Zim detour to SA

Six in the morning saw us departing Vilanculos for Zimbabwe, only to get news that Mugabe (spell it backwards – ebagum!!) was kicking up a fuss about his own departure, and the tension factor was rising. So we made a late decision to turn south instead of north when we hit the National Road, and headed back to Maputo, and then west to Nelspruit. Sorry Du Plessis family at Matendere, we would have loved to spend some time with you, but will catch you on the way back.

Despite a few hiccups on the way, including the electric motor on the driver’s window packing up, and losing the diesel tank cap at a petrol station at Xai Xai – and not realizing until we got to the border!! - we made the border, and through the organized chaos there, and on to Nelspruit, booking in to the local Protea hotel for the night, utter luxury after 12 hours of traveling.

No matter how bad the news was

Nothing beats our stunning sunsets, the first view we had as we crossed the border,stunning scenery wow good roads, shops yeah!!

It was both weird and wonderful to be back in South Africa so soon. Nice to be able to speak to friends, and stock up on provisions in familiar shops, but not nice to be affected by Eskom ( Annaliese was all ready to blow dry her hair when the power in the hotel went off! and was I pissed off as it would have been the first time for 3 weeks that I tried to look half decent with an attempt at atraight hair. Alas it was not meant to be), to hear about the latest rates hike, petrol hike, Mbeki saying here’s nothing wrong in Zim…. Some things, it seems, will never change.

We spent Saturday morning at Landrover Nelspruit ( where the receptionists were named Annaliese and Joleen – how weird?!) who sorted out our problems with Stanruza. Special thanks to them for their friendly and efficient service. We also hit the local Riverside Mall and Vodashop (again!) to allow Annaliese to get in a quick shopping fix, and to get the modem back up and running , and then decided to head north west to Tzaneen for a few nights in the Magoebaskloof mountains.

the stunning views on our The view from the Inn

way to Tzaneen, just before we experienced a hectic thunder storm

quite scary for 2 Capies!!! 

Arriving in Tzaneen with a welcome SMS from Peter Logan that the Stormers had eventually won a rugby match at Newlands, we drove on to Eagles View Inn, above an old tea plantation, where we booked in to a B’n B. The Inn is perched on a mountain top, surrounded by thick botanical-like gardens and misty tendrils of cloud drifting in and out .

Stew having breakfast, so smartEven though Stan gave us some problems,                                                                                                                     we still love him. 

As you can see, we experienced cold weather or the first time on the trip, felt so strange to get out the tracksuits!! Well should get us used to the UK and Bristol! 

We planned to rest up here for 2 nights, and then leave for Botswana early Monday morning.

Stats and Helpful Info

The following are some stats as well as some info that might be helpful to future travelers:


(Please note that the prices are relevant at the time that we traveled and should therefore be adjusted. The cost of the accommodation does not include some “freebies” like staying at friends or bushcamping, and the amount reflected is per couple per night)


Country :                  South Africa (2nd Time)


Dates:                        11th April to 13th April 2008


Exchange rate:       N/A


Number of Nights: 3


Distance traveled:  867km


Average distance per day: 289km


Cost of Diesel:                    R10.13 p/l


Average fuel consumption: 6.88km/l


Diesel used:                                    126 litres


Worst Road/s:         None


Best Road/s:           All


Favourite new destination: Tzaneen


Average cost of accommodation:R650 per night


Number of Bushcamps:               None


Cheapest Acommodation:Fish Eagle Lodge Tzaneen R550 cottage per night including breakfast


Most enjoyable:                  Fish Eagle Lodge Tzaneen