Facts and figures of our trip

This week was quite monumental because we finally got Moto Moto back from the mechanics!  It seemed like an appropriate time to take stock and look back at some of the facts and figures of our epic adventure.  If you’re interested in what we achieved, here you go:

Total number of days


Nights in a tent


Night spent in the homes of people we had never met before this trip


Average cost of accommodation per night


Our goal was to spend no more than R100 per night

Total kilometres travelled

22 632

Dev had the most amazing close guess (he thought we would do 22 130km!)

Total kilometres in Moto Moto

19 922

Average km per day


Total litres of diesel


Average km per litre


Cheapest price of diesel



Most expensive price of diesel


Uganda (and R20+/litre on the Malawian black market)

Speeding fines


Countries visited


Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique

Stamps in our passports


National Parks visited


Etosha, Sossusvlei, Madumu, Mamili, Chobe, South Luangwa, Mana Pools, Kitulo, Ruaha, Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Nyungwe, Volcanoes, Murchison Falls, Kibale, Saiwa Swamp, Tsavo West, Tsavo East, Kruger

Bird species identified


The final one was our national bird, the Blue Crane!

Bribes paid


Pairs of shoes worn out/broken


Items lost


Aeropress coffee maker, 1 pair shoes, 1 multi-tool, 1 torch

Doctors visited


Courses of anti-biotics taken


Photos taken


Crossing the equator

Thanks for following our journey, we hope you enjoyed the ride!  And we hope we have inspired you to pack your suitcases, take the plunge and go exploring…

Lovely lions

We had some really beautiful (and close) encounters with lions…

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A range of roads

We found ourselves on a wide variety of roads, seeing some rather interesting things…

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Plenty of primates

Once we hit East Africa, we learnt that there were so many more primates than the baboons and vervet monkeys we are used to.  Here are some of the primates we got pictures of:

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Some of the birds we saw

We loved learning about birds on our trip and were amazed at how beautiful and interesting they are.  These are some of our favourites.

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People we met

Africa is full of beautiful, smiling faces.  These are some of the people we saw along the way…

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Some of the little creatures we came across

The little creatures we saw on our travels were bigger, more colourful and different to any we have seen in South Africa…

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Most memorable moments

All the way through our trip we met locals and travellers and naturally, one of the questions we’ve been asked the most is “What has been the highlight/s?” Those of you who have been following our blog since July, will surely understand that it is not an easily question to answer! None the less, we would love to inspire you to see more of this amazing continent that we live in and so here are some of our most memorable experiences (in order of their occurrence):

1.  Etosha, particularly seeing the pan covered in water in July.  Read about it here

2.  The red sand dunes of Sossusvlei, again seeing the vlei under water at that time of year was extremely fortunate.  Read about it here

Sossusvlei, Namibia

3.  The solitude and rough experience of nature at Madumu and Mamili National Parks in Namibia.  Read about it here and here

Mamili National Park, Namibia

4.  Jungle Junction, Zambia. An eco-island in the middle of the Zambezi where we could tiger fish and read all day and the adventure to the original Jungle Junction.  Read one of the stories here.

5.  Rafting under the spray of Victoria Falls in Zambia (and swimming at the top of the falls…only for the brave).  Read about it here

6.  Wild animal encounters on foot in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. Read about it here and here.

Mana Pool National Park, Zimbabwe

7.  Zanzibar – we loved the whole island, and spent time on the East Coast (Read about it here and here) and in Stone Town (Read about it here).

Jambiani, Zanzibar

8.  Seeing, and then being near the tallest mountain on our continent, Kilimanjaro.  Read about it here and here.

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

9.  The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, Tanzania.  Read about it here and here.

Wildebeest migration, Serengeti

10.  Rwanda.  Yes, we know it’s an entire country but it’s an interesting and beautiful and wildly different and inspiring and humbling country to visit.  Read about it here, here, here and see some pictures here.


11.  Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.  Read about it here and see some picture here

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

12.  White water rafting the Nile at Jinja, Uganda.  Read about it here.

Rafting the Nile, Uganda

13.  Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.  Read about it here.

Murchison Falls, Uganda

14.  Shimoni, Kenya – particularly a day trip on a dhow to the Kisite Marine Park for encounters with dolphins and snorkelling.  Read about it here.

Shimoni, Kenya

The final bit of roadtripping

26 – 28 March 2012

Goodbye to the Gaunts

Those of you who read anything about our trip to America early last year may remember that we went on a road trip in Arizona with our SA friend, Brian who is doing his PhD at ASU. Well, Brian has been back in SA for a few weeks and he arranged to visit Tim and Hailey at the same time that we were there so that he could drive back to Cape Town with us. It seemed a most fitting end to our travels – kind of a Brian-road-trip-sandwich!

From Grahamstown, we headed towards Wilderness, where Stu’s brother Andrew and his family were enjoying the school holidays. Our lunch stop was Jeffery’s Bay where we tried (to no avail) to taste the difference between Kingklip and Hake, locked our keys in the car, broke into the car to retrieve the keys, went for a swim in the sea and visited Brian’s cousin for a cup of tea and discussions around the problem of too much cow dung in the world…

Eager to swim

We arrived at Loch Loerie, the log cabin in the Wilderness forest, to find three very excitable nephews and nieces who were getting used to the crazy idea of no electricity and the abundance of creepy crawlies. We spent two nights sharing in the Bateman family holiday and had a great time chopping and clearing, running and swimming, reading and chatting.

Fun with Murray

The highlight was an enormous bonfire we made with the logs we’d cleared, and the subsequent braai and roasted marshmallows while the fireflies danced around us.


Finally the time had come to end our journey and we hit the road for the very last time, with mixed feelings. As exciting as it was to be seeing family and friends, it was hard to believe that our amazing adventure was coming to an end. As we drove down the N2, the scenery became more familiar and the smells of fynbos promised that we were getting closer to home, and finally we crested Sir Lowry’s Pass and got our first glimpse of the mountain.

The Mother City

The first night home after eight months of travelling certainly had the potential to be an anti-climax so we quickly unpacked the car, jumped in the shower and then headed straight to a group of friends gathered to see Alex and Kath’s trip photos. It was such fun to surprise our friends and great to be able to share a few stories with the city lights twinkling in the background – a fitting end to an awesome adventure!

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The student life for a few days

23 – 25 March 2012

On Monday morning Dad and Mom Bateman left Oribi and headed to the berg to enjoy a well-deserved holiday after days of driving to rescue us, and we stayed in Oribi for the rest of the week and caught up with family and friends. By the end of it we felt like real celebrities as we had gone from one social engagement to the next – thank you Oribi family for your warm welcome! On Friday morning it was time to say goodbye to KZN and hit the road (in our Toyota recovery vehicle…) in the direction of home.

Fun in the recovery Toyota

Next stop was Grahamstown to visit Tim and Hailey Gaunt. The road works on the N2, combined with a 2-hour torrential downpour made the 7-8 hour journey more like 12 hours and it meant we did the last few hours in the dark which was really disappointing given how many rivers we crossed and how beautiful we imagined it to be. We definitely need to visit that part of the world again sometime!

Our weekend in Grahamstown was loads of fun and characterised by crazy student adventures. A few of the highlights include:

  • Friday night lasagna – a Bateman tradition that Tim remembered
  • Watching Tim represent Rhodes 1st team hockey and realising that most of his team mates were probably jealous of his ability to grow such an impressive beard
  • Exploring Rhodes while a thunderstorm loomed in the distance
  • Being stuck at the top of a hill in the Botanical Gardens when said thunderstorm arrived and fearing for our lives as thunder cracked around us and we ran through the pelting rain looking for shelter
  • Braai’ing in the rain
  • Homemade cinnamon buns (thanks Hailey)
  • The best coffee in Grahamstown (according to Tim, made by Tim)
  • Rugby at the Rat and Parrot
  • A “hen’s party” at the Rat which involved scoring lots of free shooters and many well wishes to “Nina and Mike as they embark on this new adventure together”…
  • Being those people who go out into nature and stand around their car, pumping their tunes
  • Pumping those same Rhianna tunes in the street at night, in random parking lots etc

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Thanks Tim and Hailey for your wonderful hospitality and for reminding us what it is like to be students again!