Zimbabwe to South Africa - Harare to Bloemfontein

January 12, 2012 - Addo Elephant Np, South Africa

Christmas in Zimbabwe went well, a busy time of feasting and enjoying being with my family. Thankfully over Christmas the national anthem (the sound of generators) did not ring out too loud or too often. Ed flew out on the 30th of December to Kenya and George and I nervously hit the road on the 2nd of January. We had done a long test drive with the caravan hitched and there had been no problems; in fact from the time we had arrived in Harare our car problem (last blog) had mysteriously disappeared, it was all a bit confusing. Driving towards Beitbridge took me past our old community club Harare South and our farm, I wanted to see but couldn’t and knew it was better remembered as it was anyway. The once well maintained golf course was unrecognisable and completely overgrown. Zimb was beautifully green with the rains and the drive to Beit bridge was pretty though a bit bumpy.

We had barely left Harare when cops pulled us over, we had supposedly gone through a red light and they were trying to skim a few bucks to pay for their Christmas expenses! George stood his ground; we knew the light had only turned orange once we had begun to cross the intersection, thankfully let us go on without parting with any dollars but we were not so lucky later. By the time we arrived at the Lion and Elephant we had scored 2 speeding fines in one day, the first of our trip! Both were in areas coming out of 60km/hr zones with nothing but bush around, we had not realised the speed limit still applied and both were reduced from $15 to $10 for no receipt!

The Zimb border side was fast and efficient then came the SA side, it was shameful! We have crossed many African borders but this one was the most disorganized chaotic border post we had passed through. There were many buses with thousands of passengers returning from the Xmas holidays, the queue was a maze with no apparent beginning or end. A few officers had to be consulted until eventually I was sent in the right direction. George was stuck in the bus traffic jam and had to ramp an island (with caravan in tow) to do a U-turn down to the truck stop where the temporary offices were set up for returning residents. The Carnet (TCIP) was also complicated and the Police were puzzled about what to do with the final page but finally we were on our way, stopping only to help some stranded students.

We stayed in Polokwane Game Reserve, a pleasant camp with many peacocks whilst the Beast was seen to. Landrover could not find any reasons for the loss of power and so we pushed on to Johannesburg to pick up Cheryl and visit a friend. Again in Bloemfontein we stopped to get the unichip checked since Landrover thought it was contributing to the problems and had disabled it. Steve’s Autocare found that the unichip had been installed wrongly, they reprogrammed it and also cleared the blocked exhaust box and F-I-N-A-L-L-Y the Beast was full of power again.

We had one very memorable evening in Bloem, once camp was set up the sky closed in black and threatening and we had a thunderous downpour with hail and high winds. Within minutes the campsite was flooded and we were running around in wellies thumping tent pegs back in. The lightning and thunder was tremendous and frightening! One particular bolt seemed to strike near the tree we were camped under, the thunder clap was deafening and the vibrations went right through our cores! I have never jumped so high and kind of wanted to do a runner mid air all at the same time, we laughed and laughed and laughed some more! Then it all blew over and we had a great braai celebrating Cheryl’s arrival!

We have done more than 30 000kms now, we’ve spent 266 nights camping and are very much on the home straight due in Cape Town about the 27th of January (the house is rented until the end of Jan). Wow time flies and we are looking forward to being home and seeing our friends! Best news of all just received – Cross Country Insurance has been fantastic again! We are smiling!!



1 Playing cards - the Conollys
2 Champion chefs (2)
3 Champion chefs
4 My nieces


Jo van der Merwe:
January 12, 2012
Hi Alice and George

thanks for the latest blog, its been such a great journey and you are right time flies! Its nice to hear news about home - but why are there only three pictures of the Zimbo crowd? - you are really slacking now alice!!!. xx
Sharon Johnson:
January 12, 2012
Looking forward to having you as neighbours again in Rondebosch - Maria is popping into see me on Tues next week so I will say hi to her from you! Travel safely back now you are in the home run.
x Sha
Jo van der Merwe:
January 12, 2012
I take that back, some more pics have just come through. Especially nice - the one of Shannon and Seana. Nice work Alice.
January 12, 2012
Hi George & Alice,
Happy New Year to you both. I can't get over how time has flown & that you are on your way home. We wish you safe travelling & look fowrad to meeting up some time.
Regards Dave & Heather
PS - Dave is feeling "back to normal"
January 12, 2012
I really admire you !! Fantastic !!
January 12, 2012
Hi George and Alice,

Well I am back at work as well and have access to a computer.
Had a well deserved break and spent some quality time with friends and family.
Looking forward to seeing you at the end of the month. And as you so rightfully said, time really flew. I can't believe the year went by so fast.

Have a safe trip home. Much love and blessings.
January 12, 2012
Hi Alice and George, just read your report about your time in Zim with family and friends. I was glad to read that though you wanted to see your family's farm you decided against it. At least whenever you think about it your mind remembers the way it was and that's a good memory.
We had a quiet Christmas and festive season as Natalie und Iain were over in Australia; almost a bit too quiet. They are back now and in another 2 1/2 months they will get married. Preparations are well on their way. These two are great, they take care of everything themselves. Well, soon you'll be back and we can have a good old natter, hey?!
Be safe on the last few hundreds km's and my all go well. It will be great to see you again. You have been missed, in case you didn't know.
Lots of love and God's protection over you.
Brigitts and Roy
January 12, 2012
Wow, so look forward to seeing you again and catching up! Thank the Lord you are well and all is coming together. You certainly have had an incredible unforgettable African experience! Many blessings on the homeward stretch, love Jen
Anton Peters:
January 12, 2012
Hi there, arriving back one day after my birthday, you may miss the cake.....looking forward to seeing you again and listen first hand to all the wonderful stories you have to tell. What an adventure!
Marie Grant:
January 12, 2012
Hi there travelling Macs!

I walked past your house today and was wondering when you will be back in CT. You were missed at CGC! So happy to hear you are safely back in SA.

See you soon.
January 13, 2012
Hi George and Alice,
Happy belated Christmas and new year! So glad to hear you had a special time with family in Zim.
Wow - it seems like your trip has flown by - so excited to see you when you get back!! Hope the rest of your trips is good - glad the Beast is up to full power again.

see you soon,
love Sharon
January 13, 2012
Welcome back to SA! Can't wait to see you. So pleased the Beast is back. Schools started on Wednesday, so back to being mum's taxi. Jason and I had a great Bay2bay race on Sunday. Jason is also doing the Terra Firma tomorrow. I'm supporting. Should be fun. It is going to be a good year. Hope you have a great trip down. Take care, Ellie
January 15, 2012
Hi Gerge and Alice,
WOW!!! Cant believe you are nearly back home again!!! I Am sure this will be a year and experience that you will always treasure!! What a privelage that you could do it!! Congratulations!!
Would love to see you again!
January 20, 2012
Hey dear friends, only a week to go and you'll be in Cape Town! Yeah! John and I would like to invite you to come and stay with us until your tenants vacate your house at end of January.
We soooo look forward to seeing you both, till then keep driving safely, lots of love x
January 23, 2012
Just wondering how you are and where you are. Know you are close by.
January 23, 2012
And why the big silence now ?
Thys Pretorius:
January 24, 2012

Glad to hear you finally got out of Moz and Zim safely and are on your final leg home. we are about to leave for Pemba again regards Thys and Gill
Michael Evans:
January 27, 2012
It's the 27th of January!!!!
Welcome home George & Alice!
Oh what a wonderful journey and memory you have created.
Thank you for being so eloquent Alice and allowing me "see" as I travelled in the back of the beast!
It genuinely felt as if i'd been with you through all of Africa even if it was predominantly in prayer.
So great to have you back! God bless!
Isla and Alan Moffett:
February 3, 2012
Hi Guys - we were with you at the Zim/ZA border post - you have understated the disorganization! Thanks for letting us 'piggy back' though with you - saved us lots of hours and frustration! Sure that you are delighted to be back home and we are going to trawl through your website to read the whole adventure.
Very jealous of what you have done.
Isla and Alan Moffett
February 6, 2012
SO far, your writing is extremely acceptable to me. You introduced your own personal ideas to readers.
Fuzzy Travel · Next »
Create blog · Login