All posts by Chasing the Rainbow

An extraordinarily conventional South African family on a mission to see the world, live our dreams and inspire others along the way.

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 4)

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 4)

As we screamed along the rough dirt road, driving way faster than we had dared so far in Mozambique, I wondered whether this Kamikaze style drive was in fact the safer route home and pondered over how we had managed to get ourselves into this dangerous off-road high speed car chase.

 

It all started the day before when after a long day on the road from Vilanculos to Johannesburg, we arrived at our overnight destination of Bilene. So far, we had traversed Mozambique’s  Quality Street  smorgasbord of assorted roads without incident, barring a speeding ticket, which is fascinating in itself as we have never driven slower on a road trip.

 

It’s hard though to know how fast you are actually allowed to go on Moz’s roads. The speed limit on the EN1 is 100, but this decreases to 80 and then 60 through each settlement. As the land around the highway in Mozambique is pretty much fully settled, this means there is an equal split between 100 and 60. And of course the traffic police set up hidden speed checks in the trickiest 60 zones – the ones where the signs have fallen off and you are unsure of whether it’s still 60 or 100 again. It was in one of these when Ralph saw the back of the 80 sign on the opposite side of the road and figured that meant that 60 was over on our side.

 

As he started to accelerate, out jumped a lady in a white shirt and blue cargo pants – the uniform of the official traffic police. Continue reading…    

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 3)

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 3)

After another early start from our overnighter in Xai-Xai, we thoroughly enjoyed a day on the EN1 national highway up the coast to Vilanculos. We had left South Africa’s chilly July winter well and truly behind us and basked like lemurs in Mozambique’s humid warmth.

 

From Xai-Xai heading North, the coastal areas are thick with palm trees and as we headed closer to Vilanculos, we were delighted to see ethereal Baobab trees making an appearance between the palms. We have always loved these gigantic trees that look like they have been planted upside down and we stopped to absorb the incredible groves of these ancient giants with their thick trunks and velvety pods.

A grove of beautiful young Baobabs

All we knew of Vilanculos is what we had been told by others – it was tropical, it was beautiful, it was paradise on Earth. When we looked on Google Maps we were thrilled to discover that Bazaruto Island was right off its shore – even better! We have drooled over other people’s photos of Bazaruto’s powdery white beaches and tropically turquoise waters for decades.  The only frame of reference we had in our minds for somewhere so perfectly tropical was Mauritius, so we very much expected a Mauritius on the mainland.

Continue reading…    

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 2)

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 2)

The long road from Giriyondo

Mopani and Letaba in the Kruger National Park are the recommended overnight camps close to the Giriyondo border post into the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. We were quite concerned as to the state of the roads on the Mozambique side, but our research suggested that even though the route we were taking was for 4×4’s only, we should be fine in our normal Kombi which has quite high ground clearance but no 4×4.

 

I must say I was feeling very apprehensive about the whole thing – here we were, not very well prepared at all, going on a family road trip into a completely unknown territory.  All the other cars we passed on the highway from Johannesburg were rugged looking cross-Africa 4×4’s, loaded with extra wheels and jerry cans and serious bushwhacking trailers brimming with stuff. We were just a family with a bag each piled into a normal car.

Continue reading…    

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 1)

The Ultimate Bush and Beach Road Trip to Kruger and Mozambique (Part 1)

Back in January, we wrote an open letter to the universe, putting our 2017 travel dreams into writing in the hope of turning them into reality (#17Adventures). Top of our whole family’s list was somewhere tropical. We weren’t too fussy exactly where – it should just be somewhere with warm turquoise waters teeming with fish, white sand beaches and palm trees swaying in the breeze.  Although getting a family of five to these kind of places works out tearfully expensive, there was no way that we were going to let minor details like a lack of sufficient finance stand in our way of visiting a tropical beach this year.

 

To hell with it, we thought…let’s just drive there.  And so began our 19 day, 6000km road trip from wintery Port Elizabeth all the way to Mozambique’s tropically warm Vilanculos via the Kruger National Park.

 

And boy do we have a lot of stories to tell! We saw and experienced so much, its hard to know where to start. After mulling it over, I thought the best way to begin is with a summary of where we went and why, how we got there, where we stayed and what we did.

 

Continue reading…    

How to Pack the Ultimate Family Travel Medical Kit

How to Pack the Ultimate Family Travel Medical Kit

We are busy gearing up for an epic cross-country road trip from Port Elizabeth to Mozambique, and part of our preparation is making sure our medical kit is fully stocked. Our family travels a lot, both locally and internationally and we have learned through trial and error how to pack a compact, portable but extremely useful medical kit that should address all minor conditions and avoid having to spend precious holiday time at the pharmacy or doctor.

 

Here is what to pack in a travel medical kit for families with teens and older kids:

(Note – the brands mentioned are all from South Africa, similar products are available globally)

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