A – Z of the Ranger Odyssey

Though each day has it’s own post I did this once before for our Cape Town to Richards bay roadtrip and decided that this journey needed it as well… so here’s a summary of the Lusaka – Maun leg of the Ranger Odyssey for you while I work on the actual posts for it :)

Africa – one of the most hauntingly beautiful continents you’ll ever visit.
Airports – spent a lot of time in these, visited 4 different ones actually.
Americans – ended up on a flight out of Maun filled with an American school group of sorts and unfortunately the one that sat next to me fueled my irritations by playing her mp3 so loud I could hear it despite the earphones…

Botswana – The second country we visited on our trip.
Black Russian – Kauhlua and vodka cocktail. Had it in Maun, so yum.
Brandy – Wahahahaha, oh there is a story to tell here but I’m not sure anyone bar the 7 involved will ever hear about it ;)
Business class – Got upgraded to business class on my flight from Johannesburg to Lusaka, not much difference other than free newspapers and better food.
Bonding – something that happens when you travel with strangers, you bond, you make new friends.
Barefoot – How I did most of my travelling, and I can say I stepped into the Zambezi as well as onto the Sua pans barefoot.
Bartering – If you tell the guys trying to sell you goods that you don’t have money on you they will try barter with you, they’ll even suggest you swop them your shoes!
Baobab – Trees with bark that have a stone like texture and that live thousands of years, large steadfast trees.
Border control – Not a pleasant place to be stuck, particularly in Zambia where we were holed up in a small room with no air-conditioning for at least 2 hours before being checked through.

Camping – Sadly we only got to do this once, but what a fantastic time it was.
Candice Setton – My twitter friend whom I FINALLY got to meet and stay with during my lay-over in Jozi.
Chargers – Always make sure you pack in universal plugs for these!
Coconut cake – According to Ryno (one of the contestants) the coconut cake at the airport café in Maun is life changing, it was… life changingly horrid.
Cupcakes – If you ever find yourself at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka… don’t eat the cupcakes served at the continental breakfast. Just don’t.
Coke – Had far too much of this on the trip, pretty sure I’ve put on a kg’s just from this.
Chobe – Where we “camped” in chalets the first night we joined up with the Ranger Odyssey team. Watching the sun rise up over the Chobe River with coffee in hand is worth waking up extra early for.

Dodgey hotel staff – Actually all the staff of most of the places (all bar the island lodge in Maun) made you feel like anything and everything was a giant favour to you.
Doodles – I doodled, a lot.
De Rust – Want or need anything outdoor/4×4? Chat to these guys! So down to earth and willing to answer question. Also a sponsor for the Ford Ranger Odyssey.
Dollars – Most African places are willing to accept dollars but make sure you have local currency as well because as I said: MOST.

Elephants – We got to see a few of these magnificent creatures. Amazing how gentle and graceful such a giant creature can be.
Exchange rate – Always make sure you know what it is. I didn’t realize the rand was so weak to the Kwacha/Pula…
Emergency exit – If you can’t get bumped up to business class then ask to sit by the emergency exits, there’s even more legroom than in business.

Ford – The company behind the Odyssey and the launch of the new Ranger.
Friends – Making new ones, missing old ones.
Ferry – We took the crossed the Zambezi outside Livingstone in Zambia via Ferry and into Botswana. Watched as the sun set over it.

Gin and tonic – What Yolisa and I were on a mission to have any time we found a bar.
Grannies – These are damn useful! So grateful to my mum for watching Fysh the week I was away.
Goat meat – A local favourite up that side of the world, decided to give it a try in Lusaka.
Gweta – Home of planet Baobab.

Hashtag amazeballs – Pretty much sums up my entire trip.
Hippo – Saw these at the Chobe river… scary friggin animals that make the strangest noise.
Hunters trail – Our first bit of “off roading” was done here. Stopped along it for tea and rusks and to mark a few trees of course haha.

Instagram – Tried to upload as often as I could so everyone could see where we were – after all, a picture speaks a thousand words.
Impala – Saw quite a few between Nata and Maun in Botswana.
Island safari lodge – Of the lodges/ hotels we stayed in this one was definitely the best. The staff even offered for us to stay and not go home haha :)

Johannesburg – Spent a lay-over day here with a gorgeous friend. Also where SAA lost my luggage.

Kindle – I’ve used it once since buying it last year but glad I haven’t sold it yet, considering the battery lasts ten times longer than my tablet I was able to get a whole lot of reading done while we were on the trip :)
Kazungula ferry border – Where we crossed the Zambezi and missioned into Botswana.
Km – We drove well over a thousand km’s in the two days we were with the Odyssey.
Kwacha – Local Zambian currency. Currently 53c to a Kwacha.

Lusaka – Where we flew to and met up with the Ranger Odyssey.
Livingstone – We were going to camp here the first night we joined the Odyssey but ended up crossing the Zambezi and sleeping in Botswana instead.
Let’s go fishing – One the most fun drinking games ever, if of course you can figure out how the damned thing is played. Unlike me who had to have it explained 2 days later… blond moment :/
Lifesavers – Found these oldschool sweeties at the airport!
Leaving – I cried, so not ready to be home.

Mosi beer – Local Zambian beer.
Mosquitoes – These suckers are everywhere and unlike in South Africa the chance of catching Malaria from them is high so make sure you’re stocked up on all things anti-mosquito.
Music – I noticed that both Zambia and Botswana appear to be stuck in the 80’s / 90’s music wise. Not that you’ll find me complaining but the biggest notice when arriving back in SA was the difference in music.
Maun – Where we left Botswana from.

Nata – stopped here for refreshments.

OR Tambo – Johannesburgs international airport, spent a good few hours here.
Outsider – What you feel like when you join up with something such as the Odyssey where contestants and staff have had time to bond before your arrival.
Off road – What 4×4’s are built for and what we did for fun growing up in Namibia.

Passport control – Almost as bad as border control.
Pranks – Put 30 people together on the road for 21 days and you’re bound to be victim of a few…
Pula – Botswana’s local currency.
Pandamatenga – Stopped here to fill up on fuel and grab some snacks. The name stuck with me.
Playlist – A roadtrip isn’t a roadtrip without an awesome playlist. Thankful that all 3 vehicles I was in had brilliant playlists.
Potato bush – Actually a tree not a bush that smells just like jacket potatoes and makes you damned hungry every time you walk under it.

Quiet – You’d think that with so many people together there would never be any but it seems there are times when people just know to hush up and reflect. Like around a campfire surrounded by nothing but space on the Sua Pans under billions of stars.

Ranger Odyssey – The launch of the new Ford Ranger; an odyssey across African countries to show that the Ranger is tough enough to survive and that anyone, even a mom of 3, can handle it. – You can keep up with the contestants and the rest of the journey on the website – Ranger Odyssey.
Rosebank – Where I stayed with Candice in Jozi during my lay-over.
Roadtrip – Yup, pretty sure this was one of the longest roadtrips I’ve ever been on :P

SAA – I have a love/hate relationship with SAA at the moment… Cape Town to Jozi was uneventful, Jozi to Lusaka was business class greatness. They went backwards from there though… Maun to Jozi was the last seat at the back next to an obnoxious American who’s music was so loud I could hear it blaring through her earbuds and the one in front of me insisted on her seat being pushed as far back as possible which is usually not a problem but when you sit at the back your seat can’t go back to counter it so you sit with the front seat about 5cm from your face. Then from Jozi to Cape Town they lost one of my bags…
Sunrise – An African sunrise is always worth waking up early for.
Sunset – Higher up in Africa the sun goes a brilliant orange/red when it sets. There are few words in the dictionary that can be used to explain the beauty. Nothing beats an African sunset, other than an African sunrise.
Snorkel – The first ranger I got into was pranked the evening before and it’s snorkel was replaced with a home-made one made our of coke bottles and a beer can… not a pleasant sound.
Shooting stars – Saw so many of them when we were out on the pans. Sitting out there miles and miles away from the nearest town/village/city with no lights to subdue them the amount of stars you’re able to see is frightening.
Steers – Lunch on day one, funny to see a steers in the middle of nearly nowhere.
Sua Pans – A large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San.

Tourist – We played “local tourist” in Lusaka the day we arrived as we didn’t want to just sit around in the hotel.
Table mountain – First thing you look for when landing back in Cape Town, it’s like a giant beacon that shouts “welcome home”.
Toro lodge – Where we stayed the first night we were in Botswana.
Tents – Set up our own on the Sua Pans and left the fly cover off so we could see the stars.

Underwear – Make sure you pack enough clean underwear else you’re going to end up going commando.

Vegan – So I tried my best to stick to my vegan diet but it was hard at times. When going into a foreign place sometimes its best not to be so damn steadfast and a little more open minded.
Vanilla vodka – Oh, good times with Ms Setton… hahahaha
Villages – The little kids get so excited when we drive through these and all run out asking for sweets (just like in the movies).

Window seat – Every time I fly. Always.
Wifi – Oh boy… don’t expect too much connection time when you’re in upper Africa, though the larger towns have better signal. It was nice being “disconnected” for a few days though.
Wilson toffies – Best roadtrip sweets!
Weather – The weather was hot and dry in Zambia and we missioned around in shorts for the most part but it got a little cooler when we headed South into Botswana. On the Sua pans though I nearly froze my tits off.

Xhi – pronounced Shi in Botswana.

Yellow fever – Research the country you are going to, they might insist you have a yellow fever vaccination before you are allowed in (which means you might need to go to the extortionists at the airport clinic and get one before they check you onto your flight) but thankfully once done it’s valid for 10 years.
Yolisa – My travel buddy and the other journalist that was on the same leg of the Odyssey as I was.

Zambia – Where we started our leg of the Odyssey
Zambezi river – I had my feet in it! Didn’t get to see the falls but we did get to take a ferry across it and into Botswana.
Zebra – 25 letters bigger than an A bra :P


2 thoughts on “A – Z of the Ranger Odyssey

  1. Just thought I should break it down, you know, because I can:

    1) Candice Setton – My twitter friend whom I FINALLY got to meet and stay with during my lay-over in Jozi. **YAYAYAY for the FINALLY**
    2) Johannesburg – Spent a lay-over day here with a gorgeous friend. **WOOT WOOT, loved having you**
    3) Rosebank – Where I stayed with Candice in Jozi during my lay-over. **That’s my town**
    4) Vanilla vodka – Oh, good times with Ms Setton… hahahaha **But this one, oh boy! The stuff is EVIL!! And I don’t blame you if you never stay with me again, wakaka!!**

    Disclaimer: I cannot be held for actions performed while under the influence of Vanilla Vodka.

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