Who: L U C I E, L A C H L A N, and B O W W O W.
Their occupations: Gypsy, Slick Suit in Finance, Dog
The trip: Crossing Africa by 4×4, helping communities through trade.
We’ve cut our teeth on over 25,000km of dirt roads across Southern Africa with our dog, Bow Wow, sourcing wonderful, handmade treasures… Think Summer of Love! Here are our highlights so far…
After wearing these special copper and zinc bands for a few days, inspiration struck. We came up with an idea which has the potential to spread hope, not just in Zimbabwe but across the globe.
We discover why Lake Kariba’s southern shores are less travelled and live to tell the tale.
On a South African highway, we passed hundreds of Communal Weaver bird nests on top of electricity pylons. We likened these to condos in the sky.
On safari with Stephen Fry and the BBC’s Last Chance to See crew we learn of Swaziland’s efforts on the frontline of rhino conservation. The high value of their horn, due to its imagined medicinal properties, has attracted mafia type gangterism with shoot-outs, petrol bombs, attempted assassinations and murders. Now a foreign backed NGO called Yonge Nawe is irresponsibly offering poachers legal aid. The last thing that rhinos need is any form of incitement and encouragement that gives hope and strength to poachers. In this world, driven by the accumulation of financial wealth rather than the conservation of our ecosystem, we only wish that there were more people like Ted Reilly. Perhaps then the future of our wildlife and wilderness would not seem so uncertain.
Bird About the Bush, Beatrice the Bee-Eater invites you to soar with her above Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary’s game dense savanna, the home that she shares with Back to Africa’s Roan Antelope Project. Discover how Ted Reilly, a man who has dedicated his life to preserving Swaziland’s wildlife heritage, provided refuge for animals when they had nowhere else to turn and of the wonderful work that he continues to do at Mlilwane.
At a foot and mouth control point, we lent a few dollars to a man who had run out of fuel and cash. His name was Eugene and not only did he pay us back when we got to Grootfontein, he also organised for us to camp at Kalkfontein Farm which is owned by an eccentric Swiss fellow who keeps some surprising pets.
After driving up a dry river bed and accidentally scaring the hell out of unsuspecting animals, we got a taste of our own medicine when we were snuck up on by a band of Himba men bearing spears and axes.
In Purros we visited Himba women whose fine jewellery made of metal, bone and skin would not look out of place strutting down an Alexander McQueen runway. We listened to the snap of branches and the purr of dessert elephants as they tramped past our tent on their midnight moseys and Bow Wow ate so much of their poo we renamed him Shitlips.
Having fought, picnicked and played at Namibia’s most ancient geological and spiritual sites we leave the beaten track for Koakaland, home to the Himbas.
Stephen Fry’s is the only name on everyone’s lips and beaks at Mliliwane Wildlife Sanctuary in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Roan Antelope, Tsandziwe explains why all zoos should support Back to Africa by taking part in The Animals’ No. 1 Dating Agency and in doing so save more species from extinction. Let’s cross our hooves and hope that this bush telegraph makes its way around the globe.
From battle fields to diamond fields, Kimberley and its surrounding area is drenched in history. We stayed with a wildlife vet at Magersfontein Farm where the British suffered their greatest losses during the Boer War and explored Kimberley’s preserved ‘New Rush’ streets. With so many fortunes made and lost in this historic area, Back to Africa’s Sable Project at Mokala National Park is proving to be another success for the history books.
It’s 4:59am at the Kruger Park, the camp gates are about to open and we just can’t wait. Dawn breaks over the savanna and clasping tin cups of hot coffee and marmalade rusks we head for the Lion highway. What delights await us?
We finally hit the road and I learn of my important role on our journey. I meet many weird and wonderful creatures including a demented cockerel, truly terrifying ostriches, insomniac long horned cows, acrobatic monkeys, mountain ponies and donkeys, ice rats and a cheeky jackal who liked the look of my Hill’s dog food! I make some great new friends and sadly lose one too. No one said that growing up on the road was going to be easy.