed at the Kiboko Town Hotel in Lilongwe.

Kiboko Town Hotel. Our home in Lilongwe, Malawi

Kiboko Town Hotel.  Our home in Lilongwe, Malawi

Again, the people were all so nice and helpful.   Everyone we met in Malawi was wonderful.   We also had dinner here at the Ad Lib Restaurant.

Ad Lib Restaurant, Lilongwe, Malawi

Ad Lib Restaurant, Lilongwe, Malawi

This restaurant is in the hotel building, but they are separate businesses.   I admired the huge wood carvings.

Wood carving

Wood carving

There are many talented artists in Malawi.

Wood carving in our hotel

Wood carving in our hotel

The craft market was next to our hotel.

Craft market from our hotel balcony

Craft market from our hotel balcony

We all spent a lot of time there.   This craft market goes to the end of the street,  turns to the right and goes about another block.  Many purchases were made, but we felt the prices were very reasonable.   And the vendors were very friendly and helpful.   If you did not purchase anything from them, they were still nice.   Mom and I wandered along different streets, but she did not take many photos.   This is one street photo including a mosque.

Street scene with mosque

Street scene with mosque

People from many countries and of many religions seem to get along well with each other.   We did not see any arguments.   Back to the craft market by our hotel, these friendly vendors were our friends.

Favorite vendors

Favorite vendors

Of course we did purchase some souvenirs.   Mom said we have more countries to visit, so we can only purchase a few small things at each market.   The suitcase will not hold too much.   We want you know that all the people we met in Malawi were so nice and so willing to share with each other.   Everyone had smiles.   But, life here is difficult.   This is one of the poorest countries in Africa.   The malaria rate is high.   Many people get cholera.   The HIV rate is also very high.   Even finishing elementary school is not common.   You may have heard that southern Africa is enduring another drought and many organizations predict millions will die of starvation.   These are the faces of youth we met.

Eager faces of youth

Eager faces of youth

All eager and wanting to learn so much.

Students eager to learn more

Students eager to learn more

If you have a favorite charity, perhaps you can give a donation for Malawi and other southern African countries.   Some of our favorite charities are Women for Women.   This charity often gives small loans to help women start businesses.   Perhaps $25 to sew items to sell.   They have a very high success rate and the loan repayment rate is also very high.   Heifer International gives a few goats or other animals, perhaps chickens and teaches how to use milk, eggs  etc for themselves, sell the extra and let the animals reproduce.   Then the new animals are given to another family or village to continue the process.   Of course, Ripple Africa is the organization where we volunteered for a couple weeks.   You have seen some of the good that they do.   And, World Food Program, connected with the United Nations, does get food to many  that need it.   We usually do not get this serious in our blogs, but we hope you can help these people.   If you donate through a church or a favorite charity, the people of southern Africa and the Colorado Traveling Ducks thank you.

Attentive students on floor. No desks and chairs available

Attentive students on floor. No desks and chairs available

Next time we will show you our first day in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Chongoni Rock Art in Malawi with Zeb the Duck

Leaving Cape Maclear, we saw many people on the road.   This man, carrying such a big load on his bike, fascinated me.

He has great balance

He has great balance

And look at these women.

Perfect posture with incredible balance and strength

Perfect posture with incredible balance and strength

They can carry so much and such heavy loads on their heads.   Aren’t they amazing?     Now we are heading to Chongoni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see old rock art.   The Rock Art of Chongoni would be very difficult to find without a guide.   Fortunately we have a knowledgeable guide, so here we go.

Hiking up

Hiking uphill

After several minutes of hiking, we are near the top and our first cave dwelling with old rock art.

Hiked to the top

Hiked to the top

Inside this cave dwelling, our guide points out old painting on the ceiling.

Guide showing us white rock art

Guide showing us white rock art

I liked this reptile done with darker paint.

Painted reptile

Painted reptile

This is incredible.   This art is in a cave dwelling and near the top of these rocks.

Rock art

Rock art

This is the view from inside the cave dwelling, looking outside.

View from cave with rock art

View from cave with rock art

Climbing back down, our guide takes us to a different style of rock painting.

Red Rock Art

Red Rock Art

Our guide is very cheerful.

Our cheerful guide

Our cheerful guide

The space between the rocks is rather narrow.

In narrow spaces

In narrow spaces

More art.

Old rock art

Old rock art

We are in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malawi.   This is an excerpt from the committee’s document of nomination in 2006.   “The dense and extensive collection of rock art shelters reflects a remarkable persistence of cultural traditions over many centuries … in the Chewa agricultural society.   The strong association between the rock art images and contemporary traditions of initiation and of the nyau secret society, and the extensive evidence for those traditions within the painted images over many centuries, together make the Chongoni landscape a powerful force in Chewa society and a significant place for the whole of southern Africa.”   Wow!  Centuries!   I liked visiting Chongoni Rock Art.   I liked seeing the art, and our guide made this adventure so interesting.

Rocks really tall. Our happy guide

Rocks and tree really tall.   Our happy guide and new friend.

If you visit Malawi, we hope you visit Chongoni also.   Remember, we have much more to tell you about our adventures in Africa, and also some adventures in Colorado.

 

 

Zeb Goes on a Boat at Cape Maclear, Malawi

Cape Maclear is on Lake Malawi, and we wanted to be on the lake.   I, Zeb the Duck, and the human women are on this boat.

On the boat

On the boat

Looking back to shore, we see the racks used for drying fish.

Fish drying racks

Fish drying racks

The fisherman often have nets out during the night and then dry the catch in the morning.

From our boat looking back to shore

From our boat looking back to shore

Trees are incredible plants.   This one is growing on the rocks and even the roots are on the rocks.

Amazing tree

Amazing tree

How do they get water and stay attached to the rock?   This duck does not know.   Our boat crew took us past this pretty cove.

Playful monkeys

Playful monkeys

They told us monkeys are usually here.   I love to see the monkeys.   We are not alone out here on Lake Malawi.

Others enjoying the lake

Others enjoying the lake

The men on our boat were very knowledgeable and a lot of fun.

Our crew was great

Our crew was great

This rock, on an island known for snorkeling and diving, is a reminder to keep the area clean for all visitors.

Good reminder

Good reminder

The water in this snorkeling area is rather shallow and very clear.   From the boat we could see many fish.

Bright blue fish

Bright blue fish

These blue fish are so bright and colorful.   There were also white, yellow and orange fish here.   It was a little too chilly for us to snorkel, but we loved the cheerful colors of the fish.   Malawi has over 600 varieties of birds and several were here at Cape Maclear.   This fish eagle was posing in the tree.

Fish eagle

Fish eagle

Heading back to our lodge, the flowering tree and colorful canoes caught our attention.

Colorful canoes and tree

Colorful canoes and tree.   Friendly children.

I like Cape Maclear.  Like every other place in Malawi, I wanted to stay longer and want to come back again.   I hope you visit Malawi soon.

Cape Maclear, Malawi with Zeb the Duck

Leaving Liwonde National Park and the hippos behind, we begin our drive to Cape Maclear, on Lake Malawi.   We like to see all the people going about every day life in Malawi.

Everyday life in Malawi

Everyday life in Malawi

Closer to Cape Maclear we stopped at this National Monument.   This is Mwala Wa Mphini.

Malawi National Monument

Malawi National Monument

This rock, named “Rock of Tribal Face Scars” is covered with a criss-cross pattern of deep etchings that looks to be of human origin.

National Monument

National Monument

However, according to our guide and the Brandt guidebook, the incisions are a natural geological phenomenon, created by the uneven weathering of an exposed crystalline rock.   Isn’t this amazing?   What a great rock.   Now, 4 kilometers down the road, we have arrived at the resort of Cape Maclear.

Cape Maclear

Cape Maclear

Remember those narrow dugout canoes we saw at Makuzi Beach?   Well, here are more of the dugouts in Lake Malawi.

Canoes on Lake Malawi

Canoes on Lake Malawi

I think these canoes are wonderful, and so picturesque.   We are camping tonight, but Fat Monkeys Lodge is connected to our campgrounds.

Fat Monkeys Lodge

Fat Monkeys Lodge

After a long trip, we wanted a light snack and a Diet Coke.   The Fat Monkeys Bar and Grill was our choice.

Lounge chairs near Fat Monkeys Bar

Lounge chairs near Fat Monkeys Bar

However, it was difficult for this Colorado Traveling Duck to leave the lounge chair, but the thought of a cold beverage persuaded me to enter this establishment.

Great carving on edge of bar

Great carving on edge of bar

Look at the great carvings on the edge of this wooden bar.   Much of the woodwork in this bar had fabulous carvings.   I really admire this wood.   After our refreshment, we checked out our new beach.

Life at Cape Maclear

Life at Cape Maclear

We like a resort in a town.   We enjoy seeing the local people as they live here.   This shows the people, the lake and the nearby mountain.

Beach and mountain

Beach and mountain

Mom and I love beaches and mountains together.   Here is more of Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi.

Clouds at Cape Maclear

Clouds at Cape Maclear

Perhaps another short rest would be good.

Lounging on the beach

Lounging on the beach

Of course, shopping is always interesting.

Cape Maclear

Cape Maclear

Maybe it is time to leave the beach for a short time.

Guarding our lodge

Guarding our lodge

As you can see, Cape Maclear is a very busy location for many people and a very relaxing location for tourists.   The people here were very friendly.   This is one reason Malawi is often referred to as the Warm Heart of Africa.

Malawi is the Warm Heart of Africa

Malawi is the Warm Heart of Africa

Mom and I, Zeb the Duck, believe this boat.   Malawi and the people certainly have shown us a very warm and welcoming heart.  Next time we will show you more of what we did at Cape Maclear, on Lake Malawi.

A Land Safari in Liwonde National Park with Zeb the Duck

Yesterday we arrived at Liwonde National Park and enjoyed a boat safari on the Shire River.   This morning we get in a safari vehicle and begin looking for more animals.

Our safari vehicle in Liwonde National Park

Our safari vehicle in Liwonde National Park

Soon we see impalas.

Impalas. So graceful

Impalas. So graceful

Impalas are similar to the antelope we see in the western United States.   They are so delicate and graceful.   Several monkeys are seen in the trees and running through the forest.

Monkey

Monkey

The warthogs are so much fun to watch.

Warthog

Warthog

They are always scratching the ground, searching for food.   When they run, they make us laugh, or at least smile.   I, Zeb the Duck, am on this safari, but the ride is fairly rough, so I stay in my travel bag most of the time.   But, here I am now.

I, Zeb the Duck, am on this safari also

I, Zeb the Duck, am on this safari also

This sausage trees has these long, hanging pods that are very hard and look like sausages.

Sausage tree

Sausage tree

Many creatures live in Liwonde National Park.   These ants are very large and very busy.

Busy ants

Busy ants

Here are more nests of the weaver birds.

Nests of Weaver Birds

Nests of Weaver Birds

We saw some similar weaver bird nests on our first outing in Lilongwe, Malawi.   The hippos spend much of the day in the Shire River.

Hippos are always watching

Hippos are always watching

They are such large animals, but in the water you notice the large eyes watching.   Remember this is a premier bird watching destination.   Over 400 species have been seen in this park.   I love the white birds sitting in the tree.

White birds

White birds

Perhaps not rare birds, but a great scene with the white birds, green tree and beautiful blue sky.   There are elephants near the river this morning.

Elephants by Shire River

Elephants by Shire River

Again, large animals that are so comfortable here.   I, Zeb the Duck, like the elephants.   This bird has a beautiful blue tummy.

Pretty bird

Pretty bird

Of course, as a duck, I like birds.   It is time to head back across the Shire River to meet our driver, guides and chef.

Time to cross the Shire River and leave the part

Time to cross the Shire River and leave the part

I like this bridge.

Nice bridge

Nice bridge

We will cross the bridge and leave Liwonde National Park, but we will have another adventure soon.

Boat Safari at Malawi’s Liwonde National Park with Zeb the Duck

Wow!   I am going to camp at Mvuu Wilderness Camp in Liwonde National Park.

Liwonde National Park in Malawi

We drive to the Shire River and wait for a boat to take us across the river to the lodge and camping area.   We see these hippos on the edge of the river.

Hippos on the bank of the Shire River

Hippos on the bank of the Shire River

Here comes our boat.

Elephant in the Shire River

Elephant in the Shire River

It is passing an elephant in the river!  This is fantastic.   Today will the first safari for this Colorado Traveling Duck.  Mom and two of the humans have been on safaris before, but I am so excited for my first time seeing the animals in the wild.

Shire River from lodge

Shire River from lodge

After getting settled in, we will go on a boat safari.

On the boat for river safari

On the boat for river safari

We are on the Shire River, looking at a resort.

Lodge from river

Lodge from river

Isn’t this monkey wonderful?

Cute monkey

Cute monkey

We passed several crocodiles, but check out the teeth on this one.

Big teeth. And many of them.

Big teeth.  And many of them.

Several waterbuck are along the river; I like mom and child here.

Waterbuck with young

Waterbuck with young

There are so many hippos here.

Hippos with birds

Hippos with birds

They are really big!   The hippos seem to prefer the water.   I think these three, watching, must like us.

Hippos are watching us

Hippos are watching us

I like the warthogs.   They have long shaggy hair on their neck and upper back.

Warthog

Warthog

Our Bradt guidebook for Malawi, says Liwonde is one of the top sites for bird watching in Malawi.   The book also says there are about 2,000 hippos along the river and several crocodiles.   Some of the crocodiles are “terrifyingly large.”   I believe the book.   This bird has a beautiful bright blue head.

Beautiful blue head

Beautiful blue head

Here is a tree full of Malawian birds.

So many birds

So many birds

Another great bird.

Regal bird

Regal bird

There are so many, but I can’t post all the photos.   The sun is getting lower and I like the way the sun’s rays come through the clouds.

Rays of sun through clouds

Rays of sun through clouds

As the sun sets, we return to the lodge and our tents for the evening.

Sun setting over the Shire River in Malawi

Sun setting over the Shire River in Malawi

I know I am going to love safaris.   Tomorrow we will drive in a safari vehicle to look for more animals.   This is a great African day.