Rene decides to hit the road again and heads north through Namibia, Botswana and into Zambia, finding a few drunks along the way …
Intro by Rene Cormier
The time had come to leave my good friends in South Africa and head north on a six month trip to the northeast corner of the African continent.
I took the opportunity to revisit Namibia and Botswana once more, traveling on different roads and seeing parts of these countries that I had not seen the first time. Although it was once Africa’s darling nation, I decided not to visit Zimbabwe on the way north.
Twenty years ago Zimbabwe boasted the strongest currency and was the home of some of the largest and most successful citrus farms in all of Africa. That was until a certain Robert Mugabe – and his zeal for power – destroyed all of it.
Their rate of inflation is now the highest in the world – estimated to be at 3700% by year’s end. To borrow an example from a recent Time magazine article, this rate of inflation means that a three bedroom house with a swimming pool in 1990 costs the same as a single brick today. Unemployment hovers at 80% and the life expectancy is 34 years for women, 37 for men, the lowest in the world.
I elected to travel up through Botswana and enter Zambia near Livingstone, named after the famous explorer. This is also the location of the mighty Victoria Falls, whose visit I wanted to coincide with the full moon … but I’m getting ahead of myself as that’s for the next update.
For this update I finish up my time in South Africa and then hit the road through Namibia and Botswana, a road that is littered with drunks, castles and the occasional elephant (or two).
Take me to Rene’s photo essay (pictures and words by Rene Cormier)!