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.

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.

Maputo Bay

Maputo Bay

Leaving the city, we turn from the coastline, and continue driving in rural Mozambique.

Rural Mozambique

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.

Nikomati River Ferry

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.

Cleaning fish

Cleaning fish

We stood on the ferry with many other people and watched the town of Marracuene fading away.

Leaving Marracuene

Leaving Marracuene

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.

Driving to the resort

Driving to the resort

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?

Welcoming committee?

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.

Arrived at Tan 'n Biki Resort

Arrived at Tan ‘n Biki Resort

We will have lunch here today.   This pool certainly looks inviting.

Looks good

Looks good

But mom says no swimming today.   After ordering our lunch, we returned to our transport vehicle.

Our transportation. Can I drive?

Our transportation.  Can I drive?

Now we are visiting another resort.

Nascer Do Sol Resort

Nascer Do Sol 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.

I am on a tall horse

I am on a tall 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.

Here we go

Here we go

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.

Indian Ocean from back of Bonnie

Indian Ocean from back of Bonnie

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.

Stairs to beach

Stairs to 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.

I got wet in the Indian Ocean

I got wet in the Indian Ocean

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.

Zeb on the boat in front of picnic shelters

Zeb on the boat in front of picnic shelters

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.

Waiting for the Nikomati River Ferry to go back to Maputo

Waiting for the Nikomati River Ferry to go back to Maputo

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.

Time for lunch

Time for lunch

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.

House On Fire shops with Samson

House On Fire shops with Samson

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.

Center stage

Center stage

Perhaps I, Zeb the Duck, should perform on this stage? Maybe not.   This is where future performances are announced.

Schedule of performances. I am with Samson

Schedule of performances. I am with Samson

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.

Unusual plants

Unusual plants

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.

Swazi Candles

Swazi Candles

Oh, I like this place.   This man is making a candle.

Making a candle

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.

More wax to make big hair

More wax to make big hair

Look at these candles.

Candles

Candles

We love the safari animal candles.   After working on candles with warm wax, the finished candles must be cooled in cold water.

Newly made giraffe candles cooling in cold water

Newly made giraffe candles cooling in cold water

These giraffes are cooling now.   Our friendly candle maker has just finished this elephant.

He just finished this elephant candle. We bought it.

He just finished this elephant candle. We bought it.

Wow!  I love these candles.

So many fabulous candles.

So many fabulous 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.

Driving through Manzini, Swaziland

Driving through Manzini, Swaziland

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.

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.

Ships on Maputo Bay

Ships on Maputo Bay

We stop here and admire the view above Maputo Bay.

Beautiful spot to look out to sea.

Beautiful spot to look out to sea.

Isn’t this beautiful.   We love to just sit and watch the water.   This bird seems to also enjoy watching the water.

Best seat in the area

Best seat in the area

I believe he has the best seat on the coastline.   Small boats are used by fisherman.

Fisherman

Fisherman

Being in a small boat is my idea of a perfect day.   This is a really old, original waterfront building in Maputo.

Old building with thatched roof. Zeb on ground under giraffe

Old building with thatched roof. Zeb on ground under giraffe

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 walk on the pier

Let’s walk on the pier

Let’s go, Mom.   The end of the pier consists of rocks.

Rocks at end of pier and ship on Maputo Bay

Rocks at end of pier and ship on Maputo Bay

Very interesting to this duck.   Looking back, we gaze at the waterfront hotels.

Looking back at water front hotels

Looking back at water front hotels and apartments

Now I see another boat with more fishermen.

Fishermen

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.

Love the basket for French Fries. First time with bacon on top of sandwich

Love the basket for French Fries. First time with bacon on top of sandwich

During lunch, I really enjoy the view of Maputo Bay.

Great view for lunch

Great view for lunch

I have been watching this fisherman gathering and moving his nets.

Bringing in fishing nets

Bringing in fishing nets

This is a very nice pool, but mom says we cannot swim in it because we are not staying here.

Southern Sun Hotel pool

Southern Sun Hotel pool

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 brought us back to our hotel.

He brought 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)

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

We enter the cathedral and I love the windows.

Beautiful

Beautiful

Each view is spectacular.

Beautiful

Beautiful

Aren’t they beautiful?

Love the windows.

Love the windows.

Leaving the cathedral, I, Zeb the Duck, am surprised to see cars parked on part of the sidewalk.

Parking on part of the sidewalk

Parking 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.

First President of the Republic of Mozambique

First President of the Republic of Mozambique

We like the City Hall building.

City Hall

City Hall

Isn’t this stone work nice on the sidewalk by City Hall?

Intricate cement work

Intricate cement work

Maputo was a grand city when it was built by the Portuguese.   Inside City Hall, we admired the classic architecture.

Staircase inside City Hall

Staircase inside City Hall

Love stairs going up each side.  Outside we admire the view of Maputo Bay from City Hall.

View of Maputo Bay

View of Maputo Bay

Near Independence Plaza we see the Iron House.

Iron House

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.

Municipal Gardens

Municipal Gardens

I, Zeb the Duck, am on this tree trunk, but it is so big you can hardly see me.

Large tree trunk.

Large tree trunk.   Zeb is on the lower right of the big indented area of the trunk

The flowers are colorful and pretty here.

Colorful flowers

Colorful flowers

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.

Fish inside tank

Fish inside tank

We love to watch fish.

Fish inside tank

Fish inside tank

We enjoyed seeing this fishing boat up close.

Fishing boat

Fishing boat

Next Isaac showed us the train station.

Maputo train station

Maputo 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.

Let's look for a train

Let’s look for a train

I am enjoying a rest on this model train engine.

Relaxing on train engine

Relaxing on train engine

This is an example of statues to enjoy while waiting for a train.

Statues

Statues

Further on our exploration of Maputo we passed this mosque.

Mosque in Maputo

Mosque in Maputo

Here is a typical street in downtown Maputo.

Downtown Maputo

Downtown Maputo

Our next stop was a craft market.   We did purchase a few necklaces here.

We bought necklaces from him

We bought necklaces from him

The display of cloth was colorful.

Colorful

Colorful

The metal items were nice, also.

Nice metal

Nice metal

And look at this, even the trash cans are decorated.

Almost too pretty for trash

Almost too pretty for trash

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 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.

Immigration point between countries

Immigration point between countries

We cleared immigration to leave Mozambique and then cleared immigration to go into South Africa.   Minutes later we enter Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa

This is our safari vehicle.

Ready for a safari.

Ready for a safari.

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.

Impalas

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.

Hippos. Always watching

Hippos. Always watching

They are watching us.   Guinea Fowl or Guinea Hens are rather plentiful and they have a beautiful blue neck and head.

Guinea Fowl or Guinea Hen

Guinea Fowl or Guinea Hen

This is a brown snake-eagle.

Brown Snake Eagle

Brown Snake Eagle

Glad he wants to eat brown snakes, and not yellow ducks.   I love zebras.   Look at this one.

Zebra

Zebra

I believe this is a Burchel Zebra.   They crossed the road directly in front of our safari vehicle.

Zebras. The crossed right in front of us!

Zebras. The crossed right in front of us!

I love to see big animals this close.   Chris showed us this owl.

Big eyed Owl

Big eyed Owl

He sure has big eyes.   This bird with a bright red neck caught my eye.

Bird with bright red neck

Bird with bright red neck

We love birds, but I prefer big animals on safari.   Here is a warthog.

Warthog

Warthog

Warthogs are rather plentiful also, but I, Zeb the Duck, love to watch them.

Warthogs grazing

Warthogs grazing

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?

Giraffe

Giraffe

Mom and I really like to see them.   This is an animal we have not seen yet.

Blue Wildebeest or Gnu

Blue Wildebeest or Gnu

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.

Fish Market in Maputo, Mozambique with Zeb the Duck

Isaac met us at the hotel entrance and we are going to the fish market today.   I, Zeb the Duck, have never been to a fish market.   Isaac finds a taxi for us.

Taxi

Taxi

I like this little one.   Driving out of town, I love the painted cement on the side of the road.

Great painting by road

Great painting by road

The photo was taken from the taxi, and guess mom got a mirror reflection in the upper right corner.   Typical ocean scene here, with a boat, a man to the left watching the water, and a bird flying overhead.

Approaching fish market

Approaching fish market

Watching the water is so relaxing for ducks and humans.   We have arrived at the fish market.   Going inside, I see that there are fish of many types, sizes, and colors.  Let’s start with shrimp.

Fresh shrimp

Fresh shrimp

Large, fresh shrimp look tempting.   But look at these fish.

Colorful fish

Colorful fish

The color variation is great, but guess when they are cooked, the color is not important.   And the bright blue catches my eye.

Bright blue

Bright blue

So many choices.   What to do with these fish?   There are many restaurants here.

So many restaurants here

So many restaurants here

Humans can purchase a fish and the restaurants will cook it as you request.   We did not know that.   We sat here, ordered grilled fish and waited.   Soon the fish arrived.   On the left is our taxi driver.   On the right Isaac and mom are looking at the fish.

Humans, ready to eat

Humans, ready to eat

All humans are ready to eat.   We have three whole fish.

The whole fish

The whole fish

And I mean whole fish.   At home they don’t bring us the fish heads.   But here they are.   We see something new every day.   Lunch was delicious.   I am sitting here with the Indian Ocean behind me.

Beach at fish market

Beach at fish market

Boats are in the water and a human is walking on the beach.   I could sit here for hours.   But, we have to go now.   Along the road near the fish market, we could buy more fish from this lady.

More fish

More fish

Or maybe coconuts from this gentleman?

Coconuts for sale

Coconuts for sale

Very tempting, but we do not have a kitchen in our motel room.    I enjoyed this drive along the water.   Love the fishing boat.

Fishing boat

Fishing boat

Of course palm trees always make my vacation better.

Palm trees

Palm trees

The people of Maputo work very hard, but the atmosphere here is calm today.    We hope you visit Maputo and also have a great experience.

Zeb the Duck is in Maputo, Mozambique, but Now What??

I, Zeb the Duck, am in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, in southern Africa.   My hotel is nice and centrally located.

Hotel Maputo in Maputo, Mozmbique

Hotel Maputo in Maputo, Mozambique

But, there are no tourist offices, no tourist maps and no tourist information in sight.   So, mom and I head out and are greeted by vendors.   Persistent, but friendly, vendors.   We do not want to shop today, just look around and get oriented.   We head downhill, hopefully toward Maputo Bay.    Must be a government building?

Government building

Government building

This statue is of Marechal Samora Moises Machel, the first president of the Republic of Mozambique.

First president of the Republic of Mozambique

First president of the Republic of Mozambique

And here are the friendly, persistent vendors.   Still no shopping today.   We wander a little more, not sure where we are heading and what we are seeing.   A park, older homes, and our friendly, persistent vendors.   So, mom talks to Isaac, one of the vendors.   He is friendly and persistent, and we like him.   He agrees to be our tour guide today.   This is so much better.   I, Zeb the Duck, like Isaac, and he speaks a little English.   Mom wasn’t a very good tour guide here.   Isaac takes us to The Fort.   A short walk and we are here.

The Fort

The Fort

Inside is a garden and small museum.   I love the statues.   Here I am on a horse.

Love statues of humans on horses--and a duck

Love statues of humans on horses–and a duck

This wagon is great also.

Wagon

Wagon

This fort was build by the Portuguese in the mid 19th century, near the site of an earlier fort.   Portugal colonized Mozambique and the official language is Portuguese.   However, like many places in Africa, people speak a few tribal languages first, then learn the official language left by the Europeans.   These people speak many languages.   Here I am, sitting comfortably with Isaac, our guide, watching me.

Isaac is watching me.

Isaac is watching me.

Inside one of the small rooms of the small museum, I rest on the sealed carved wooden coffin of Ngungunhane, the final ruler of the famed kingdom of Gaza.

Wooden coffin

Wooden coffin

The Kingdom of Gaza, 1824-1895, dominated southeast Africa in what is now southern Mozambique, southeast Zimbabwe, and parts of South Africa.     The coffin lid carving is beautiful.

Carved coffin lid

Carved coffin lid

More wonderful carving on these wall panels.

Carvings

Carvings

More statues with me, Zeb the Duck.

Sculptures

Sculptures

And statues on wall panels.

Sculptures

Sculptures

This fort was well guarded.

Every fort needs canons.

Every fort needs canons.

Attacks from the water were always a very real threat.   This fort is on Maputo Bay which goes into the Indian Ocean.   Leaving The Fort, you can see that Maputo Bay, and the Indian Ocean are right here.

Leaving the Fort, Maputo Bay sparkles in the sun.

Leaving the Fort, Maputo Bay sparkles in the sun.

Mom and Isaac agree to meet again tomorrow morning at our hotel, and he will show us more of the Maputo area.   I am so glad she decided to hire Isaac.