Mufaro N. Nesongano
WINDHOEK, 29 MAY – After a quick flight from Hosea Kutako International Airport, we arrived at the Victoria Falls International Airport after which we headed straight to the Kazungula border post to settle down in Kasane at The Big 5 lodge.
Our team had arrived earlier and were preparing to welcome the Tshwane Legend Bikers Club (TLB), along with other biking clubs, for the official Tshwane Legend Bikers Club Kavango Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Tour.
After settling in, we opted to sit for a while and wonder what would become of our lives for the next few days. As the sun set in the north-eastern town of Kasane in Botswana, which borders Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, we could not hide our excitement as the motorcycles descended on the lodge. The sound the bikes made was something unusual!
After months of preparations, the moment of truth had arrived. We would be spending the next nine days exploring Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe on motorcycles. As dawn broke, we embarked on our journey to Namibia for the welcoming ceremony that was set to take place at the Popa Falls Resort. I could not help but notice the excitement that the locals had each time the bikers stopped to refuel. Each time the bikers revved their bikes, the locals went wild.
As we approached Kongola, we all became excited as we could see the team of Namibian bikers that was waiting to accompany their counterparts to Popa Falls Resort. The meeting caused the village of Kongola to come to a standstill as the bikes made their presence known. After the pleasantries, we proceeded to Popa Falls Resort where a delegation comprising of the Kavango East Governor, Honourable Samuel K. Mbambo, and the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Honourable Pohamba Shifeta, along with our managing director, Mrs Zelna Hengari and other dignitaries, were waiting with anticipation to welcome the visitors. The bikers arrived and were greeted by a local cultural group after which they were whisked away to a cruise on the Kavango River. After the cruise, an official ceremony was held which provided our officials with an opportunity to officially welcome the bikers to Namibia.
During our stay at Popa Falls, the bikers had an opportunity to visit Calai, a small town in Angola. In Calai, we had an opportunity to visit their water reclamation plant and a new restaurant that had not been there before the tour. Before the tour, one of our team members undertook a trip to negotiate with Mr Paulo to have the building we ended up eating in turned to a restaurant.
The outcome of this new restaurant further proved how tourism positively contributes to the economy of small communities. At Popa Falls Resort we had a memorable night with one of Namibia’s favourite artists, Big Ben. The visitors surely enjoyed his music as they kept asking for him to sing Morro Morro again.
It’s surprising how fast our three-day stay at Popa Falls Resort came to an end. As we left en-route to our base in Kasane, we stopped at the Baraquena community for a donation of clothes to Ms Mavis Mautuwere. After the handover, we continued our journey and safely arrived in Kasane. At Kasane, we went on a boat ride and explored the Chobe River which serves as the border between Botswana and Namibia.
The next day was undoubtedly a day of adventure as we got up early to see the Victoria Falls. The motorcycles were ferried to Zambia as the bridge is still being constructed. We arrived in Zambia but could sadly, not stay long to enjoy their hospitality as we spent a considerable amount of time at the Kazungula border post.
We then proceeded to the Victoria Falls border post which also saw us spending a substantial amount of time, resulting in us having to rush to have lunch at Mama Africa, a stone’s throw away from the entrance to Victoria Falls. With little time to spare, we rushed to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Having been there a few years ago, I could not contain myself when l laid my eyes on it again!
With only two days left before our tour was to conclude, we travelled to Francistown and it began to dawn on me that we were getting close to returning to Windhoek. After getting up, we went to Gaborone for our last day where we were welcomed by bikers from Botswana. The meeting allowed us to see how the biking community has grown in Botswana.
As the evening came to an end, I realised that we had just undertaken a life-changing tour. We woke, had our last prayer session and shed some tears as we said goodbye to people who had become friends and were no longer visitors.
Written By Mufaro Nesongano