Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RV'ing in Africa!

Our heads are still spinning because of this upcoming Namibia trip!

We're now thinking four months in Africa. There is simply too much to see. It looks like we're only allowed 3 months in Namibia itself, but if that's the case we would also spend time in South Africa and/or Botswana.

Some interesting things we're learning about that part of the world.

Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa.


First of all, RV style camping is a fairly popular thing. Our friends Glen and Steve spent nine months in a combi (VW style) van camping and exploring, so we knew that it was possible, we just didn't realize that there would be that many RV parks and camping spots available. Turns out that there are quite a few, and that there are even RV clubs and lots of RV rental places. Boondocking (dry camping) is also allowed pretty much anywhere, the problem is getting an RV that's equipped with a solar panel.

We believe that RV'ing and camping would be the way to go for that long of a trip. The only problem is that renting for that long would not make economic sense so we're looking at other options. We're going to advertise on some South African caravan club websites for a motorhome exchange where we would use somebody else's camping rig for a time while we're there. In exchange that person would be able to come to Canada and/or the U.S. and use Sherman (our motorhome) for the summer of 2014. Or, we may be able to do a promotional deal with a self-drive company who rents motorhomes over there and I'll be doing some research into that possibility. The third option is actually buying something. An older combi van style that we could sell when we leave. It's a great option providing you get a good enough deal when you buy it. That's what Glen and Steve did.

Another thing on our agenda is a new camera. There's no way I'm going to Africa with just a little compact "point and shoot", however I also don't want to spend thousands of dollars, nor do I want to carry a huge amount of gear or interchangeable lenses. So I'm looking at a compromise such as these two options...

Canon Powershot SX50

Nikon Coolpix P510

Love to have the opinion of any of you photo buffs out there. The problem of course with anybody who has tried only one of these two cameras is that while you may think your camera is great, if you haven't tried them both you don't know which is better!

Another things we're working on is how to get from Halifax to New York City. There is only one direct flight between those locations, and it's over $300 one way. The connecting flights are only slightly cheaper and you have to ridiculously backtrack to Toronto or Montreal in order to get to New York City. Makes no sense to do that, although we have just enough Air Miles saved up to cover that route so that's the way we'll go if nothing else comes about.

But the other option is by ship. There are a couple of cruise ships that do Canada/New England tours in the fall and they stop in both Halifax and New York. I'm going to contact them and see what the possibilities are of hopping on the ship for a one way cruise! You don't know if you don't ask!

So...lots on the go...our internet bill is going to be high again!


34 comments:

  1. Well, when I think I'm getting a little bored with what's going on here, I just have to tune in to you guys. The mind boggles...

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    1. Bob, you know we like to keep things interesting!

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  2. I can feel your excitement! It'll be fun watching this all come together. Sorry I'm no help! Grace (in Tucson)

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    1. Ah, but you have helped. You voted for us to win the trip and you are voting for us now. so you are helping. :)

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  3. Sounds like lotsa planing and research but I am sure you will come up with the best deal.

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    1. That's always part of the fun, the planning.

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  4. That's a lot to think about, but how exciting for you!

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    1. Kevin lives to do this type of stuff, he is in his glory.

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  5. You always manage to come up with the greatest things and I'm sure this time will be no different. RVing in South Africa sounds fantastic. What experiences you two are piling up.

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    1. Yep, I think the RVing is definitely the way to go. We will be able to take our time and stop where and when we want to.

      We are definitely excited about this.

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  6. Wow, I'm tired just reading about everything you guys are thinking about doing.

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    1. Yes, I think Kevin has his hands full now, it will give him something to do over the summer, not like we don't have enough to do as it is!

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  7. Can't even wrap my head around all the logistics you're dealing with. Glad I get to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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    1. Yes, there is plenty of logistics to figure out but once the main ones are in place the rest should be easy. Don't worry, you will love the ride!

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  8. Is renting a car a possibility for getting from Halifax to NYC?

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    1. Yep, that is possible but I think it will be used as a last resort.

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  9. Can't wait to see what you come up with, you guys are always so clever in your travels. I know the perfect solution is out there for you! :c)

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    1. We are with you, we will come up with a solution, it may not be perfect but it will get us there.

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  10. I agree...it will all come together. I don't know that much about cameras. I have a Nikon D3100 that has become attached to my hip! Sorry, not much help in that area.

    I can tell you are really excited about your plans as well you should be. We will all be right there with you...learning and enjoying everything too! A new grandchild and a tr to Africe...now that's what I call WOW!

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    1. Yes, we have lots to look forward too. I would like to say we can't wait until the end of September but we also don't want to wish our lives away.

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  11. P.S. We loved Acadia NP...your header photo brings back very fond memories from last summer! Thanks!

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    1. We loved it there too but we will never do it in the summer again, just way to crowded for our liking.

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  12. Trip of a lifetime! Get as much as you can out of it. I'm using this as ammunition for the next year! Australia or South America is calling!

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    1. Does that mean you want to plan to go to Austrailia or South America next year or do you mean us?

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  13. I'll put in a plug for the SX50HS ... I bought one to use for daily photography, and have been using it almost exclusively for all my photos for the blog since January. The zoom reach would be great for Africa. Our experience from our photo safari is that while there are some "action" moments, most of the times the animals are stationary or slow enough that the camera would be more than sufficient. I'd recommend getting an inexpensive tabletop tripod to go with it -- in less than optimum light it would be helpful to have one to use the camera with the lens fully extended. I'm not yet at the point where I am willing to ditch my DSLR equipment ... but I am getting there.

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    1. Thanks for the input Erin. We are gathering all the info we can but at the moment Kevin is leaning more towards the Nikon Coolpix P520 at the moment.

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  14. Nearly right, it was an old 1984 Bedford motorhome that we bought then sold before leaving. We didn't have or need a solar panel, found that because there was so much to see and do there we were driving every few days and topping the batteries up that way. Also in South Africa it is strongly recommended to use their well equipped and cheap campsites and there you have electric.

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    1. Thanks for the correction Glen. We definitely think the RV is the way to go for us, hopefully we can find something that will suit our needs.

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  15. If you buy the camera at Same club or Walmart you can return it if you don't like it. The only way to know for sure is to try the camera.

    I love my Canon SX50hs. The zoom is amazing and even using digital zoom vs. optical zoom the pics come out good. Many times its the difference between capturing the subject with at least something or no picture at all .

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    1. That is one thing that we will make sure that we can do, return it if necessary. Kevin as already been playing around with the two cameras but will take a bit more time to think about it.

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  16. Our Mexico RVing friends Claudia and PJ from the Netherlands spent some time in a rented RV in Africa. Here is their blog - scroll down a little to find their Africa adventure.

    http://www.dutchduowildlife.nl/where_are_we%202_in_english.htm

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    1. I know of them, I remember both you and Chris talking about them. We will have a look at their blog, thanks for the link.

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  17. This is so exciting. I am so happy for you both. Life is all about adventures! Waking up with my feet on different ground makes me the happiest.

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    1. Thank you Susan. We agree, there is so much out there and we want to see as much of it as we can.

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